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  1. #1
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    Has Anyone Used a Training Program?

    Has anyone used/purchased a training program? There are several on the web- mtbcoach.com; lwcoaching.com;trainingpeaks.com...

    There is a lot of good information on this site/thread- but am thinking about going to one of these sites and giving it a try...I think it could help me stay focused and 'stick to a plan'...

    Thanks in advance.

    Tony

  2. #2
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    I have not, but what are your goals?

  3. #3
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    I ride 2-3 times/week- 1-2 hours per ride in Park City. Am considering doing some longer rides next year and want to prepare over the winter. Am thinking about Point to Point next summer- more to train and finish it- it's a good goal.

    I have never really trained- just ride- so I thought that a program would help. If I have something 'in writing' to accomplish then I'll be hell bent on accomplishing it. Make sense?

  4. #4
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    Cool... Have you checked out any of Joel Friel's training books?

    The Cyclist's Training Bible: Joe Friel: 9781934030202: Amazon.com: Books


    He also has a great training book for mtb. Scouring the internet trying to find the perfect training program probably won't work. You need to tailor a program to yourself. Maybe check the book out and get some ideas to see if you can do this for yourself. If not, try out a local coach to get some feedback and personal interaction. I wouldn't buy a training program off the shelf. Having a coach tailor one for you and measuring your progress to make adjustments is great. Otherwise, read some books, research, ask other riders and try to develop a plan for yourself.



    edit: I don't have experience buying a training program from the internet. It might work for some people, but for me personally it isn't the route I would take.

  5. #5
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    Thanks. I have seen the book mentioned several times so I will take a look.

    I was considering one with a coach- not one really expensive- but one that gives me something personalized. That way I will have to succeed since someone else will be involved...

  6. #6
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    I have purchased two plans from lwcoaching.com through TP. Very easy to stay organized and make gains with a plan. 50 mile PR plan and the just started the Masters Winter Base Plan two weeks ago. A good coach is the best option as I have done that also, but the pre packaged plans certainly have value, well worth the $99 etc.

  7. #7
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    cookie cutter plan wont be personalized for your pecises needs. It can be good for general training structure but I dont see any other use for it.

    A bit of reading here and there and you could figure out whats good for you or not. I guess if you have never really trained they could be a starter

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedO2 View Post
    Has anyone used/purchased a training program? There are several on the web- mtbcoach.com; lwcoaching.com;trainingpeaks.com...

    There is a lot of good information on this site/thread- but am thinking about going to one of these sites and giving it a try...I think it could help me stay focused and 'stick to a plan'...

    Thanks in advance.

    Tony
    I was in your position a few years ago. I started with these as Chris is a local coach up here that has had many successful athletes in their respective age/ability class. The pre-packaged stuff is very useable for most as a starting point, but isn't personalized.

    CoachChris.ca DOWNLOADS

    Unfortunately, I think you'll have a hard time getting personalized coaching on the cheap. If you start with something like a "canned" program and get results, you may want to step up the next year. I found the downloaded plan gave me a great start with positive results, and I wanted to step it up further the next year.

    Overall, a good coach is a great idea as they can provide you the structure based on specific needs. I would however, not suggest trying to do it on a strict budget, but based specifically on goals and how well you think you will work with any specific coach.

    As a reference, I went from a fast weekend warrior type, to top three in sport two years in a row, to now expert for 2013 (I think this is Cat 1 in the US, I am in Canada) in the course of three seasons. This will be my third with a coach on a yearly plan. You will get some direction in this forum for sure though!

    Good luck!
    A bad day on the bike is better than a good day doing anything else...

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  9. #9
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    Training peaks premium edition is pretty dang good. Great bang for your buck too.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all of the feedback.

    I think there are positives and negatives to most things. In this case: cookie cutter=less expensive=good starting point; personalization=more expensive=better results- may be a bit too much for me at this point.

    I'll keep looking. More suggestions/experiences are welcome.

  11. #11
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    Your success/failure "probably" won't come down to these plans but how well you follow them. Do you have the discipline to follow these prescribed workouts? Do you know when you'll need to deviate (i.e. take a day off or dial down the intensity)? I've ridden with people (we probably all know someone like this) who are successful without plans/coaching and others who need to be told when to brush their teeth. What type are you?

    I haven't bought many off the shelf xc plans but have bought others (Iron man distance and cx when I first started). What works for me might not work as well for you - maybe you're a pure climber whereas I'm more of a rolleur.

    I've purchased two plans for Iron Man distance racing from Training Peaks with two different approaches - periodization and reverse periodization. I had NO idea how to train for these events and both got me through although I did much better using the reverse periodization - also happened to be for my second IM so there could be some experience thing going on.

    If this is your first attempt at using a plan, hell, give it a shot. If nothing else you'll know what you like and can make a more educated purchase next year or maybe you'll just tweak the plan from last year as TP will let you re-use the plan indefinitely. I've re-used the cx plan several times - hunter allen's powerbased somethign or other (it needs to be edited/re-written btw).

    another option MAY be that perhaps you know someone with a good level of experience who either wants to get into coaching or has just obtained their certification. USAC has two levels of coaching (I think?) and the coach needs a certain amount of work to proceed to the second level. I know people who are paying ~$100/month during the season and some flat fee for offseason plans.

  12. #12
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    The reality about personalized plans is that it is very challenging to personalize a plan without very good feedback from the student. And that feedback is generally best obtained when training with power. A coach will be able to analyze your power data and based on various stats they can then personalize the program over time.

    So my suggestion is to start with a generic program. Unfortunately results are very difficult to evaluate unless you come up with repeatable and measurable rides that can show progress. Of course, if you have a power meter you are in a much better position to have all the feedback you require.
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