Author Topic: New to training.  (Read 1017 times)

DaT

New to training.
« on: May 13, 2019, 06:22:02 pm »
I'm feeling strong this year and fancy trying to get faster for next year. I don't know where to start. Hopefully someone can give me a nod towards what I can look at doing. Points about my cycling that may be useful.

Riding fixed, don't want to go back to gears at the moment.
I have to cycle 20 hill miles to work each day on a 2 week rolling rota. I work every Tues, Wed and Fri and every other weekend.
I have a hrm but would be willing to get a power meter if it would help.
I'm not part of a cycling club but may be open to he idea.

Hopefully someone can point me in some sort of direction.

Re: New to training.
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 06:26:08 pm »
Training for what?

DaT

Re: New to training.
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 06:31:59 pm »
Training for what?
Long term LEL. But to be honest I don't know. I've never been a strong or fast cyclist but since riding fixed it has pushed me and I have seen large gains. I'm interested in what I may be capable of.

Re: New to training.
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2019, 10:36:59 pm »
You have to cycle 20 hilly miles (10 each way), either 3 or 5 days a week, and you do it on fixed? Sounds like you do some hard efforts and some spinning, and you have reasonable volume.
Do you feel like it's getting too easy and you want to do more cycling in addition to your commute? Do you have time to do extra riding (and recovering)? And over what distance/cycling discipline do you want to get faster?

The usual prescription for someone who rides in an unstructured way is to add some structure, for example my current build setup is VO2 intervals once a week, Over/Unders once a week and longer steady (threshold) intervals once a week. However, adding structured training to your existing mileage (esp on fixed) might be hard, especially on the weeks where you already do 5 days commuting. Plus most training plans have easy weeks built in where you ride, but you don't work too hard - doing a recovery ride in hills on fixed isn't really possible. So it's hard to suggest anything without knowing much more info.

Re: New to training.
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2019, 09:17:15 pm »
Use the tools that you have.  The power meter fans will tell you otherwise but an HRM is useful.   Firstly you’ll need to assess your zones.   You can use the 220-age formula but, to be frank, it’s a bit hit and miss.   Either find a big hill and really sprint up it - if you see stars you’re probably close.  Make a note of what your max HR is and then use the zone calculator on the British Cycling website.

Build yourself a foundation of zone 2 rides.  I use my commutes year round for this.   I also use fixed and you need to get the gear right and push up and down hill to keep yourself in zone.   With LEL a long term goal I’d suggest at least one long ride a week - build from 4-6hrs.

Once you’re happy with underlying fitness from road rides you can move up a bit.  We’re coming into Summer so fill your boots outside.   You may then need to invest in a basic turbo and put some hard sessions in.   There’s no end of different workouts but intervals of varying intensities are your friend.   These will build your cruising speed.

As Duncan suggests, structure is needed, along with appropriate recovery time.   

Re: New to training.
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2019, 09:25:01 pm »
The other buzz-word is Consistency. Structure and Consistency.

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Re: New to training.
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 02:28:10 pm »
All good advice above.

I'm not good at structured training plans.  The demands of job and family mean that pretty much any plan I write ends up changing, so I can't advise on that.  However, if the long term goal is LEL, then there are three prerequisites:

1) Be able to cycle at a reasonable speed indefinitely.  The majority of Audax riders aren't particularly fast (although some are), but they can keep going - so there is a premium on endurance.  (After 12 hours of an event my heart rate rarely gets out of Zone 2).  However, in my experience, my indefinite speed doesn't improve by riding longer but by riding shorter and harder.  Cycle club runs are a good way of doing this, although you'll have to find a group that's comfortable with you riding on fixed as your speed profile up hills may be different than those with gears, which makes it more difficult to ride as a group.

2) Be mentally strong.  On a long event there will be times when weather / food / company / route will be against you and it is tough to keep going.  I try to build this into my training - for example deliberately making sure I have a headwind to ride into for the last hour of a training ride, or adding in one last hill even though my legs really don't want to.  If I haven't had a bad weather ride for a while then I'll go out no matter what into the wind and rain.  (the chances of having 4 - 5 wind and rain free days in the UK in July/August are quite low).

3) Manage your feeding.  I have yet to see a good article in a regular cycling magazine about feeding for endurance events.  On LEL you will probably consume about 4000 calories a day - (the human body doesn't absorb much more) - mostly digested whilst hunched over handlebars with a 25kph wind chilling the stomach.  That puts a huge strain on the digestive system, which also has to be trained.  What I have learnt (and tried to put into practice having run the catering for LEL controls) is that it takes a while to learn what works for you on an event and develop the ride feeding strategy (for me there are strategic moments when a pork pie, a Twix, a prawn sandwich, milkshakes, or salt-and-vinegar crisps are just what I need; there is also the need for me to manage my caffeine addiction so I can stay awake when night riding - these food preferences might be the end of another rider).   That can only be done through experience - so gradually build up your longest ride and experiment.  Beyond about 8 hours into an event only a few riders can cope with gels, energy bars and energy drinks.  So I would progressively (but occasionally - perhaps once every 6 - 8 weeks) increase the length of your longest ride.  The traditional audax sequence of 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km, although not necessary to qualify for LEL is a good long term plan and will help you to learn what works for you in feeding.

Having said that, it's not worth overthinking things.  Most of what I've learnt from doing long events and riding longer has been through experience and finding out what works and what doesn't.  If you ride your bike and enjoy it you are likely to ride more and get better.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 168 (metric) 518 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)

DaT

Re: New to training.
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 03:09:53 pm »
Thanks for all the advise.

I emailed my local cycling club but they request you wear a helmet. Without getting into a debate that isn't something I would feel comfortable doing.

I think a turbo trainer would be a good idea as it would let me train in a consistant zone, obviously this is hard to maintain on a fixed as Rob pointed out.

I've got my 400k and 600k over the next 2 fortnight's. After that I have 500k in August and I may concentrate on training after I have that out the way.

Does anyone know any good turbo workouts and also a good quality (non swift) turbo that will work with 120mm dropouts?

Re: New to training.
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2019, 03:26:27 pm »
Does anyone know any good turbo workouts and also a good quality (non swift) turbo that will work with 120mm dropouts?

I use a basic Tacx.   This one :-

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/tacx-blue-matic-t2650-trainer/rp-prod86562

Stick a middling gear on and then use the resistance settings to get the right feel.

To get it to work with fixed you need some of these :-

https://tacx.com/product/axle-nuts/

There's loads of different workouts but when I first started I used a really good article by the late Malcom Firth but it seems to have disappeared from the web.


Re: New to training.
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 04:45:59 pm »
Use the tools that you have.  The power meter fans will tell you otherwise but an HRM is useful.   Firstly you’ll need to assess your zones.   You can use the 220-age formula but, to be frank, it’s a bit hit and miss. 

My max heart rate is 190 - according to the formula, that makes me 30. Funny that, as I could have sworn that I will be 50 in December this year :-)
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

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Re: New to training.
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2019, 04:49:35 pm »
Use the tools that you have.  The power meter fans will tell you otherwise but an HRM is useful.   Firstly you’ll need to assess your zones.   You can use the 220-age formula but, to be frank, it’s a bit hit and miss. 

My max heart rate is 190 - according to the formula, that makes me 30. Funny that, as I could have sworn that I will be 50 in December this year :-)

I've hit 196 this year, at 47. There's someone in the rowing club the same age who still gets >200.


Re: New to training.
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2019, 09:13:59 pm »
Use the tools that you have.  The power meter fans will tell you otherwise but an HRM is useful.   Firstly you’ll need to assess your zones.   You can use the 220-age formula but, to be frank, it’s a bit hit and miss. 

My max heart rate is 190 - according to the formula, that makes me 30. Funny that, as I could have sworn that I will be 50 in December this year :-)

I've hit 196 this year, at 47. There's someone in the rowing club the same age who still gets >200.

As I said it’s a bit hit and miss.  I hit 205 on my first ramp test when I was 41.

220-age gives me 174, but I can ride a 25 with HR 175-180.

zigzag

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Re: New to training.
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2019, 09:27:48 pm »
simplest form of training is riding your bike above your comfort zone, best split into efforts or intervals. so hill repeats work quite well, or a hilly training loop, if there are hills around. for audax type riding, i think efforts of 8-20min work quite well. i ride single speed bike a lot as it forces me to ride out of my comfort zone more often and improves pedalling technique.

Re: New to training.
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2019, 11:48:49 am »
Riding hills makes you strong for climbing hills.

Riding fast makes you fast.

I think that it is very difficult to beat intervals. I have a basic sports watch, which can be set to beep at intervals. When by myself, (this is for kayak training), I will do 2 min at 80% (pace I can sustain for 1-2hrs), 2min flat out sprint. Repeat for 40 min.

If I were training for cycling, I'd do 5min hard, 2 or 3min steady.

Increasing that to 4min sprint, 2 min steady will build capacity to sustain high speed.

Pyramid intervals are also good (shorter building to longer then back to shorter, with 30s rest between).
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Re: New to training.
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2019, 03:57:31 pm »
Riding hills makes you strong for climbing hills.

Riding fast makes you fast.

I think that it is very difficult to beat intervals. I have a basic sports watch, which can be set to beep at intervals. When by myself, (this is for kayak training), I will do 2 min at 80% (pace I can sustain for 1-2hrs), 2min flat out sprint. Repeat for 40 min.

If I were training for cycling, I'd do 5min hard, 2 or 3min steady.

Increasing that to 4min sprint, 2 min steady will build capacity to sustain high speed.

Pyramid intervals are also good (shorter building to longer then back to shorter, with 30s rest between).

Sorry to be a bit pedantic but I don't believe you can sprint flat out for 2 minutes.   That's more like a VO2 max effort.

I think pyramids are quite interesting but the sessions vary depending on who is prescribing them.   This is a good article on the TTer's pyramid session.   It's not for the faint hearted.   :-

https://cyclinguphill.com/pyramid-intervals/

Re: New to training.
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2019, 04:17:50 pm »
That's an interesting session (and numbers).  15 seconds is a long sprint, I start dying after about 10.
The numbers he quotes for Dangerfield show how big his aerobic engine was compared to the anaerobic part. Looking at the TR analysis tool, I can hit a max > 900W on a sprint, but 1 minute is down at 450 ish, and 5 minute is 320 or something (and the latter 2 aren't very repeatable either).

Re: New to training.
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2019, 04:50:55 pm »
Interesting.

The session sounds like one I got from the book by Adam Topham, who was coached by Gordon Wright, and which I used when I was training for shorter stuff a few years ago.  Although I always shortened it by a few reps.

I did wonder if the sighting of GW was a hallucination!

Re: New to training.
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2019, 05:15:41 pm »
Riding hills makes you strong for climbing hills.

Riding fast makes you fast.

I think that it is very difficult to beat intervals. I have a basic sports watch, which can be set to beep at intervals. When by myself, (this is for kayak training), I will do 2 min at 80% (pace I can sustain for 1-2hrs), 2min flat out sprint. Repeat for 40 min.

If I were training for cycling, I'd do 5min hard, 2 or 3min steady.

Increasing that to 4min sprint, 2 min steady will build capacity to sustain high speed.

Pyramid intervals are also good (shorter building to longer then back to shorter, with 30s rest between).

Sorry to be a bit pedantic but I don't believe you can sprint flat out for 2 minutes.   That's more like a VO2 max effort.

I think pyramids are quite interesting but the sessions vary depending on who is prescribing them.   This is a good article on the TTer's pyramid session.   It's not for the faint hearted.   :-

https://cyclinguphill.com/pyramid-intervals/

You can think that if you like, however what I call a flat out kayak sprint for 2 minutes is a flat out kayaking sprint (the shortest kayak sprint used to be 500m and someone half-decent can do that in a bit under 2minutes).

Whatever, it is a training tool I've been using. I'm a 52-year old who has never had any athletic ability (or success). I'm now beating people 25-30years younger than myself, able to out-sprint them at the end of a race. Results speak louder than armchair theory.
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Re: New to training.
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2019, 05:18:01 pm »
This is an introduction to training I wrote a year or two ago
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1-9k4MqOb8khFoAUa0_DemqRKuC-tiJ8CnLrRTujpjxA/

And an intro to intervals:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1ONQMjewPpQPcr_lH-7Rp77qbpWGkvy-92X4XwZ1GNCY/

If it's not clear enough feel free to ask questions.

Re: New to training.
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2019, 05:29:26 pm »
I'd pay heed to what CET has posted particularly around feeding. On long rides it is often getting your feeding or drinking wrong that can be your down fall; not how fast you ride.  Once you are struggling to eat and drink your average speed can plummet and bear no relationship to what you can do when running at 100%. So get out on some longer rides and find out just how much you need to eat and drink not to feel wasted at the end.  If your digestion has gone and it's a cold dark and wet night on LEL that's where your mental strength will come into play.

Re: New to training.
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2019, 09:08:40 pm »
Riding hills makes you strong for climbing hills.

Riding fast makes you fast.

I think that it is very difficult to beat intervals. I have a basic sports watch, which can be set to beep at intervals. When by myself, (this is for kayak training), I will do 2 min at 80% (pace I can sustain for 1-2hrs), 2min flat out sprint. Repeat for 40 min.

If I were training for cycling, I'd do 5min hard, 2 or 3min steady.

Increasing that to 4min sprint, 2 min steady will build capacity to sustain high speed.

Pyramid intervals are also good (shorter building to longer then back to shorter, with 30s rest between).

Sorry to be a bit pedantic but I don't believe you can sprint flat out for 2 minutes.   That's more like a VO2 max effort.

I think pyramids are quite interesting but the sessions vary depending on who is prescribing them.   This is a good article on the TTer's pyramid session.   It's not for the faint hearted.   :-

https://cyclinguphill.com/pyramid-intervals/

You can think that if you like, however what I call a flat out kayak sprint for 2 minutes is a flat out kayaking sprint (the shortest kayak sprint used to be 500m and someone half-decent can do that in a bit under 2minutes).

Whatever, it is a training tool I've been using. I'm a 52-year old who has never had any athletic ability (or success). I'm now beating people 25-30years younger than myself, able to out-sprint them at the end of a race. Results speak louder than armchair theory.

Yes and that’s all great but this is about cycling training and Chris Hoy didn’t sprint for 2 minutes.

Re: New to training.
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2019, 09:11:07 pm »
Interesting.

The session sounds like one I got from the book by Adam Topham, who was coached by Gordon Wright, and which I used when I was training for shorter stuff a few years ago.  Although I always shortened it by a few reps.

I did wonder if the sighting of GW was a hallucination!

Yeah, Tops took advice from Gordon before doing his own thing.  He then managed to break himself and disappear.  I often wonder if his results were down to shear determination.   He could go very deep.

Re: New to training.
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2019, 09:09:43 am »
Yes, I think he was a good thing for time trialling - coming from the outside, learning from a good coach and thinking about things himself to go a bit further.  Then training himself into the ground to get to the top in his segment of the sport.   He earned grudging respect from most of his critics when he kept pushing a bit further, year after year.  His book was by far the most useful cycling training book I've read - certainly the most readable and pitched at exactly the right level (I'd recommend it as the best book for someone looking to start training).  I expect the % of people who own Coggan's book who have read it is very small - I know I have only skimmed a few pages!

I mainly knew him online and only met him briefly, at the first Newbury 12, but was struck between the contrast between his brash, abrasive TT-forum online persona and a much milder and friendlier person in real life!

But no-one could keep up that volume of TT forum posting year in, year out - never mind the training!