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  1. #1
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    Just getting into "training", no power meter yet, here's my Feb plan. Thoughts? Help?

    ME: Always ridden and ran quite a bit. No real plan, just whatever happens. Normally ~4-6 hrs per week. Have raced occasionally in XC, CX, 1/2 ironman and olympic triathlons in past. 33 yrs old. 150 lbs. 5'10". 2 kids and busy job with travel, most of my training fits into commuting or late at night. It is very much winter here, so the riding is mostly snow/fat biking and my commuter bike has studded tires.

    GOAL: Actually have a "training" plan and put my best effort into a XC local race series that runs in May/June. They are classic olympic XC style events. Multi-lap, ~1.5hrs.

    EQUIPMENT: I have a Garmin 800 and have always used heart rate monitors. Just bought the "stages" power meter but is won't be here this month...

    PLAN:

    8.5hrs per week total time.

    Break down by sport:
    30 mins - swimming (6%)
    4hr 20 mins - biking (51%)
    2hr 50 mins - running (33%)
    50 mins - bootcamp fitness class (10%)

    Break down by intensity:
    3 hr - Easy (Cap self under 150 bpm at all times, Zone 2)
    2.5 hr - Medium (Generally stay under 150 bpm, but allow up to 20% duration in Zone 3 (~170 bpm)
    3 hr - Hard (I do things like hill repeats or 4x4min intervals. Looking at most of my workouts like this, I end up 60% Zone 2, and 35% Zone 3, and 5% Zone 4.)

    QUESTIONS / THOUGHTS:
    - Is the relatively even split between easy/medium/hard workouts a good target?
    - How does the 8.5 hour program sound? Not like I have any option to do more, but should I have expectations of improved fitness with this focused effort?
    - What is the best way to benchmark my fitness? I'd be curious to see if I get faster. Once I get the power meter, which power test should I do monthly to gauge progress?
    - The race series seems to be ~1hr 30min events. Typically 5 laps. I assume I'll just ride them near full gas. Maybe attack the first lap, then do 1-2 laps at a steady 165 bpm, then empty the tank to the finish. Does that seem like a good plan, and am I training correctly to be ready for that approach?
    - I plan to slowly shift my sport focus to favor more biking as the race season approaches, but in this weather it is easier to run. Also after I run a half marathon in late March I'll cut right back.

    NOTES:
    Sun - 60 min ride (medium)
    Mon - 30 min swim, 40 min treadmill run (easy)
    Tue - off
    Wed - ~40+ min run commute long way (med), 30 min run home (easy)
    Thur - 20 min bike commute (easy), 20 min bike home (easy), 120 min group ride (hard)
    Fri - 20 min bike commute (easy), 50 min bootcamp class at lunch (med), 20 min bike home (easy)
    Sat - 60 min hill repeat run (hard)

  2. #2
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    Is there some reason you can't train indoors?

    And, what you have looks good for general fitness, but there are plenty of people eclipsing what you're riding per week in a single day.

    I'd put more time in on the bike...if you want to be good at bike racing.

  3. #3
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    Might be worth picking up a book like the time crunched cyclist that'll give you a plan with a thought process behind it so you don't have to guess at it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Is there some reason you can't train indoors?

    And, what you have looks good for general fitness, but there are plenty of people eclipsing what you're riding per week in a single day.

    I'd put more time in on the bike...if you want to be good at bike racing.
    No reason I couldn't get a trainer and do some indoor stuff, but it just seems so boring. I enjoy fresh air, even if it is frigid cold fresh air.... I guess a trainer would be the option to boost overall duration and riding time. I could change the Sunday ride into a several hour session.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7daysaweek View Post
    Might be worth picking up a book like the time crunched cyclist that'll give you a plan with a thought process behind it so you don't have to guess at it.
    Yes, thanks, that was my plan. Read some things this month, then I can adjust things in March once my power meter gets here too... Just trying to figure out what to do in the short term.

  6. #6
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    As others have mentioned, simply by including more riding will be a far better way to see gains. Based on your scheduled above I have altered it to be a little more productive in terms of improving cycling performance.

    NOTES:
    Sun - 60 min ride (medium)
    Mon - 30 min ride, 40 min ride (easy)
    Tue - off
    Wed - ~40+ min ride commute long way (med), 30 min ride home (easy)
    Thur - 20 min bike commute (easy), 20 min bike home (easy), 120 min group ride (hard)
    Fri - 20 min bike commute (easy), 50 min bootcamp class at lunch (med), 20 min bike home (easy)
    Sat - 60 min hill repeats ride (hard)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapewormWW View Post
    As others have mentioned, simply by including more riding will be a far better way to see gains. Based on your scheduled above I have altered it to be a little more productive in terms of improving cycling performance.

    NOTES:
    Sun - 60 min ride (medium)
    Mon - 30 min ride, 40 min ride (easy)
    Tue - off
    Wed - ~40+ min ride commute long way (med), 30 min ride home (easy)
    Thur - 20 min bike commute (easy), 20 min bike home (easy), 120 min group ride (hard)
    Fri - 20 min bike commute (easy), 50 min bootcamp class at lunch (med), 20 min bike home (easy)
    Sat - 60 min hill repeats ride (hard)
    Ok. Gotcha. Want to ride faster, ride more! I'm probably guilty of being a generalist, jack of all trades, master of none. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbontubulars View Post
    No reason I couldn't get a trainer and do some indoor stuff, but it just seems so boring. I enjoy fresh air, even if it is frigid cold fresh air.... I guess a trainer would be the option to boost overall duration and riding time. I could change the Sunday ride into a several hour session.

    Thanks.

    Cycling Training Videos / THE SUFFERFEST

  9. #9
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    Even better, use Sufferfest with Trainerroad. It makes every workout count and makes riding indoors much more tolerable.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatshowiroll View Post
    Even better, use Sufferfest with Trainerroad. It makes every workout count and makes riding indoors much more tolerable.
    Agreed. i just signed up for trainnerroad.

  11. #11
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    Just getting into "training", no power meter yet, here's my Feb plan. Thoughts? Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by carbontubulars View Post
    - What is the best way to benchmark my fitness? I'd be curious to see if I get faster. Once I get the power meter, which power test should I do monthly to gauge progress?
    If you haven't got the power meter yet for gauging fitness you'd use the tried and tested method.

    "The stopwatch doesn't lie".

    With a Garmin Edge 800 the easiest way is to find some reference routes that you ride regularly and compare split times between them. Because wind has a big impact on overall speed adding manual lap times for shorter segments to break it down, by hitting the lap button on your Garmin Edge 800 as you begin a climb and hitting the lap button at the top of the climb in exactly the same place each time is a good idea.

    When you're back home you can look at the ride split times in your choice of software and see whether you are getting faster or slower than previously on that particular climb.

    Once you have the power meter you'd keep doing exactly the same thing with lap markers in the same place, only now you have both time and watts for each split and climb, so that you can see if your power output is improving also.

    As a test for measuring progress with a power meter the key is consistency. Say you decide to use a fairly standard 20 minute FTP test time trial you'd want to do it over the same route each time, so that changes in your power output between months are directly comparable. If you do a 20 minute test on a different route each month that skews your results and makes it much harder to track changes.

    Your choice of test route can have a big impact on your power output also (a route with lots of downhill in is going to be harder to maintain a high power output than a route that's flat or uphill for example). You ideally want to try and do it somewhere that you can pedal hard throughout without interruptions. If you're riding outdoors then preferably on tarmac with few junctions or stop lights.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    If you haven't got the power meter yet for gauging fitness you'd use the tried and tested method.

    "The stopwatch doesn't lie".

    With a Garmin Edge 800 the easiest way is to find some reference routes that you ride regularly and compare split times between them. Because wind has a big impact on overall speed adding manual lap times for shorter segments to break it down, by hitting the lap button on your Garmin Edge 800 as you begin a climb and hitting the lap button at the top of the climb in exactly the same place each time is a good idea.

    When you're back home you can look at the ride split times in your choice of software and see whether you are getting faster or slower than previously on that particular climb.

    Once you have the power meter you'd keep doing exactly the same thing with lap markers in the same place, only now you have both time and watts for each split and climb, so that you can see if your power output is improving also.

    As a test for measuring progress with a power meter the key is consistency. Say you decide to use a fairly standard 20 minute FTP test time trial you'd want to do it over the same route each time, so that changes in your power output between months are directly comparable. If you do a 20 minute test on a different route each month that skews your results and makes it much harder to track changes.

    Your choice of test route can have a big impact on your power output also (a route with lots of downhill in is going to be harder to maintain a high power output than a route that's flat or uphill for example). You ideally want to try and do it somewhere that you can pedal hard throughout without interruptions. If you're riding outdoors then preferably on tarmac with few junctions or stop lights.
    Thanks. Strava helps this. I've got quite a few personal segments laid out. I also got a baseline VO2 max test done today. So I should be set up to measure progress. If only that stages power meter would get here!!!

  13. #13
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    Update:

    Have stayed pretty tight to my original plan so far in first 20 days of this month...

    Better weather and more daylight is arriving, so I'm starting to plan my March training with more riding.

    Had a baseline VO2 max test done today. It came out to 55.5 mL/kg/min. The coach thought I should be able to push this up by ~8% by race season in May with a Zone 5 interval program ramping up harder in late March/April.

    Threshold 240W
    Weight 69.5 kg
    3.45w/kg

    We'll see where this takes me...

  14. #14
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    Just getting into "training", no power meter yet, here's my Feb plan. Thoughts? Help?

    Here's a Google Chrome extension for Strava which allows you to display all your own personal segment times by default.

    http://www.scarletfire.co.uk/2014/02...ension-strava/

    I'd still be inclined to add your own manual lap markers in whilst riding by pressing the Lap button, so that whenever you load the original Garmin Edge .fit into any other program or website besides Strava they are available for you straight away. Trying to go back through and add accurate lap markers into an unmarked file using the GPS track post ride can be quite time consuming.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbontubulars View Post
    No reason I couldn't get a trainer and do some indoor stuff, but it just seems so boring. I enjoy fresh air, even if it is frigid cold fresh air.... I guess a trainer would be the option to boost overall duration and riding time. I could change the Sunday ride into a several hour session.

    Thanks.
    tell you what.
    Go get a fluid trainer and download and do TheSufferfest: Revolver

    If you still think indoor training is boring, you didn't do it hard enough. You'd think counting to 15 was never so damn hard
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Here's a Google Chrome extension for Strava which allows you to display all your own personal segment times by default.

    ScarletFire Cycling ? Here?s a Chrome extension to make Strava more about YOU.

    I'd still be inclined to add your own manual lap markers in whilst riding by pressing the Lap button, so that whenever you load the original Garmin Edge .fit into any other program or website besides Strava they are available for you straight away. Trying to go back through and add accurate lap markers into an unmarked file using the GPS track post ride can be quite time consuming.
    Thanks for the tip.

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