seans training blog:

anrothar

entirely thrilled
seans (not really) training blog:

so, i suppose i'll start with my specific goals and tentative training plan. i will hopefully be starting to work my way into this schedule next week.

these are my goals:
200 miles in a 24 hour event
under 10 hours in a 100 mile race
under 4 hours at all-a-muchy

and this is my 'maybe' training plan:
Monday-
easy day or no riding.
Tuesday-
LT, VO2max or Billat intervals.
Wednesday-
2-3 hour ride,
Thursday-
hill intervals
Friday-
if i'm doing a 24 hour: very easy day, one lap of the course(pre-ride)
if i'm doing a race on Saturday: very easy and short day
if i'm doing a race on Sunday: easy 1-2 hour ride
if i'm not racing at all: 1-2 hours, quick pace
Saturday(if i'm racing sunday)
very easy and short day
Sunday-
race day, or recovery ride(very easy)

in the weeks before a 24 hour or 100 mile race, i'll ride a little easier than the other weeks. during the winter/in the weeks without racing, i'll work my way up to 4-8 hour rides every other weekend, and 3-5 hour rides in between those.

for the thursday hill intervals, i'm probably going to switch it up between road and dirt every other week, and on the dirt weeks, run every other one with the bike. (ride up, ride down, run up, ride down, ride up, ride down....). i figure hill running will be a valuable skill for a singlespeed racer. i'll be mindful of my necessary rest and nutrition, but since it's my first experience with actual training, i'll have to judge it by how i feel.

if i miss a day due to overtime at work, or weather, do i just skip it, or kind of merge it with the next days expected ride?

we'll see.

any thoughts?
 
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Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
First of all, I'm no expert. But I've been doing a lot of reading, research, experimentation, etc in the past few months. I'm going to throw out random thoughts which will not cover everything.

Without question, your goals are too lofty. In general, you should identify 3 yearly goals which usually coincide with an event. One could argue that you have 13 goals for next year. That's...ambitious.

What are speed intervals?

There's no good reason to preride a 24 hour course if you're going solo. It only eats your energy. If you're on a team it makes sense. You shouldn't be going fast enough solo for it to matter.

Rides before a race day are usually very short, but with some intensity. This is highly personal but intensity is a key ingredient for peak/taper weeks.

Understand that training for XC and endurance are 2 different animals. By trying to aim for both you may come up short in both.

Personally I find taking the day entirely off works better than recovery rides.

I see no good reason to run hills. It's almost a flat admission that all the hours you put in aren't going to work. If you insist on running hills, I would at least suggest splitting it into a 2 part workout, first half ride intervals, second half run intervals.

If you miss a day, move on. The only time to make up a workout is if it's a key workout (time trial, test, 8 hour sim, etc etc).

Do more research. Start with the following subjects: Dave Morris, periodization, reverse periodization, block training, Andrew Coggan, bike nutrition, pre-ride nutrition, recovery nutrition, economy. Work on your skills. Buy some books (Coggan/Hunter, Joe Friel, David Morris, Chris Carmical, Ed Burke, Ned Overend, Monique Ryan). Read them, more than once.

Also, there is no offseason. Having said that, and seeing this, I would say to be careful of burnout.
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
-goals edited.
-by speed intervals i mean 'sprints'
-with the singlespeed, i know that no matter how much i train, i will end up walking/running a few more hills than the geared riders. since that uses up more energy than riding, i would like to be as efficient at it as possible.
-you've given me alot to look up/into, thanks!
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Goals - excellent. Plus, they're more centered on you and have nothing to do with the competition. For instance, supppose you go back to the Genesis race and it's the race you want to win. Imagine your surprise if Ned Overend shows up because he was in town visiting relatives and decides to use it as a simulation ride.

You don't need to devote interval sessions to sprints unless you're a sprinter. You can get all the sprint work you need into the beginning of other sessions, like the 2-3 hour ride on Wednesday. You could consider replacing that sprint day with LT intervals, or VO2max intervals or Billat intervals, which I've never done but are apparently brutal.

Another concept to explore is that of matches, and burning them. Running up hills may burn matches you don't have.

Feel free to ask away, as I'm still learning a lot of this. I'm putting together some pages on a blog I keep for this stuff. It's not done yet. But maybe over the next few weeks I'll be done with pass 1 and you can take a look at it. All of this breaks down to personal details, and learning about yourself, and learning what works for you. One valuable lesson I learned this year is that I was not training hard enough, period. That's a pretty common thing since the natural tendancy is to ride at an effort level that is fairly low.
 
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Maurice

New Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Sean,

A few things.

Get a trainer. It sucks bad but you don't have to skip a session that way. Especially in the winter when there may be days where it's too bad to even ride on the road.

BTW, do you (intend to) ride on the road?

Stick a rest week here and there. They do wonders. You don't have to do it often or even stop riding altogether, just take it easy for a whole week. The reading Norm suggests should have plenty of information on that.

And if the reading bores you to death get out and ride :)

Maurice
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Maurice,

Just curious. Do you use a PM, or delve into the TSS/CTL/ATL stuff at all?
 

Maurice

New Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Sorry Norm, I think I know what PM means (power meter?), but have no idea what the other stuff is.

For now I just ride. I actually only started doing "informal" intervals sometime in August and I must say it helped quite a bit.

I know eventually I'll have to open one of those "grimoires"...

Maurice
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I don't use a PM either. I mean, if I did, I should think to throw it away based on my results this year!!! A quick rundown of the other stuff:

TSS = training stress score. Basically a measure of how much each workout stresses your body. Based on the old school TRIMPS model when HR was the only metric to use.

CTL = chronic training load. Essentially a measure of 'fitness'. It's a longer term weighted rolling average of your TSS.

ATL = acute training load. Basically short term CTL, usually 7-10 days.

TBS = I forget what it stands for, but it's just CTL-ATL and equates to 'form'.

The idea is to have a high CTL and high TBS when you want to peak. As Coggan says, fitness + form = peaking, or something like that. A low TBS means you're tired or stale. But to build the CTL you need to jack up the ATL. It's also supposed to be a good way to workout hard without the risk of overtraining.

It's all based on power, but in reality you don't need to have a PM to estimate TSS. TSS is based on the intensity factor, and you can use some 'canned' numbers to estimate any given workout (endurance, tempo, LT, VO2max, anaerobic, etc). That's what I just started exploring.

This is all pretty new, and the details are still in debate/discussion. One thing is clear though, you never produce a personal best with a low TBS. It needs to be average or high based on the limited studies so far. I find it interesting.

If you're interested in looking into something like this for next season, I can give you more info. If you log all your rides you could plop last season's rides into the spreadsheet and see how the numbers correspond to the performances.
 

Maurice

New Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Norm,

are you saying you can get those numbers without a HRM or PM?

What kind of data do you enter in the spreadsheet? I haven't logged anything of course, but in the future... And our friend Sean may be interested also.

Last time I took a VO2max test was in the early 90's... I do remember it to be 85 ml/kg/min though, as well as barely keeping my breakfast in.

Maurice
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
i'm interested in all this stuff, but it's all really new to me, so i'm not even going to try to figure out what norm is talking about till i've read quite a bit more.

i do have a fixed gear road bike, and a single/fixed 'cross' bike(more of a beefed up hybrid with cross bars, decent wheels, etc. i keep it at a friends house in philly for riding when i'm down there). the road bike i take out every now and then. i ride to work on the road almost every weekday on my karate monkey. it's five miles with one moderate, necessary hill, but i just started adding a bigger, steeper hill on the way home.


do you recommend setting a road bike up with similar geometry to one's mountain bike? ie: similar bars, similar seated position?
 
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Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Maurice,

Maurice said:
are you saying you can get those numbers without a HRM or PM?
The number is based in power training, so an exact number would be impossible without a PM. Having said that, nobody uses a PM on all their bikes. It's just too expensive. So they resort to estimating. That might sound like mere guessing, but it's not really that random.

I would recommend using Coggan exercise levels, 1-7, which equate to this:

1: recovery
2: endurance, aka all day pace
3: tempo (<2 hours)
4: LT (10-30/60 min intervals)
5: Vo2max (3-8 min intervals)
6: Anaerobic capacity (30s-3m intervals)
7: Neuromuscular (~10 sec)

The key here is knowing where you're exercising. If you're doing an interval, and you can hold it for 20 min, it's L4. That's the classic LT push interval which is the whole "power at threshold" thing. In theory you can exercise at your LT for 60 minutes straight. After that, in theory, you're kaput.

That's basically how you hit the levels you want to. HRMs are useless for anything above L4, and even then it's useless for L4 if you're doing block training. HR-based training is low-end, more or less. It's been proven over and over again that it's terribly inaccurate. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) has been shown to be much more accurate.

Having said that, I have used and will occasionally use my HRM for L3 and L4 work on the trainer and some L4 work outdoors. For L5/L6, I just go as hard as I need to to hit the target time.

Once you know where you're working, you have a TSS estimate to work with based on this equation: TSS = IF * IF * 100, where IF = intensity factor. The estimates work out to this:

L2: IF~.8, 64 TSS/hr
L3: IF~.9, 81 TSS/hr
L4: IF~.95 (incl. rest periods for interval workout), 90 TSS/hr
L5: IF~1.0 (incl. rest periods for interval workout), 100 TSS/hr

Ignore L1 since that's not training stress. L6 would be higher than L5, but those accumulated times are usually pretty small so L5 is a good estimate. And L7 is 10 second intervals with 60 seconds of light work. Hardly worth it's own category.

From here you can estimate any given workout, say if you do 30 minutes of L5 then go for a 90 minute L2 ride after that. For standard off-road rides, I use 72 TSS/hour. I made it up. MTB riding sure isn't L2 but with the coasting it's generally not L3. XC races and race simulations are a different animal, probably more like 90-100. The aim is to get close and be consistent. As long as you're consistent, it should work out.

Another thing, this only measures overall fitness. You could drive the TSS score way up by going for long slow rides every day. But come race day, you'll only be able to go slow but for a LONG time. The other part of the equation is how you compose your workouts to balance different energy systems as well as the necessary event specific endurance.

Maurice said:
What kind of data do you enter in the spreadsheet? I haven't logged anything of course, but in the future... And our friend Sean may be interested also.
Just the TSS score. The CTL, ATL, and TSB (I incorrectly called it TBS before) is calculated for you. I'll try and attach the spreadsheet tomorrow.

Maurice said:
Last time I took a VO2max test was in the early 90's... I do remember it to be 85 ml/kg/min though, as well as barely keeping my breakfast in.
Doesn't sound fun. But none of that is necessary since VO2max intervals are just 3-5 minutes long. Just go hard enough so after 3-5 minutes you've had enough.

Above everything else, remember this translation is coming from a guy nicknamed after the biggest, fattest alcoholic in the history of sit-com television. While I'm no longer physically worthy of the nickname, I did finish nearly 2 hours behind you this past weekend. Having said that, I haven't used any of this to really work out a season yet.

Does any of this make sense?

Norm
 

Maurice

New Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Norm,

that looks good, but let's not hijack Sean's thread, I'll start a new one. In a bit though, right now I'm focusing exclusively on tearing up the trails :)

Cheers,

Maurice
 

ChrisG

Unapologetic Lifer for Rock and Roll
anrothar said:
do you recommend setting a road bike up with similar geometry to one's mountain bike? ie: similar bars, similar seated position?
The most important similarities should be the saddle/pedal relationship and the reach to the bars. Keeping these consistent from bike to bike, once you've sorted them out, will keep your knees and back happy, as well as allow for maximum training benefit as you go from bike to bike.

I have the reach from saddle to grip on my mtb equivalent to the reach from saddle to lever hoods on the road bike, for example, and the saddle heights/setback are the same, with adjustment for different pedal/shoe interfaces.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Maurice said:
Norm,

that looks good, but let's not hijack Sean's thread, I'll start a new one. In a bit though, right now I'm focusing exclusively on tearing up the trails :)

Cheers,

Maurice
Sounds good. Maybe by then I'll have it all figured out. :)

In the meantime, do me a favor and keep a minimal log of your rides from now on, starting with the All-a-muchy ride. Just note the date, time, and where you rode. If you did intervals, what kind. This will help set a baseline if you want to get further into it.

Sean,

I like ChrisG's suggestion about the mtn/road bike relation. This is actually a problem for me because my road bike is setup differently than my mtb, which I've been slowly correcting over the past few weeks.

I would get that all worked out now, when it doesn't matter. For instance, I put new cleats on today and changed the position quite a bit since my feet go numb after 1-2 hours of riding. Change saddle tilt, front/back position, height now so you have plenty of time to get used to it.

Also, as I suggested to Maurice, try to keep a rough log of what kind of rides you're doing from here on in to get a baseline if you want to explore that stuff more.

Norm
 

Maurice

New Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
anrothar said:
i'm interested in all this stuff, but it's all really new to me, so i'm not even going to try to figure out what norm is talking about till i've read quite a bit more.

i do have a fixed gear road bike, and a single/fixed 'cross' bike(more of a beefed up hybrid with cross bars, decent wheels, etc. i keep it at a friends house in philly for riding when i'm down there). the road bike i take out every now and then. i ride to work on the road almost every weekday on my karate monkey. it's five miles with one moderate, necessary hill, but i just started adding a bigger, steeper hill on the way home.


do you recommend setting a road bike up with similar geometry to one's mountain bike? ie: similar bars, similar seated position?
Sean,

I'm referring to "riding on the road" as opposed to "riding a road bike". IMO it doesn't matter what you ride as long as it's on the road. That's just so you can perform sustained efforts and build endurance more efficiently.

I tend to disagree with Norm in that training for speed should be part of the ultra-endurance training regimen. The reasoning is that as you get faster it's easier to go longer distances with less effort. Ulltra-endurance freaks do tend to be quite fast in XC events.

5 miles is not a lot. It's more of a warm-up... On the other hand you're lucky to have a job so close.

Lastly you sound like a hard-core 1 gear fan. If it's not blasphemy in your eyes, try to ride with gears once in a while. You'll probably end up getting a bit more top-end that way. I found that riding singlespeed exclusively was limiting in some aspects.

I'm saying all that but my own road riding is done on an old single speed MTB with slicks... I do intend to slap on a derailleur if I don't get a (geared) 'cross bike in the meantime.

Good luck,

Maurice
 

Kirt

JORBA: Chimney Rock, Team MTBNJ.COM
JORBA.ORG
Team MTBNJ Halter's
normZurawski said:
Maurice,



The number is based in power training, so an exact number would be impossible without a PM. Having said that, nobody uses a PM on all their bikes. It's just too expensive. So they resort to estimating. That might sound like mere guessing, but it's not really that random.

I would recommend using Coggan exercise levels, 1-7, which equate to this:

1: recovery
2: endurance, aka all day pace
3: tempo (<2 hours)
4: LT (10-30/60 min intervals)
5: Vo2max (3-8 min intervals)
6: Anaerobic capacity (30s-3m intervals)
7: Neuromuscular (~10 sec)

The key here is knowing where you're exercising. If you're doing an interval, and you can hold it for 20 min, it's L4. That's the classic LT push interval which is the whole "power at threshold" thing. In theory you can exercise at your LT for 60 minutes straight. After that, in theory, you're kaput.

That's basically how you hit the levels you want to. HRMs are useless for anything above L4, and even then it's useless for L4 if you're doing block training. HR-based training is low-end, more or less. It's been proven over and over again that it's terribly inaccurate. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) has been shown to be much more accurate.

Having said that, I have used and will occasionally use my HRM for L3 and L4 work on the trainer and some L4 work outdoors. For L5/L6, I just go as hard as I need to to hit the target time.

Once you know where you're working, you have a TSS estimate to work with based on this equation: TSS = IF * IF * 100, where IF = intensity factor. The estimates work out to this:

L2: IF~.8, 64 TSS/hr
L3: IF~.9, 81 TSS/hr
L4: IF~.95 (incl. rest periods for interval workout), 90 TSS/hr
L5: IF~1.0 (incl. rest periods for interval workout), 100 TSS/hr

Ignore L1 since that's not training stress. L6 would be higher than L5, but those accumulated times are usually pretty small so L5 is a good estimate. And L7 is 10 second intervals with 60 seconds of light work. Hardly worth it's own category.

From here you can estimate any given workout, say if you do 30 minutes of L5 then go for a 90 minute L2 ride after that. For standard off-road rides, I use 72 TSS/hour. I made it up. MTB riding sure isn't L2 but with the coasting it's generally not L3. XC races and race simulations are a different animal, probably more like 90-100. The aim is to get close and be consistent. As long as you're consistent, it should work out.

Another thing, this only measures overall fitness. You could drive the TSS score way up by going for long slow rides every day. But come race day, you'll only be able to go slow but for a LONG time. The other part of the equation is how you compose your workouts to balance different energy systems as well as the necessary event specific endurance.



Just the TSS score. The CTL, ATL, and TSB (I incorrectly called it TBS before) is calculated for you. I'll try and attach the spreadsheet tomorrow.



Doesn't sound fun. But none of that is necessary since VO2max intervals are just 3-5 minutes long. Just go hard enough so after 3-5 minutes you've had enough.

Above everything else, remember this translation is coming from a guy nicknamed after the biggest, fattest alcoholic in the history of sit-com television. While I'm no longer physically worthy of the nickname, I did finish nearly 2 hours behind you this past weekend. Having said that, I haven't used any of this to really work out a season yet.

Does any of this make sense?

Norm
Looks like I found my coach for next year. Norm, what are you charging?:D

Kirt
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
chris, norm, duely noted. i think i may end up just putting some cheap mtb bars on the road bike.

maurice:
i get you now, and i do ride my mtb on the road alot. i would ride a geared bike every now and then, but i, uh, sorta, don't have one:rolleyes:. the road fixie has higher gearing though, so i should be able to get some top end benefit from that, right?

now for what this thread is all about, me training/riding. i'll probably post all my rides for a week or two, then move to a weekly summary. i suppose i'm really going to have to get a cyclometer, or maybe one of those fancy wrist mounted gps units with built in hrm, etc...

today, rode to work, medium pace, with standing sprints up all the rollers and the 'climb'(120') at the end. i realized recently that i almost never climb standing, and it really hurts me, as i end up walking alot of hills that i could make it up with better developed standing/climbing muscles. so i started concentrating on that yesterday, and hammered it in today. after work(across from jefferson township high school on weldon rd), i headed straight up weldon, standing on all the climbs, sprinting up them if they were short enough, but at the least pushing my ability up them. the first one was the only one that gave me trouble, but i kept a good pace nonetheless. from there it was a pretty straight shot to the bike shop, where i hung out for a bit.

left the shop, down mase mtn(rt 15), and along berkshire valley rd, following the same routine. decent pace on the flats, but nothing to take the breath out of me, standing and sprinting up the little hills. my legs were burning pretty good on the last few, and they felt really 'pumped' at the tops, when i reduced intensity. i was riding hard enough to be breathing really heavily at the tops, to the point where i don't think i could have carried on the effort much longer.

the ride was 95% road, with a couple of little, fairly flat trail sections to avoid high traffic areas. probably about 14-17 miles total. i have no idea how long it took me(cyclometer....)

i figured today is a good day for a ride like this, since this will be my hill interval day, and these were kinda-sorta hill intervals. but i suppose since i was sprinting, they were more along the lines of vo2max or LT intervals. my actual hill intervals will be on longer, steady climbs.
 
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Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Maurice said:
I tend to disagree with Norm in that training for speed should be part of the ultra-endurance training regimen.
Not at all - I have the same aims (in general) as Sean and I don't do speed work nor intend to add it next year. Any speed work I get is from off-road riding, which is plenty. I was just suggesting how he could get his sprint work in without devoting a day to it.

That is, unless you're talking about the 3-5 minute interval stuff, which I think is almost mandatory for any training plan.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Kirt said:
Looks like I found my coach for next year. Norm, what are you charging?:D

Kirt
Beer. I like beer. That, of course, goes hand in hand with my first goal of the offseason which is to drop another 15 pounds or so.

Norm
 
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