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How long before your first race should increase intensity?

warrior4lifewarrior4life Posts: 925
Ive been consistent over winter getting about 10hrs a week base training, Im doing my first races of the year at the end of march, I've just started to add one session a week where i push it more.. Is this to soon?

I know there could be more detail but i just want a rough idea of how close to the race i should start doing the tough stuff.

Any help much appricated!


  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    Be interesting to get a bit more information - base training can mean different things to different people - from riding around easy in a small gear to 2*20 intervals at threshold.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Im 34, Keeping my heart rate around 140 and doing 10+ hours a week.
    Doing around 4 hrs turbo and 6+ on the road, 2 hrs a week is on the fixed gear bike.
    I'm in the gym 3 times a week lifting weights, I'm 6ft and 87kg.

    I went and road with a group for the fisrt time in 3 months last weekend and i was very strong, Everything felt easy and when the pace went up i was stronger than people who i expected would destroy me.
    Ive been riding on and off for years but i just like to go fast all the time, This is the first time i've reigned myself in for a longer period and im surprised by the difference.

    I think i'm going to invest in the Joe Friel book and try and get a rough framework for the next few months.
    The last 2 years ive gone on easy rides by myself and tried to beat everyone on club runs. last year my strength completely went in august and i was weak for months.

    When racing i could be ok, I won one and got a 6th in another. Other times i was just rubbish. I had no consitencey.

    I just want to feel good on a more consistent basis.... Hope that helps, Cheers, Ben
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    Sounds promising.

    If you are planning a full season I wouldn't start going mad with high intensity intervals just yet. What I would do is some extended threshold intervals and practice your sprinting.

    Beyond that I'd say March is plenty early enough to ramp things up whether that is with more high intensity intervals or hard chaingangs. If you have good form now though remember what got you there - your 10 hours a week of base work - don't throw all that out and start doing too many anaerobic sessions - you want some icing on the cake but just icing with no cake is no good to anyone.

    It's hard to peak and hold that through the season so you may find you have to choose a couple of target periods and aim for them with a bit of recovery and build inbetween. If you can hold consistent form all the way through then you probably haven't really hit a peak.

    I'm not a coach or super experienced so that's just opinion.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • you want some icing on the cake but just icing with no cake is no good to anyone.

    I like that, I'll take any advice so that greatv thanks.
    I'm actually now enjoying the easier stuff so i'll be glad to carry on with it.
    Also i'll be glad to add some sprints as they are my strong point, I've found the base training has really helped my climbing and i'll drop another 3-4kgs for summer.
    Thanks, Ben[/quote]
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    You can start whenever you like, it really does depend. It is unlikely you will be at peak fitness at the start of the racing season, so you will build fitness throughout the season.

    I would look at what events (if any) you may want to be your best at, and work back from these, it is unlikely you can maintain your peak fitness all season long. I would think you need to give yourself a minimum of 8 weeks for the body to get the best adaption of the higher intensity.

    As Tom has mentioned there will be times in the year that having a small break from racing and build again will be ideal and will prolong your racing fitness.
  • Never thought about the small break then picking it back up, Ill try and figure that into the middle somewhere.
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