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How much training?

amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
I'm racing twice a week - usually Thursday and Sunday, but with some 3-race weeks coming up. Season is going well at the moment - scoring BC points, getting in breaks and won my first race a couple of weeks back (season goal is to make 2nd Cat - started as 4th Cat and have scored 29 points so I've got 19 points on my 3rd Cat licence). I ramped my CTL from about 90 in mid-March to 110 at the beginning of May and up to this past week where I've felt a bit fatigued and recovery was slow, have been managing a good mix of quality L4/L5/L6/L7 sessions on top of racing twice each week. I eased off last week and the beginning of this week and feel much better again. FTP is up on the end of last season (my first season racing and first year with a power meter) as are my power bests for all durations except <30s.

Despite the fact that all seems well, I can't decide how much training to do on top of the racing and where to concentrate my efforts. Should I now be doing L4/L5 in preference of the L6/L7 work or do I still need to do both? If I race Sunday and Thursday that leaves me Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday for the high intensity training though I try not to do anything too strenuous on Friday as the Sunday races are more important to me (Thursday race is only TLI).

The next races that I'm really targeting aren't until later in June and the beginning of July, though I've got quite a few Reg A races coming up and if I want to be even vaguely competitive I'll need to be fairly fresh.

I'm basically at a bit of a loss as to how to structure my training so I can continue racing as I am, but not do myself in by the end of June.

Any advice? I'd love to get a coach, but can't really afford one at the moment. Could stretch to a training plan though - might that help and if so can anyone recommend a good coach that'd do me one?
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  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    I pay £35 a month for my coach, and TBH, its the best £35 a month I've ever spent on cycling.

    Having all of the "doubt" from my own training schedules taken away, and having someone to bounce ideas / worries / thoughts and recent performances (good and bad) off of is well, well, worth it.

    I don't think £35 a month is a lot of money (when you compare it to the amount people plow into expensive kit), are you sure you can't afford it?
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    What do you actually get for £35 /month? I though a decent coach was a lot more expensive than that.
    More problems but still living....
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Weekly training plans (actual custom plans built around the individual, not some cookie cutter plan like other coaches), feedback on races, email contact, he also comes out to local races for a bit of face time, advice on kit, warm ups, pacing etc etc, he's a top guy too (and bloody fast!!!)
  • rock_hopperrock_hopper Posts: 129
    My personal thoughts and experiences. I train and race by feel so my advice would be get to know your body really well (sounds like you do), prioritise your races and train around your them accordingly. Like yourself Ive raced and trained a fair bit recently, some races I have trained through, some I have taken 1 or 2 days rest around and for the race this weekend I am having an easy week so that I can be fresh and competitive.

    Once you know your body your legs (and head) will tell you each day if you want to train or take an easy spin. Ive used recovery riding very effectively this year and within half an hour or so I know if training is a goer or not. It's great for keeping the legs moving and assessing how well you are recovering. I think 3 intense/hard days a week is plenty so if your racing Sun & Thur Tuesday would be a good option for interval training but like I said go on feel. You might not be recovered by Tuesday and there is nothing wrong with 2 hard days in a row (IMHO) so maybe Wed/Thur.

    If I was you and my next target races weren't until the end of June I would train through your races until then, just accept that you may not do as well as you could have done if you had been rested. Hope this helps.
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    +1 danowat. You'll never know how good you could be unless you work with a good coach. £35-40 per month and a better effect than any bling component.
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    danowat wrote:
    I pay £35 a month for my coach, and TBH, its the best £35 a month I've ever spent on cycling.

    Having all of the "doubt" from my own training schedules taken away, and having someone to bounce ideas / worries / thoughts and recent performances (good and bad) off of is well, well, worth it.

    I don't think £35 a month is a lot of money (when you compare it to the amount people plow into expensive kit), are you sure you can't afford it?

    Conversely, I had a coach last season and it was the biggest waste of money in my cycling career, which considering I have 13 pairs of cycling gloves and at least 10 pairs of overshoes that's saying quite a lot. Depends on the coach and your personal level of knowledge I guess.
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    P_Tucker wrote:
    Depends on the coach and your personal level of knowledge I guess.

    I'd strongly agree with the first bit, as you have to get on with the coach in question, you need to have a good working relationship, and it works both ways.

    Not sure I agree with the second bit, you can have all the knowledge in the world, but its no good if you don't know how to apply that knowledge in the correct manner.

    Coaching isn't for everyone, but it works for me.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Can I just say Well Done Amaferanga?

    Sounds like you are nailing it at the mo, good stuff. :D

    As for training through races etc. Not a clue, sorry...

    But... It seems like you are going well and are in tune with your body, trust how you feel and what your body is telling you...

    Good luck with the rest of your racing! :o
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Unlike others, I wouldn't say get a coach - I can't possibly see how the economics can work at 35quid a month. The coach is either so short of work that they can devote a lot of time for lower than the wage they could get in McDonalds, or you're not getting much time from the coach and there's little chance of a genuine custom plan. Particularly if you're racing every few days when you cannot possibly predict how tough a race may be until after you've completed it.

    Amarefanga - I wouldn't get a training plan any more than a coach - for IM triathletes or marathon runners or even sportivers who are doing nothing but focusing on a single big event a few months away then a training plan makes some sense. But for racing every few days it can't because races can either be extremely easy (your team mate gets in the break in the first 5minutes, you sit in for the rest of the race) or extremely tough (you get in the break in the first 5 minutes) So you couldn't have a training plan based outside of that.

    Personally I would forget about "resting" or anything for the sunday races as much as the thursday ones until June, resting (as opposed to not killing yourself) doesn't really gain you much for the short races typical of 2/3/4. And I would structure if you want to do L4 or L6/7 depending on the training benefit you got in the races that week - to keep the overall weekly mix general. You are almost certainly still able to make good FTP improvements which (along with experience and tactics) will be how you'll make the most gains in your racing.

    You have the Power Meter - you can very easily quantify the success of your training, and almost certainly comfortably notice any overtraining or overreaching and know to rest.

    The best thing though is to get into an environment of people you can talk to about training. I'm fortunate in that I have many other power meter users and people who care about their training in my club and around me who can discuss ideas and how their training is going and help me if I have questions. So if you can do that, it'll help a lot I think.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Thanks for all the replies. On the coach thing I'm with Jim - if a coach is only charging £35 /month then they must have a heck of a lot of clients on their books and therefore I can't see how they can dedicate much time to each. Certainly not enough to amend plans on a week-by-week basis I'd have thought.
    More problems but still living....
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    amaferanga wrote:
    Thanks for all the replies. On the coach thing I'm with Jim - if a coach is only charging £35 /month then they must have a heck of a lot of clients on their books and therefore I can't see how they can dedicate much time to each. Certainly not enough to amend plans on a week-by-week basis I'd have thought.

    Are you going on Rutland chain gang?
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    amaferanga wrote:
    Thanks for all the replies. On the coach thing I'm with Jim - if a coach is only charging £35 /month then they must have a heck of a lot of clients on their books and therefore I can't see how they can dedicate much time to each. Certainly not enough to amend plans on a week-by-week basis I'd have thought.

    Some may do it as an addition to other stuff, don't base quality of coaching on a price. As for amending plans week by week, expect to pay big bucks for that pleasure :wink: . With the right coach/rider combination, you can amend plans by yourself if you know the overall picture of how the plan is set out to work.

    Any how, with racing twice a week, training is going to suffer, or racing is going to suffer in all honesty, no doubt most coaches would say race perhaps once a week :wink: . You are obviously doing very well, so congratulations there. As for training why not train on the Monday and perhaps have a small block of hard training with a rest on Friday, and a leg loosener on the Saturday. That would no doubt leave you fresher for the Sunday races. If you do feel extra tired you could always have Monday set aside as an additional rest day.

    With a 3 race week, it is going to be hard to structure any training IMO, as like jibberjim says, you don't know how tired you will be, if they are 3 easyish races then hard training is unlikely to be a problem, but if all 3 were very hard races, you might need the other days just to recover properly.
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    SheffSimon wrote:

    Are you going on Rutland chain gang?

    Sometime. Only twice this year actually.
    More problems but still living....
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    SBezza wrote:
    Some may do it as an addition to other stuff, don't base quality of coaching on a price. As for amending plans week by week, expect to pay big bucks for that pleasure :wink: . With the right coach/rider combination, you can amend plans by yourself if you know the overall picture of how the plan is set out to work.

    Any how, with racing twice a week, training is going to suffer, or racing is going to suffer in all honesty, no doubt most coaches would say race perhaps once a week :wink: . You are obviously doing very well, so congratulations there. As for training why not train on the Monday and perhaps have a small block of hard training with a rest on Friday, and a leg loosener on the Saturday. That would no doubt leave you fresher for the Sunday races. If you do feel extra tired you could always have Monday set aside as an additional rest day.

    With a 3 race week, it is going to be hard to structure any training IMO, as like jibberjim says, you don't know how tired you will be, if they are 3 easyish races then hard training is unlikely to be a problem, but if all 3 were very hard races, you might need the other days just to recover properly.

    I can't train on Monday cos that's shopping day :oops: - could probably change it. Sunday races are usually hard though so it'd probably be a steady L2/recovery ride (which is what I do at the moment - an hour or so on the way home from work).

    My Thursday race should really just be a training race - that was my plan going into them so I really shouldn't be worrying about being fresh, in which case a Tues-Wed-Thurs or a Wed-Thurs-Fri training block would probably work.

    I hadn't really considered planning my training around what I do in races for a given week - seems very obvious now. makes more sense that what I do at the moment which is plan my training a week or two in advance.
    More problems but still living....
  • RushieRushie Posts: 115
    There are a couple of training plans in the Chris Carmichael "Time-Crunched Cyclist" book. They are obviously generic plans but you could no doubt tailor them to your specific needs. Carmichael's approach seems to be higher intensities for shorter periods of time and then stressing the importance of rest. Probably all common sense stuff but easy to lose sight of when all your mates are out doing lots of long rides. Worth a look anyway.
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    amaferanga wrote:
    I can't train on Monday cos that's shopping day :oops: - could probably change it.

    Supermarkets are open 24 hours a day these days. :lol:
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    SBezza wrote:
    amaferanga wrote:
    I can't train on Monday cos that's shopping day :oops: - could probably change it.

    Supermarkets are open 24 hours a day these days. :lol:

    True, but I'm a creature of habit. And unfortunately the most convenient time for shopping for me - Sunday evening - is the one time the supermarkets are closed....
    More problems but still living....
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