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Big improvements in Performance?(5 posts)

Big improvements in Performance?Wayne
Aug 27, 2002 9:13 AM
Has anyone experienced dramatic increases in performance after a few years of training or are only slow gains to be expected?
Has anybody modified their training and gotten a good bit faster? IF so, what did you do?
Aug 27, 2002 9:46 AM
Sometimes it's planetary alignment or something, but after a long time of plateauing, sometimes something just clicks and you make a huge gain in performance for no apparent reason. Happened to me -- years of TTing and my 40K time was stuck at 1:00. Then one year I just made a big leap -- lopped 3 minutes off my time, and my training wasn't all that different. Then, two years later, lopped another 2 minutes. That was probably my best year, but my road racing performances got dramatically better as I got much more tactically savvy.
Aug 27, 2002 10:51 AM
added some leg weight training...squats, seated leg press, etc. 4x10-12 sets/reps more of a strength and endurance benefit it seems, not much for speed though.
motivation and "decompression"lonefrontranger
Aug 27, 2002 2:29 PM
I attribute my renewed focus to a couple of things:

1) I moved to one of the most difficult regions of the country to race in. Once here, I realized that my fields were big, fast and ruthless, meaning I could no longer "race into shape" every year. This lit a big fire under my tail. My SO, on the other hand, has downgraded, lost interest, and now has practically quit racing altogether. So it seems upping the ante competition-wise can either sharpen your focus or force you to concede defeat, depending on your level of interest.

2) "Decompression" Basicially by this, I mean I simplified my life. Because I moved to a region with a healthy, thriving cycling culture, it meant someone else would do all the stuff we used to do in Cincinnati, so I could get selfish and train. I gave up the coaching, the team management, and holding 12 races and six clinics per year, going to city council meetings, running junior development / advocacy programs in local schools, etc, etc, etc.... I still volunteer to help at local events whenever I'm not actually racing, but the fact that I'm not keeping a thousand irons in the fire means I have more time to just train.

I basically stagnated for about six years racing in Ohio. When I moved out here and got a harsh dose of reality, it meant my improvement over the past 18 months has been pretty rapid.
yes, but..dotkaye
Aug 28, 2002 8:43 AM
personally believe that consistency is the basis of any improvement. It certainly is for running, suspect it's the same for cycling. I spent 3 years trying most things I could think of (LSD, intervals, hills, etc, etc) without getting more than minor improvements.

One thing this year produced good results - did a 3-day charity ride, about 50-60 miles a day, with a few good climbs (Vail and Fremont passes). 2 weeks after this my 15mi TT dropped by 2min, 3 weeks after took 6 min off my bike pr in the Boulder Triathlon (down to 1:14, still kinda slow but a whole lot better than 1:20 for 42k).

I think one reason it worked for me is that long rides are missing from my usual training. Usually I do just 1 ride a week, 50min of high intensity (TT or intervals), occasionally add in a brick (ride 20min hard, 30min run TT or intervals, 15min ride easy). So adding in the long stuff, and especially doing the 3 consecutive days, made a big difference. Another reason is that now I've been riding for long enough to develop something vaguely resembling good technique (consistency is key).

But if you're already doing decent mileage, with long weekend rides, maybe it's the intensity you need to add.
'Each of us is an experiment of one' as the running guru George Sheehan wrote..