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Trainer Questions(8 posts)

Trainer Questionsjaybag
Dec 21, 2002 12:23 PM
I bought my 1st trainer a month back, and its been kicking my ass. Im following some workout programs in Arnie Bakers book. I really have to push myself to follow some steps which makes me think this trainer is doing me alot more that actual riding!!
So just before race season, do I do the trainer thing more for harder workouts? I live in Illinois and not many hills here. Races are in Wisconsin.
Also, I always thought I should do base training with low HR for the winter months. Should I stop Dr. Bakers program for now?
re: Trainer QuestionsThorman
Dec 22, 2002 4:33 AM
Right now I would guess the majority of us are doing base training, which is primarily zone 1 and 2. Unless you are recing in February this should probably be your plan as well.

re: Trainer Questionsjaybag
Dec 22, 2002 3:49 PM
I dont race till may. What consists of zone 1+2? and How long does this last?
re: Trainer QuestionsJames OCLV
Dec 23, 2002 7:23 AM

You should try and get in about 12 weeks or so of base training. As the weeks progress, you progressively increase your intensity (make sure to stay Aerobic, though). Zones 1 & 2 are HR zones that focus on the development of your aerobic system. Without getting too technical, while exercising in these zones you should be able to carry on a conversation (that's not to say that you should start talking to yourself!) Try to get in one long workout (no more than 25% longer than your longest race) per week, with the rest of the time on the trainer focusing on speed skills (spin-ups, single legged drills, etc.)

If you want to get more specific, buy a "speedreader" (I think that blackburn makes one for about $15) and some good books on training (The Cyclist's Training Bible is probably my favorite). The speedreader hooks up to your stem, and you can use it to read while you're on the trainer. At the right intensity (Z1 & Z2), you should be able to read while you ride. It's a double whammy; you're putting in miles and increasing your training knowledge at the same time. It's also great for helping to pass the time on the trainer.

It's called base training because essentially what you are doing is strengthing the "foundation" upon which your race specific fitness will be developed. During the base period, you are increasing your cycling economy (the ability to ride faster at lower HR's).
Excellent suggestions--ill try it...nmjaybag
Dec 23, 2002 3:08 PM
Dec 24, 2002 10:37 AM
Unless you're just starting cycling, or if you've had a month or two off the bike, there isn't any reason to ride "easy" now. I agree that you should spend most of your time in mid to upper Zone 2, but now is the time build up your legs and get them ready for hard efforts. Do some 5K TT's on your trainer at your AT. If you're not ready for that, do 1 mile at your AT and 2 miles to recover. Do at least 3 reps. 5 is better. The idea of taking it easy in the winter, is out of date training advise. Stay with your program, and you'll be the one to make others suffer in the early races. You'll also always be one step ahead of them if fitness, later in the year.
Dec 24, 2002 11:20 AM
My experience:

I started racing again two yeras ago after a 12 year hiatus. Both last year and the year before I was hitting it hard right about now. Lots of medium and more than a little high intensity rides. Intervals. Deep anaerobic work.

I placed really well and even won some races in February and March. By June I was WASTED. I'm the poster boy for what happens when you don't lay down a nice, solid base.

To be fair, this is the first time I'll have done a full base period and I'm curious to see how it plays out as the season goes on. It's VERY DIFFICULT for me to keep the intensity low and requires a patience I don't innately possess. I'm also doing a lot more work in the gym building all-body strength (thanks, LFR) than last year.

We'll see...

Because - same thing for me...James OCLV
Dec 28, 2002 7:19 AM
Base training is A LOT different from the LSD training that was prescribed years ago. LSD training suggested that riding a lot of miles at a very slow pace would get you fit for racing. This was proven to be untrue.

During Base training, the idea isn't necessicarily to go slow; the idea is to keep the intensity in check as riding in the "aerobic" zone develops your cycling economy (the ability to go faster at lower HR's). Base training also prepares your body to better withstand the rigors of high intensity training. Without a developing a proper base, your race fitness will not be nearly as high nor last nearly as long. Fitness plays out like a pyramid - the wider the base the higher the peak. Doing too much anaerobic work now will get you fit too soon - by June you will definately be overtrained...

The idea here is to develop the ability to go as fast as possible without going anerobic. I had an experience similar to shirt... I never used to do base trining in the winter - I would do intervals on the trainer, and consistantly train at or above my LT. Then a couple of years ago I started to follow a periodized plan - base training in the winter, add intensity a few months before my season, etc. The results were phenominal. In the first year of following this plan, I was able to ride faster in Zone 2 than I had the previous year at TT pace!

Lance Armstrong is proof positive that base training works - his areobic engine is HUGE (the result of keeping the intensity down in the winter). If you watch him during any of the mountain stages of the TDF, he's riding aerobic while nearly everyone else is riding close to their LT. He's got pleanty of gas left to pick up the pace, and no one else is able to follow because they are already close to their max sustainable (LT) pace.

Trust me... base training works...