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  1. #1
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    Increasing Volume vs. Intensity

    It's been two weeks since my first big race of the season (First 6 hour solo, woo!), so it's time to get my butt in gear for the rest of my season - my first attempt at the Park City Point To Point - 75 miles, 12k feet of climbing.

    I'm 18 weeks (and a day) out. That gives me room to do 4x 4-week blocks (3 weeks 'on', 1 recovery week), followed by a two week taper/prep for the race.

    I'll definitely be increasing volume on a block-by-block basis.

    What I'm trying to decide is whether I want to increase my per-week volume in each block, or try to increase intensity per-week.

    so:

    Week 1: 8 Hrs
    Week 2: 9 Hrs
    Week 3: 10 Hrs
    Week 4: 6 hrs (recovery)
    Week 5 starts at 8.5 hours and follows the same pattern...
    Week 9 starts at 9 hours
    etc.

    versus

    Week 1: 8 Hrs
    Week 2: 8 Hrs (higher intensity than week 1)
    Week 3: 8 Hrs (higher intensity than week 2)
    Week 4: 6 hrs (recovery)
    Week 5 at 9 hours and follows the same pattern...
    Week 9 at 10 hours
    etc.

    From what I remember from my Friel and Carmichael books, they kind of advocate both approaches.

    I'm training with HR only (no power), so I don't have a super-accurate, quantifiable way to measure intensity.

    On the other hand, it's pretty easy for me to look at the Training Log on Strava and say "Yep, I got my hours in for the week".

    Being able to look at some numbers and say "yeah, I'm hitting my plan" really helped me stay on track during my training for the 6 hour race - and I'd guess that staying "on the wagon" is the most important part, regardless of the plan.

    So, assuming I'm able to keep the intensity "high enough" (I was pretty good about not "phoning in" my hours this winter, so I assume I can keep it up), any reason not to go with an increasing volume pattern, rather than increasing intensity?

  2. #2
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    I don't know if moving from 8 to 10 hours per week will make any difference. If your not an absolute beginner probably not. And for these type of events 8-10 hours / week isn't that much. So I'd say you should build your "race-specific" intensity.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bopApocalypse View Post
    so I don't have a super-accurate, quantifiable way to measure intensity.
    You've got the most advanced computer on the planet right between your ears.

  4. #4
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    At that level of volume a deload week is a wasted week. If you can manage 10hrs per week then aim for that and modulate the intensity approx 1 week prior to the race.

    If you are sleeping 8hrs a night and eating well then this further diminishes the need for any major deload until right before the race.

    I don't know where the 3 weeks on, 1 week off originated from, but it needs to die a horrible death.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapewormWW View Post
    At that level of volume a deload week is a wasted week. If you can manage 10hrs per week then aim for that and modulate the intensity approx 1 week prior to the race.

    If you are sleeping 8hrs a night and eating well then this further diminishes the need for any major deload until right before the race.

    I don't know where the 3 weeks on, 1 week off originated from, but it needs to die a horrible death.
    Didn't the 3 on / 1 off originate from the Training Bible?

    So you're saying with 10 hours a week, no change in volume the week before the race but back off of the intensity the last few days? That's the opposite of what I've read elsewhere, although not necessarily based on 10 hours.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapewormWW View Post
    At that level of volume a deload week is a wasted week. If you can manage 10hrs per week then aim for that and modulate the intensity approx 1 week prior to the race.

    If you are sleeping 8hrs a night and eating well then this further diminishes the need for any major deload until right before the race.

    I don't know where the 3 weeks on, 1 week off originated from, but it needs to die a horrible death.
    Not sure where it started but just about every plan I've ever seen has had 3/1 week layout. I can't see doing 16 weeks with 10 hours of similar riding being the best training strategy.

    If it was me I would look at combing both.

    Week 1: 8 Hrs
    Week 2: 9 Hrs (Extending intervals, adding intensity)
    Week 3: 10 Hrs (Extending intervals, adding intensity)
    Week 4: 8 hrs (No intervals more easy rides)
    Week 5 starts at 8.5 hours and follows the same pattern...

    Week before race lower your volume but keep the intensity up.
    Week of race some easy rides before the race.

  7. #7
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    It came from Tudor Bompa. It works if the athlete's trainning volume is high.

    Piling on the volume doesn't work for everyone.

  8. #8
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    I think what I would do is what dan4jeepn said but also break out the blocks basically 4 big blocks so something like below.

    Block 1: Concentrate on ramping up endurance hours over the 3 week period
    Rest week
    Block 2: Keep the Endurance hours add some intensity with intervals
    Rest Week
    Block 3: Intensity focusing in increasing length of intervals throughout the block, different intervals focusing on something different that
    Rest Week
    Block 4: Again a different set of intervals specific to your race your targeting where possible, some race simulation type stuff where you might do a longer hard period within an endurance ride

    Caveat no Expert but like most on here just have done a lot of research, which I'm good at, applying and balancing with the rest of life is sometimes a whole different ball game (or bike race )
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan4jeepin View Post
    Not sure where it started but just about every plan I've ever seen has had 3/1 week layout. I can't see doing 16 weeks with 10 hours of similar riding being the best training strategy.

    If it was me I would look at combing both.

    Week 1: 8 Hrs
    Week 2: 9 Hrs (Extending intervals, adding intensity)
    Week 3: 10 Hrs (Extending intervals, adding intensity)
    Week 4: 8 hrs (No intervals more easy rides)
    Week 5 starts at 8.5 hours and follows the same pattern...

    Week before race lower your volume but keep the intensity up.
    Week of race some easy rides before the race.
    You're an endurance athlete, no? Realistically, 10hrs is not a lot of volume. Hence given the race goal reducing the already low volume makes no sense. Intensity within that time can and should be modulated as needed.

    People often think they need to periodisation their training, but realistically amateurs athletes primary goals should be consistency and recovery - probably the two things that most people **** up royally. You can 100% run the roughly the same format day in, day out... right up to the point where you fail to see improvement. *Then* change.

    "Tapering" for a 10 hrs/wk program is highly unnecessary.


    This *could* be an example of programme leading to a race:-
    Week 1-17 - 10 hrs per week.
    Week 1: 1 x threshold session, 1 x anaerobic session, 1 x Vo2max, 1 x ultra easy session, 2 LSD.
    Week 2: 5 x Vo2 max sessions, 2 x easy slow.
    Week 3-7: 1 x threshold session, 1 x anaerobic session, 1 x Vo2max, 1 x ultra easy session, 2 LSD.
    Week 7: 5 x Vo2 max sessions, 2 x easy slow
    etcetc.

    Week 18: 1 x vo2 max session, 4 x easy slow

  10. #10
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    Speaking from experience with the Park city race, I would recommend at least six hours of long slow distance riding on weekends. This is a minimum. I would also include a crap load of climbing during those rides to the extent you can. It is a long race with a ton of climbing. I wouldn't overthink this training thing too much

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