Author Topic: Training for Transcontinental  (Read 1841 times)

Training for Transcontinental
« on: November 12, 2018, 07:04:16 pm »
Evening all. I am planning to enter TCR number 7 (hopeful of a good chance of getting in after being a CP1 volunteer this year) and am beginning to turn my attention to the training required.

I've got a pretty solid 'endurance' level base fitness, but obviously want to seriously up my game. (For context, I did a 200 mile ride on Thursday last week over rolling terrain, with some pretty blustery weather, with a moving average of 14mph and a total time of 17 hours.) A 'quick win' for me will be to drop the excess weight I'm carrying. Currently I'm 15.5 stone at 6' bang on, so clearly have flab to lose, despite my naturally large frame.

I've invested in a power meter for the bike I'll be riding in the race and a smart trainer for some winter Zwifting. Clearly, my first step will be to accurately establish my current FTP, but from there, I'm a bit stuck as to how to proceed.

I've been looking at the Zwift training plans online, which look good (although I've no clue which plan would suit me best), but I'd like to ride outdoors as much as possible too, giving myself options dependant on the weather and time available.

I have given some thought to coaching, but obviously its another expense and I'd quite like to get a good enough understanding to be able to measure my own progress and build and adjust my own training plan as required.

I suppose what I'm asking for are links to resources that take me through building up my own plan, step by step, tailored to the requirements of ultra endurance racing.

Many thanks in advance!

Re: Training for Transcontinental
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2018, 07:19:19 am »
No links but you'll find plenty of info on this board and more than you could read in a lifetime on the TT forum.   I have bought two books - Coggan's training with power, and Joe Friel's one. I've not read much of either but they are often recommended. I suspect that most other people don't read them either but that's just my instinct!

IMHO what you'll find in most places is nuggets of wisdom and lots of mumbo-jumbo and pseudo-science. 

Really the two things to remember are:
- the TCR is more a mental than a physical challenge
- the physical side is pretty much the same as training for other bike races in that you want to basically get fitter. When you've got your power meter you'll most likely call that increasing your FTP

How should you go about getting fitter?  Some successful riders ride big miles, eg Kristof. Others don't: James H doesn't do rides over 6 hours. Michael Broadwith doesn't do any over 25 miles (extended commute to work). If you already have a background in long distance you don't need to do long rides specifically for TCR but it might help to get your confidence up that you can still do it, to test your setup and your equipment and to try out things like bivvying in random places that you may not have done before (I hadn't)

Really it comes down to what you enjoy doing and what you have time for: do you want to do long rides, or more turbo sessions?

Hope you get a place and good luck - it's a fabulous experience.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Training for Transcontinental
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2018, 11:16:23 am »
i agree that there is no one right way to train, but general principles apply - improve your ftp/kg ratio by training indoors and/or riding outside, spend enough time on a bike to be sure everything is adjusted correctly and nothing hurts after a full day's of riding. learn to minimise stopped time and keep going when you are really tired and everything hurts.

Re: Training for Transcontinental
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2018, 05:06:16 pm »
Thanks chaps.
In the last week I've tried Zwift and Trainerroad on the turbo. I've settled on Trainerroad as I feel it is more focused towards training, with a cleaner interface. I'm not all that bothered with the 'gaming' element of Zwift and am quite happy to put on music or a podcast and focus on the numbers on the screen.

My first attempt at a FTP test saw me go out far too gung-ho and I basically blew up after 12 minutes of the 20. Two days later, on the second attempt, I felt like I nailed it; nothing left to give after 20 minutes of consistent output. Result was pretty much 3 W/Kg on the nose, which I was pleased with and surprised at. I know I'm not going to set the world on fire with it, but I don't think it's too bad for someone who's, only ever ridden by feel and is primarily interested in longer rides, rather than all out efforts.

My weight currently sits at 98Kg. At the very least, 10-15Kg of this is pure flab. If I can nail the trick of losing weight, whilst maintaining current FTP and hopefully nudging the numbers up a bit, that will be a quick win.



jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Training for Transcontinental
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 05:20:09 pm »
............. Result was pretty much 3 W/Kg on the nose, which I was pleased with and surprised at. I know I'm not going to set the world on fire with it, but I don't think it's too bad for someone who's, only ever ridden by feel and is primarily interested in longer rides, rather than all out efforts.

My weight currently sits at 98Kg. At the very least, 10-15Kg of this is pure flab. If I can nail the trick of losing weight, whilst maintaining current FTP and hopefully nudging the numbers up a bit, that will be a quick win.

Let me know when you nail it - similar numbers here!  :thumbsup:
Regards,

Joergen

Re: Training for Transcontinental
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 05:55:16 pm »
Thanks chaps.
In the last week I've tried Zwift and Trainerroad on the turbo. I've settled on Trainerroad as I feel it is more focused towards training, with a cleaner interface. I'm not all that bothered with the 'gaming' element of Zwift and am quite happy to put on music or a podcast and focus on the numbers on the screen.

My first attempt at a FTP test saw me go out far too gung-ho and I basically blew up after 12 minutes of the 20. Two days later, on the second attempt, I felt like I nailed it; nothing left to give after 20 minutes of consistent output. Result was pretty much 3 W/Kg on the nose, which I was pleased with and surprised at. I know I'm not going to set the world on fire with it, but I don't think it's too bad for someone who's, only ever ridden by feel and is primarily interested in longer rides, rather than all out efforts.

My weight currently sits at 98Kg. At the very least, 10-15Kg of this is pure flab. If I can nail the trick of losing weight, whilst maintaining current FTP and hopefully nudging the numbers up a bit, that will be a quick win.

3W/kg at 98kg is pretty good I’d say. You’re right though - the trick is to drop the flab and gain a bit of (sustained) power. Depending on where you start that could vary from straightforward to impossible.

Hope it goes well and keep us up to date.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Training for Transcontinental
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 06:23:51 pm »
............. Result was pretty much 3 W/Kg on the nose, which I was pleased with and surprised at. I know I'm not going to set the world on fire with it, but I don't think it's too bad for someone who's, only ever ridden by feel and is primarily interested in longer rides, rather than all out efforts.

My weight currently sits at 98Kg. At the very least, 10-15Kg of this is pure flab. If I can nail the trick of losing weight, whilst maintaining current FTP and hopefully nudging the numbers up a bit, that will be a quick win.

Let me know when you nail it - similar numbers here!  :thumbsup:

Last week I was 90.6kg, down from >104kg at the start of the year. I've not changed my diet, if anything I'm drinking full fat coke and eating more chocolate than I used to. But I've cycled 9975km so far this year, including 16 days of >200km. I fail to eat less I succeed in moving more.

I too am hoping to get into the TCR no 7, I'm working on making a menu of training rides I can do after work, so I can pick the training ride I feel like when I leave the office. I've entered race around the Netherlands as a warm up, and have also got a wishlist of 5.5kkm of Audaxes I want to do around the training. But my principal targets are to get to 80kg by 2019/05/01, and then to <75kg by start of the TCR.

Good luck!

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Training for Transcontinental
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2018, 06:44:50 pm »
Tricky, this structured training malarkey. I've had to re-assess how much to take on, following a couple of mid-session failures. It's tough to be able to balance training and other sports against the fatigue caused by an often chaotic shift pattern. I admit that I've been taken aback by just how bloody hard some of the sessions are!

Re: Training for Transcontinental
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2018, 12:42:11 pm »
In a similar position here.

6'3" and currently just under 90kg.

Got myself down to 84kg for the UK National 24hr TT and aiming to get to 80 if I can ahead of the race (assuming I get a place).  I hurt myself quite badly on the 24 and ended up with 3 months off the bike, hence piling the weight back on.

I'd agree with the folks that say you dont need to do huge miles in training if time is tight.  I did that for LEL last year, and enjoyed doing it,  but focussed on shorter harder sessions for the 24 with a lot of time on the Turbo and a few Audax rides to essentially check how my pacing was going. 

For TCR I'm taking a similar approach.  Two turbo sessions in the week, a 90 minute gravel/offroad ride on Saturday and a club ride on Sunday.  Once spring arrives I'll add in the club chain gang and then 10 mile TT competitions mid week.  Having said all that I'venalso booked myself on some big Welsh Audaxes next year to get some hills in, as living in Lincolnshire doest lend itself to training for big climbs! 

If you are finding some of the turbo workouts to tough to finish there is no shame in dialing down the difficulty a few percent to get to the end.    Physcologically you'll feel better about it than simply giving up and you can turn it into a target.  Finish at 95%, then 96,97,98 etc.


zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Training for Transcontinental
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2018, 12:55:54 pm »
If you are finding some of the turbo workouts to tough to finish there is no shame in dialing down the difficulty a few percent to get to the end.    Physcologically you'll feel better about it than simply giving up and you can turn it into a target.  Finish at 95%, then 96,97,98 etc.

yes, it's always best to finish the scheduled workouts. if the intensity feels too hard, the best (recommended) option is to do small pauses while back-pedalling (up to 10s), if still too hard - reduce the intensity by a few percent. learning to suffer and dig deep is a part of the training too.

Re: Training for Transcontinental
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2018, 05:35:59 pm »
Yes, I can definitely see the psychological positives to dialling back slightly, rather than just packing it in.

My first FTP test was the standard model 20 minute effort. Earlier this week, I did the Trainerroad ramp test which returned a lower figure by approx 15%(possibly due to general fatigue - couple of squash matches this week). I've taken that figure though and am now using it to base the workouts from. They're still hurting me, but are actually manageable now!

Re: Training for Transcontinental
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2018, 10:01:56 pm »
My first FTP test was the standard model 20 minute effort. Earlier this week, I did the Trainerroad ramp test which returned a lower figure by approx 15%(possibly due to general fatigue - couple of squash matches this week). I've taken that figure though and am now using it to base the workouts from. They're still hurting me, but are actually manageable now!
Did you do the 5 minute clearout before the 20 minute test?  I've done a 20 minute test before without doing the 5 minute burst beforehand, and it definitely gives a higher number.  Problem is, it's higher because you're using anaerobic power as well as aerobic, so it's not really FTP.
I like the ramp test. It takes away all pacing issues - you just have to keep hitting the effort until you can't any more.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Training for Transcontinental
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2018, 07:59:50 pm »

In a set back to my training, my physio has instructed me to keep all intensity down for the next week. I'm allowed to ride to work, and can do the social ride, but I gotta keep everything in zone 2, and the lower end of said zone if I can.

Arse.

And this is on top of the bruises from 3 crashes in 50k on Saturday (making 4 crashes in December).

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/