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  1. #1
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    Confused as to how to do different training rides..please help

    Hi Everyone,

    I am having a hard time trying to figure out exactly what type of rides I should be doing right now.....and more specifically what those ride entail exactly. I hear a lot about BT or LT and Interval rides but can someone explain by using examples exactly what that kind or ride would look like? I do have a good idea of what my LT is but do not have the knowledge of what these rides should look like.

    Background: I am in my second year of riding and raced a few times last year with pretty good results. I only get out about 2-3 days a week right now but am trying to get out more (goal to be 3-4 days a week) with some running and cross training as well. One of the rides is a group road ride and I am able to hang with the A group pretty well. Typical mtn ride is 15-18 miles with 3k climbing or road 30ish miles.

    Goal: Race 4-5 XC races in sport class and a couple or endurance races this season. And just be able to tackle some monster rides when they come around.

    Thanks!
    Originally Posted by XC62701
    Agreed...make it longer. I want to know death is an option

  2. #2
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    If you really want to star training the right way, there is a really good book from Joe Griel "The mountain Biker's training Bible" its a really good book, in which tell you the right way to train, the phases of you training such as Base, Build, Peak, etc....

    But just to answer your quesitonin a short answer.

    LT : Lactate Threshold which is your level of exercise intensity above in which lactate begins to rapidly accumulate in the blood.

    and by BT I guess you are reffering to "Breakthrough" those are workouts that are meant to build or maintain your racing skill or abilities.....

  3. #3
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    The Friel book is an excellent suggestion. There is a lot of debate about how hard one should be riding at this point in the year. Friel is generally to the lighter side, advocating a lot of endurance level efforts which roughly equate to an effort that is somewhat taxing but which still allows you to hold a conversation. There are also a lot of proponents of doing more taxing training, specifically doing a lot of work in the LT zone and tempo (slightly less than LT effort) zones.

    Since you are able to train relatively infrequently, you might be best off with structured efforts in the LT zone. You are getting a lot of recovery time in and need the stress that LT efforts bring in order to force adaptation. If you can stand it, work on a trainer is very efficient and effective. 2 x 20s are an excellent workout - warm up for about 15', then do 20' at about 95% of LT, spin lightly for 6 minutes and then do another 20' at 95% of LT. Follow it with 20 minutes of cool down and stretching, 1:20 total time and very effective. I think most would categorize these as "BT workouts." Doing this on say Tuesday and Thursday would be very productive.

    You can vary one of these workouts and do, say 5x5' LT with 4' easy between, or 3x10' with 5' easy between. I generally do 2x20 on Tuesday and a variant on Thursday.

    Be aware that if you are using an HRM, your LTHR may lag your effort by quite a bit. I know that in the first interval of my 2 x 20 workout, my HR may not get to LTHR until about 8' in. During the second it will take about 4' to get there.

    Group rides are generally not the most productive training at this time of year, but they're fun and people want to do them. If you have the discipline to do a more structured, long tempo ride on the weekends, that will probably help but I know it's hard to stay out of the group rides.

    I'm a Cat 3 on the road and do a bunch of xc type riding off road (will start racing xc this year) and this type of training works well for me. When my schedule gets crunched and I'm not able to train as much as I'd like my "must do" workouts are the LT ones. I will need to do a lot of skills work in order to be any good at xc racing so a lot of my training will be LT and then skills work which will also function as recovery. Later in the year I will start doing more short intense intervals.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for info.

    I have Friels book but while it is big on theory and does have some suggestions for what to do in a training ride in the appendix....I just feel that the training rides he does offer are pretty limited.

    dkri you basically hit it on the head in that what I am looking for is different ways to do training rides and trying to find rides that fit into the terrain I am riding on (both off and on road) and as well as for variation. I am lucky that where I live (San Luis Obispo, CA) that I can ride year round...but the terrain off road is long climbs and then long descents. Would be nice to find some workouts that fit the terrain a bit better then what Friel offers. (also less boring not doing same damn thing every day)

    If have different workouts that you do name them...want to see what people are doing and what they are trying to accomplish with the workout.
    Originally Posted by XC62701
    Agreed...make it longer. I want to know death is an option

  5. #5
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    What type of workouts you should be doing "now" is not relative to what time of year it is, but when your 1st "A" race is. If using Friel's system you should mark that race on a calander then count back 2 wks peak, 3-4 weeks build 2, 3-4 wks build 1, and 4 wks each for base 1-3.

    My 1st A race is in April and I'm current in the 2nd wk of Base 2. By the way Friel dosen't call for just endurance during the base phase. He suggests introducing muscular indurance and Force in Base 2 and by base 3 MI should be a significant percentage of your workouts. MI workouts vary with Phase starting out with shorter duration tempo Base 2 and progressing to longer duration LT as you get closer to racing.

    You shouldn't just stictly follow Friel's or anyone elses plan though. You should compare your strengths and weaknesses to what is required to do well in the specific races you plan to do. If you're weak in areas which dominate the races your doing, be it repeated short hard climbs or one long grinder, you should taylor your plan to improve that area.

  6. #6
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    Great points stillhardtailing. If you were gearing up for the collegiate season you might be in build mode right now!

    I'm sort of infatuated with a workout that LMN posted in his "December" thread- the "go to your goal LT power and hold it for as long as you can" deal. That sounds really productive. I'm giving that a go tomorrow, set to 4w/kg, which I should be able to eke out an hour of "at this time of year" - which is still 6 months away from my really important races - but in any case want to use it as a good test. Assuming that isn't a total fail I'll set it at 4.5w/kg next time out.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for replies.

    I guess what I was trying to get is a list of different (favorite??) rides that people do to achieve certain goals so that I could use the info to create my own rides for my own purposes.

    For example...Joe Schmoo might be weak at climbing so he does Hill Repeats for duration of 10 minutes with 6 minutes rest 2 times a week with good results. And maybe he does this in late build phase.

    What I lack is the repertoire of rides that can be done to achieve a given goal....I need more arrows in my quiver. Maybe I should try new post stating that more clearly.
    Originally Posted by XC62701
    Agreed...make it longer. I want to know death is an option

  8. #8
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    I know I'll get flamed for this again, but please keep in mind that hill repeats are not necessary to get better at climbing.

    So, you don't have to find a 20min long climb if you want to boost your power at threshold. You simply need to ride really, really f***ing hard for 20min. Rest, and repeat.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okie Dokie
    Thanks for info.

    I have Friels book but while it is big on theory and does have some suggestions for what to do in a training ride in the appendix....I just feel that the training rides he does offer are pretty limited.
    The appendix in Friels's is actually a pretty comprehensive menu of a wide range of workouts. For XC racing the most important ability is muscular endurance, being able to go pretty hard for a long time. If you're a Cat 2 who has only been riding for 2 yrs and racing for 1 yr I would put most of my focus there. In a typical Cat 2 length race you're probably on the gas for 1 to 1.25 hrs. If you could spend all of that time at LT or close to LT you should do well against most Cat 2 fields. the M1 - M5 workouts in Friel's should serve you well.

    After you've done a race or two and want to up your game a bit, you can't go wrong with an A3 type workout, sets of 3 to 5 intervals as hard as you can go for 3 min. Rest for 3 min between reps and eight min. between sets. Gradually increase the reps and/or sets and decrease the rest as you get more fit.

    I don't no much about endurance (marathon?) racing so I won't offer any advise on it.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Le Duke and I agree. I just want to know what people who are accomplished cyclists do to get better. What training rides they find the most effective and for what.

    I am a big fan of not reinventing the wheel....Be nice to have a big list of rides to look at and try to copy or at least use as a starting point.
    Originally Posted by XC62701
    Agreed...make it longer. I want to know death is an option

  11. #11
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    Okay so we've already talked about LT stuff.

    I mostly train with a powertap so it's easiest to express these in terms of power. A lot of intervals are too short for hr to be really worthwhile so you'll be best to go by perceived exertion. These are specific to me, your may vary:
    60% LT = I'd die of boredom before dying of exhaustion
    70% LT = I'd still die of boredom but I'd be tired when I did it
    80% LT = I could do this forever but after a while it would really suck
    90% LT = I could do this for a long time but it takes focus and commitment
    100% LT = Puke pass out dead after 12 hour
    130% LT = Puke pass out dead after around 5 minutes
    150% LT = Puke pass out dead after around 2.5 minutes
    200% LT = Puke pass out dead after around 1 minute

    Workout to improve top end and the very surge-y parts of races:
    - Warmup for 15 minutes
    - do a 10 minute 100% LT interval
    - spin lightly for 5 minutes
    - staying seated, get speed up to 30 mph (on road bike), repeat once per minute for 15 minutes
    - cool down

    Workout to improve break chasing, medium length climb ability, etc:
    - Warm up for 15 minutes
    - 10' 100% LT interval
    - spin light for 5 minutes
    - 5' intervals at ~ 130% LT, recovering FULLY between each - the emphasis for this workout is on putting out the power during the interval, not recovering fast
    - keep doing them until interval quality starts to decline. you'll know when this happens
    - cool down

    Workout to improve recovery and ability to go hard again and again
    - Warm up for 15 minutes
    - 10' 100% LT interval
    - spin light for 5 minutes (notice a theme in my first 1/2 hour?)
    - 2' @ ~ 130% LT, 2' recovery
    - as many as you can until interval quality breaks, then do 1 more
    - cool down

    There's 3 for you.

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