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My "hardly breathing" pace

Jul 28, 2009
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I've had a long first "season" as a beginner cyclist, dozens of fast club rides, 14 10-mile timetrials since April, a 6 week interval training schedule and dozens of solo rides.

I noticed as I got fitter I sort of got "lazy" on group rides. Let me explain. I would be cruising with riders I used to get dropped by and finish the ride in good shape. Then in a timetrial or during an interval session I would be thinking "holy mother of god this hurts" but I knew I was going at the same or slightly faster pace than before but I almost forgot how to handle the pain once I got fitter and didn't spend entire rides suffering. Anyone know what I mean?

Also most of my club are starting interval schedules and are quite looking forward to it. I can't think of anything I would want to do less than more high intensity stuff so my question, has anyone any experience of long steady pace riding in the winter being of benefit? I am constantly told quality over quantity but I feel I'm sorta sick of high intensity training. All I want to do when I think of tomorrows ride is to pick a distance say 100km and ride it at a steady pace.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Sounds way too familiar,

It seems like your aerobic system is super strong, and that you can probably time trial quite well. You probably need a little more speed / anaerobic development.

Do you have a heart rate monitor? If not you should get one.

I would highly recommend the Garmin 305 or better. To be able to track and get you know how your body is responding to the different efforts will help a ton. I would get this before any equipment upgrade.

Deepening on the time of year and your goals, your want of a longer steadier ride may be just what the doctor ordered. A lot of benefit can come from it. It is usually more important to listen to what your body is saying than keeping to a club schedule.

You may also need a longer time to activate your aerobic system. If you go out for your longer ride, you may want to tack on the intervals at the end of your longer ride.
 
Jun 9, 2009
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There are many benefits to long, slow rides in the off-season. Training within your aerobic threshold (for must this is 70% or less of max heart rate) means that your body is utilizeng oxidative metabolic mathways for energy (ATP) production.

The benefits of such training are as follows:

Increased mitochondrial density within muscle cells.
Increased vasculature to muscles.
There are psychological benefits to long rides.
Your perineum will become more durable.
Resting of glycolytic muscle fibers.

The fact that glycolytic fibers are 'along for the ride' during this type of training means that they can be trained in the weight room. Weight training, combined with long-slow-distance training and some time on the rollers for improved pedaling efficiency is an excellent routine for the off season.
 

the big ring

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Jul 28, 2009
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To be honest it sounds like you have / should have peaked already and are approaching burn out.

A definite YES to long, steady pace riding over Winter (assuming Nth hemisphere). Do a google on SST or "sweet spot training" to see what some people do / think about it.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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Watching my heart rate for the first time since taking the monitor off the very first day (too scary how high it would go in the early days like 194 wtf).

I noticed the work rate is hardly ever "steady state" it's deliberately a hilly course to provide a challenge but it makes the effort hard-easy-hard-easy. So really it's like interval training, might be why I'm sick of intervals as I've used variations of these hilly Surrey courses (Surrey Hills south east England, puny little bumps compared to proper climbs :eek:).

I'd love to get on a really long climb and get into a rhythm but that would require catching a plane somewhere. Next best thing, find a flat course and strap on a parachute.
 
cromagnon said:
I've had a long first "season" as a beginner cyclist, dozens of fast club rides, 14 10-mile timetrials since April, a 6 week interval training schedule and dozens of solo rides.

I noticed as I got fitter I sort of got "lazy" on group rides. Let me explain. I would be cruising with riders I used to get dropped by and finish the ride in good shape. Then in a timetrial or during an interval session I would be thinking "holy mother of god this hurts" but I knew I was going at the same or slightly faster pace than before but I almost forgot how to handle the pain once I got fitter and didn't spend entire rides suffering. Anyone know what I mean?

Also most of my club are starting interval schedules and are quite looking forward to it. I can't think of anything I would want to do less than more high intensity stuff so my question, has anyone any experience of long steady pace riding in the winter being of benefit? I am constantly told quality over quantity but I feel I'm sorta sick of high intensity training. All I want to do when I think of tomorrows ride is to pick a distance say 100km and ride it at a steady pace.

Either ride alone or quit.
But seriously, go on sensations. If you ride a lot, then you know when you are tired or when you feel like an animal.

But, remember, only the races count. Just the races.;)

PS: And have fun, tired or not...
 
Apr 29, 2009
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Surrey Hills eh? There should be plenty of long drags with awful headwinds which can simulate long climbs for you, should you desire ;)

Usually I do most of my winter training in Richmond Park, I find it lends itself to spinning around for 4-5 laps without ever going anaerobic. It is definitely useful for buildling base miles, however uninteresting it may be.

What club you with? Used to ride with Kingston Wheelers, but I live in Sheffield now.