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Stick to program vs club rides(5 posts)

Stick to program vs club ridesChrisA
Apr 23, 2002 8:10 AM
I started using Joe Friel's program this year. My first peak is planned to start the 3rd week of June, so I'm actually still in my 3rd base phase (wife having baby in August). I did my first race this week (mtn bike race, expert 30-39) and won it, to my surprise. I attribute this to all the base miles I did in Jan, Feb and March while resisting the faster club/group rides. I've actually only done one club ride and one interval workout so far.

Here's my dilemma. I'd like to do the club rides on a reguilar basis but I think staying with my program will yield better results. I've got a road race this Sunday. My club rides are Tuesday and Thursday. To stay true to my program I should do one intensity ride during the week and use the race as another intensity ride. All other rides should be recovery or endurance maintenance. My plan is this:

Mon - easy 30 minutes on rollers (crappty weather)
Tues - easy 1 hour on road
Wed - 2hr, 5 6 minute intervals
Thurs - 2+ hr zone 1-3
Fri - off or 1 hour easy
Sat - 1 1/2 hour, a few hard efforts
Sun - race

The club rides are very fast and a good varied workout. But they don't fit my schedule at this point. Am I being too conservative getting 2 recovery days after a mtn bike race or should I do my mid-week intervals on Wednesday so I get the most recovery since my last race and before my next race? So this is so long!
Blow off your club, stick to the programshirt
Apr 23, 2002 9:24 AM
You care about the actual races, right? That victory was SWEET, right? The answer is clear...

Apr 23, 2002 9:34 AM
I use a take on Friel's program that's targeted towards my particular limiters. Ideally, as you begin to "mature" as a racer, you'll be able to fine-tune your program to do this as well. Ferinstance, I love doing LT intervals because that's naturally where I'm comfortable. However, if I do too much of this type of volume, and don't train my weaknesses (specifically lactate tolerance at VO2MAX) this becomes a serious limiter for me in criteriums when the field is constantly attacking.

With the current program you've quoted, I'd recommend trying to locate a group ride or training race on Wednesday, as "racing simulation". The way you'd do intervals in this kind of situation is to sit in the pack (assuming that's somewhat easy for you) for your "resting" periods, then go to the front and/or attack up the hills for your intervals. If this isn't possible, then do the Thursday club ride and be careful not to spend too much time in the "dead zone", that kinda medium-hard zone where you're breaking yourself down but not really training your top end.

One group or club ride per week will not kill you. Skip the club ride on any week you're tapering, or if you have a particularly hard race on the weekend or just feel you need more recovery. It's good to get that fast group riding experience, and barring the exceptions I mentioned, I try to fit in one group ride per week all during the season.

The trick is to listen to your body, skip it if you're too wasted, and keep the volume and intensity within YOUR training program. This can be tough if the group ride in question is one of those Weekday World Championships Bike Nazi extravaganza type rides. If the pace is varied enough and you've got a couple buddies in there who don't mind waiting up to tow you back in if the pace gets too fast, that's ideal.
Apr 23, 2002 10:11 AM
"if the group ride in question is one of those Weekday World Championships Bike Nazi extravaganza type"

HAHA, you've ridden with my club! My goal this first year was to "not get dropped" on the Wednesday ride! They say the wed night ride is the slow ride averaging around 17mph. LIARS! It is as you say! I can hang and pull in their 20-21mph paceline, but when they upped the tempo last week, I was just hanging on for deal life until that next hill. POP!

re: Stick to program vs club ridesDuane Gran
Apr 23, 2002 10:17 AM
I think your program is clearly working well because you are properly rested for race day. Club rides are a great workout, but they can cut into needed rest. That said, I try to do one a week because I find it helpful to keep fluent in the pack. I'm not sure from your original message if you are principally a mountain biker or if you have done much road racing. In the early season I have found that it takes a little time to get back into the flow of riding in a pack.

I recommend doing the group ride if you feel the need to tune your pack skills. Otherwise it sounds like you are plenty motivated to do solo training, which is perfectly good. Contratulations on the win.