Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 100 of 140

Thread: 2x20s

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365

    2x20s

    So what's the magic here? Are 2x20s the best interval for XC? I've got a gravel grinder out-and-back of steep hills mapped out from my house especially for these on Strava, it's fun and challenging. I am in the midst of XC season so looking to go fast and stay at peak for the next 30 days.

    I can't complain, but I am used to doing either 3-4 hour rides or anaerobic intervals but am trying to train FTP, with or without power. I thought Zone 3 was the forbidden zone. What gives?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: stevemtu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    738
    Good question. there do seen to be a lot of conflicting opinions on training intensity out there.

    I think what you are doing now falls under
    Does Polarized Training Improve Performance in Recreational Runners?

    SIX WEEKS OF A POLARISED TRAINING INTENSITY DISTRIBUTION LEADS TO GREATER PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PERFORMANCE ADAPTATIONS THAN A THRESHOLD MODEL IN TRAINED CYCLISTS

    and data like this (and there is quite a bit of it) make it seem like threshold intervals are to be avoided, especially during race season (since you get that intensity during racing). On the other hand, I can see the utility of dong some threshold interval sessions in the training period right before racing season to let the body adjust to what is coming up, especially if you don't have any B races to use for training.

    But what i have come to realize is that everyone responds to training stimulus somewhat differently, and other than spending a lot of time on the bike as the main principle, there is no magical training plan that will fit everyone.
    Last edited by stevemtu; 10-06-2013 at 08:25 AM. Reason: added a second reference

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,396
    Quote Originally Posted by stevemtu View Post
    On the other hand, I can see the utility of dong some threshold interval sessions in the training period right before racing season to let the body adjust to what is coming up, especially if you don't have any B races to use for training.
    Yes. I typically do threshold training for a month, before the month I want to be fast.

    Then again, riding near daily with decent volume (aerobic with some tempo) is about 90% of it. Threshold training gives me that little extra......sometimes.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    32
    I think I can contribute some insider information on the history here.

    In the early 2000s, 2x20 was a staple of Andy Coggan's training as he was developing his work on power meter usage. I had the good fortune of having him ride with my road race club while he was in Maryland, and we would talk about training while on rides.

    The magic I recall was this: he felt, while then training for master's racing and time trials, that he wanted about 40 or more minutes of threshold training on his work days. He also happened to do a fair bit of work on a trainer. Answering my question about the 2x20, he replied that it was easier mentally to sustain the desired effort over 2 20 minute intervals rather than try to sustain a single 40+ minute effort.

    The main point was to exercise at an effort and duration that exercised the aerobic metabolism. He felt that 20 minutes was about the minimum duration necessary to exercise aerobic energy metabolism effectively.

    I hope I recalled our conversations correctly, Andy.


    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    So what's the magic here? Are 2x20s the best interval for XC? I've got a gravel grinder out-and-back of steep hills mapped out from my house especially for these on Strava, it's fun and challenging. I am in the midst of XC season so looking to go fast and stay at peak for the next 30 days.

    I can't complain, but I am used to doing either 3-4 hour rides or anaerobic intervals but am trying to train FTP, with or without power. I thought Zone 3 was the forbidden zone. What gives?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    599
    Like Poncharelli, longer intervals work for me before i want to go fast.

    Other than that, break FTP down to it's fundamental elements.

    1. The ability for your legs to do the work.
    2. The ability of cardiovascular to supply resources for the workers

    I leave racing and a couple of weeks before the time to push both simultaneously.
    I leave the mental effort of riding hard for 20 minutes to racing.

  6. #6
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    8,115
    I do 2x20mins the entire season.

    However, I'll vary the intensity. Towards or during racing season, those 20min efforts will be above my 1hr threshold. I will be crosseyed at the end. I might need to sit down after the second one.

    In the winter, I'll go pretty hard, but I could do another one if need be.

    Threshold is the basis for everything. Recovery, and just how hard you can push for 5-10min is based on that. The higher you push your threshold, the higher your shorter duration power.

    I should caveat these statements and say that I recover very, very well.
    Death from Below.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: stevemtu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    738
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post

    I should caveat these statements and say that I recover very, very well.
    Wish i could say the same...

    It would take me two days to recover from a workout with 40 minutes above race pace (ouch).

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    chomxxo,

    If I read your post above correctly "I've got a gravel grinder out-and-back of steep hills mapped out" - This is a series of multiple hills? If so, this would not be the course for 2x20's in the traditional sense to increase/maintain FTP. They would be done on a flat course or trainer with steady pace. Depending on length of hills, this would probably be more of an anaerobic endurance workout

    +1 on 2x20's @ L4. That is all I did last winter (along with SST these helped get me to "the next level") - just remember that they help build/maintain a "bigger engine" Hunter Allen Peaks Coaching Group: December 2010 - not simulating the power demands of a MTB race.

    See Jerimiah Bishop's Mountain Bike Racing Files for 2hr race How Important is Anaerobic Energy in Cycling? Part*2 - Posts - TrainingPeaks Blog 8% of time @ L4, 8% @ L5 AND 15% @ L6.

    This article is pretty good on explaining demands of MTB power
    Mountain Bike Power | FasCat Coaching :: Cycling Coach for all Cyclists

    This may help with zones
    Sweet Spot Part Deux | FasCat Coaching :: Cycling Coach for all Cyclists

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    Thanks for the links everyone, I'm reading them in detail. About the gravel hills, I was wondering if someone was going to nip me on that Yes I admit I was probably simulating the demands of an XC race in a readily all-weather environment more than doing proper 2x20s.

    Tell me this, are 20-minute intervals a time-crunched substitute for base, a better alternative to anaerobic intervals, or something else? I can schedule the time for up to 18 hours per week of Zone 2, and I did so over the summer, but it's go-fast time now for me until mid-November.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    chomxxo,

    If I read your post above correctly "I've got a gravel grinder out-and-back of steep hills mapped out" - This is a series of multiple hills? If so, this would not be the course for 2x20's in the traditional sense to increase/maintain FTP. They would be done on a flat course or trainer with steady pace. Depending on length of hills, this would probably be more of an anaerobic endurance workout

    +1 on 2x20's @ L4. That is all I did last winter (along with SST these helped get me to "the next level") - just remember that they help build/maintain a "bigger engine" Hunter Allen Peaks Coaching Group: December 2010 - not simulating the power demands of a MTB race.

    See Jerimiah Bishop's Mountain Bike Racing Files for 2hr race How Important is Anaerobic Energy in Cycling? Part*2 - Posts - TrainingPeaks Blog 8% of time @ L4, 8% @ L5 AND 15% @ L6.

    This article is pretty good on explaining demands of MTB power
    Mountain Bike Power | FasCat Coaching :: Cycling Coach for all Cyclists

    This may help with zones
    Sweet Spot Part Deux | FasCat Coaching :: Cycling Coach for all Cyclists

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Thanks for the links everyone, I'm reading them in detail. About the gravel hills, I was wondering if someone was going to nip me on that Yes I admit I was probably simulating the demands of an XC race in a readily all-weather environment more than doing proper 2x20s.

    Tell me this, are 20-minute intervals a time-crunched substitute for base, a better alternative to anaerobic intervals, or something else? I can schedule the time for up to 18 hours per week of Zone 2, and I did so over the summer, but it's go-fast time now for me until mid-November.
    In my opinion, out of your three options: a time-crunched substitute for base. I do not put the hours in like you. This was my plan last winter (pretty much all on trainer during winter) - to get a bigger "engine", then fine tune intensity closer to race season, I did nothing structured, just race pace MTB rides and hill attacks. . It worked for me.
    Preparing for first MTB race of the season

    Hunter Allen prescribes SST work in the offseason
    http://www.peakscoachinggroup.com/Ar...20Training.pdf

    http://roadmagazine.net/road_home/fe..._Power_Nov.pdf

    As far as your race season, Joe Friel says "The closer you get to the day of your A-priority race the more like the race your training should become. This seems obvious but it’s easy to lose sight of the purpose of your training and focus your limited energy and time on stuff that is unimportant. The biggest mistake made by athletes before peaking is putting too much of their time and energy into training volume."
    Joe Friel's Blog: Volume vs. Race Specificity

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mudge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,447
    Quote Originally Posted by stevemtu View Post
    Wish i could say the same...

    It would take me two days to recover from a workout with 40 minutes above race pace (ouch).
    2x20 is usually done just below threshold, not above race pace. In fact, you should be able to do a third interval, if you have the time and motivation.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: craign's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    160
    20 minute MTB intervals at around the same perceived exertion as a just below threshold road effort is also a worthwhile workout to use in your program.

  13. #13
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    8,115
    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    2x20 is usually done just below threshold, not above race pace. In fact, you should be able to do a third interval, if you have the time and motivation.
    I should further clarify: In the early part of the season, I can, and often do, do another interval. I'll move from 2x20min to 3x20min or 2x25-30min, as the winter goes on.
    Death from Below.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    22
    What do you take for rest on something like this? Just finished my first season of racing so although I could hazard guesses, it is my first off-season where I actually have an idea of what races demand and first off-season of focused training as a result.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365

    2x20s

    Quote Originally Posted by AVann6 View Post
    What do you take for rest on something like this? Just finished my first season of racing so although I could hazard guesses, it is my first off-season where I actually have an idea of what races demand and first off-season of focused training as a result.
    Good question. I'm doing ten minute rest periods for 2x20 and 3x20 sets now.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: stevemtu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    738

    One more comprehensive review training intensity distribution

    Quote Originally Posted by stevemtu View Post
    Good question. there do seen to be a lot of conflicting opinions on training intensity out there.

    I think what you are doing now falls under
    Does Polarized Training Improve Performance in Recreational Runners?

    SIX WEEKS OF A POLARISED TRAINING INTENSITY DISTRIBUTION LEADS TO GREATER PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PERFORMANCE ADAPTATIONS THAN A THRESHOLD MODEL IN TRAINED CYCLISTS

    and data like this (and there is quite a bit of it) make it seem like threshold intervals are to be avoided, especially during race season (since you get that intensity during racing). On the other hand, I can see the utility of dong some threshold interval sessions in the training period right before racing season to let the body adjust to what is coming up, especially if you don't have any B races to use for training.

    But what i have come to realize is that everyone responds to training stimulus somewhat differently, and other than spending a lot of time on the bike as the main principle, there is no magical training plan that will fit everyone.
    I thought this was relevant to the discussion

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

    I thought page 45 about non-responders and page 46 about recreational athletes were particularly pertinent

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    335
    +1 to the No One Size Fits All coment

    there are many ways to induce some aerobic adaptations when training. Polarized, threshold, etc are all different ways to skin the cat.

    One needs to choose an approach wisely according to goals, time available, history, constraints, etc.

    For those of us stuck on the trainer 4-5 months a year, a higher intensity training regime might be good.

    I personnaly prefer a high intensity approach to a threshold approach. I seem to plateau quickly with threshold workouts days in days out. They are also hard to recover from compared to higher intensity/lower work volume workouts. A mix of both is also interesting and should be considered

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post

    For those of us stuck on the trainer 4-5 months a year, a higher intensity training regime might be good.

    I personnaly prefer a high intensity approach to a threshold approach.
    Do you use this high intensity approach during the non-competitive season on trainer? If so, what are some example workouts?

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,348
    Stevemtu: have you tried Hammer Nutrition Recoverite? I bought a package to try after a long hard race a few months ago, it was the longest ride (not to mention race) with the most climbing I'd done in a long time (3 laps, 7.5m 1600' vert per lap), all of my other recent races and training had been a bit shorter. I don't travel to train, and the longest hill near me is about 8min.
    I was actually surprised how good (relatively) I felt in the days after. I've been using that after races, and cyclocross counts as a really hard 40min+ (there is no 'above race pace'). I will continue to use those after races because I believe I feel noticeably better the next day than otherwise (I do not sell Hammer), and $3 a package is cheap if it helps me get some work done on Monday.
    If you haven't tried it, I would recommend giving it a try after your next race or super-hard workout.

  20. #20
    spec4life???..smh...
    Reputation: spec4life's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,091
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Good question. I'm doing ten minute rest periods for 2x20 and 3x20 sets now.
    That seems to long to me. I generally do 5 min between 2X20 or 2X30. I think the rest interval on these are more for a mental break than a desired recovery. The idea in these intervals is to go as hard as you could go for an hour (threshold), not as hard as you can go for 20 mins then recover and do it again. Ideally you shouldnt need any recovery between sets and getting to much kindof defeats the purpose.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    651
    If you can't find time to ride 12 to 16 hours per week I've found nothing better than 2x20s to increase my threshold. I do mine on the trainer and like to have the entire workout completed in 1 hours. I warm up for 10 minutes, 20 minute threshold interval, 5 minute recovery, 20 minute threshold interval, and 5 minute cool down. I like to do my 20 minute intervals around 90 to 95 % of my functional threshold.

    I recently started doing the 20 minute intervals again and increased my FTP by 40 watts in 2 months. It works for me but everybody responds differently to training.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    Quote Originally Posted by Stonerider View Post
    If you can't find time to ride 12 to 16 hours per week I've found nothing better than 2x20s to increase my threshold. I do mine on the trainer and like to have the entire workout completed in 1 hours. I warm up for 10 minutes, 20 minute threshold interval, 5 minute recovery, 20 minute threshold interval, and 5 minute cool down. I like to do my 20 minute intervals around 90 to 95 % of my functional threshold.

    I recently started doing the 20 minute intervals again and increased my FTP by 40 watts in 2 months. It works for me but everybody responds differently to training.
    +1 That is pretty much my non-competitive season on the trainer.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    956
    How many times a week would you do that workout?

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    335
    scottz123

    I do use the HIIT approach during winter time. There is a purpose to each of my workouts, they target different qualities and energy systems. I do not exclude the good old 2x20 during winter but I am far from living on a steady diet of those.

    I can do high end aerobic work: 2 x 4 x 30s @ 175-2005 FTP / 30s easy or any other kind of micro intervals really. I might do longer blocks at lower wattage too.

    I also include a dedicated L5 period during winter, where I build up work time at L5 with efforts lasting 4 or 5 minutes. I prefer those durations because they seem effective at stimulating max O2 consumption in relation to intensity. If doing 2 or 3 minutes, I need to bump the intensity quite a bit and it becomes a very gueling mental challenge.

    Whilst im not saying 2x20 are not effectives at inducing adaptations, I do think people tend to stick to the sweet spot dogma too much and forget to explore other alternatives which could only be benefical to their form, especially if they have been living on a strict threshold diet for some time.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    Yes, I'm just not personally a fan of threshold work. I can do long rides day in, day out, and have the faith to do them because I know they'll increase endurance. I can feel it in my legs this season, no cramps on the third lap or even after the race.

    I can go for killer tabata sessions, even 2-a-days because I know they'll increase VO2 max. This mid-level stuff seems like a good tool to have when time is limited, and my schedule like most non-pros is not always convenient to training.

    Somebody please convince me that something other than long rides or <5 minute intervals helps increase FTP.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    335
    A lot fo different riding helps increase FTP. FTP is an abstract measure of endurance ''performance'' and not a physiological measure of any kind.

    Different type of rides induces different molecular signaling and then, adaptations, both central and peripheral.

    I do not thing falling into a training paradigm is a good way to approach your training plan, i-e. don't just stick to one training phylosophy, because there is not one-size-fits-all training method to increase your form, aka FTP for most. Diversity in training is always an aspect one should not forget.

    Mixing both high intensity intervals with long rides if time allows is a sound approach, but nothings tells you you shouldn't include *some* sustained, moderate intensity efforts in there. Some discipline will require more sustained intensity work then others but I actually think it is a good, specific way to work on sustainable % of your VO2max power.

    I personnaly like the more polarized method because 1- long rides are easy to recover from, as opposed to long tempo or threshold work and 2- high intensity intervals do not require high total work volume and I feel they are not too hard to recover from as well.

    The trap is thinking there is one magical or better way to train, there is not. There are general training principles and phenomenon around which a training plan should articulate.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: stevemtu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    738

    Never tried Hammer

    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    Stevemtu: have you tried Hammer Nutrition Recoverite? .
    Thanks for the suggestion...I'll have to give that a try.

    (there is no 'above race pace')
    Maybe I should have said 'above threshold'...but if my average power output for a 1.5 hr race is 240 W and I do 3x3 minute intervals at 325 W, isn't that above threshold and above race pace?

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    Quote Originally Posted by spsoon View Post
    How many times a week would you do that workout?
    This was my last off-season - it worked for me.
    Preparing for first MTB race of the season

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    Quote Originally Posted by spec4life View Post
    That seems to long to me. I generally do 5 min between 2X20 or 2X30. I think the rest interval on these are more for a mental break than a desired recovery. The idea in these intervals is to go as hard as you could go for an hour (threshold), not as hard as you can go for 20 mins then recover and do it again. Ideally you shouldnt need any recovery between sets and getting to much kindof defeats the purpose.
    spec4life

    I see your point, but respectfully, I think it is a "it depends" answer.

    I (most people?) base my 20's on a "personal best" 20m power on trainer (smoked w/no stops, hills, etc. I could not/would not want to do another one) then do the .95 multiplier to come up with the 'rough' FTP number.

    This "personal best" is derived being fully rested, etc. Not every workout, I would think is done fully recovered physically or mentally with work, family, school demands let alone training.

    So I guess what I am saying is that FTP varies for me from day to day, someday's I can push 100% for 2x20m while other day's 90% feels like 100%. That being the case more recovery may be needed to finish 2nd interval.

    peace

  30. #30
    spec4life???..smh...
    Reputation: spec4life's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,091
    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    spec4life

    I see your point, but respectfully, I think it is a "it depends" answer.

    I (most people?) base my 20's on a "personal best" 20m power on trainer (smoked w/no stops, hills, etc. I could not/would not want to do another one) then do the .95 multiplier to come up with the 'rough' FTP number.

    This "personal best" is derived being fully rested, etc. Not every workout, I would think is done fully recovered physically or mentally with work, family, school demands let alone training.

    So I guess what I am saying is that FTP varies for me from day to day, someday's I can push 100% for 2x20m while other day's 90% feels like 100%. That being the case more recovery may be needed to finish 2nd interval.

    peace
    no doubt, there are more days than i can count that i have to add a minute between intervals or back off at the end in order to finish. Sometimes if im doing a 2(3X3) set i will even have to cut the last interval off. This all depends on the things you listed. There is obviously nothing wrong with that and is a better idea than going "to hard" in some instances.

    However, I guess i am referring to the ideal 2x20 or 2x30 set. At least what you should be aiming for to get the most out of the set.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,348
    "there is no above race pace" - I was making a half joke, - I think I'm funnier than I often am.
    And I just did a 2x20 on the trainer after I put the kids to bed, -wife out of town so I couldn't get away on the bike, the kids are small. Maybe I did the 20s at too high an intensity, -ouch!!, but I can see how those would be good on a regular basis, I feel like that was a solid workout.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    Not to belabor the point but I feel that I do Tabata intervals at above-race pace, or earnestly attempt to. As most of us probably discovered at some point while racing, it's possible to blow up in the first five minutes of the race with a similar anaerobic effort, and that makes for a long day.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: xterrafreak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by Stonerider View Post
    If you can't find time to ride 12 to 16 hours per week I've found nothing better than 2x20s to increase my threshold. I do mine on the trainer and like to have the entire workout completed in 1 hours. I warm up for 10 minutes, 20 minute threshold interval, 5 minute recovery, 20 minute threshold interval, and 5 minute cool down. I like to do my 20 minute intervals around 90 to 95 % of my functional threshold.

    I recently started doing the 20 minute intervals again and increased my FTP by 40 watts in 2 months. It works for me but everybody responds differently to training.
    How many days a week are you doing 2x20's?

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    242
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Somebody please convince me that something other than long rides or <5 minute intervals helps increase FTP.
    The aim of the game for efforts at or around FTP is to induce mitochondrial biogenesis (creation of more mitochondria). The more you stress the system the greater the adaptation signals. When you start to go over FTP you start to limit the duration of the stress due to other limiters (ie: o2 delivery, lactate build-up etc). Stay below FTP and you sustain the stress for far longer then there is a greater margin of stress. Which means a greater enzyme release. Which mean the greater the mitocondrial growth. In realm of 90-95% of FTP generally seems to be the point at which the system is not limited by gas exchange and that lactate clearance is optimal hence the duration can sustained as long as the fuel for the cells can be provided.

    Conversely, stress the system too much for too long OR at too low an intensity for too long and the enzyme release fails to occur and the adaptations cease and the gross metabolic efficiency falls.

    Recovery and appropriate scheduling of easy and hard days essential.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    "To low an intensity for too long" - Please explain, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by TapewormWW View Post
    The aim of the game for efforts at or around FTP is to induce mitochondrial biogenesis (creation of more mitochondria). The more you stress the system the greater the adaptation signals. When you start to go over FTP you start to limit the duration of the stress due to other limiters (ie: o2 delivery, lactate build-up etc). Stay below FTP and you sustain the stress for far longer then there is a greater margin of stress. Which means a greater enzyme release. Which mean the greater the mitocondrial growth. In realm of 90-95% of FTP generally seems to be the point at which the system is not limited by gas exchange and that lactate clearance is optimal hence the duration can sustained as long as the fuel for the cells can be provided.

    Conversely, stress the system too much for too long OR at too low an intensity for too long and the enzyme release fails to occur and the adaptations cease and the gross metabolic efficiency falls.

    Recovery and appropriate scheduling of easy and hard days essential.

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mbeardsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    597
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    "To low an intensity for too long" - Please explain, thanks.
    A 5 hour ride at L1 for example. Not doing much for you as it relates to FTP.

    Hence the "sweet spot" or "Goldilocks" terminology. Not too hard, not too soft, just right.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    OK, what about a 5 hour ride in Zone 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by mbeardsl View Post
    A 5 hour ride at L1 for example. Not doing much for you as it relates to FTP.

    Hence the "sweet spot" or "Goldilocks" terminology. Not too hard, not too soft, just right.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mbeardsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    597

    Re: 2x20s

    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    OK, what about a 5 hour ride in Zone 2?
    That would help in a number of areas but not building FTP. Not enough intensity to do anything for FTP otherwise that'd be fool proof and "easy". Only build FTP at L3/L4+ (?).

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jcm01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    257
    Quote Originally Posted by mbeardsl View Post
    That would help in a number of areas but not building FTP. Not enough intensity to do anything for FTP otherwise that'd be fool proof and "easy". Only build FTP at L3/L4+ (?).
    It has been explained to me that everything really builds FTP. It's just that you would have to do a lot of Zone 2 to match the FTP building benefits of a shorter time spent at 90-100% FTP. The reason it's not fool proof and easy is because it takes a big time commitment which is tough for most people. Which is why it's tough to beat 2 x 20s when it comes to FTP building.

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jcm01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    257
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    "To low an intensity for too long" - Please explain, thanks.
    I think he just meant "Too low" because adding the too long part doesn't really make sense here...

    Tapeworm - great explanation btw. Thanks!

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    Exactly. Forgive the leading questions but I think we've worked through the process of training and why the typical grand tour rider would choose to hit 6-hour days of Zone 2. I can now appreciate the better FTP time bargain for Z3-Z4 work in 2x20 and 2x30 intervals, and also in the typical fun-fast group rides.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcm01 View Post
    It has been explained to me that everything really builds FTP. It's just that you would have to do a lot of Zone 2 to match the FTP building benefits of a shorter time spent at 90-100% FTP. The reason it's not fool proof and easy is because it takes a big time commitment which is tough for most people. Which is why it's tough to beat 2 x 20s when it comes to FTP building.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcm01 View Post
    I think he just meant "Too low" because adding the too long part doesn't really make sense here...

    Tapeworm - great explanation btw. Thanks!

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jcm01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    257
    Yep! And I've been favoring the hard rides lately. They really help keep it fun and I think, if you go hard enough, the benefit comes close to a more structured workout. However I'm sure 2x20s will find their way back into my program!

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    335
    any riding providing enough stimulus will increase form, or your FTP if you prefer it that way. Riding for 5h at an endurance pace is far from easy, sustaining mid-Z2 is quite challenging indeed. So long endurance ride, sustained steady work, 3-5 minutes hard efforts and micro intervals can and will all build your FTP depending on where you are in your training experience and past history. In addition to what TW said, training at around 90% of VO2max as been shown to induce skeletal muscle adaptations like mitochindrial biogenesis.

    The thing with long rides is it takes both the volume AND the frequency to be as effective as it can be. Long rides also do induce adaptations but at a certain level of training, an athlete needs to step up the intensity to keep forcing adaptations and increase power output.

    Depending on your goal events, long ride may or may not be useful. Just like chomxxo said, L3-L4 is a tradeoff in duration and intensity, just like about any other training intensity.

    I think a question we should ask ourselves is: what is the recovery implications regarding dose/response relation when comparing L3-L4 effort VS higher intensity efforts such as L5? In other words: do you use more glycogen when spending x time at 95% of FTP or y time at 110% of FTP? Do you get the same acute inflammatory response? Do you get the same hormonal response?

    These are all factors that may have an impact on recovery. I personnaly find I recover a bit better from a 20-24 minutes L5 workout then from a 40 minutes L4 workout overnight.

    It could have implications on the weekly training load

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mbeardsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    597
    Quote Originally Posted by jcm01 View Post
    It has been explained to me that everything really builds FTP. It's just that you would have to do a lot of Zone 2 to match the FTP building benefits of a shorter time spent at 90-100% FTP. The reason it's not fool proof and easy is because it takes a big time commitment which is tough for most people. Which is why it's tough to beat 2 x 20s when it comes to FTP building.
    Sorry, replied from phone, should have been more clear or more verbose. I simply meant that if you are wanting to get the most bang for your buck, a 5hr zone 2 ride isn't where you want to spend your time. It will take you 2-3x as much volume to get similar results to training in low L3 to high L4.

    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    any riding providing enough stimulus will increase form, or your FTP if you prefer it that way. Riding for 5h at an endurance pace is far from easy, sustaining mid-Z2 is quite challenging indeed. So long endurance ride, sustained steady work, 3-5 minutes hard efforts and micro intervals can and will all build your FTP depending on where you are in your training experience and past history. In addition to what TW said, training at around 90% of VO2max as been shown to induce skeletal muscle adaptations like mitochindrial biogenesis.

    The thing with long rides is it takes both the volume AND the frequency to be as effective as it can be. Long rides also do induce adaptations but at a certain level of training, an athlete needs to step up the intensity to keep forcing adaptations and increase power output.
    I said "easy" in relation to high intensity. I can ride L2-low L3 for 3-5hrs almost everyday and still recover. Once I get into L3-L4 that goes out the window and a 2-3 hr ride puts me out for 2-3 days of similar effort riding. I can do that because I have done lots of those endurance paced rides so I've adapted (specificity). That has also caused a significant slowing of FTP growth so as you say above, need to step it up and train for more significant increase in FTP.

    If you look at any major coach's plans nobody structures majority LSD rides anymore for a reason, EVEN in specific plans for endurance.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    Quote Originally Posted by mbeardsl View Post
    Sorry, replied from phone, should have been more clear or more verbose. I simply meant that if you are wanting to get the most bang for your buck, a 5hr zone 2 ride isn't where you want to spend your time. It will take you 2-3x as much volume to get similar results to training in low L3 to high L4.

    I said "easy" in relation to high intensity. I can ride L2-low L3 for 3-5hrs almost everyday and still recover. Once I get into L3-L4 that goes out the window and a 2-3 hr ride puts me out for 2-3 days of similar effort riding. I can do that because I have done lots of those endurance paced rides so I've adapted (specificity). That has also caused a significant slowing of FTP growth so as you say above, need to step it up and train for more significant increase in FTP.

    If you look at any major coach's plans nobody structures majority LSD rides anymore for a reason, EVEN in specific plans for endurance.

    By definition, you shouldn't be able to ride in Zone 3 for 3-6 hours daily and recover. You may be able to ride at a higher wattage than you used to. After all training zones aren't levels of performance, they're levels exertion.

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mbeardsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    597
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    By definition, you shouldn't be able to ride in Zone 3 for 3-6 hours daily and recover. You may be able to ride at a higher wattage than you used to. After all training zones aren't levels of performance, they're levels exertion.
    Not sure that's right (and not exactly what I said above) - see Coggan: "Recovery from level 3 training sessions more difficult than after level 2 workouts, but consecutive days of level 3 training still possible if duration is not excessive and dietary carbohydrate intake is adequate." Have fun defining "excessive duration"...

    With my most recent outdoor FTP test, Zone 2 is 169-228 watts and Zone 3 is 229-273. So my statement above is I can ride 169-~240 for 3-5 hours a day. If I ride 5 hrs, my NP will be on the low end of that, at 3 hrs it'd be on the high end. Anything more than that and I become fatigued and need to take passive recovery days. Those 3-5 hr rides include breaks as well, not non-stop all out efforts. Classic all-day pacing. I don't do this often as I don't have that kind of time, which is why we're talking about 2x20s...

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    335
    Quote Originally Posted by mbeardsl View Post
    Sorry, replied from phone, should have been more clear or more verbose. I simply meant that if you are wanting to get the most bang for your buck, a 5hr zone 2 ride isn't where you want to spend your time. It will take you 2-3x as much volume to get similar results to training in low L3 to high L4.



    I said "easy" in relation to high intensity. I can ride L2-low L3 for 3-5hrs almost everyday and still recover. Once I get into L3-L4 that goes out the window and a 2-3 hr ride puts me out for 2-3 days of similar effort riding. I can do that because I have done lots of those endurance paced rides so I've adapted (specificity). That has also caused a significant slowing of FTP growth so as you say above, need to step it up and train for more significant increase in FTP.

    If you look at any major coach's plans nobody structures majority LSD rides anymore for a reason, EVEN in specific plans for endurance.
    Planning endurance rides or not depends on the athlete's available time to train. It's not like there is a magic to shorter more intense efforts and everyone should do it.

    I get your point RE L2 being easier to recover from. That's why I question de dose/response relations and time at a given intensity, it has major recovery implications that could influence an athlete's training plan.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mbeardsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    597
    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    Planning endurance rides or not depends on the athlete's available time to train. It's not like there is a magic to shorter more intense efforts and everyone should do it.

    I get your point RE L2 being easier to recover from. That's why I question de dose/response relations and time at a given intensity, it has major recovery implications that could influence an athlete's training plan.
    I agree 100%. I find 3-4 rides @ 1-2.5 hrs of mixed intensities plus one long (4-5+hr) endurance ride a week the most enjoyable way to spend my time (of which I have more than most). It also keeps it form getting boring and/or feeling like another job.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Somebody please convince me that something other than long rides or <5 minute intervals helps increase FTP.
    I don't know if I will convince you, but if Hunter Allen says so, I will go with it.

    "Focus on doing longer intervals at or very near your functional threshold power (FTP). " Hunter Allen

    Hunter Allen Peaks Coaching Group: The Next Level

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    335
    Even if Allen, Friel, Coggan, or whoever you want says you should do x or y type of efforts, I would not listen to them.... blindly.

    Level 3 and Level 4 intensity are not the magic trick to getting a good FTP. They are an arrow in the quiver, that's it.

    Before making recommendations, one needs to know the athletes background.

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365

    2x20s

    Well I can speak to doing 3-4 hours per day of zone 2 for a few weeks straight. It does take a different kind of willpower. Maintaining endurance Zone 2 pace does become very important. Rather than creating our own definitions I'd prefer to stay within the accepted language. Perhaps the confusion stems from not many of us actually trying pure base training blocks.

  52. #52
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Perhaps the confusion stems from not many of us actually trying pure base training blocks.
    That is a good point. Sounds like you may be one of them, but I wonder how many people really have time to spend 12-15hrs a week minimum to build up a true Z2 base like Friel recommends in his training bible's? I don't.

    I think we could agree that we are discussing athlete's with at least a year or two's worth of background.

    Let alone if in the off season if you are in a climate where you are stuck on trainer (like me).

    Even Friel talks about doing L3/4 (SST) in block 3 (when using block training) now.
    "Although we are usually told to avoid zone 3 training, this is the block in which I have seen the greatest gains in FTP. Zone 3, especially the upper portion, seems to be quite effective for producing aerobic fitness and yet not overly demanding on the body requiring frequent or extended recovery. It seems I saw such a finding in a paper by Dr. Eric Bannister a few years ago but I’ve been unable to find it. He’s the one who developed the TRIMP system. Allen and Coggan in their excellent book, Training and Racing with a Power Meter, refer to the upper end of zone 3 and the lower end of zone 4 as the “sweet spot” and a range that is very effective for producing aerobic fitness." Joe Friel Joe Friel - Training for Advanced Athletes, Part 5

    Maybe topic of another post? Who is using traditional Z2 for base training and who is using more of SST approach per Allen?

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    Agreed, scottz123. As far as Zone 2, I'll defer to a previous thread. I think this is one of the best threads ever posted in the forum. It starts out with a brash question and plenty of informed voices answer back to change the complexion:

    Is base training dead?

    Just hopped back on the bike this morning for the first time in several weeks for one of my 100-mile round trip commutes. I'm not liking the numbers I'm seeing in comparison to when I was doing these 3x per week this summer, so I hope it's an anomaly.

  54. #54
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,396
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Well I can speak to doing 3-4 hours per day of zone 2 for a few weeks straight.
    Nice!!

    Zone 2/training volume works well for me as well. I'm a Cat 1 MTB, Cat 3 roadie, been racing for 10 years now, and have kept some pretty good calendars of my training (power data since 2008). Seasons in which I got the most consistent volume were my best seasons. Volume + some intervals (with variety) + good rest and nutrition = great season.

    I got to do it all to perform well for my particular natural talent level (which is pretty low). But if I'm hitting 50+ hours per month, for several months, then I'll be riding pretty damn good no matter what other little things are thrown in there. Everyone's different of course.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  55. #55
    mtbr member
    Reputation: xterrafreak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    54
    A little off topic but conversation seems to be trending in this direction anyway. Fwiw, in my first season of XC racing and subsequently my first off season of training last year I cycled through Carmichaels TCC twice in the off season and twice in season and did well in cat2 winning the points series in my AG. BUT, it was brutal and I was completely burnt out and sick of training by seasons end. I'm definitely taking a different approach to off season training this time around. It has to be on a time crunched format so due in large part to this thread I'm leaning toward 2x20 and 2x30 workouts and very little vo2max work, with a weekly average of about 5 hours a week. My goal is to race cat1 next year.

  56. #56
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928

    2x20s

    Quote Originally Posted by jcm01 View Post
    It has been explained to me that everything really builds FTP. It's just that you would have to do a lot of Zone 2 to match the FTP building benefits of a shorter time spent at 90-100% FTP. The reason it's not fool proof and easy is because it takes a big time commitment which is tough for most people. Which is why it's tough to beat 2 x 20s when it comes to FTP building.
    Here's an example of what you might expect in terms of FTP changes if you just do plenty of riding without really doing that much structured work.

    The chart and table below shows my time in zones, interval sessions, 20 minute and 60 minute FTP test results between 01 January 2011 and 18 August 2012 (when I crashed and broke my leg). You can see how the initial test in January 2011 wasn't great. After being ill over Christmas and doing very little cycling for the previous few months, due to bad weather, it took a while to build up my fitness levels again. After that rapid increase in the first part of the year the test results plateaued. Despite continuing to ride regularly I didn't make any major gains in 20 minute power output in the second half of 2011.

    In January 2012 by contrast I'd kept riding and started the year at a higher fitness level. Both the initial test in January 2012 and my peak fitness in August 2012 were significantly better than the same dates in 2011.

    It's a good example of what you can expect if you follow the philosophy of "just ride lots". I didn't really have a set plan or set goals. The only real aim was to be fit enough to get round the road club runs without getting dropped. I got hammered mostly in that respect. There were a few rides where I did make it to the coffee stop still in contact with the group though, so it was partially successful.





    For training I was doing more or less the same thing each year by starting off with hard rides in January, including some interval sessions and getting a good fitness improvement by March - April. In past years when I was racing I'd have been "racing myself fit" from that point on. As the weather improved I was losing interest in training for the sake of it and spending more time riding trails offroad instead. Enjoyable and good for bike handling but not very focused on fitness. In my power data my offroad rides always have a lower power output than road miles, which increases the amount of time spent in the lower power zones.

    I tend to have themes for each year. All I did outdoors was 6x4 minute intervals in 2011. These were 4 minutes on followed by 4 minutes off. In 2012 I only did 3x9 minute over-under intervals outdoors. Of the two types of intervals I think the 3x9 minute intervals worked better for what I was trying to do. Outdoors intervals were always part of longer rides. I'd usually do intervals in the first hour and then another 2-3 hours in the hills afterwards.





    If you're using the Coggan power levels then 20 Minutes x 0.95 is supposed to be a rough estimate of your best 1 hour power. It seems to depend upon individual physiology how well it actually aligns though. 95% of my best 20 minute power is a lot higher than I could actually manage for an hour flat out. Along with the 20 minute tests I also did several 1 hour tests during 2011-2012 to see how they compared. You can see from the table above that my actual 1 hour power was a lot lower than the 20 minutes x 0.95 would suggest. The 1 hour power results were as good as I could do at the time. I definitely wasn't holding back.

    My favoured turbo training session (done when the weather was bad or my mountain bike was broken) consisted of this 1 hour interval session by Dr Andrew Coggan. It's a routine that I've done quite frequently in the past. I like it because it breaks the turbo training time into manageable chunks. The wattage figures are just his figures, you aim for your own zones (heart rate or power) at those durations. 30 second sprints are flat out.

    "Seriously, the best season I've had in recent years followed a winter
    during which I did the following '90/90'90' workout 3 d/wk:


    5 min w/u
    20 min @ 275 W
    5 min easy
    5 min @ 325 W
    2.5 min easy
    5 min @ 325 W
    2.5 min easy
    0.5 min at 500 W
    2 min easy
    0.5 min at 500 W
    2 min easy
    0.5 min at 500 W
    2 min easy
    0.5 min at 500 W
    2.5 min easy
    5 min warm-down


    The '90/90/90' refers to the fact that (almost by chance) the powers
    used were about 90% of the best that I could produce for that duration
    when at peak fitness. That made the session challenging enough that I
    didn't lose too much fitness over the winter, but not so hard that I
    ever dreaded the workout or burned out from doing it."
    Andrew Coggan

    For what's left of 2013, starting from absolute zero after a year completely off the bike due to my leg, I'm trying a different approach, hopefully learning from past mistakes. I'm currently doing interval sessions two days per week on the turbo trainer and then longer rides outdoors at zone 2 endurance pace (Coggan power zones) four or five days per week (weather permitting) to add some volume. For the endurance rides I'm trying to take LMN's advice to keep the intensity down and actually do zone 2 rides, rather than go completely overboard and go as hard as possible every ride (like I've been known to do in the past. ) 3 hours at zone 2 endurance pace is proving quite hard enough at the moment as it is.

  57. #57
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    Quote Originally Posted by xterrafreak View Post
    A little off topic but conversation seems to be trending in this direction anyway. Fwiw, in my first season of XC racing and subsequently my first off season of training last year I cycled through Carmichaels TCC twice in the off season and twice in season and did well in cat2 winning the points series in my AG. BUT, it was brutal and I was completely burnt out and sick of training by seasons end. I'm definitely taking a different approach to off season training this time around. It has to be on a time crunched format so due in large part to this thread I'm leaning toward 2x20 and 2x30 workouts and very little vo2max work, with a weekly average of about 5 hours a week. My goal is to race cat1 next year.
    Sounds like we are in the same boat. I podium-ed all races, age group and overall (Cat 2) and expert 39 and under in a non-usa cycling organization.

    I think trick is going to be getting long ride in to simulate 2hr+ Cat 1 race

    This was my off season, no anaerobic intervals until 6 weeks before first race. I am still feeling good/going strong in Cat 4 CX in a major metro area (100 rider fields, including 1 w and a 2nd)Preparing for first MTB race of the season

    I based it on this Hunter Allen article
    Hunter Allen Peaks Coaching Group: December 2010

  58. #58
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928

    2x20s

    From scottz123’s post above there's a link to this Thesis:

    Chapter 5: The Impact Of Manipulating Training-Intensity Distribution In Trained Cyclists (Page 135 onwards)

    https://dspace.stir.ac.uk/bitstream/...al_Version.pdf

    In that they compared two different methods. The group who did a combination of 80% zone 1 riding (below lactate threshold) and 20% combined high intensity work in zones 2 (between lactate threshold and lactate turnpoint) and zone 3 (above lactate turnpoint) achieved better results than the group who did 57% zone 1 riding (below lactate threshold) and then 43% threshold work in zone 2 (between their lactate threshold and lactate turnpoints), despite the threshold group doing more training.

    (The zones used aren't the same as Coggan power zones. It's described more fully in the text, see Page 90 and Page 138)

  59. #59
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    335
    thanks WR304 for the Thesis. Will make for a good read.

  60. #60
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    For the endurance rides I'm trying to take LMN's advice to keep the intensity down and actually do zone 2 rides, rather than go completely overboard and go as hard as possible every ride (like I've been known to do in the past. ) 3 hours at zone 2 endurance pace is proving quite hard enough at the moment as it is.
    For the first day this will feel ridiculously easy and a waste of time. The second day in a row, you'll start to feel a little soreness but still be able to execute the ride without too much attention. After the third day you start to regret that one hill you went ahead and hammered 2 days ago. On the fourth day you'll watch your HR like a hawk and never let it rise above 140 Throughout the base period you'll be able to consume mass quantities of food like a Conehead, in fact you must or you'll start to break down.

    At the end of two weeks you'll start to get the feeling that you're accustomed to this, but the saddle sores might be something you're paying attention to, and hints of tendonitis encourage you to keep it above 80rpm. Nonetheless you're mysteriously able to go 1 or 2mph faster at the same easy-going level of exertion that you started with.

    After 4 weeks or so you might wonder if you've forgotten how to go fast and if you've got what it takes to tolerate getting winded. But when you do, it should be a pleasant surprise.

  61. #61
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    At the end of two weeks you'll start to get the feeling that you're accustomed to this, but the saddle sores might be something you're paying attention to, and hints of tendonitis encourage you to keep it above 80rpm. Nonetheless you're mysteriously able to go 1 or 2mph faster at the same easy-going level of exertion that you started with.

    After 4 weeks or so you might wonder if you've forgotten how to go fast and if you've got what it takes to tolerate getting winded. But when you do, it should be a pleasant surprise.
    I haven't actually been doing that many consecutive long rides just yet. Mysteriously being able to go 1 or 2 mph faster would be really nice just now.

    Last week for example all I did was:

    Monday: 45 min hydrotherapy pool rehabilitation at hospital
    Tuesday: 2 hours 46 min riding including 20min FTP test
    Wednesday: 1 hour 2 min turbo trainer intervals morning / weight training session in evening
    Thursday: 3 hours 19 min riding
    Friday: 2 hours 36 min riding / weight training session in evening
    Saturday: 1 hour 16 min turbo trainer intervals
    Sunday: 3 hours 19 min riding road club run

    Total riding: 14 hours 18 min

    This week should be about the same, although I did do three consecutive 3 hour rides on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. This shows the pacing from today's ride, the yellow dotted lines marking my current Endurance Zone 2 (116 to 156 watts, estimated FTP 207 watts). I was trying to ride to the power meter and stick to around 150 watts until the last half hour where I lifted the pace to try and get home before it started raining (I just made it for once ). It was really windy with a strong headwind on the way out and then a strong tailwind on the way back (it was blowing a gale) which is why the speed trace fluctuates so much, despite it being a flat ride.

    What a lot of my 3 hour rides have been looking like is a hard first 30 minutes (way over endurance pace), a big sag in power output during the middle two hours then lifting the pace for the final 30 minutes home. This ride wasn't too bad consistency wise as I tried to settle into my target pace without pushing too much early on.



    I use Assos chamois cream for riding with to reduce chafing.

    http://www.assos.com/en/19/singlePro...6&amp;prod=175

    Assos skin repair gel post ride if you're saddle sore and still intend riding multiple days.

    http://www.assos.com/en/19/singleProduct.aspx?prod=352

    Compared to the other chamois creams that I've tried in the past the Assos one has been most successful. It's not cheap but does the job well.

  62. #62
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    I found this chart on another forum - created by Andrew R. Coggan, Ph.D. and all credit is given to him. http://cdn.cyclingforums.com/7/71/90...25_sgoeuw.jpeg

    From what I gather, in his research he has charted (within a range) the amount of time a person can ride at certain %'s of their FTP. And I would guess, the amount of time needed at the lower intensities to increase FTP. Admittedly, the % of FTP is vague, unless someone wanted to measure out and chart. 70%, 80%, etc.

    I guess my point being is if you are going for a Z2 ride for X amount of time, are you really forcing any training adaption to FTP.

    Convert seconds to hour - Conversion of Measurement Units
    EX- 5000 sec = 1.39 hr
    Ex - 10000 sec = 2.8 hrs

  63. #63
    mtbr member
    Reputation: xterrafreak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    54
    Congrats on the CX success! I'm in no condition to race right now and it's killing me because all my teammates are racing CX! I just have no interest in racing unless I can be competitive, and an out of shape dude on a 26" FS mountain bike is not gonna be competitive in CX!

    Agreed, and I really appreciate your posts they've definitely helped me realize the potential for success in cat 1 even on a time crunched schedule. I plan on doing my weekly long ride (2-3 hours, if I can get away for this long) at a fast pace and on the mountain bike trails so I can simulate racing for two hours and the problems and the challenges that come with it. I recover well so I don't see this being a problem.

    My problem is with the TCC and the 4-6 week layoff in the middle of the summer and right in the middle of the series, but I'm not sure if there is another option given my TC problem. If you don't mind me asking, what did you do in season?

  64. #64
    pk1
    pk1 is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    125
    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    From what I gather, in his research he has charted (within a range) the amount of time a person can ride at certain %'s of their FTP.

    And I would guess, the amount of time needed at the lower intensities to increase FTP.
    these are 2 very different things. the theory is that the lower intensities give good results because you can sustain vastly greater duration at a bit below FTP than what you can a bit above FTP.

    However that does not mean that the say 10% lower intensity gives far less benefit. Sure, it doesn't give anything like as much of a training effect as the same amount of time above FTP, but the point is that you couldn't do the same amount of time above FTP. By dropping the intensity a bit you can increase the volume a LOT. so the net effect is a greater training effect.

    the graph shows that there is a huge difference in achievable volume between say 95% and 105% of FTP. but you're only lowering the intensity 10% so why would there be a massive difference in training benefit?

    this is of course assuming that you have the time to truly reach that big volume and it gives a somewhat different training effect to what you get from the higher intensity - few would argue that in order to race fast you must do some fast training.

    reading the graph the other way, if you're short on time you have to really hammer the intensity to make up for the lack of volume.

    personally, i find that one of the big benefits of volume is the mental strength to keep pushing when you're tired and would really like to just relax.

  65. #65
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rupps5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    402
    Forgive my ignants but how do you test to figure out your range for doing these 2x20 with a hrm?

  66. #66
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fakie1999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    911
    Quote Originally Posted by rupps5 View Post
    Forgive my ignants but how do you test to figure out your range for doing these 2x20 with a hrm?
    lactate threshold heart rate test. More info here...

    Joe Friel's Blog: A Quick Guide to Setting Zones

  67. #67
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928

    2x20s

    Quote Originally Posted by xterrafreak View Post
    A little off topic but conversation seems to be trending in this direction anyway. Fwiw, in my first season of XC racing and subsequently my first off season of training last year I cycled through Carmichaels TCC twice in the off season and twice in season and did well in cat2 winning the points series in my AG. BUT, it was brutal and I was completely burnt out and sick of training by seasons end. I'm definitely taking a different approach to off season training this time around. It has to be on a time crunched format so due in large part to this thread I'm leaning toward 2x20 and 2x30 workouts and very little vo2max work, with a weekly average of about 5 hours a week. My goal is to race cat1 next year.
    I don't know why but 2x20 intervals have to be one of my least favourite interval formats. It's something about grinding through that second 20 minutes that gets me. The timer seems to take forever to finish. If anything could get me mentally burnt out, unenthusiastic and sick of riding it would be doing them all the time, especially if they're mostly on the turbo trainer too.

    I much prefer to either do a single 20 minute interval and then something else, whether that's a 20 minute interval then different length intervals indoors (see the Coggan workout in post #56 for something I do regularly), a 20 minute interval then hill climbing work if it's riding outdoors or simply a 60 minute time trial. Variety is what keeps it interesting, along with keeping your body guessing to avoid plateaus.

    If you're thinking of doing 2x20 minute intervals the "It's Killing Me But..." thread on Cyclingforums.com is worth a skim through. The posts in it by RapDaddyo and daveryanwyoming are good information.

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t/31484...killing-me-but

    .

  68. #68
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    Quote Originally Posted by pk1 View Post
    these are 2 very different things. the theory is that the lower intensities give good results because you can sustain vastly greater duration at a bit below FTP than what you can a bit above FTP.

    However that does not mean that the say 10% lower intensity gives far less benefit. Sure, it doesn't give anything like as much of a training effect as the same amount of time above FTP, but the point is that you couldn't do the same amount of time above FTP. By dropping the intensity a bit you can increase the volume a LOT. so the net effect is a greater training effect.

    the graph shows that there is a huge difference in achievable volume between say 95% and 105% of FTP. but you're only lowering the intensity 10% so why would there be a massive difference in training benefit?

    this is of course assuming that you have the time to truly reach that big volume and it gives a somewhat different training effect to what you get from the higher intensity - few would argue that in order to race fast you must do some fast training.

    reading the graph the other way, if you're short on time you have to really hammer the intensity to make up for the lack of volume.

    personally, i find that one of the big benefits of volume is the mental strength to keep pushing when you're tired and would really like to just relax.
    "Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    From what I gather, in his research he has charted (within a range) the amount of time a person can ride at certain %'s of their FTP.

    And I would guess, the amount of time needed at the lower intensities to increase FTP."

    How are these 2 very different things?

    My point being, if you read my whole post rather than cutting and pasting a few sentences "I guess my point being is if you are going for a Z2 ride for X amount of time, are you really forcing any training adaption to FTP." If you look, I make a point of 5k and 10k secs (1.4 & 2.8 hrs)

    I should have been more specific (not directing to anyone in particular) saying "if you ride Z2 for 3hrs are you really forcing any training adaptions to FTP"

    If you read any of my posts, I am a 'quality' (SST, L4) over 'quantity' (LSD, L2) person due to time constraints in my world. Preparing for first MTB race of the season

    To add more to the point I was trying to make: per bradg "My sense? Doing a huge volume of very easy miles has merit if you pay attention to the operative words: "huge volume." Assume that the average TdF rider does at least 20,000 miles per year, possibly more (I think there's a study by Stephen Seiler in which he notes that it may be 25-30K or more?). Many of those miles are likely pretty easy. Like Coggan points out, you have to do a lot to get the most out of it. Unless you have that amount of time, I think that figuring out your SST--find that chart with the curves and zones, it really clarifies that there's a gradual progression of efficacy, as opposed to the hard lines you might unconsciously impose--will lead to better results."

    As far as "personally, i find that one of the big benefits of volume is the mental strength to keep pushing when you're tired and would really like to just relax"

    What is your idea of "volume"?
    Last edited by scottz123; 10-26-2013 at 07:43 PM.

  69. #69
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    If you're thinking of doing 2x20 minute intervals the "It's Killing Me But..." thread on Cyclingforums.com is worth a skim through. The posts in it by RapDaddyo and daveryanwyoming are good information.

    It's killing me but..........

    .
    +1 Good post - I learned a lot from it this last off season

  70. #70
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928
    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    My point being, if you read my whole post rather than cutting and pasting a few sentences "I guess my point being is if you are going for a Z2 ride for X amount of time, are you really forcing any training adaption to FTP." If you look, I make a point of 5k and 10k secs (1.4 & 2.8 hrs)
    stevemtu posted this article earlier in the thread. It discusses the point about what benefit longer rides may have.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intervals, Thresholds, and Long Slow Distance: the Role of Intensity and Duration in Endurance Training
    By Stephen Seiler and Espen Tønnessen
    Sportscience 13, 32-53, 2009


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

    "Professional road cyclists are known for performing very high training volumes, up to 35,000 km.y-1. Zapico and colleagues (2007) used the 3-intensity zone model to track training characteristics from November to June in a group of elite Spanish under-23 riders. In addition, physiological testing was performed at season start and at the end of the winter and spring mesocycles. There was an increase in total training volume and a four-fold increase in Zone 3 training between the winter and spring mesocycles (Figure 2), but there was no further improvement in power at VT1, VT2 or at VO2 max between the end of the winter and spring mesocycles (Figure 3), despite the training intensification. Anecdotally, this finding is not unusual, despite the fact that athletes feel fitter. It may be that VT2 and VO2 max determination using traditional methods can miss an important increase in the duration that can be maintained at the associated workloads.



    Individual and team pursuit athletes in cycling compete over about 4 min. The event appeals to sport scientists because the performance situation is highly controlled and amenable to accurate modeling of the variables on both sides of the power balance equation. Schumacher and Mueller (2002) demonstrated the validity of this approach in predicting “gold medal standards” for physiological testing and power output in track cycling. However, less obvious from the title was the detailed description of the training program followed by the German cyclists monitored in the study, ultimately earning a gold medal in Sydney in world-record time. These athletes trained to maintain 670 W in the lead position and ~450 W when following using a training program dominated by continuous low to moderate intensity cycling on the roads (29-35,000 km.y-1). In the 200 d preceding the Olympics, the athletes performed “low-intensity, high-mileage” training at 50-60 % of VO2 max on ~140 days. Stage races took up another ~40 days. Specific track cycling at near competition intensities was performed on less than 20 days between March and September. In the ~110 days preceding the Olympic final, high-intensity interval track training was performed on only 6 days.
    ...
    The 80-20 Rule for Intensity
    In spite of differences in the methods for quantifying training intensity, all of the above studies show remarkable consistency in the training distribution pattern selected by successful endurance athletes. About 80 % of training sessions are performed predominantly at intensities under the first ventilatory turn point, or a blood-lactate concentration ≤2mM. The remaining ~20 % of sessions are distributed between training at or near the traditional lactate threshold (Zone 2), and training at intensities in the 90-100 %VO2 max range, generally as interval training (Zone 3). An elite athlete training 10-12 times per week is therefore likely to dedicate 1-3 sessions weekly to training at intensities at or above the maximum lactate steady state. This rule of thumb coincides well with training studies demonstrating the efficacy of adding two interval sessions per week to a training program (Billat et al., 1999; Lindsay et al., 1996; Weston et al., 1997). Seiler and Kjerland (2006) have previously gone so far as say that the optimal intensity distribution approximated a “polarized distribution” with 75-80 % of training sessions in Zone 1, 5 % in Zone 2, and 15-20 % in Zone 3. However, there is considerable variation in how athletes competing in different sports and event durations distribute their training intensity within Zones 2 and 3.

    Why has this training pattern emerged? We do not have sufficient research to answer this question, but we can make some reasonable guesses. One group of factors would involve the potential for this distribution to best stimulate the constellation of training adaptations required for maximal endurance performance. For example, large volumes of training at low intensity might be optimal for maximizing peripheral adaptations, while relatively small volumes of high intensity training fulfill the need for optimizing signaling for enhanced cardiac function and buffer capacity. Technically, lots of low intensity training may be effective by allowing lots of repetitions to engrain correct motor patterns. On the other side of the adaptation-stress equation is the stress induced by training. Athletes may migrate towards a strategy where longer duration is substituted for higher intensity to reduce the stress reactions associated with training and facilitate rapid recovery from frequent training (Seiler et al., 2007). Interestingly, Foster and colleagues reported a very similar intensity distribution by professional cyclists during the 3 wk and 80+ racing hours of the grand tours, such as the Tour de France. Perhaps this distribution represents a form of pacing that emerges over the months of elite training (Foster et al., 2005).

    ”Low intensity”–between 50 %VO2 max and just under the first lactate turnpoint represents a wide intensity range in endurance athletes. There is probably considerable individual variation in where within this range athletes accumulate most of their low-intensity training volume. Technique considerations may play in: athletes have to train at a high enough intensity to allow correct technique. For example, Norwegian Olympic flat-water kayak gold medalist Eric Verås Larsen explained that the reason most of his Zone 1 continuous endurance training tended to be closer to his lactate threshold than normally observed was that he could not paddle with competition technique at lower intensities
    (Verås Larsen, personal communication). These qualifiers aside, we conclude that a large fraction of the training within this zone is being performed at ~60-65 %VO2 max, We note that this intensity is about the intensity associated with maximal fat utilization in trained subjects (Achten and Jeukendrup, 2003), but it is unclear why optimizing fat utilization would be important for athletes competing over 3-15 min." Pages 40, 42 &43

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

  71. #71
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    WR
    Per your article "Professional road cyclists are known for performing very high training volumes, up to 35,000 km", "An elite athlete training 10-12 times per week" Note: times per week, not hours per week.

    Here in the state's that's 22k miles a year. Over 400 miles a week. Yep, I would agree putting in that type of huge volume would help your FTP @ low intensity.

  72. #72
    mtbr member
    Reputation: stevemtu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    738

    scottz123 see page 46 for discussion on polarized training for recreational athletes

    Quote Originally Posted by stevemtu View Post
    I thought this was relevant to the discussion

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

    I thought page 45 about non-responders and page 46 about recreational athletes were particularly pertinent
    but this does not mean this is the best approach for you, just a study looking at alternatives to constant "near FTP" work

  73. #73
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928
    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    WR
    Per your article "Professional road cyclists are known for performing very high training volumes, up to 35,000 km", "An elite athlete training 10-12 times per week" Note: times per week, not hours per week.

    Here in the state's that's 22k miles a year. Over 400 miles a week. Yep, I would agree putting in that type of huge volume would help your FTP @ low intensity.
    A better way to look at it would be to ask why an elite cyclist would only do 20 hours per week training. There are 168 hours in a week and in a typical full time desk job you may be expected to work for 40 or 50 hours plus per week. Compared to that a full time cyclist doesn't spend that much time actually training. They have the time available to do many more hours training if they wanted to. Above a certain ceiling it becomes difficult to recover from and there are also diminishing returns.

    The point of the section and graph about Spanish Under 23 cyclists that I quoted above was that once you're up to a particular volume simply doing lots of additional hours riding doesn't in itself increase your power output. Despite increasing their training volume power output didn't continue to increase throughout the season. What the additional time riding gives you is other peripheral adaptations (improved technique and efficiency through repetition, improved fat burning, improved recovery, ability to sustain the same power output for longer durations etc) which when combined contribute to superior overall performance.

    In terms of volume if you're not riding full time what I find from my own riding is that there are distinct steps in performance at about 5 hour intervals. I'd describe this as "depth". (some examples of how I perceive this "depth" - being able to ride multiple days in succession without needing a rest day, keep going at a good pace even when you're tired, do a long ride and finish just as strong in the final hour as when you started, getting off the bike after a hard ride and 5 minutes later feel fine with very little muscle soreness). It's not that easy to put into words but you know it when you feel it.

    I'm a different rider doing 15 hours per week to when I'm only doing 10 hours per week, and when I'm doing closer to 20 hours per week I'm a different rider to when I'm only doing 15 hours per week. The differences aren't that subtle either. If you look at my 20 minute and 60 minute power test results between 2011 and 2012 in post #56 for example you can see how in 2012 where I was doing more volume I also had improved power output (and an improved w/kg due to being lighter) when compared to 2011.

    At the other end of the scale, where you're artificially limited to a low training volume you miss out on some of those adaptations. Doing more training would give a decent boost in performance. The flip side of low training volume is that you're likely to be motivated to push hard, concentrate on structure and stay focused in every session. If you're only doing say 5 hours per week then there's a good chance that you're fully recovering between sessions too, banking the fitness gains, whereas when you're doing more volume it's easy to wind up constantly tired all the time without giving your body the rest it needs to rebuild. You dig a deep hole but then never climb out of it.


  74. #74
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wetpaint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    313
    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    A better way to look at it would be to ask why an elite cyclist would only do 20 hours per week training. There are 168 hours in a week and in a typical full time desk job you may be expected to work for 40 or 50 hours plus per week. Compared to that a full time cyclist doesn't spend that much time actually training. They have the time available to do many more hours training if they wanted to. Above a certain ceiling it becomes difficult to recover from and there are also diminishing returns.
    This is very true, 20-25 hours per week is a sweet spot for me. I did one month where I averaged 48 hours per week (riding time) and by the third week, you don't sleep very well, legs just don't recover.

    At 20 hours/week, I don't really need to do intervals to increase my FTP, it just goes up with that huge volume. Once I get below 10 hrs per week, it's tough to even maintain my FTP with intervals.

  75. #75
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    Todd Wells is one of the few top-level XC racers that communicates about his schedule and he generally rides up to 35 hours per week during base training in the offseason; he's done that for years. He stated that it goes down to about 12 hours per week during the season, during which he's probably doing intensity and also recovering from at least one race per week.

    Mark Cavendish reports riding 40 hours per week or more; this coming from a sprinter.

    I remember seeing Jaroslav Kulhavy post on Facebook that he was doing 160 mile rides in the offseason.

    George Hincapie said in an interview that his typical training day was 6 hours at about 18mph through the mountains.

    Just some random examples.

  76. #76
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,396
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Todd Wells is one of the few top-level XC racers that communicates about his schedule and he generally rides up to 35 hours per week during base training in the offseason; he's done that for years. He stated that it goes down to about 12 hours per week during the season, during which he's probably doing intensity and also recovering from at least one race per week.

    Mark Cavendish reports riding 40 hours per week or more; this coming from a sprinter.

    I remember seeing Jaroslav Kulhavy post on Facebook that he was doing 160 mile rides in the offseason.

    George Hincapie said in an interview that his typical training day was 6 hours at about 18mph through the mountains.

    Just some random examples.
    I've always said to think of base building as "building a water pipe". If the "pipe" is large, then more water can flow through it (water being intense efforts).

    That's why some early springs after building a large base (with the typical Friel structure), I'll hit a 1-min PR with not much intensity training prior to that.

    A couple of full-time pros ride in my neighborhood and it's pretty unreal how much they ride their bikes. One day I was driving over a mountain pass coming back from a miserably cold day of skate skiing and he was out there riding his MTB.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  77. #77
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brentos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,614
    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    I've always said to think of base building as "building a water pipe". If the "pipe" is large, then more water can flow through it (water being intense efforts).

    That's why some early springs after building a large base (with the typical Friel structure), I'll hit a 1-min PR with not much intensity training prior to that.

    A couple of full-time pros ride in my neighborhood and it's pretty unreal how much they ride their bikes. One day I was driving over a mountain pass coming back from a miserably cold day of skate skiing and he was out there riding his MTB.
    I've been feeling this way about base. I spent the entire last 'cross race thinking about why I can't hang, when my short effort power numbers are high right now.

    I've found that after I ride higher volume (for me anyway) in the spring, it helps with my ability to repeat big efforts. Interval training seems to help get the peak numbers up, but doesn't seem to help with repeatability over multiple efforts. So although cross seems like a sprint type (anaerobic) effort, I seem to be aerobically limited.

    So for me, boosting VO2 max would help. Are 2x20's good for this?

  78. #78
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,396
    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    I've been feeling this way about base. I spent the entire last 'cross race thinking about why I can't hang, when my short effort power numbers are high right now.

    I've found that after I ride higher volume (for me anyway) in the spring, it helps with my ability to repeat big efforts. Interval training seems to help get the peak numbers up, but doesn't seem to help with repeatability over multiple efforts. So although cross seems like a sprint type (anaerobic) effort, I seem to be aerobically limited.

    So for me, boosting VO2 max would help. Are 2x20's good for this?
    IMO, it's all tied to FTP. And IME, FTP improvers are Zone2, Zone 3, and Zone 4. There is an optimum mix of those 3 zones for maximizing FTP, and a lot of people don't get as much Zone 2 as they should. WR304 quoted a study that shows a 80/20 mix; I think that's about right. I used to do 2X20's and roll home, when I should have been following that up with another hour plus of Zone 2 riding.

    Cross racing (as well as crits) is all about normalized power, which is closely tied to FTP. Sure you can put out some big burst but if your normalized power is not in the right neighborhood, then you will fall off the others who can produce higher NP.

    This season i followed a program that did mostly base riding (with short sprints thrown in) going into cross. Got 13th the first race (that was an eye opener), but was on the top step by my 4th race. I used cross racing itself each weekend for intensity and some midweek SST intervals (4X10') with Zone 2 follow up, and Zone 2 on all other rides (with a sprint every 10 minutes). Currently hitting 11-12 hours a week total over 6 days (every 3rd week a lower volume week).

    Maximizing VO2max usually comes from shorter intervals, 5x3-4 minutes. That'll move you up a few spots, but moving to the front end of your group will take a sizable improvement in FTP though, IMO. All those guys in the front end of your group are probably all above 5 W/kg.
    Last edited by Poncharelli; 10-29-2013 at 09:52 AM.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  79. #79
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928

    2x20s

    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    I've been feeling this way about base. I spent the entire last 'cross race thinking about why I can't hang, when my short effort power numbers are high right now.

    I've found that after I ride higher volume (for me anyway) in the spring, it helps with my ability to repeat big efforts. Interval training seems to help get the peak numbers up, but doesn't seem to help with repeatability over multiple efforts. So although cross seems like a sprint type (anaerobic) effort, I seem to be aerobically limited.

    So for me, boosting VO2 max would help. Are 2x20's good for this?
    There are some workouts here that might work quite well. You have an hour workout with lots of repeated efforts such as the 3:00 Repeatable Power Workouts and maybe even the one where you combine stationary cycling and running on a treadmill. For cyclocross where you have to be able to get off the bike and run it could be useful to do this type of mixed running and cycling workout.

    http://www.cycleops.com/en/training/...-workouts.html

    .

  80. #80
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928

    2x20s

    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Well I can speak to doing 3-4 hours per day of zone 2 for a few weeks straight. It does take a different kind of willpower. Maintaining endurance Zone 2 pace does become very important.
    I meant to ask. When you're doing 3-4 hours per day of endurance zone 2 riding how much time per ride would you typically spend at zero watts freewheeling?

    At the moment I'm spending 8-12% of each ride freewheeling (20 minutes of a 3h15min road ride today at 0-20 watts), partly descending but mostly because of some interesting sitbone comfort issues and not being able to pedal out of the saddle due to only having one good leg.

  81. #81
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I meant to ask. When you're doing 3-4 hours per day of endurance zone 2 riding how much time per ride would you typically spend at zero watts freewheeling?

    At the moment I'm spending 8-12% of each ride freewheeling (20 minutes of a 3h15min road ride today at 0-20 watts), partly descending but mostly because of some interesting sitbone comfort issues and not being able to pedal out of the saddle due to only having one good leg.
    The hard thing about doing short efforts is the intensity and concentration required. On the other hand, If I tried to concentrate on how much time I was idling on the pedals during a heavy base block, I'd go insane, or maybe just give up after a couple of days.

    For a time I did concentrate on keeping a set HR zone and cadence, and that was helpful. Now I focus on a wattage average for the ride. My advice is to be generous to yourself when settling in for a long ride that will be followed by several more long rides. As long as you insure that you don't lag into Zone 1 too much, the base will be very useful.

    At this time I'm making use of 2x20s and 3x20s during some busy periods of work and to extend my peak focus into November. I find them to be useful tools to take a 1-hour or 90-minute stretch of time and optimize the workout for a "long ride" effect.

  82. #82
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mbeardsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    597
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    The hard thing about doing short efforts is the intensity and concentration required. On the other hand, If I tried to concentrate on how much time I was idling on the pedals during a heavy base block, I'd go insane, or maybe just give up after a couple of days.
    I think he meant literally what does your data say. I'm always very surprised by how much time I spend at essentially 0W on long rides.

    WR304 - I think it depends a lot on your terrain. FL vs CO etc will have very different ratios. Here in central NC on a dozen 4-5 hr rides this summer I spent ~32% at 0-24W (essentially 0, but you could argue that's a skewed %). Those rides I averaged a NP of 222W which is just shy of Zone 3 for me. As I get into Zone 3 and 4 that number drops dramatically at close to 0% during a 30 min FTP test (I have to turn around 2x). On the other hand, even in a 3-4 hour race I'm still running 20-25% in that same 0-24W range depending on terrain (perhaps hence my mid-pack finishes?).

  83. #83
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928
    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    The hard thing about doing short efforts is the intensity and concentration required. On the other hand, If I tried to concentrate on how much time I was idling on the pedals during a heavy base block, I'd go insane, or maybe just give up after a couple of days.
    I was just wondering out of interest what it says on your files Power Distribution summary post ride. It should be a case of reading the number straight off the chart.

    I split out stationary time so zero watts is freewheeling and then stationary time is a seperate item.

    Yesterday for example riding on the road I did 3hours 12min 08 seconds door to door, of which 18 seconds was spent stationary at junctions and 20 minutes 20 seconds was spent freewheeling.



    Offroad there tends to be a lot more stationary time and also more freewheeling. 20 May 2012 for example I did an offroad ride 3hours 17min 35 seconds door to door, of which 13 minutes 7 seconds was spent stationary (opening and closing farm gates etc) and 29 minutes 53 seconds was spent freewheeling (including descents).



    I find it quite useful to keep a track of stationary time and freewheeling as it gives an idea of how solid the long rides actually are. Its easy to congratulate myself on a long ride, only to realise that most of it was spent sitting at the top of a hill admiring the view or softpedalling whilst chatting at the back of the group on a road club run without putting much effort in.

    In contrast my turbo trainer rides are 100% pedalling.

  84. #84
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CulBaire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    858
    Quote Originally Posted by mbeardsl View Post
    I think he meant literally what does your data say. I'm always very surprised by how much time I spend at essentially 0W on long rides.

    WR304 - I think it depends a lot on your terrain. FL vs CO etc will have very different ratios. Here in central NC on a dozen 4-5 hr rides this summer I spent ~32% at 0-24W (essentially 0, but you could argue that's a skewed %). Those rides I averaged a NP of 222W which is just shy of Zone 3 for me. As I get into Zone 3 and 4 that number drops dramatically at close to 0% during a 30 min FTP test (I have to turn around 2x). On the other hand, even in a 3-4 hour race I'm still running 20-25% in that same 0-24W range depending on terrain (perhaps hence my mid-pack finishes?).
    I've been lurking on this topic for a while; good read and very interesting seeing as my last MTB race is next weekend so I will be starting my "base" period a lot later then you guys, although I am busy plotting what I need to now so I have a decent plan of attack for the summer. I am lucky enough have the luxury of doing base miles during summer ;-)

    To answer the question re free-wheeling I typically do lower passed Z2 ride once a block (think a 4 day week) during the season, today's ride was 11min's of a 3h15min ride over a "flat course" (300v/m over 100kms).
    Cul is a regretted trademark of the CulBaire Co'op Pty Ltd, as are his random ramblings and associated bullshit.

  85. #85
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I was just wondering out of interest what it says on your files Power Distribution summary post ride. It should be a case of reading the number straight off the chart.

    ...

    In contrast my turbo trainer rides are 100% pedalling.
    I thought you might be getting at something like that So, 7:06 was spent on this morning's 3 hour ride at 0-24 watts. 1:39 was spent at 25-49 watts. I don't generally stop to take a break, but I did stop once to change the battery on my iBike. This darn IOS7 is a battery hog.

    Bike Ride Profile | 49miles near St. Francisville | Times and Records | Strava

    My commuting rides are interesting because the first hour is full of steep hills, and the second two hours are virtually flat as I travel South. The return ride in the evening can be pretty hard. My personal best on the ride in was about 2:44 over 50 miles. That might not sound fast but I ride a 35-pound touring-style bike in the dark, and have some stops for traffic, a little gravel, and odd routes once I get into the city. Today was kind of slow because of fog and wet conditions but I still did a decent clip.

    Yet, I finished in 2:58. I am hoping to finish the XC season strong, but I can tell I was stronger after hitting this ride at up to low Zone 3 pace during the summer repeatedly, than I am after a couple of months of mixed interval work. I can't always make the time for them, so I am glad to be making better use of 2x20s and 2x30s instead of just HITT in the interim. Thanks for everyone's input.

  86. #86
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928

    2x20s

    The problem with time at 0 watts and stationary time is that it all adds up. One of the nice things about having recorded data is that you can identify exactly how much there is and then decide what to do about it.

    I was reading where someone reckoned 60 minutes of turbo training was equal to around 90 minutes of riding outdoors on the road for fitness, because of the improved workout quality from a constant workload on the turbo trainer.

    Riding offroad it's likely to be even worse than that, due to the increased interruptions from terrain. I don't know if you could go quite so far as to say 120 minutes steady offroad riding is equal to 60 minutes turbo training for fitness but in some circumstances it might be close. In the Cotswolds there are farm gates on a lot of the bridleway and byways too so you're forced to stop frequently for them, which makes it hard to maintain a constant pace without interruptions or freewheeling.

    Riding offroad is good but the increased quantity of time at 0 watts is one of the reasons that road miles are useful for base training, so that you can spend more time in a particular target training zone. In the commentary of one of the XC World Cup races did you hear where Rob Warner was saying about how Jaroslav Kulhavy would ride the 1h30 World Cup race, and then promptly go out for three hours on the road bike afterwards to get some extra miles in?

  87. #87
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mbeardsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    597
    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    The problem with time at 0 watts and stationary time is that it all adds up. One of the nice things about having recorded data is that you can identify exactly how much there is and then decide what to do about it.

    I was reading where someone reckoned 60 minutes of turbo training was equal to around 90 minutes of riding outdoors on the road for fitness, because of the improved workout quality from a constant workload on the turbo trainer.

    Riding offroad it's likely to be even worse than that, due to the increased interruptions from terrain. I don't know if you could go quite so far as to say 120 minutes steady offroad riding is equal to 60 minutes turbo training for fitness but in some circumstances it might be close. In the Cotswolds there are farm gates on a lot of the bridleway and byways too so you're forced to stop frequently for them, which makes it hard to maintain a constant pace without interruptions or freewheeling.

    Riding offroad is good but the increased quantity of time at 0 watts is one of the reasons that road miles are useful for base training, so that you can spend more time in a particular target training zone. In the commentary of one of the XC World Cup races did you hear where Rob Warner was saying about how Jaroslav Kulhavy would ride the 1h30 World Cup race, and then promptly go out for three hours on the road bike afterwards to get some extra miles in?
    Man, mine reeeeealy adds up compared to you guys. I don't have WKO so just using Strava's 25W ranges (why does TrainingPeaks not have this?!) I must have more hills than some of you folks, but that's hard to imagine as its fairly flat here. But it's not just hills. Every time you coast through a corner (got lots), coast to a stop, coast to slow down to pass, etc etc etc you're at 0.

    I don't think I'd agree with your statements re turbo training vs road vs offroad as a blanket statement. If I'm riding offroad here I am getting a total body workout with built in intervals. Less so on the road bike but still significantly more than the trainer indoors. But I *think* none of that really matters if you're judging your ride by NP as that takes into account the intensity of your riding. A 250W NP for a 60 minute trainer, road, or MTB ride *should* all feel the same. If your MTB ride involved more time at oW then you MUST have made up for it somewhere else to still result in 250W NP. Right?

  88. #88
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    I have got several comments about your post, very interesting. First of all, with intervals, time at 0 watts is considered a rest period and positive. Whether I'm doing 2x20s with 5 or 10 minutes of rest, that's 40 minutes of exercise vs 2:50 or greater on a 3 hour ride. The short rest periods factor in but I would say it's a stretch to discredit a base ride on a small percentage of rest (during which the HR may not have slumped that much).

    MTB rides on trails would have greater periods of 0 watts, that's certainly true. However one can always be better-skilled and have a better feel for the bike. Riding with some of the regional pros, this point is asserts itself in case I forget As I get more advanced I find that I prefer to break that skill work down though. I loved the epic MTB rides I did this summer with some friends who were more casual than me; I didn't really push the pace but I visited some big new terrain and that can only help me.

    When I pre-ride for a race, I might only complete one lap that day, but I stop and session a spot that I feel uncomfortable with until I get the best line. I'm not watching my lap times, I'm just being deliberate and getting really comfortable with all the sections of trail.

    As for Kulhavy, he's a beast to not be exhausted afterwards, but beside that it brings up an interesting point: Could one do hard efforts for the first hour of a long ride and then drop to Zone 2 for the rest of it, and would this be beneficial? I've certainly done rides like that before. Question though: how many minutes at zero watts did Jaro spend between the finish line and his road ride?? Just kidding.


    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    The problem with time at 0 watts and stationary time is that it all adds up. One of the nice things about having recorded data is that you can identify exactly how much there is and then decide what to do about it.

    I was reading where someone reckoned 60 minutes of turbo training was equal to around 90 minutes of riding outdoors on the road for fitness, because of the improved workout quality from a constant workload on the turbo trainer.

    Riding offroad it's likely to be even worse than that, due to the increased interruptions from terrain. I don't know if you could go quite so far as to say 120 minutes steady offroad riding is equal to 60 minutes turbo training for fitness but in some circumstances it might be close. In the Cotswolds there are farm gates on a lot of the bridleway and byways too so you're forced to stop frequently for them, which makes it hard to maintain a constant pace without interruptions or freewheeling.

    Riding offroad is good but the increased quantity of time at 0 watts is one of the reasons that road miles are useful for base training, so that you can spend more time in a particular target training zone. In the commentary of one of the XC World Cup races did you hear where Rob Warner was saying about how Jaroslav Kulhavy would ride the 1h30 World Cup race, and then promptly go out for three hours on the road bike afterwards to get some extra miles in?

  89. #89
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928

    2x20s

    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Question though: how many minutes at zero watts did Jaro spend between the finish line and his road ride?? Just kidding.
    I'd have thought Jaroslav Kulhavy wouldn't have spent that long at zero watts. If everything was laid out beforehand he could be ready and gone soon after finishing, especially at the races where he wasn't on the podium.

    I should add that my comments on the relative quality of riding offroad are heavily influenced by the local riding here. If you look at post #17 of the linked thread below I posted a graph of an offroad ride to show the pattern. In it I had to stop 24 times, nearly all for farm gates. It really breaks up the rides.

    MTB power meter thread.

    When doing intervals on the turbo trainer I keep the recovery periods, warmup and cooldown at a moderate level, still zone 2 effort, so I count the entirety of the session as training along with the intervals themselves.

  90. #90
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,396
    You guys have to be careful about getting into the numbers too much. IMO, this leads to many talented riders getting into some burn out. I've seen it over and over again over the years.

    I remember one very talented rider so concerned about being in the correct zones that he only rode his trainer, even in the summer. Needless to say, he's no where to be seen today in the cycling scene.

    After training and riding for so many years, I've realized that the main thing PMs are good for is to calibrate your PE so well, that you can get rid of the PM.

    I've also noticed that most the top riders in our area ride with no PMs. Just PE and a time keeping device.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  91. #91
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mbeardsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    597
    Good advice Ponch. I'm here for the fun, not for the number crunching.

    The pros I know in my area are still on PMs, assume that's due to their coaches using PM results as main driver.

  92. #92
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    242
    The power zones should be descriptive of effort, not prescriptive.

  93. #93
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928

    2x20s

    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    I remember one very talented rider so concerned about being in the correct zones that he only rode his trainer, even in the summer.
    .
    One of my friend's who's a time trialist rode the same main road training circuit every weekday evening for eight years straight. He never varied the route, but then he is fairly obsessive like that.

    Personally, I try to ride different routes day to day without too much repetition wherever possible. It's more fun that way.

    What I find is that the more tired I am the closer I watch the powermeter display. If I'm going well I don't look at it much. When I'm fading I stick to the numbers like a hawk.

    The perceived exertion is an interesting one. I used to think that I could simply calibrate my perceived exertion riding with a power meter and then do without. In practice I'm a lot more dependent than that.

    What I've found is that whenever the power meter is broken and I ride with just speed displayed for a few weeks that my perceived effort pacing is horrible initially, disastrously bad, despite having ridden without one for years beforehand. In early 2012 when my Powertap was away being repaired I was completely lost pacing wise and blew up every ride for the first week before starting to remember how to ride purely on perceived exertion again. I'd be riding along early in the ride panicking and wondering "What do I do? How hard should I be going here? I've forgotten how to ride!"

    Here's an example of where I was riding to the power meter during the road club run a few weeks ago. Everyone else was having an easy ride whilst I was going flat out. This was the only real hill of the ride and as soon as it began it was clear that there was no way I could stay with them, the power required was too high. As the gap opened I dropped down to a pace I knew I could sustain for the duration of the hill and tried to hold that, in order to still have some strength left for later on in the ride.



  94. #94
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    762
    .
    .
    .

  95. #95
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928

    2x20s

    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    At the end of two weeks you'll start to get the feeling that you're accustomed to this, but the saddle sores might be something you're paying attention to, and hints of tendonitis encourage you to keep it above 80rpm. Nonetheless you're mysteriously able to go 1 or 2mph faster at the same easy-going level of exertion that you started with.
    I'm still going about the same speed as I was a few months ago, although with the occasional mysterious (but short lived) flash of pace. Today was a solid road ride with intervals built in - 3h17min riding endurance pace but with a 5 minute interval every 30 minutes and going hard up all the hills, 49 miles, 2,300ft of climbing, average power 164 watts, normalized power 181 watts but still only 14.9mph average speed. Flat ride, hilly ride, it doesn't seem to make much difference to that 15mph barrier.

    The 5 minute intervals were ok, although with some drop off in the final hour. Whilst I was doing the intervals I was thinking. "Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do this power output for the entire ride, rather than just a few minutes at a time."

    5 minute interval avg power during the ride:
    30min - 5 min interval avg 201 watts
    60min - 5 min interval avg 219 watts
    90min - 5 min interval avg 214 watts
    120min - 5 min interval avg 228 watts
    150min - 5 min interval avg 194 watts
    180min - 5 min interval avg 197 watts


    Anyway, the most interesting part of today's ride was around the 1 hour mark. I was heading round the outskirts of a town when someone on a bike came round the roundabout and started heading in the same direction just ahead. He was on a road bike but in trainers and running shorts with a backpack. He looked to have been to the nearby leisure centre. He saw me and accelerated away up a drag, fast enough that I could hold him but not get past.

    After just 52 seconds at around 240 watts (my power output trying to keep up) he started to fade badly, slowed, and I caught him back up, just before he turned off into one of the housing estates. I continued on with my ride.

    What really struck me was that the training does help. Compared to someone who's fit and healthy, but not cycling fit, after just a few months riding even a mediocre cyclist with a bad leg is going to have decent pace and cycling specific strength and endurance that you just don't have if you don't ride much.
    Last edited by WR304; 11-15-2013 at 02:17 PM.

  96. #96
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,348
    WR304; I'll bet if you keep it up, those 'flashes of pace' will become more regular and then the new norm.
    It is funny how most of the non-racer guys you encounter on the road will really step it up when they see you, even when you don't think they see you. Last summer I saw a guy way up ahead and made it my goal to catch him before the driveway I was headed too, he was being way too hard to catch for about 2 minutes, but then he must've blown up because all of a sudden he was very slow, and looked pretty shot when I did pass, he didn't seem like he wanted to chat. I do especially like running into quasi fit guys on hills, on their carbon rr bikes when I'm on my old/beater mtb, it's fun to just hang with them and chat as they eventually blow up, -that also happened just a few months ago.
    I've done a couple of the 2x20s now, as it's getting dark before 5pm and I can't do all my workouts outdoors. I've been doing them at a higher heart rate, they are hard, and good.

  97. #97
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365
    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    WR304; I'll bet if you keep it up, those 'flashes of pace' will become more regular and then the new norm.
    Yeah man. Continuous long rides. Also I don't necessarily agree with throwing in HIIT. The point would be for the long ride to be one continuous interval.

    For my side of the homework, I've been doing more structured 20 minute efforts, thanks to a new trainer at the gym that includes a DFPM. I pushed 320w for 20 minutes the other day and did 2x20s@300w the day before; not sure how much higher I can go, still testing. My watts/kg are not superb though since I'm taller and heavier than most at about 83kg. I hope to get a Stages PM this Winter to replace my iBike power toy.

  98. #98
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    599
    For me, the 2x20's were non-productive once I figured out how to stay just below threshold. That was a long time ago though.

    I have a crackpot scheme that works for me. Two pyramid-style interval with increasing resistance. Each step +/- 30 seconds in about four increasing resistance steps and same declining. It's cadence-based with the lowest cadence about 40 rpm. It lasts about 10 minutes and I'm done. Lots of gym work too.

    I get consistent increases in power and endurance at the same number of hours each week for a couple of years now. The key is to be mentally and physically recovered enough to endure the discomfort. Which is why my volume is so low. When I can do long rides, it only takes a week to be able to grind out very long rides.

    Also, I have grave doubts the researchers have vetted the athletes so they are reliably human. An extreme example was Ed Coyle's Armstrong analysis publication. It turns out the observations recorded are useless because Armstrong was doping.

    Ponch's warning a few posts ago are words to live by while you figure out what works best for you.

  99. #99
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,928

    2x20s

    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Yeah man. Continuous long rides. Also I don't necessarily agree with throwing in HIIT. The point would be for the long ride to be one continuous interval.

    For my side of the homework, I've been doing more structured 20 minute efforts, thanks to a new trainer at the gym that includes a DFPM. I pushed 320w for 20 minutes the other day and did 2x20s@300w the day before; not sure how much higher I can go, still testing. My watts/kg are not superb though since I'm taller and heavier than most at about 83kg. I hope to get a Stages PM this Winter to replace my iBike power toy.

    Gym exercise bikes can have wildly varying calibrations. When you see the power readings on a gym exercise bike it may not have much relation to the power numbers that you see when riding on your actual bike with a power meter. The main thing is for it to be consistent so that you can track your progress on the gym exercise bike from day to day.

    You usually see it recommended to stick to the same exercise bike too, as if there are several different exercise bikes in a gym each one may have a different calibration and provide different power readings. By using the same exercise bike each time you hopefully avoid that.

    I wanted to do some quality work yesterday after chickening out of the original route the day before. On the previous day my plan had been to ride a short loop and just do hill repeats for three hours. It would have been a real kicking. I got to the top of the climb for the first time however and promptly decided to go and do three hours on a flatter route instead. It wasn't a very impressive display of willpower...

    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    I do especially like running into quasi fit guys on hills, on their carbon rr bikes when I'm on my old/beater mtb, it's fun to just hang with them and chat as they eventually blow up, -that also happened just a few months ago.
    So it's you who's been passing me every day recently on the hills then.

    The best one for that was back in 2011. I'd been out for a couple of hours and was on the way home when someone in jeans and a t-shirt on a battered old vintage steel commuter road bike with panniers turned out behind and started slipstreaming me. I was on my Epic marathon in full club kit, fresh and quite fit so definitely not having that.

    I spent the next 20 minutes absolutely destroying myself over some rolling country roads trying to ride him off my wheel. Could I drop him? Could I f-. As I was fading he came through and did a turn so I thanked him and promptly turned off at the next junction, a broken man.

  100. #100
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,365

    2x20s

    Well it's good to know that I may be putting out even MORE watts at the gym, heh heh. I use the same bike and sweat all over everything; I'm sure I looked like a freak to the casual stair master users. I just won the state championship yesterday so I must have done something right, but the last two races were pretty poor performances; just not enough time and volume. Next year I'm quitting XC and doing the NUE, so power and 1,2, or 3x20s will be my time crunched tool of choice when needed.

    I have a roadie training story, I was riding a local Roubaix-style race route with a friend and we came upon a guy rolling on a mountain bike. After we passed on our road bikes he latched on. I recognized him as a 55 year-old Cat 2 roadie and it turned out he was training for his 10-year buckle at Leadville. I incrementally increased the speed and started to drop my friend, but the old guy stayed with me. We were moving along at 28-30mph. I knew I was in trouble when we got to gravel. I held on using my MTB skills but it was brutalizing, and after 10 miles of that when we hit pavement I used the excuse of waiting for my friend to stop. That ride had one of my highest Strava suffer scores. I later heard that the old man got his buckle

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Members who have read this thread: 5

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •