Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Help Mr Average

tommy_tommytommy_tommy Posts: 91
I have been competing in triathlons, marathons, 10K's, mountain bike enduros etc for 15 years +. Looking back over my results from year to year it is uncanny how I nearly always finish at the half way point on the results sheet (give or take one or two positions). From this, I assume in any kind of mass participation event I am of average athletic ability.

Most of my training in the past for these type of endurance events has been based around long slow runs, rides, swims at 75% of my MHR with intervals only added 2 months before the build up to a key event. These interval are usuallly 5 minutes with 2 minutes rest in between. I use the final 2 weeks before a key vent to taper.

However, last year at the age of 40, I knocked 1.5 minutes of my 10K running PB. previously set when I was about 30. For this race i radically changed my training about 3 months out from the event, leaving out the long 1.5 hour plus runs, concentarting on 45 minute tempo runs just below race pace and intervals runs of 10 minutes with 2 minutes easy running in between. The 1.5 minutes I gained in this race moved me from my typical halfway point to almost the top 1/3. (Better than average)

This year I stopped running and I entered a number of cyclo sportive rides and due to the distance of these vents 100 miles + , I reverted back to the long slow rides at 75%. In these vents, I was once again almost smack on the mid point in the results lists. (Back to average)

Assesing my performace in these rides, I felt I went well on the climbs ride from one group over to another on sevaral occasions. (This may be due to my relatively low body weight 10st 7lbs at 5ft 10") However, I really struggled to hold on to any wheels on the flat. I sat in a few groups but quickly drifted off the back or as groups went by me I could not raise my speed to get on the back. I spent most of time riding alone on the flat sections.

My questions are:

1. What are the best types of bike training sessions to use that can increase my power on the flat? (I dont have the flexability to enter build up races or training with a club)

2. My bike weighs in at about 21lb which appears to be about 2 or 3lb heavier than most most mid range sportive bikes. I was going to upgrade my bike to try and get the weight down; However, considering my lack of flat speed, I am thinking I should consider looking at areodynmic improvements rather than reducing my bike weight. Maybe, an areo front wheel for example. Should I go for weight or areo upgrade or neither and just concentrate on the training.

Posts

  • willbevanwillbevan Posts: 1,241
    2. My bike weighs in at about 21lb which appears to be about 2 or 3lb heavier than most most mid range sportive bikes. I was going to upgrade my bike to try and get the weight down; However, considering my lack of flat speed, I am thinking I should consider looking at areodynmic improvements rather than reducing my bike weight. Maybe, an areo front wheel for example. Should I go for weight or areo upgrade or neither and just concentrate on the training.

    Can't really comment on anything but 2...

    Would suggest you concertrate on your triaining,as doesn't matter about the bike if you don't have the fitness :)

    If it wasnt sportif i would suggest clip on aero bars, dont thinkthey are legal in sportifs?
    Road - BTwin Sport 2 16s
    MTB - Trek Fuel 80
    TT - Echelon

    http://www.rossonwye.cyclists.co.uk/
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    1. What are the best types of bike training sessions to use that can increase my power on the flat? (I dont have the flexability to enter build up races or training with a club)
    I'd suggest something like 2x20's to increase your power / speed
    http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/viewtopi ... light=2x20
    Should I go for weight or areo upgrade or neither and just concentrate on the training.
    Aero wheels have less impact in bunch events like sportives and will make the bike heavier unless you have a big budget - I'd try the training route first at least
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    The most important thing will be to learn how to hold a wheel - if you can catch a group on a hill you can at least sit in and take a tow off them on the flat even if you are a relatively good climber. You say you don't have the flexibility to train with a club - do you not have any evenings or weekend mornings where you could join with a group training ride - normally if you know what there is in your area you don't have to be in a club - just turn up and join in.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • I have been competing in triathlons, marathons, 10K's, mountain bike enduros etc for 15 years +. Looking back over my results from year to year it is uncanny how I nearly always finish at the half way point on the results sheet (give or take one or two positions). From this, I assume in any kind of mass participation event I am of average athletic ability.

    Most of my training in the past for these type of endurance events has been based around long slow runs, rides, swims at 75% of my MHR with intervals only added 2 months before the build up to a key event. These interval are usuallly 5 minutes with 2 minutes rest in between. I use the final 2 weeks before a key vent to taper.

    However, last year at the age of 40, I knocked 1.5 minutes of my 10K running PB. previously set when I was about 30. For this race i radically changed my training about 3 months out from the event, leaving out the long 1.5 hour plus runs, concentarting on 45 minute tempo runs just below race pace and intervals runs of 10 minutes with 2 minutes easy running in between. The 1.5 minutes I gained in this race moved me from my typical halfway point to almost the top 1/3. (Better than average)

    This year I stopped running and I entered a number of cyclo sportive rides and due to the distance of these vents 100 miles + , I reverted back to the long slow rides at 75%. In these vents, I was once again almost smack on the mid point in the results lists. (Back to average)

    Assesing my performace in these rides, I felt I went well on the climbs ride from one group over to another on sevaral occasions. (This may be due to my relatively low body weight 10st 7lbs at 5ft 10") However, I really struggled to hold on to any wheels on the flat. I sat in a few groups but quickly drifted off the back or as groups went by me I could not raise my speed to get on the back. I spent most of time riding alone on the flat sections.

    My questions are:

    1. What are the best types of bike training sessions to use that can increase my power on the flat? (I dont have the flexability to enter build up races or training with a club)
    You've essentially answered your own training question. Your experience with improvements in running coming from increasing the overall intensity of your training (while remaining at sub-maximal aerobic levels) is exactly the same thing that will happen on the bike. They are both aerobic endurance activities and that higher tempo and near time trial pace efforts are tremendous for building a solid aerobic engine onto which you can fine tune top end speed as race season approaches.
    2. My bike weighs in at about 21lb which appears to be about 2 or 3lb heavier than most most mid range sportive bikes. I was going to upgrade my bike to try and get the weight down; However, considering my lack of flat speed, I am thinking I should consider looking at areodynmic improvements rather than reducing my bike weight. Maybe, an areo front wheel for example. Should I go for weight or areo upgrade or neither and just concentrate on the training.
    Upgrade if you feel good about it and have the money to spend but the single most important element in going faster is good training. That's the priority as far as your own personal investment goes.

    Getting more aero may help but you still need to make sure you are comfortable for the diatance you intend to ride.

    With equipment, I tend to:
    - buy what's necessary for the riding/racing I do
    - upgrade only when I reach a milestone or improvement target

    The only exceptions have been when equipment has worn out through use or busted due to a crash.

    My road race bike is not that much lighter than yours and my training bike is heavier than yours. Doesn't make a whole lot of difference. A bike that fits properly and is well maintained is much more important.
  • Thanks for the replies.

    I am trying design a cycling routine similar to the running routine that was sucessfull last year. I have read most of the threads on this forum relating to 2 x 20 and sweetspot training. The program I am using at the moment is:

    Sun - 3.5 hours tempo/brisk riding (Moderate)
    Mon - 1 hour turbo recovery (Very easy)
    Tue - 2x 20 turbo just below TT pace (Hard)
    Wed- 1 hour turbo recovery (Very easy)
    Thurs -1 hour turbo recovery (Very easy)
    Fri-am 1.5 hours steady (Very easy) commute pm home 1.5 hours tempo/brisk pace (Moderate)
    Sat - Rest

    This gives me 3 pretty good work outs per week which is not making me unduly tired.
    However, I beginning to feel that the 1 hour recovery turbo session are not acheiving much. Would i be better to have 2 rest days in the week and add in one extra temp ride or possiblty another 2 x 20.

    I bought my bike 15 years ago second hand. It still works fine and over the years I have only changed break blocks and cables. I even use my original jersey, tights and shoes all 15 years old. I have bought a few pairs of shorts though. I tend not spend money unless necessary. I just had a small windfall £200, I forget upgrading the bike and enter some more events instead.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Having thought more about this question over the weekend, I'd agree with Tom - you need to learn how to ride on a wheel as well as being fit enough to hold it - if you are riding 2-3 feet off the rider in front, you are losing lots of the benefits of riding behind someone else.

    Regular group riding / chaingangs is the only way to improve technique - you can't learn it on a turbo or from a forum.
Sign In or Register to comment.