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High volume vs lots of top-end self-smashing training????

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High volume vs lots of top-end self-smashing training????

28 Aug 2013 05:08

I've always been an "intensity for immensity" guy, but now it looks like I might have to start including about 12 more hours a week of zone 1. :D


http://www.sportsci.org/2009/ss.htm

From the article:

Case study #1
From Soccer Pro to Elite Cyclist

"Knut Anders Fostervold was a professional soccer player in the Norwegian elite league from 1994 to 2002. A knee injury ended his soccer career at age 30 and he decided to switch to cycling. Knut had very high natural endurance capacity and had run 5 km in 17:24 at age 12.

After 15 y of soccer training at the elite level, he adopted a highly intensive training regime for cycling that was focused on training just under or at his lactate threshold and near VO2max; for example, 2-3 weekly training sessions of 4-5 × 4 min at 95 %VO2max. Weekly training volume did not exceed 10 h.

After 2.5 years of this high-intensity, low-volume training, Fostervold initiated cooperation with the Norwegian Olympic Center and his training program was radically reorganized. Weekly training volume was doubled from 8-10 h to 18-20. Training volume in Zone 2 was reduced dramatically and replaced with a larger volume of training in Zone 1. Training in Zone 5 was replaced with Zones 3 and 4, such that total training volume at intensities at or above lactate threshold was roughly doubled without overstressing the athlete.

The typical effective duration of interval sessions increased from ~20 min to ~ 60 min (for example 8 × 8 min at 85-90 %HRmax with 2-min recoveries). The intensity zones were initially based on heart rate but later adjusted relative to lactate and power output measurements made in the field. Table 7 shows the training intensity distribution and volume loading for the athlete during the season before and after the change in training to a high-volume program. Table 8 shows the outcome.

Table 7. Comparison of weekly training intensity distribution and total volume in 2004 season and 2005 season – Case 1.
Intensity zone

.Zone..........................2004 training.......2005 training (new routine)
(%HRmax)............hours:min............hours:min
5 (95-100 %)...........45m (8.5 %).........0:05m (0.5 % of week)
4 (90-95 )................0...........................0:40m (4.0 %)
3 (85-90 %)............0:30m (5.5 %).......1h:00m (5.5 %)
2 (75-85 %)............3h:05m (36 %).......1h:00 (5.5 %)
1 (55-75 %)............4h:20m (50 %)......15h:20m (85 %)
Weekly totals..........8hr40m................18hr:05m
Annual totals...........420hrs.................850hrs


Table 8. Physiological testing before and after training reorganization – Case 1.
................Pre....8wk.post...18 wk......Change 0-18 wk
VO2max......81.........90.........88..........11 %
VO2max.....6.8..........7.3........7.3..........7 %
LT power....375w......420w....440w.......14 %
W/kg-1:.......4.5.........5.2.......5.2............15 %

The athlete responded well to the training load amplification and reorganization. During the 2005 season, after 2.5 y performing a low-volume, high-intensity program, a season training with higher volume and lower average intensity resulted in marked physiological and performance improvement. Although the athlete’s training de-emphasized both training near his lactate threshold intensity and training at near VO2max, both of these physiological anchors improved markedly.

Fostervold won a bronze medal in the Norwegian national time-trial championships, seconds behind former world under-23 time trial champions and Tour de France stage winners Thor Hushovd and Kurt Asle Arvesen. His failure to perform even better, given his exceptionally high VO2max, was attributed to poorer cycling efficiency and aerodynamics and a lower fractional utilization at lactate threshold compared to the best professionals with many years of specific training. In 2006 and 2007 he represented Norway in the world championship time trial. His absolute VO2max in 2005 was equal to the highest ever measured in a Norwegian athlete.
Last edited by Captain Serious on 21 Dec 2017 10:58, edited 1 time in total.
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28 Aug 2013 06:39

Far too many people get carried away with intensity. The vast majority of your training needs to be at the zone 1 intensity as you show above in the case study. By training larger volumes at lower intensity you increase your efficiency, overall strength and condition yourself to cycling overall.

If you look at how a lot of people train, you will see that when they should be going easy, they aren't going easy enough and when they should be going hard, they aren't going hard enough. Too much time in the middle will improve you for a little while but eventually it just tires you out.

http://cyclingtips.com.au/2011/08/the-intensity-trap/

A good article on intensity and base.
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28 Aug 2013 15:04

42x16ss wrote:If you look at how a lot of people train, you will see that when they should be going easy, they aren't going easy enough and when they should be going hard, they aren't going hard enough..

Yeah, no doubt.
Thanks for the link; it's already printed and in the crapper, waiting to be read. :D
Last edited by Captain Serious on 21 Dec 2017 11:39, edited 1 time in total.
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28 Aug 2013 23:01

As a life long admirer of the work of Arthur Lydiard I follow the polarised training approach myself as a coach. A lot of exercise physiology keeps coming back to supporting what Lydiard was saying back in the 60s. Another area of analysis is the performance manager in WKO+ and TrainingPeaks (plus other software packages under different headings) allows me to see that when I have a rider with a very high level of fitness (CTL), manage their fatigue (ATL) that they have good form combined with chasing power targets that are specific to their event (power to weight, power to frontal area, power at event specific cadence and power in event specific position) it all contributes greatly to performance outcomes in conjunction with technique, tactics, equipment selection, focus, engagement and nutrition.

As we went into winter in NZ a lot of my riders went indoors to train and their fitness nose-dived, same with the US based Pros I work with as the volume of races they were required to do. I had two riders out with injury and surgery and both struggled to perform. One never got her fitness back on track and once racing frequently struggled to meet previous levels which the other did attain a high level of fitness and his performances have been outstanding.

Main thing I see is riders doing their volume too hard and they short to medium term endurance work too easy. Worst is the rider who just smashes along in every ride. They average 35-40kph all the time every ride and come race or fast ride day and struggle with the variation in pace and as soon as the pace goes above 40kph they lose contact.

Not just road cyclists but track endurance cyclists. Charlie Walsh was Aussie Track Coach from 1982-2000 and was asked why his riders rode 40,000-48,000km a year on the road (the Russians and East Germans did the same) for a 4000m event and his reply was simple; "those that didn't couldn't handle the same volume of speed work needed to become World and Olympic Champions without that level of base work". Apaper followed the Gold medal winning German team in 2000 and most of their build up was road racing in Europe with the odd week long track block. Their speed work in the final 14 days consisted of 2 x 2000m and 1 x 1000m at World Record pace.

Most of the research on HIT uses untrained subjects and only for very short durations. Very easy to see big gains when this is done. Two hot topics in sports nutrition are Beta Alanine and Dietary Nitrates. All the performance studies on both look very promising. Different story with research on Elite and World Class athletes. One researcher looked at 40 studies on Beta Alanine and only found 1 where the increase in performance was actually higher than the margin of error performing the research.

No consolation for the time crunched cyclist but if you want to perform, get ya miles in!!!
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29 Aug 2013 00:59

Captain Serious wrote:.Zone..........................2004................2005
(%HRmax)............hours:min............hours:min
5 (95-100 %)...........45m (8.5 %).........0:05m (0.5 % of week)
4 (90-95 )................0...........................0:40m (4.0 %)
3 (85-90 %)............0:30m (5.5 %).......1h:00m (5.5 %)
2 (75-85 %)............3h:05m (36 %).......1h:00 (5.5 %)
1 (55-75 %)............4h:20m (50 %)......15h:20m (85 %)
Weekly totals..........8hr40m................18hr:05m
Annual totals...........420hrs.................850hrs



So a guy roughly doubles his training load and gets better. No **** Sherlock. :)

Of course the balance of intensity changes when you up the volume like that, it has to.

I would say though that some of those hours could still be used better, or results are attainable from a little less time.
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29 Aug 2013 01:03

CoachFergie wrote:Not just road cyclists but track endurance cyclists. Charlie Walsh was Aussie Track Coach from 1982-2000 and was asked why his riders rode 40,000-48,000km a year on the road (the Russians and East Germans did the same) for a 4000m event and his reply was simple; "those that didn't couldn't handle the same volume of speed work needed to become World and Olympic Champions without that level of base work".


TBH, I put what many riders of that era could survive/thrive training load wise into the "had some help" basket.

As for Walsh, well it also ruined several fine athletes. Throw enough of them at the wall hard and some will stick. [color="Pink"]Riders are after all just commodities to chew up and spit out.[/color]
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29 Aug 2013 01:08

True true, certainly not to say that what he said was right and a coach did not engineer things to make sure the ones he didn't want in the team to ensure they failed to perform. But OTOH who is to say that he wasn't right and those riders that burned out just weren't World Class.
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29 Aug 2013 01:24

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:TBH, I put what many riders of that era could survive/thrive training load wise into the "had some help" basket.

As for Walsh, well it also ruined several fine athletes. Throw enough of them at the wall hard and some will stick. [color="Pink"]Riders are after all just commodities to chew up and spit out.[/color]

And now everyone wonders why so many Aussies trackies have clinic issues ;)

Gotta find some way to survive that kind of regime. Speak to almost anyone from the AIS track program when Walsh was there - you won't hear too much that's good.
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29 Aug 2013 02:49

CoachFergie wrote:True true, certainly not to say that what he said was right and a coach did not engineer things to make sure the ones he didn't want in the team to ensure they failed to perform. But OTOH who is to say that he wasn't right and those riders that burned out just weren't World Class.


One of the riders Walsh rejected was Robbie McEwen!
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29 Aug 2013 09:55

Maybe lucky for Robbie he did. A lot of Kiwi cyclists have stuck around on track for way too long and missed their shot at success on the road!
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29 Aug 2013 10:50

anyway, let's keep it out of clinic chat as that's tangential to the OP.
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29 Aug 2013 15:10

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:anyway, let's keep it out of clinic chat as that's tangential to the OP.


Disregarding any possible links to the Clinic, I remember recently reading an article online, which I unfortunately cannot find now, attributing slow build up of low intensity training as one of the reasons for Freddy Rodriguez's success in the European peloton.
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30 Aug 2013 13:37

Thanks for the replies.

Hmmm, it's a bit frustrating; I thought I had my training 7/8ths figured out, but now I dunno. I'm in my forties, so I'm running out of time, and have never achieved anything on the bike, apart from winning a few A-grade masters club crits. Pffft!. I can't afford a power meter, let alone a regular coach (I had a one-off consultation a couple of years ago with a guy who races with/against me alot, so he knows my strengths and weaknesses).

I hate to admit it, but I always thought that very long z1 rides was old-school b0llocks, or only necessary for people competing in long races (I'm just a regular "club crit" guy).

Does the 80/20 (or 85/15) model kinda suggest that zone 2 and 3 is pointless for the most part, because it obviously doesn't stress the systems as much as z4, z5 or all-out sprints, and is no better than Z1 at improving endurance, but still hurts the legs, therefore, impeding recovery (i.e., Z2 and Z3 does not much good, but can do lots of harm)?

All I really do on an ideal hard day is:

A long warm up, of course.
A handful of less-than-totally-structured short intervals (1 to 3min at ~z5).
Some TT-type efforts (or effort), which could be anyway from 6 or 7 min to 25min+. Then finish off by grinding in z3 as long as can, which could be an hour or so, then roll home for at least 20 or 30min. In the good weather, these rides are usually anywhere from 75 to 90km, and rarely over 100km.

In a 'good' hard week, I'll do this twice (usually Tues and Sat or Sun, or Tues and Thursday), then the third hard day would be some more TT-type work (is that FTP?:D), and I try not to exceed z4.

The above is an 'ideal' hard week; as we know, life and weather can get in the way, so there are plenty of weeks during which I'll only do 2 hard days.

I gave up doing sprints a long time ago, coz I'm so slow it's a joke, and I have some minor injuries.

I'll often incorporate a short (~20 to 30km) fast group ride on one of the hard days.

On my easy days I just roll around in z1 for 25km to 35km; maybe a little more if I'm having a fat day, and maybe longer on the easier weekend day. I sometimes take Mon or Fri completely off, especially in the crap weather. I hate riding indoors, so I usually won't ride on wet days.

So, there's no real endurance rides there.

Every 3 or 4 weeks I try to do an easy "week" (only 5 or 6 days), but I have to work more around the weather and "life"/work.

My Summer crits are Thursday nights. If I reckon I haven't done enough in the race, I'll smash myself on the way home.

I sometimes throw in a 4-day recovery block between the Thursday night race the Tuesday night smashfest if my legs feel like they need a break.
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30 Aug 2013 21:55

Captain Serious wrote:Does the 80/20 (or 85/15) model kinda suggest that zone 2 and 3 is pointless for the most part, because it obviously doesn't stress the systems as much as z4, z5 or all-out sprints, and is no better than Z1 at improving endurance, but still hurts the legs, therefore, impeding recovery (i.e., Z2 and Z3 does not much good, but can do lots of harm)?


No, it doesn't. Training adaptations are on a continuum with intensity and workload is a function of both intensity and duration (and it's not a linear function).

The polarised model makes up for the reduced intensity with high volume and is a pointless training method for one with limitations on their training time availability.
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30 Aug 2013 22:10

Captain Serious wrote:Every 3 or 4 weeks I try to do an easy "week" (only 5 or 6 days), but I have to work more around the weather and "life"/work.


Depends I suppose on what you are doing it all for and what motivates you, but ad hoc training with ad hoc variations in workload will ultimately produce ad hoc results.

Many are fine with that since they are primarily doing it all for fun and rest of life is more important, they take the good days, suffer on the bad ones and not get overly hung up on it.

I generally find one method usually generates sustainable improvements for just about everyone in first part of season - i.e. a sustainable progressive increase in workload. That can be tricky to do though when rest of life intervenes often, so it takes a bit of thought to manage around that. Consistency is key.

Layer on that appropriate quantities of intensity to emphasise stimulus of desired adaptations and which deal with any specific requirements, with HIT dosed carefully in terms of volume and timing, although a little most of the time is OK. And of course recovery periods when it makes sense to do so (not needed all that often if you get the workload increase right).

Get that right and the race part of the season can be longish and with good form, even set you up for bigger things the following year as your capacity to train changes.
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31 Aug 2013 10:49

It's all a matter of which religion you like. None of this has been well researched. The tools are there for those with a power meter to monitor individual progress. My suggestion is once you pick your religion then stick to it. Nothing appears to kill progress more than changing tack as often as you change underwear.
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01 Sep 2013 00:04

Hamish Ferguson
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01 Sep 2013 23:31

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:No, it doesn't. Training adaptations are on a continuum with intensity and workload is a function of both intensity and duration (and it's not a linear function).

The polarised model makes up for the reduced intensity with high volume and is a pointless training method for one with limitations on their training time availability.


This is a hot topic for me. I tried the progressive volume method when I was much younger and it did nothing but make me skinny and end my association with the sport in frustration. FWIW, It was never going to work out anyway given the era, so maybe it was all for the better?

My return to the sport has me working out at the gym, and riding maybe once a week. The gym totally works for me. When I can ride, the rides are faster both flat and climbing. I will say what's missing is the ability to grind out longer climbs/false flats. Given the extreme limits of riding time, my pack skills are weak. That's a *big* downside to the low volume.

I know guys who progressed using much higher volume, but that was just not my body. Every body is different. Slow down and read that again: every. body. is. different. The key is finding the training method that works for you. Volume might work for better for you, low volume might work better for you. Finding what works best for you is key.
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02 Sep 2013 00:17

CoachFergie wrote:It's all a matter of which religion you like. None of this has been well researched. The tools are there for those with a power meter to monitor individual progress. My suggestion is once you pick your religion then stick to it. Nothing appears to kill progress more than changing tack as often as you change underwear.


Oh yes, I didn't mean to imply my suggestion was perfect, nor optimal in all cases for everyone, rather when you don't have a lot of data to go on, it's a sound fall-back position. From there you collect more information about the individual and tailor accordingly.

Frankly, when I do get to see the training history from a new client what often sticks out is the lack of consistency (for whatever reason), and addressing that goes a long way to helping performance improve.
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02 Sep 2013 00:22

DirtyWorks wrote:This is a hot topic for me. I tried the progressive volume method when I was much younger and it did nothing but make me skinny and end my association with the sport in frustration. FWIW, It was never going to work out anyway given the era, so maybe it was all for the better?

My return to the sport has me working out at the gym, and riding maybe once a week. The gym totally works for me. When I can ride, the rides are faster both flat and climbing. I will say what's missing is the ability to grind out longer climbs/false flats. Given the extreme limits of riding time, my pack skills are weak. That's a *big* downside to the low volume.

I know guys who progressed using much higher volume, but that was just not my body. Every body is different. Slow down and read that again: every. body. is. different. The key is finding the training method that works for you. Volume might work for better for you, low volume might work better for you. Finding what works best for you is key.


Yes, although I talk about a progression in workload, which doesn't necessarily imply a progression in volume. It will of course at times, but not always.

Whats works for an individual is multi-factoral, often there is no single best solution (many things work), and so it can come down to choices which account for psychology, goals, training opportunity, motivational matters etc.
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