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base training

michae1michae1 Posts: 2
edited September 2008 in Training, fitness and health
hello would be greatfull for some advice

i bought a road bike around October last year, and pretty much just went out a rode without any real structure or training plan and am very disappointed in my progress. I got a bit faster but not much. I have been told I ride with a very high heart rate, im averaging around 90% of my maximum heart rate over a 3 or 4 hour ride, other people i ride with are doing the same ride at around 75-80% max heart rate. talking to one of them and he was surprised when i told him i only rated my effort level at around 6/10 and he said i must have a high threshold but no base. Im not entirely sure what this means, I guessed it means im riding at fairly close to my maximum but my maximum is very small? At the moment despite not riding what i would consider hard i seem to lack a second gear.

ps my max is 190 and im fairly sure its correct, tested it a number of times but doing some hill repeats until I almost fell off my bike. I usually average 170bpm on a long ride.

does this sound like a load of nonsense or is there some logic behind my friends argument?

Anyway he recommended the following training program for me

2x 90min turbo sessions, 70-80% of my max heart rate
1 long ride at weekend, again at 70-80% of my maximum
1 long mtb ride, without a heart rate meter

i have just ordered a turbo trainer and some spinervals aero base builder dvds to use during the turbo sessions, hopefully a bit more interesting than staring at a wall.

I would appreciate any advice or tips, cheers.


  • It depends how lumpy the terrain is. My max heart rate is around 200 and possibly a shade over. On my longer rides, which for me are my quality because I do about 20 miles of solid climbing, my heart rate is up in the 180s in the steepest sections where I really have to work for a few miles up over the climb. On the flatter sections, I am happy to let my pulse sit anywhere between 130 and 160. Descents, obviously down below 120, towards 100 and below if my body is recovering quickly. A sure sign that I am feeling good.

    Find out what works for you and try to concentrate on making sure you get the recovery between quality rides, otherwise you won't be training efficiently. A recovery ride for you should be with your pulse somewhere around the 125-30 mark for the majority of it and include the least amount of lumpy stuff as possible. Eat well to get the carbs and protein back in through the machine and just generally listen to your body, taking a rest day whenever you need one. Avoid the trap of sticking too strictly to a training regime. It has to be flexible. Nobody gets any benefit from slogging their way through a 5 hour ride when their body is knackered.

    I'd also look at your training schedule as it is now and work out what the goal is for each of the rides you do. I see that your pulse is the same for your turbo sessions as it is for your long ride. That should raise a flag in your mind. You are either not working hard enough in your turbo sessions or you are pushing too hard on your longer ride. Seperate the quality work from the steady state stuff. It looks a bit confused as is. I am not too keen on turbo trainers, personally, but you only need to do 30 minutes on one if you do incorporate that into your training. For one they are just too boring to sit on for long periods, and 30 minutes of intensity is really damn hard on a turbo. 90 minutes on a turbo is not a great idea, you'd be better off going for another long ride. Just use that aspect of your training to build on your lactate threshold. 90 minutes looks better than 30 but the chances are, you will ride hard for 30 minutes. 90 minutes on a turbo will just have you sweating absolute buckets.
  • michae1 wrote:

    Anyway he recommended the following training program for me

    2x 90min turbo sessions, 70-80% of my max heart rate
    1 long ride at weekend, again at 70-80% of my maximum
    1 long mtb ride, without a heart rate meter

    Once you have managed a 90' turbo session I guess you won't be looking forward to the next.

    I am not in favour of base miles on a turbo but rather to use it for intervals, the short sharp shock treatment. I had a set of links to tt sites with lots of plans on but have lost them know. Have a look around and see what you can see to get a structured tt plan in for maybe 2 or 3 times a week.

    WRT to the MHR, are you sure you have found your maximum and done it for cycling and not running (there will be a difference). 70-80% is pretty reasonable for a long steady state ride, perhaps nearer the 70% end though.

    FCN is minimal as I don't see many bikes on the way to work
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