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I think i really have hit a plateau!

disgruntledgoatdisgruntledgoat Posts: 8,957
Apologies for what will end up, in all likelihood, a long rambliing post...

After a year off proper racing and training last year, I worked harder than ever over the winter to come back with some form and set myself some challenging goals for the season ahead... there were 3 category A goals, and a host of B goals. To date, despite feeling I've been going pretty well, I've achieved none of them. I lost 8kg over winter and since may have put 3 back on despite no reduction in my training... I have found riding in a road race bunch much more difficult and nerve racking than I ever have in 10 years and in short, from a promising start have seen all my confidence drain away. Especially since my training partner and clubmates have really started to pull out results.

So my one remaining A goal for the season is an 8 mile TT with a 4 mile climb in it... any help in preparation welcome, all suggestions considered!
"In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

@gietvangent

Posts

  • le_grimpeurle_grimpeur Posts: 135
    Less is more

    Not knowing your training/riding regime I might be wide of the mark here. One of the things that has improved my performance is riding less often, whilst using these rides to aim for mid to long-term benefits, for example, a 10 mile 5% climb in a higher gear than usual. Initially you will be slower than your best, but hopefully you will improve.
    The ultimate cruelty of love's pinions
  • disgruntledgoatdisgruntledgoat Posts: 8,957
    Thanks, I knew i'd forget something, and how I plan to train for it would seem pretty key!

    Planned week in build up for said TT is as below, with one week in every 4 devoted to recovery.

    Monday: Rest

    Tuesday: Club TT (usually a 10) or timed ride on goal race course

    Wednesday: 3x 5 minute power intervals with 5 minutes recovery followed by a 12 minute TT intensity effort, varying cadance/gearing for resistance.

    Thursday: 1 hour ride with 2x20 minute TT efforts (5 mins recovery between) or 4x 4 minute TT efforts followed by 12 minute climb at lactic threshold with 5x 30 sec "attacks".

    Friday: Rest

    Saturday: 10 mile timed effort on course of own devising (similar to goal course) 45 min easy ride out and back to get there!

    Sunday: Road race/ club run.
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,158
    Sounds like too much intensity to me. 3 days in a row of TT (or above) efforts, then a TT effort on saturday and a race on sunday.

    I'd say you want more time on the bike but less time at TT speed. I'm not saying ride slow, but you simply can't recover from going that hard, that often. Think Quality of intervals, not quantity.
  • disgruntledgoatdisgruntledgoat Posts: 8,957
    Infamous wrote:
    Sounds like too much intensity to me. 3 days in a row of TT (or above) efforts, then a TT effort on saturday and a race on sunday.

    I'd say you want more time on the bike but less time at TT speed. I'm not saying ride slow, but you simply can't recover from going that hard, that often. Think Quality of intervals, not quantity.


    Makes sense... So what tweaks would you suggest? If i'm doing 3 weeks on 1 week off, what kind of recovery should I allow myself within my "on" weeks to maximise adaptation in my recovery week? This is the first year in 10 years of racing that i've actually trained with anything more scientific that "just ride yer bike" so I think i'm on a pretty steep learning curve!
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,158
    Well if you're racing twice a week, then I would say there's no need for any interval sessions. Probably add some steady tempo rides of 90+ minutes instead of intervals.

    I'm no coach though and much less experienced than you! but it seems to make sense.
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    I agree with Infamous, I think you are doing too much.
    I am not a coach but the week before events I taper.

    My usual plan is different to yours. All I do is commute to work every day. It's a hilly commute. Depending on how I feel I will do a day or two "fast" or "slow".

    But on a week with an event I will ride normally on monday. not ride at all on tues, do a "fast" session on weds, no riding thurs and fri and then the event at the weekend.
    Taper must reduce the volume of training but not the quality of it

    The week after events i tend to do a whole week of slow commutes, even if I feel good.
  • disgruntledgoatdisgruntledgoat Posts: 8,957
    I think i'm doing that kind of periodisation already... I'll ride that kind of schedule up until 2 weeks before the event and then go down to 3 rides in a week then 2 the week leading up to an event.

    At the moment I'm on a 2 week furlough of doing nothing at all having just returned from the Pyrennees and a sportive there.

    Do you think that, with the programme i've outlined I'm going too hard at my build phase? I've ridden a similar kind of programme all year and have, as I said, felt i've been riding pretty well. I jus can't seem to hold form or get up for races. Some of it is undoubtedly mental, and i've no idea how ot combat that!
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    I think i'm doing that kind of periodisation already... I'll ride that kind of schedule up until 2 weeks before the event and then go down to 3 rides in a week then 2 the week leading up to an event.

    At the moment I'm on a 2 week furlough of doing nothing at all having just returned from the Pyrennees and a sportive there.

    Do you think that, with the programme i've outlined I'm going too hard at my build phase? I've ridden a similar kind of programme all year and have, as I said, felt i've been riding pretty well. I jus can't seem to hold form or get up for races. Some of it is undoubtedly mental, and i've no idea how ot combat that!

    i ride a different kind of event to you, 24 hour+ audax. I find that the key to good performance is slightly more rest than I feel is necessary or a good idea. One time I went on holiday with the family but no bike for 2 weeks and then did a 600km event immediately afterwards. I felt pretty strong and got round fine.

    The problem with applying this to racing is that you have to maintain your "speed" as well as your "strength"

    By strength I mean the endurance to go at a good pace for a long long time. By speed I mean the ability to go fast for a shorter time. Speed seems to evapourate a lot quicker than endurance. After 10 days of not riding at all my endurance is about the same.

    I usually ride as much as possible the week immediately before the event and then taper as described. I don't gradually ease off like you describe over two weeks. I do not think that is a good plan.
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    I don't get it. If you're racing twice a week, you shouldn't need to train at all. A TT or race should be maximal effort, then in between events you need to recover so maybe do an easy ride for 15-20 miles, that's all. Attempting a TT on saturday then a race on sunday isn't a great idea, unless I've misread that? Why do you think you're not feeling great in races? (!)

    I'd say race as hard as you can, take it easy the rest of the time and if you don't get your goals, strart thinking about structuring a plan for next season. Sounds harsh but training should be in the off season, if you're not up to speed by this time of the year, maybe this season is a write-off! There's always next year :)
  • disgruntledgoatdisgruntledgoat Posts: 8,957
    Edwin wrote:
    I don't get it. If you're racing twice a week, you shouldn't need to train at all. A TT or race should be maximal effort, then in between events you need to recover so maybe do an easy ride for 15-20 miles, that's all. Attempting a TT on saturday then a race on sunday isn't a great idea, unless I've misread that? Why do you think you're not feeling great in races? (!)

    I'd say race as hard as you can, take it easy the rest of the time and if you don't get your goals, strart thinking about structuring a plan for next season. Sounds harsh but training should be in the off season, if you're not up to speed by this time of the year, maybe this season is a write-off! There's always next year :)

    I think you lot are probably spot on here.

    I'm not missing out on goals by miles, it's incremental so I think i pretty much am up to speed... just constantly knackered, I don't feel knackered but i'm aware how it builds up... Likewise, it probably takes 3 days or so to recover from a maximal effort like a TT or a road race and, as such, any adaptation from them will be minimal, plus piling more effot on top of it and not enough recovery is only going to make things worse.

    Practically I think when I get back to training next week I'll scale back to 2 intensive sessions a week, be they a TT (or a simulated effort) and a road race/ interval session and ride the other 3 days as easy sessions just for fun. Then post on here for advice when it comes to tapering in 3 months time!
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    Well good luck, if it's any consolation my only goal this season was to get 2nd cat, and I'm on a whopping 5 points so far, so I'm not sure I'm qualified to critisise anyone else's methods!
    My problem is a bit different though, I normally ride quite strongly but have zero tactics...
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