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  1. #1
    V-Shaped Rut
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    Maximizing limited training time, how much is too little?

    I'm wondering if any of you folks find yourself with limited time (well who doesn't?) and are still able to get in enough training for endurance racing? I've wanted for a while now to do and 'epic' event of some sort but with a fairly demanding work schedule and 2 young kids I usually have somewhere between 5-10 hours a week for training, and 10 is pushing it.

    There is a local series with 30/60 races.

    Is it possible to train properly with this amount of time and actually do well? What would such a program look like, since it's tough to get in a ton of miles for base cardio work? Added to the time crunch is ride scheduling, since it's the Seattle area and that means limited daylight for riding.

    Roadie and spin bike in the basement are options. Help/opinions are greatly appreciated. It's worth noting I've never done a race of any sort ever, but don't really have much interest in shorter stuff. I can do 3-6 hour fun rides without any major issues and really enjoy the longer stuff.

  2. #2
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    If you can train 10 hours a week, you should be able to train for anything.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ser jameson View Post
    If you can train 10 hours a week, you should be able to train for anything.
    +1. If you're willing to spend an hour, 2-3 times per week doing intervals on the trainer/road bike and then 1 or 2 long weekend rides, you should be fine. That being said, it really depends on what your goals are. If you're looking to be competitive, it can be done, you'll need to be more structured with your time.

  4. #4
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    Define "do well." In the past I have mostly averaged 3-6 hours per week max. I generally finish mid-pack in 70-100 milers- though occasionally I am DFL.

    Enter the race, ride your bike, be glad you finished and then decide if you want to get up at 0-dark 30 to get more training time... Sleep under your desk, let your kids go unwashed- there are always compromises to make to get more hours for training...

    Only you can decide whether it is "worth" it.

    e

  5. #5
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    I use Chris Carmichael's book "Training for Time-Crunched Cyclists". It has really helped me maximize my training time with 3 young kids at home. I ride on a spin bike during the week and long mountain bike rides on the weekends. Good Luck.

  6. #6
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    If you have 6-8 hours a week to train. You can easily put in over 100 miles quality training. I do HIIT stuff during the week and long endurance ride on the weekend.
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  7. #7
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    With only ten hours a week to train I think you need to pin it every ride how ever long your ride is for that day. Your body will let you know if you can or cant do it. Good luck. I think you can do fine with 10 hrs weekly.
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  8. #8
    V-Shaped Rut
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    Thanks all.

    Do well=Not look like I don't belong there and come in dead last. I mean, it's a race after all and going as fast as possible given your limitations is the goal.

    I already get up early as you can probably see by this post time, and I'm usually the one unwashed rather than the kids, heheh. But I take your meaning, sacrificing the other stuff in my life to podium in a recreational race isn't the goal. But I don't like to do anything in my life half assed either.

  9. #9
    Daniel the Dog
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    I can do well at smaller endurance races but the NUE races and such are trouble. My best finish has been 17th. I ride about 10 hours a week and do some HIIT training at the gym. I would do better if I watched my nutrition, rode more, and was willing to suffer more; however, I'm not that focused and I'm okay with that. Your seriously really dictates how much time you want to put into it.

  10. #10
    Feral Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_slacker View Post
    Thanks all.

    Do well=Not look like I don't belong there and come in dead last. .
    Well, "Look like I don't belong and come in dead last" pretty much describes me and I still have fun anyway. On a good stretch I'll average 7hrs a week, but generally it's in the 5-6 hr range.

    In terms of just surviving the distance w/o going to far into the suffer box, getting in the long 5hr+ training rides at least once or twice a month seems to make all the difference for me. When I get a few of those under my belt before the race, I generally at least feel good about my effort. W/O those it's just a long day in the saddle w/o much positive feedback.

    My guess is that 90% of the people in these races are racing themselves[1]. If you want to be in the group racing other people, the price of entry is pretty high. There are some seriously fast people out there.

    [1]i.e. finish under X hours, more laps than last year, etc...

  11. #11
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    Similar situation and I have managed to ramp hours up over the last couple years and keep the family including 2 kids involved.

    Some Tips I use :
    - Try to do your once a week long ride at least 3 out of 4 weeks
    - Dont be afraid to go early and late. Summer get out of house before it gets light winter use a helmet light.
    - Schedule time early so if you have to drive to mtns to get climbing in I plan those weeks out
    - Get a training plan and do best to follow and learn how to tailor it, I never really can follw it to a T but gives me something to work towards. Also i tyr to scheulde family stuff in during rest weeks.
    - Always look for time to do more. For instance if I get a group ride early than I will do some hill repeats close by, I might go do another half lap when I had only thought about getting one in that day. On road rides if I am feeling good why not do that hill 2x or 3x. Another 15-30 minutes here and there throughout the week can add up if it is good quality time.

    Also love the Do well=Not look like I don't belong there and come in dead last.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  12. #12
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I'm trying to follow a Friel 400-hour plan this coming year. It'll actually be more time than I've put in lately. Grad school was hard on training regularly. I finish "above the fold" in 30s and 50s.

    Consistency is important. Ramping up my long ride was helpful, I think. Racing track last season didn't hurt, but I doubt it did all that much either.

    If you're able to do 10 hours/week on average, that's already more than me. Friel plans ramp up, so also look at how many hours you'll be doing in your heaviest week and during prep. I haven't tried Carmichael.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
    XXIX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead44 View Post
    I use Chris Carmichael's book "Training for Time-Crunched Cyclists". It has really helped me maximize my training time with 3 young kids at home. I ride on a spin bike during the week and long mountain bike rides on the weekends. Good Luck.
    +1 Same boat. I finished mid pack at last years Hammerhead 50 in ocala Fl. Im hooked. A 50 mile race in February then a 12 hour race in march to start the year off.

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