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training effectively?

Nov 28, 2009
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I've ben cycling now for just over a year (but on and off for 10 years) and i'm wondering whether the training i am doing is as effective as it can be. I grade myself on a 30km course that i do frequently. When i started my best avg speed was 26.6km/hr now my best is 31.3km/hr which is an improvement of around 17.5%. Is this a good return or would a more focused training regime yielded better results? My training week looks something like this:-

mon: 30km
tue: rest
wed: 30km
thur: ride to work 65km round trip
fri: rest
sat: rest
sun: longer ride anywhere from 2-4 hrs

This is not a rigid program as home and work are limiting factors and can be more or less depending on how i feel. Most of my riding is done very early in the morning(03:30). I also tend to ride as fast as i can all the time. Any feedback would be appreciated.:)
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Two off-days without training in a row ain't very wise. I would advice you to take a 2 hour trip on Friday at such an easy tempo so you don't get especially tired. Just a recovery ride.

And a question: What's your goal with your training, burn fat or increase your muscles?
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Personally I ride five days a week (except now when it's winter), and I think you should do so too. When you feel you don't get exhausted by your 30 km rides, you should increase the lenght, and also the tempo. I suggest you buy a heart rate monitor so you can measure how hard you're riding. I can recommend this one for you.

Try put in some intervals in your training too, that will increase your endurance. The most important thing is to train regularly and ride at a tempo that fits you.
 
Nov 28, 2009
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Yeah i agree, I'm going to increase the length of the rides. I already have a heart rate monitor. I've been using it long enough to know where my levels are. That is when i'm not getting interference from another source. Thats really annoying when you look down and you're apparentley having a heart attack.:D
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Hehe, yeah :)

And I forgot: Train strenght too, it's very important for cyclists. My favourites are leg press and knee-bending. If you don't have access to a gym, you can train strenght on your bike by pulling a huge gear with less than 50 rpm, preferably uphill.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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MrContador said:
Hehe, yeah :)

And I forgot: Train strenght too, it's very important for cyclists. My favourites are leg press and knee-bending. If you don't have access to a gym, you can train strenght on your bike by pulling a huge gear with less than 50 rpm, preferably uphill.

Been discussed quite a few times on this forum already, there are reasons to train "strength" in the gym. Making you a better endurance cyclist is not one of those reasons.
 
Jun 9, 2009
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Tapeworm,

Though I am a fan of your name, and all parasites, you are incorrect.

There are several reasons training for strength will make one a better endurance cyclist. Do some research regarding myoglobin stores in skeletal muscle for a starter.

All athletes must train for strength to maximize performance.
 
Aug 6, 2009
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Everyone is slightly side tracked i think.

Given the amount of hours PainIsYourFriend is currently doing and time limitations (who rides at 3:30am in the morning?) it seems weights would be a waste of time

Given your goal of riding faster (wil assume over 30kms), as suggested by MrContador, intervals for 4-6weeks (then a week or two rest) would most likely see some good gains given your current timetable

Interval programs are available in many cycling magazines and books.

I like to do these at least twice a week, a third if not racing

2 sets of 3x 3mins with 3 minutes rest in between, 10 minutes between sets
I adjust leg speed on alternative days i.e either +110rpm (easier gearing) or 80-90 rpm (harder gearing) for both sets.


or

20 mins x 2 with a ten minute rest between sets.

You can be creative but try to stick to a structure for at least a couple of weeks

Also good to aim for a average speed you are looking for i.e try to stay above it (Be realistic though). They can be incorporated into a longer ride if need be.

If you can, join Criterium racing (or whatever is available), it provides quick gains as well as a good assessment of your level and rate of improvement.

Based on your current timetable, i would start of with this until you do more reading/get a coach/talk to riders in a club etc.

mon: 30km - intervals
tue: rest
wed: 30km -intervals
thur: ride to work 65km round trip
fri: rest
sat: longer ride anywhere from 2-4 hrs - at a comfortable speed
sun: rest


Any ideas by others. Not a coach but as a starting point this may be useful.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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David Suro said:
Tapeworm,

Though I am a fan of your name, and all parasites, you are incorrect.

There are several reasons training for strength will make one a better endurance cyclist. Do some research regarding myoglobin stores in skeletal muscle for a starter.

All athletes must train for strength to maximize performance.

You'll have to put up some studies that 1) prove that myoglobin stores are increased in Type I skeletal muscle due to weight training effects and that 2) the myoglobin has been 100% proved to be the a know performance improver for aerobic based exercise - a study has been done with genetically altered mice whom have practically no myoglobin and seem to be just fine in oxygen depleted states. 3) Most studies I have read seem to support that myoglobin is increased with aerobic activity.

Also for reference, another study with mice at least:-

http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/pdf_extract/54/3/798
 
Jun 9, 2009
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Will do, Tapeworm.

Please excuse the curtness of my reply last night. Maybe one glass of wine too many in order to post tactfully.

I'll dig up some research and look forward to continued discussion on the topic.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
 
Nov 28, 2009
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Thanks awal3207 for the advice. The reason why i'm out at 03:30 is because i start work at 06:30 and often get home around 19:30. I'd like to ride to work more but i have to ride through melbourne, which is fine in the morning but not so good in peak traffic on the way home. I've already been hit once.
 
Dec 14, 2009
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Defining your goals is the important first step.
What are you strengths and weakness'?
What do you want to improve?
Once you have goals you will need to figure out how much free time you have to ride.
Are you going to use any training tools?
Training with watts and/or a heart rate monitor?
Do you know how to use these tools effectively in training?
You'll need to establish things like your heart rate training zones.
How serious are you?
A periodization schedule is the best approach.
But any system if you stick to it will yield results...the more you optimize, the better.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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PainIsYourFriend said:
Thanks awal3207 for the advice. The reason why i'm out at 03:30 is because i start work at 06:30 and often get home around 19:30.

when do you sleep? proper rest is just as important as a good training program
 

Deadlift

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Dec 26, 2009
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PainIsYourFriend said:
I've already lost 16kg(79 to 63) so weight is not really an issue. My goal is to ride faster no matter what the distance.

Start lifting weights. Get stronger.

Strengthen the entire posterior chain & core muscles.
 
Deadlift said:
Start lifting weights. Get stronger.

Strengthen the entire posterior chain & core muscles.
What for?

He wants to ride faster, which is an aerobic metabolic fitness issue, not a strength issue. Strength isn't a limiter in endurance cycling performance.

In fact strength is sometimes not even a limiter in sprint cycling performance.
 

Deadlift

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Dec 26, 2009
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Alex Simmons/RST said:
What for?

He wants to ride faster, which is an aerobic metabolic fitness issue, not a strength issue. Strength isn't a limiter in endurance cycling performance.

In fact strength is sometimes not even a limiter in sprint cycling performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTWgNCmvHwI

Nuff said...

Not saying for 1 second you don't have to put in the thousands miles & hours, dependant on goals, but the more strength & power you can apply to the pedals the faster you will be... Basic stuff.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Deadlift said:
Nuff said...

Not saying for 1 second you don't have to put in the thousands miles & hours, dependant on goals, but the more strength & power you can apply to the pedals the faster you will be... Basic stuff.

Hmmm. You seem to have no knowledge of how human physiology works. Or how much actual force is required to turn the pedals, say at 500watts. It ain't much.

Nuff said:-

Wiggins-crop.jpg
 
Jan 1, 2010
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Tapeworm said:
Hmmm. You seem to have no knowledge of how human physiology works. Or how much actual force is required to turn the pedals, say at 500watts. It ain't much.

Nuff said:-

Wiggins-crop.jpg

??????.... Errrr.... Why haver you just thrown a picture of Wiggins into the mix?.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Rise Of The Dead said:
??????.... Errrr.... Why haver you just thrown a picture of Wiggins into the mix?.

Well Deadlift threw in a clip of Cancellara so I put in a pic of Wiggins. Two different builds but both are excellent TTers, ie: aerobic performance is not dependent on muscle size.
 
Jan 1, 2010
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Well, I'm only using the greatest TT of all time as an example, the current World C & the biggest powerhouse in cycling & who dominated Contador by 18 seconds at the opening time trial at the '09 tour in Monaco, but there you go. Keep on with your silly arguments. If Cancellara has 2.5x times the strength of Wiggins in reserve, only one outcome unfortunately... I maybe wrong of course, a weaker rider beats a stronger, anyway...

To the original poster who wants to increase his speed; build both your areobic & anaerobic systems. Again, not saying don't put in the thousands of miles & hours, that is your biggest necessitiy in becoming the best you can be, but the more strength you develop, the more power you can apply to the pedals, the faster your able crank.
 

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