Cycling Fitness / Training Advice

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  • This will get you a long long way

  • I would ride 6 of those 7 hours in Z2, and do an hour's worth of intervals (not 60 minutes in zone, but you know what I mean). So either just dedicate an hour to it or split it into two as the former rides can get a bit boring.

    I don't think in base it matters really what you do as long as it keeps you motivated to persist with the endurance stuff.

  • I am unusually blessed with a bit more time to train this winter, well until January anyway, so doing a 3 months or so of 12-14 hours a week: 2 out of 5 rides am doing a little bit of tempo or very low sweetspot, basically progressing up to a 60 minute interval around 85% FTP, but the vast majority is at 50% MAP, and so far am really enjoying it.

    in the New Year I am back at work and will have to cut my hours a bit to max 10 hours a week. Not starting specific TT training till May time so not sure whether to stick with the above, albeit with less time, or move to something general i.e. bit of threshold, v02 intervals, but not sure really.

    Have done SS training via TR for a few years and keen to avoid/do something different.

  • The best thing I did was to stop training at the so called mythical SS.

    All it did was make me good at tolerating that sort of pace for time. But never improved my raw power.

    Intestiglt for the past few months I've only done 12h ish a week average. Mostly hard as 10min efforts and then pooling. I'm making more power than ever. But I do have a deep base to draw on and blessed genetics.

  • I’ve got a target event next September that will probably be one of the toughest rides I’ve done and I’m in a quandary as to how to make best use of my training time.

    The ride is about 270k with 7500m climbing, spread over 5 climbs. In terms of time I have to train, about 5 hours during the week, plus another 6-8 hours spread over the weekend.

    I want to be able to ride the climbs at approximately 85% of FTP, recover and fuel on the descents and then go again repeatedly. So I’m currently planning to train at sweetspot for increasingly longer intervals with short recovery. I’ll also throw in some Vo2 work occasionally as I respond well to it, but I can’t tolerate a lot of it anymore (getting old).

    I have a decent base, but not as deep as I’ve enjoyed in the past. I also want to push my FTP up by at least 5% while dropping 2-3kg, which feels realistic considering the time scale I have to work with.

    So, I suppose what I’m asking - does this specificity (training at sweetspot) make the most sense or is there an approach I’ve not considered?

  • Sounds pretty basic and not the best. It will make you fit, but perhaps not as fit as you could be...

    While some workouts at that event climbing power would be good to teach your body to fuel at it, it wont make you as fit as you could be.

    I'd hire a coach if it's important and you've cash.

    Or at least for the 20 weeks before it.

  • Sounds pretty basic

    Definitely a fair comment. I suppose I was trying to keep things simple and training specifically for the demands of the event made sense in my head, but I totally accept it won’t maximise my potential.

    I hadn’t considered a coach (seems like overkill, but will look into costs).

  • What do you think you get from training at this SS?

    Read my post above. Moving to polarized has been the best thing I've done.

  • Polarized == 80/20 right?

  • What do you think you get from training at this SS?

    I guess, unsurprisingly, it’s made me quite good at riding for relatively long durations not far under threshold. Also unsurprisingly, repeated efforts over threshold I find very hard.

    I’m very open to trying a different approach and have heard lots of good things about a polarised approach.

    I was just in the middle of reading about that guy you posted about before (Palmares) and I’ll drop him a line.

  • I'm not saying dont do any riding at that sub ftp pace, just that thinking it's the ticket is perhaps wrong. Doing some as race simulation and or fueling would be great.
    Also it's a hear away. Start doing lots now and you'll just burn out.

  • Mostly hard as 10min efforts and then pooling.

    Sorry to pry but roughly what would you say your average time in each zone is (thinking seiler 3zone model of below and above ventilatory thresholds). I ask because I’m interested if you keep the same absolute amount of intensity when you drop your volume, or whether you keep the same proportions of high/low but just do less of each?

  • SS seems to be a jack of all trades level and has pushed my threshold up in the past. So for general improvement and in base, it's still ok if you don't want to be smashing intervals for months on end.

    Re polarised I am doing that next year, but I don't know if I can hack it for 4 months..

  • Sounds like you've got plenty of training hours to get a lot more lower intensity (than SS) in.

  • I agree, on reflection, this (as you describe) is best.

    I don't think in base it matters really what you do as long as it keeps you motivated to persist with the endurance stuff.

    ^ This too. Fun is essential and variety helps. I mean riding different terrain and surfaces, tours, rollers, wattbeik, fixehbeik etc.

  • Sounds like you've got plenty of training hours to get a lot more lower intensity (than SS) in.

    Of course. I didn’t mean to suggest that’s all I’d be doing. Anyway, now reading up on polarised.

  • I listened to some good podcasts on it from lowers voice That Triathlon Show.

  • To best honest it personal. I dropped a lot of volume to help.me out of a fatigue hole I was in, but kept the intensity to try maintain or grow my speed. It worked thankfully. I kept 2-3 sessions at 4x10min a week. I did 4 weeks of that and it was hard.
    Another way to look at it is some sort of extended taper.

  • 10 minutes max effort x 4?
    Sounds grim. Though if you’re used to a higher workload, then the workouts might be hard, but easier to recover from?

    I planned to do 1h at high zone 2 today, but rode with a mate on zwift so ended up doing 40 minutes of that around threshold.
    Good start....

  • Sorry I should be clear. Maximum for what I could do for 4 of them. Not for 1 10 min. Though it's not far off in relative terms per effort.

    I'm not saying what I do is right fyi, just an example.

  • I guess what’s optimal is different for everyone. But the question is how do you find out, without potentially wasting a winter of training?

    Polarised training makes sense, take the traditional winter base riding but add some high intensity to stay sharp. Particularly if you don’t have full time pro rider hours available.

  • Dunno, you cant really. Beyond spending money on proper lab testing and then seeing what works for you. Or just take a punt that what works for others might work foe you.

  • without potentially wasting a winter of training?

    No training is wasted. It'll have some effect and at the end of it you'll know if that training was a good idea or not.

    Also, everyone changes. You might respond well to one thing one year and do that again and you get no benefit.

    You couldn't even claim that any training method was 'bad' (unless it directly results in injury or illness I guess) because you don't know that some kind of different training for that year wouldn't have provided a worse result - you might think you were shit because of your training but maybe your mind/body was just doing something else that year.

  • First up apologies this is a long one!

    So jumped across here from the Hill Climb thread and def some interesting stuff, especially the lack of love for Sweetspot.

    Is that mostly just a case of diminishing returns or not fitting with what you're all looking to achieve?

    I only ask as I'm diving headlong into Sweet Spot right now...

    By way of context year ago my weight was 90KG+ at 165CM a year of random Zwift Running/Basic Zwift bike training programmes and racing plus some major (but not gimmicky) changes in diet got down to 62-3KG.

    I train a little and often so often 1 full day off a fortnight and a few lighter days where I might only do a recovery half hour run, but mostly an hour a day, sometimes two and recently a lot of Zwift racing.

    I know I'm probably not getting enough rest for best performance but weight management is still top of my mind.

    Based on Elite Drivo's Power meter my FTP from 95% of best twenty minutes during Zwift races at the moment is 293 so about 4.7w/kg.

    I seem to do best the climbing races like Alpe Du Zwift/Ventoux which are basically 40-60 minute climbs, which obviously isn't super transferable to UK IRL but hopefully gives a sense of where I'm currently at.

    I've been doing some south downs/surrey hills UK hill climbs this year where the fast guys like @dbr are doing four minutes and I'm finishing maybe a minute back from that usually pretty near the middle of the pack.

    If Zwift/Turbo is to be believed my five minute power is about 350w / 5.5wkg still not sorted outdoor powermeter but the Strava estimates/nearby riders seem to suggest those figures are about right.

    So heading into next year I'd like to do better in the four/five minute local climbs, feels like I might be fairly well equipped for SPOCOs and might give the outdoor track at Preston Park a go to transition from SPOCOs to HCs. Plus a regular smattering of Zwift racing

    With that in mind and my current frequency and volume and short history of training is Sweetspot such a bad idea?

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Cycling Fitness / Training Advice

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