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Say you had four weeks to do nothing but cycle....

miguel21miguel21 Posts: 4
Say you have four weeks (starting late Janurary) to do nothing but cycle/train and get into shape for season ahead... what would you do?

This is the 'conundrum' my uni holidays are posing me. I plan on training like a pro, 6 hours a day, with the aim of 10m TTs in March and then races thereafter but the trouble is I have no idea how to use the time to greatest effect or even if training that much is smart?!?!

So, what would you do if you were me?

Posts

  • Firstly, I wouldn't even attempt to "train like a pro" for 4 weeks solid, it just won't be possible. And imo, basing your winter training around 4 weeks isn't very wise either. Are you training now? If not, I'd use them 4 weeks to start to focus on endurance and pick up the speed work in March, but other riders on here might suggest otherwise. Personally, I'm only just starting my winter training and will pick up the pace in late February, giving me 4 weeks until my first race. Building endurance takes time, so if you start training now, you should be in decent shape come your holiday.
  • jacsterjacster Posts: 177
    What is your current training looking like?
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,513
    depending on your current training load, it's possible that putting in 6 hours per day could finish you off before the first week is over. That's the sort of thing you need to build up to - not jump into from a standing start...
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    ^ I was just about to say that.

    You'll fall into the downward spiral of overtraining. Even if you don't, the sudden increased load on your system will make your motivation levels drop as you'll constantly feel tired. Breaking through that barrier will get your body used to the constant day-in-day-out training, but it's better to build this up over a long period so your body can adapt better.

    I was in a similar situation to you a couple of months ago and ended up riding round for hours on end like a headless chicken, wearing myself out without much specific targets. I wish I had spent some money on coaching time...

    6 hours a day every day is not even how most pros train. Those pro riders and coaches i've spoken to consider a 25 hour week "hard", but get about 20 hours a week in on average. About 5 of those are on a turbo trainer for quick but intense workouts spread throughout the day or for recovery. The hours come with specific targets from their coaches, so they're not wasting time. Unless you're training for a 6 hour event, you could probably use the time more wisely.

    I'd recommend a coach, even if it's just to get a solid training plan for those 4 weeks and a few weeks leading up to them or whatever...
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    It all depends on how you feel and the weather conditions.

    Anyhow, some days you could even go out early morning and in the afternoon instead of one big long ride. Just aim to mix up your training by doing hillwork some TT's and a slow long ride to relax and enjoy the scenery.

    If you start training too hard you will probably abhor it before too long or even injure yourself.

    [added] as bhima just popped up before my post validated and mentioned, dont overtrain - spot on!
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Some good advice here.

    I get August off and I always say I'll 'train like a pro' but in reality it never happens and I end up doing less training because I loose my routine of commuting.

    The advice about 6hr rides daily is good, I had a very good base but when I did back to back 6hr rides in August it almost wiped me out and it was more mental then physical.

    Remember cycling is a hobby, you should look forward to it. When you do 6hr rides every day it soon becomes a 'job' and who enjoys their job!

    Your also fighting the weather in January.

    So what I would do (given that your target is 10mile tt's) is get some serious quality in, really hard but shortish multiple sessions per day and then use the time to recover.
  • 3-4 hours a day is plenty. Maybe do a couple of TT style efforts on the turbo if you have one?
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    I have 3 weeks off over Christmas with no family or personal obligations.

    So can and will train daily. But wouldn't dream of training for 6 hours a day.

    If I get 3 solid hours in a day - I'll be worn out, but happy. Maybe longer some days, shorter, but more intense on other days.

    Depends on the weather!
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Pokerface wrote:
    If I get 3 solid hours in a day - I'll be worn out, but happy. Maybe longer some days, shorter, but more intense on other days.

    Yeah, if you can find the sweet spot which allows you to get really worn out, but not so worn out that going out the next day and doing it all again would not be possible, you're laughing. Still trying to find that magic sweet spot though...
  • You can train hard everyday effectively on a short 25 miles. Got to be extra good with recovery food and timing. As long as you recover fast enough and get good sleep. You got to get just the right amount of effort right for day to day to progress good.

    But more effective to train even harder 3-4x a week giving opportunity to recover more in between from the harder training.
  • nolfnolf Posts: 1,287
    Last summer I had 3 weeks before uni term started when I had minimal work commitments/activity.

    Basically i went out pretty much everyday and did a 100km ride.

    Easy days would b a 3.5 hour flat 100k (with a cafe stop for a nice coffee). Not too fast ad fairly easy.

    Most days I would go out and do a 100km loop. Aimed for 3.5 hours with no cafe stop, solo with the hills makes this a tough workout. But you get home, eat a load of food + recovery drink, stretch, shower, have a 2hr nap. Afternoon and a bit more stretching (maybe could do 10 mins on the rollers if you were so inclined before stretching), then have more food, loads of water, and get some reading in.

    Early night means you can get even more sleep in, and then in the morning ready to do it all again.

    It's surprisingly tough mentally, and each morning take it slow at the start of the ride. Also plenty of vitamins and minimising physical activity is a must!

    Slightest hint of illness take a day off.

    Enjoy it! It should be tough but you'll come out fitter than you have ever been!
    Massively jealous.
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    nolf wrote:
    Basically i went out pretty much every day and did a 100km ride.

    Also plenty of vitamins and minimising physical activity is a must!
    :?:
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,130
    You can train hard everyday effectively on a short 25 miles. Got to be extra good with recovery food and timing. As long as you recover fast enough and get good sleep. You got to get just the right amount of effort right for day to day to progress good.

    But more effective to train even harder 3-4x a week giving opportunity to recover more in between from the harder training.
    So your advice for a full time cyclist is to ride 75-100 miles a week ?


    Pokerface: he means when not riding, to help your body recover.
  • If you've no other obligations, get somewhere pleasant and get touring for a bit. Make the most of having 4 weeks to throw at cycling - these things don't happen very often! you'll build a tremendous base.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Infamous wrote:
    You can train hard everyday effectively on a short 25 miles. Got to be extra good with recovery food and timing. As long as you recover fast enough and get good sleep. You got to get just the right amount of effort right for day to day to progress good.

    But more effective to train even harder 3-4x a week giving opportunity to recover more in between from the harder training.
    So your advice for a full time cyclist is to ride 75-100 miles a week ?

    I think the emphasis is on the "Can" :wink: especially if you don't have much time, but if you had everyday for cycling I reckon it'd be sensible to do a bit more.

    I definitely wouldn't consider doing 6 hours a day, for a few reasons:

    1. If you aren't used to it, it'll knackered you out after a few days
    2. 6 hours alone riding a day could get a bit boring
    3. It's supposed to a holiday, and if you are at university don't you have January exams to be revising for?
    I like bikes...

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  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    4 weeks with nothing to do but cycle?

    I'd get bored.
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    Pokerface wrote:
    nolf wrote:
    Basically i went out pretty much every day and did a 100km ride.

    Also plenty of vitamins and minimising physical activity is a must!
    :?:

    I think he means spend the rest of the time laying on the settee, watching telly. :D
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,513
    SheffSimon wrote:
    I think he means spend the rest of the time laying on the settee, watching telly. :D

    isn't that what students do anyway..? ;)
  • SplottboySplottboy Posts: 3,695
    Been there, done that! Did 3 -4 weeks round BC/Alberta/Montana/Idaho.
    Was 25 - 30 degrees daytime, one shower and frost one morning, Sept/Oct.

    We we doing 20 miles after brekky, 20 more early afternoon, then 20 more late afternoon/early evening. Ok, it was only 60 miles per day, but this was on Mtbs, heavy tyres, and almost everyday. Over 1,000km ridden, 3,000 km driven, for cancer charity.

    When I got back, lost loads of fat, and local rides seemed soooooo easy! Flying up climbs, flat felt like a chainless session, ie no effort at all.
    Had to do some 55 to 80 mile days before the trip, so was well prepared for it.
    And during the event, - 3 lads 1 girl - the rivalry was apparent...Sprint finishes most days!
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    There's a massive difference between just riding for 6 hours each day and training for 6 hours each day.
    More problems but still living....
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    miguel21 wrote:
    Say you have four weeks (starting late Janurary) to do nothing but cycle/train and get into shape for season ahead... what would you do?

    Go to Spain
  • SplottboySplottboy Posts: 3,695
    No one can train for 6 hrs per day, it's not physically possible at an intense level!
    There's only enough Glycogen in your body for 1.5 - 2hrs of INTENSE exercise.
    The rest would be aerobic, easier, laid back training. Even to TDF guys don't actually RACE for 6 hrs pr day.
    If you're riding for 6 hrs per day, with hills, mountains, wind, heat, heavy tyres and doing it over 1,000km, there will be a training effect, believe you me.
    Anyone trying to TRAIN for 6HRS per day for 3 - 4 weeks would be asking for saddle sores, tendinitis, aching back, possible excessive weight loss, over-training syndrome.
    They would be nuts...oh, and sick/injured at the end.
  • Infamous wrote:
    So your advice for a full time cyclist is to ride 75-100 miles a week

    As you obviously know lots and lots is not better for ultimate training. I advised training on a short 25 mile TT route at very hard intensity. Due to the short mileage the body can take it day to day with the right recovery strategy. ie. food, drink and sleep. Short high intensity day to day needs fair amount of calories more to maximize improvement. All the extra muscle you put on due to extra calories means you burn more fat. You ultimately need extra calories to build muscle and for good repair to progress fast especially over short training period. The regular hard training means quality deep sleep.

    Training very hard intensity means you are able to cope with longer rides as well. Look at high intensity training as a example. The high intensity gives you great muscle endurance. The OP is eventually training for TT. On the way home from the 25 TT. he can ride up hills to train with different terrain as well, in preparation for longer racing.

    I meant to add if you limiting it to 3 or 4x and not day to day then the rides would be longer than 25miles and adjust the intensity. Doing the most muscle damage and stressing the nervous system all in one day, giving the body 100% recovery until the next time is the ideal.
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,130
    Ok, thanks.
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