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Training for road races up to 50miles

1122sarahk1122sarahk Posts: 6
Hi.
It's the first year that i've trained through winter specifically to start racing next season. Many of the races in the series that I will be competing in are up to 50miles. I have read so much about training that I am now confused as to what is enough and too much during the off-season to prepare me. I have a turbo trainer, and can also get out on the road most evenings. I have a Garmin and therefore tend to work on heart rate readings.

Any recommendations as to the frequency, duration and intensity of the workouts that I should be doing would be great! :D

Posts

  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Whilst most of the regulars on here could give you some generalised advice (although 120 views and 0 replies indicates most are a bit shy :wink: ) the only ones that are really qualified to give specific advice get paid for their services.

    If you are completely confused with conflicting advice (of which there is an awful lot on the internet and forums in general), it might be a good idea to consider coaching to get a plan drawn up for next season. Maybe consider a one-off 3-month plan (c.£100-£150) if you can't afford/justify full coaching. It will cut the learning curve down dramatically for you.

    The other option is to draw up your own plan, but as you've found, sometimes it's hard to see the wood for the trees. I can highly recommend this free publication to get you started though:
    http://www.freewebs.com/velodynamics2/rcgtp1.pdf

    Now obviously it's aimed at powermeter users, but the basic principles still apply no matter how you measure your intensity of training (heart rate, power or perceived exertion).

    Another good source of info for drawing up your own plan is Joe Friel's "Cyclists Training Bible" although I tend to find it makes things more complicated than needs be and some of the advice re weight training is contentious.

    By all means, once you've put together a plan, there a plenty of experienced folk on here who can suggest tweaks etc to improve it.

    Good luck!
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Are you talking about the womens team series races? My first advice would be to get racing on circuits, wherever you can, the most important training you need is knowing how to sit comfortable in a group and how to recognise that the people around you are about to break and a gap need to be closed.

    Womens racing is often quite different to mens in that the field is full of very different fitness levels and people go out of the back. To avoid this it's often not fitness you need but experience to avoid being behind these people who are blowing and then having to close the gap. That will be particularly hard in some of the team series events, particularly somewhere like Bedford 2 day early in the year where the standard is extremely high due to the attractions of what is an excellent event.

    Of course the fitter you are, the easier it is and means you're fighting for the win rather than surviving in the front bunch (In the team series a break isn't that common as unless all the strong riders in the race are in it, it gets chased down quickly, and if all the strong riders in the race are in it then there's no incentive for them to work as they're not dropping anyone)

    The sort of training you enjoy is likely the best sort of training, as that's what you'll do, if you do not have an endurance background you'll get massive gains simply from doing any training indeed a training plan may often hold you back more as you follow it rather than doing the maximum you can maintain.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • Thanks for the response, there were some good points made!
    Yes, it is the Womens team series that I am talking about, because other races only tend to have one or two women in them, and like you said jibberjim, the fitness levels vary substantially! I took part in two of the races last year, just to get some idea of what I was aiming for, and I did seem to struggle more tactically rather than on the fitness front. As you pointed out, I do a lot of training on my own, and therefore a group of 50 riders felt tactically overwhelming at points, so I ended up dropping to the back of the group.
    I have been focussing on increasing my weekly mileage since the end of season, to around 150miles per week, but I have slowed to riding at about 70-80% of my max most days. I intend to start and introduce one or two interval and threshold sessions from December onwards, gradually building to three a week. I am fairly strong on hill climbs because I a relatively light for my height, but I struggle with power on the flat so feel that this needs to become a focus. Any suggestions for key sessions to improve this?
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    1122sarahk wrote:
    I struggle with power on the flat so feel that this needs to become a focus. Any suggestions for key sessions to improve this?
    Time Trial Intervals / 2x20's will help a lot in this respect and are an excellent use of 1 hour on the turbo or road - in fact they are pretty good value all round for any type of riding.
    http://alex-cycle.blogspot.com/2007/01/ ... wenty.html
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    1122sarahk wrote:
    Hi.
    It's the first year that i've trained through winter specifically to start racing next season. Many of the races in the series that I will be competing in are up to 50miles. I have read so much about training that I am now confused as to what is enough and too much during the off-season to prepare me. I have a turbo trainer, and can also get out on the road most evenings. I have a Garmin and therefore tend to work on heart rate readings.

    Any recommendations as to the frequency, duration and intensity of the workouts that I should be doing would be great! :D
    mmm its always tricky giving specific advice when you don't know the person's training history, their ability to recover, their experience, their motivation and what traing aids they're using: power meter, HRT monitor etc. Given all that - here are some genralisations.
    1. It sounds like you need experience riding with groups so do that at least once a week (join a club or group of experienced rider - don't be afraid to ride with boys!)
    2. The bigger your aerobic engine/threshold power the stronger you'll be in any race longer than a few minutes.Increasing your engine size should be your ultimate goal when training. This can be done in a number of ways. Endurance rides 2-4 hours at a steady even pace but
    (if you have less than 8-10 hours per week training time I'd only do one of these rides per weeks. In fact the less training time you have the more intensive each session should be. E.G If you've only got four hours per week to train. One 2 hour friendly fast sessions and two separate hours threshold blasts might be the way to go - 3 sessions/days per week. If you've got 15 hours training time available you could probably do two endurance/long rides per week and have a tempo and threshold session on other days)

    3. Do tempo/sweet spot rides/ friendly fast rides 1-2 (hrs) rides - faster than your endurance rides, concentration and focus needed to maintain the effort after 30 mins or so

    4. Threshold/TT/Race pace efforts in with 60 mins training time or less available. After a fifteen minute warm up ride quite hard. lots of concentration will be needed and you won't be able to talk much, if at all. See Bronzie post

    5. When you're 6-8 weeks away from racing - short hard intervals 1-2 mins; sprints (do some sprinting during your endurance rides to 8-15secs); 3-5 mins intervals.

    All this needs to be put in a plan; you'll need to factor in recovery days (2 perhaps or 1) etc. You haven't given us much info to go on Sarah if you do you'll get more specific advice (For example, when can you train and how many hours do you have available?, what are you weakest at if it? etc) I'm sure you'll get more advice. Good Luck :D
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