I trained for a 10 mile running race in only 4 weeks using crossfit plus adding in some longer cardio on the elliptical and bike. Never had run that far at once before. So, it can be done if you just want to complete the event. Aside from any 400s/800s done once a week for crossfit I would build up my mileage on the weekends. I averaged 7:40 miles, which was good for me at that point. Pretty good for only 4 weeks of training, but I would have been waaay faster and felt better had I built up with proper volume.
I say just go for it....as long as you are consistent at whatever plan you can sustain, you will make it. Now to place highly, that may require more time.
I'm sure you can complete a 6 hour race even with your shorter training sessions. I know a lot of people can go out and do all sorts of things with inadequate training, but not week after week. If you've only run 10k races for example, you may be able to go run a marathon. But if you can train adequately you'll be a lot more prepared, a lot less sore, and probably faster if you've trained properly for the distance.
If finishing is your main goal, you'll probably be just fine.
Someone said high intensity intervals and I'm going to second that. Winters are long up here in New England and I'm still stuck on the trainer. I've been able to increase my FTP significantly by doing short (~1hr workouts) 3 times during the week and an easy steady state workout (~1.5hr) on the weekend. The key is to stack the high intensity stuff back to back to back with a day to rest before the weekend ride.
I have been watching this thread for a while as I’m just getting back into racing after about 4 years off the bike, and now find myself “time crunched” with family commitments and work commitments. I've based my current riding efforts (I won’t call it training) off what I learnt from previous experiences – observations are below for those that are interested.
In a previous life I raced a lot of endurance 6 / 8 / 12 hours and a few XC Marathon events over a period of a couple of years; I was certainly never the fastest on track but reasonably consistent. I trained using both the Long Steady Distance, and “time crunched” methods at different times during that period.
In my first two seasons I trained using the LSD method putting in approx. 15 to 25 (max) hours a week on the bike in blocks of four weeks being Base 1, Base 2, Base 3 and then working on a build period in a similar fashion. Both plans were devised by professional coaches and implemented as closely as possible to yield the best results. Rides would generally be of 2 to 6 hours in length and either road or MTB dependent on the type of ride.
For me this method was effective albeit time consuming and I found myself getting progressively fitter over a long period. However I also found I’d be inclined to get sick more often (common cold type stuff) and generally find myself struggling with keeping the intensity up in the shorter races.
A friend of mine suggested that there were “many ways to skin a cat” and that similar results were achievable using a shorter more focused method of training. So I set about looking at ways to incorporate a shorter more time crunched training plan.
This time around I stuck with the four week training blocks however during the base and build periods my rides were much more focused and averaged 8 to 15 (max) hours, base periods consisted of both intervals and a series of longer rides (3 to 6 hours), with build periods upping the intervals (length and intensity) and continuing the longer rides once or twice a week. Like the other plan it tapered to a particular event.
And the difference?.. (Besides having an extra 10 hours a week)
Using the “time crunched” method, I found myself a lot quicker a lot quicker! Incorporating intervals into early stages of training meant I was faster earlier in the plan whilst still building throughout the season.
I found that I’d be less inclined to get sick, and feel sluggish using the shorter method of training.
I also found that I had no troubles on the longer races; the lack of LSD riding didn’t hamper my endurance at all.
Subsequently I believe it is possible to train for endurance racing using predominately shorter more focused rides but as others have said I feel you are really going to need to throw in a longer ride once a week to keep your eye (or body) in.
I’m facing similar problems, I’m very time poor, my wife sees the weekend as “family time” and it’s tough trying to get out during the week – I just got myself a new light set for some early, early morning rides and plan to utilize the gym at work, and even commuting as much as possible.
If you make the time when you can, I see no reason why it shouldn't work.
Cul is a regretted trademark of the CulBaire Co'op Pty Ltd, as are his random ramblings and associated ********.
Nice, I recently read an article about Nordic ski training by Norwegians, while even they were doing huge volumes (they were looking at the elites/Olympians), the real key to their success was their focus on high intensity. There's tons of stuff out there on high intensity and how great it is for training.
The long steady stuff does work but it takes a few years to really see a benefit.
There was a pretty good article in Outside about running a marathon after using the short training approach. IIRC, the author got his personal best by a smidge, but felt horrible during the latter stages of the race.
IMO, you can easily ride a 6-hour race with 3-hour training sessions. Train hard. Race below threshold ALWAYS.
That second part is the key, and hugely difficult in actual race circumstances, at least for me.
If at all possible, supplement your short training sessions with three sessions of four hours, starting two weeks before the event, and ending 6 days before the event.
Then go crush it!
Whining is not a strategy.
When you reference "threshold" how do you gauge that? I mean how do you know where you are in relation to your personal threshold?
Many can comment on this "threshold" topic with more technical detail than I can. For me, it's mostly a feel thing. After years (decades) of this stuff, I can feel the edge, and not go beyond it.
Originally Posted by goldencalf
You can figure out your LT without too much trouble, but again, for me, I find it changes during really long races -- but probably not much during a 6 hour event.
Find a moderate, consistent grade and after warming up, climb it as hard as you can for 20 minutes and see where your pulse kind of levels off. In rough terms, that is your LT. Stay 10+ bpm below it during the race.
Hopefully STaylor will chime on this thread. He knows far more than I, and is typically very helpful (and available for coaching, I believe).
Whining is not a strategy.
Thanks! Sounds like a heart rate monitor might be necessary.
Yes. Depending on how far you want to take formal science-based training you'll want to get a decent one.
Originally Posted by goldencalf
My experience: about 15 years ago I got a true Max Heart Rate test. Sat on a trainer that recorded watts of output, ramped up the effort over the course of 20 minutes or so while my then coach took blood samples with a finger stick. He measured lactic acid levels and took heart rate readings. I kept ramping up output until I totally blew up. He called that my max. At that time it was 200 bpm.
After that exercise I had a graph that showed my wattage, HR, and lactic acid levels. Threshold was a place where lactic acid levels started to increase dramatically (body no longer able to keep up metabolizing of the acid being produced by muscles).
And after that exercise, coach told me not to quit my day job
Then I went off doing training exercises he assigned with an HRM, knowing what my lactic acid threshold heart rate was.
After most of a year doing that, I pretty much knew what it felt like to be at threshold. Got to where I would look down at the monitor and already know what it would tell me. Eventually stopped using the HRM. Probably wouldn't hurt me to go back to training with A) a plan, and B) data. But where I'm at now, I'm not terribly inclined to do so. My paychecks come from writing code, endurance racing/riding is my vacation.
Oh, and after 15 years, going from a 34-year-old to 49-year-old, my HR numbers as they relate to threshold and max are probably quite different. True statement coach/exercise physiology people?
Originally Posted by TomP
Good post Tom. I too took a similar threshold bonk test (minus the blood analysts) about 10 years ago when starting to get "more" serious about cycling and was abit disgruntled myself at the results advising me to stay in the construction field.
Fast-forward to age 55 I'm thinking of getting a full test and a Cyclops or similar thingies (which I've never used,just recently started logging rides with iphone) to get a more overall handle on fine tuning my personal physics. Like you thinking after awhile I can get to a point of self-manage after knowing what stats go with what messages the body is giving out.
Thanks for the insight.
Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....
How much do these tests cost?
As with most endurance type races it's mostly mind over body. You'd be surprised what you can do if you just put your mind to it.
All the great survivor stories have one thing in common......?
I haven't had a lactate threshold or max heart rate test, but from experience I have found that if I keep my heart rate below 150 then I can go for a long time. It can go into the 150's for shorter periods (like climbing), but I can't sustain that for hours without bonking. If it goes over 160, then I'll blow up pretty quickly. (Note that I'm in my 50's.)
For the 6-hour enduro, I know I won't be competitive. I'm just going to try to keep moving for most of the 6 hours, except for a few pit stops. I'll try to keep my heart rate in the 140-145 range, which I'm guessing is around 80-85% of my max.
Re: Endurance training using only short rides?
This thread has me thinking. I have a friend in AZ who talked me into the Barn Burner 104 this year. The weather here in MN has sucked, so I have been doing spin class 4 or 5 times a week for 70 to 90 minutes at a time. Lots of intervals and high intensity stuff. I also bike to work, but that is only ten miles each way, although the studded tires add resistance.
If it warms up I should be adding at least one 4-6 hour ride outside a week and a few century group rides.
My legs feel really strong. I hope you guys are right about the intensity training........
I'm a total mortal rider and a pack filler; however, I have done some research on the subject and train pretty hard. That said, I'm not sure the slow as crap 4-6 hour ride is the best way to train for a race (even endurance race). If you need to be in a heart rate zone above what you are training you are going to come up short at the race. Your body will not be used to it and you will be sucking lots of air. I do interval training on a big hill by my house and go for a long run to get my heart rate up. Also, go on a training ride with someone faster than you to push you and get you breathing hard.
Endurance training using only short rides?
There is no substitute for the five hour ride.
Your lactate threshold can be trained, your maximum heart rate can't. I think you'll find your maximum is still pretty close to what it was when you were 34.
Originally Posted by TomP
Or I've had a HRM for over 20 years and I haven't noticed any significant change in MHR from 30 to 50. If I want to suffer hard enough, I can still get my heart rate over 195.
I regularly get to 180+ in training and that's the max I can do without significant recovery. I'm far from the only person to have this kind of history and experience.
Your MHR doesn't say much about your fitness, only your genetics, how high your LT is in relation to MHR is trainable.
Most of the age based maximum heart rate formulas are based on data taken from heart attack patients to determine "safe" zones for post heart attack exercise.
Even the data from that study forms a "cloud" rather than any linear shape. It's a classic example of mis-applied statistics.
When I used to do IM's I would never run over 10 miles (until the race). In my mind if you can run 10 you can run 30. For my last IM last summer, I didn't run over 2 miles, due to a knee injury, and ended up running a sub 330 marathon.
Originally Posted by Scott In MD