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Steady miles?

Graeme JonesGraeme Jones Posts: 361
edited September 2013 in Training, fitness and health
I am not great with the science side of training so I have a question for you all.

Is there any benefit from riding at say 15mph for 40 miles is you are capable of going quicker? My ride today was at 17.6mph with about 1800ft of elevation over 35miles so pretty flat.

Obviously there are so many variables regarding av speed etc, but say its a couple of HR zones lower.i have focused on keeping a decent tempo on any ride I do balancing sustainability for the duration or I target 3-4 segments within my ride using strava but make sure the pace for the rest of the ride is again at a decent tempo normally around 75%mhr.

With the winter coming soon there is always talk of base miles etc etc but is there any benefit to slowing the tempo other that to get more miles in? I feel guilty if I'm not always pushing on

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,256
    Might help if you gave some indication of what the aim of your riding is?
  • turnerjohnturnerjohn Posts: 1,249
    75% max is a gental ride !
  • Today's average was 154bpm with 194 max. My absolute max is 202.

    Goals were originally TT focused for ten and twenty five milers but I will focus on those specifics on the turbo this winter.

    My goals are vague really wanting to be a good all rounder I have improved up hill on the flats and on descents by just pushing myself every ride. I was just unsure if there is any point in the occasional slower tempo ride and if it gives you any benefits regardless of goals.

    I will be focusing on achieving a 23min 10TT and 1:05:00 25TT on my standard road bike by May. I am currently at 26mins and 1:12:00only having done 3x10TT and 1x25TT.
  • LegendLustLegendLust Posts: 1,022
    Buy this. Follow the plans. Achieve your goals.

    http://www.timetrialtraining.co.uk/
  • matt-hmatt-h Posts: 847
    Today's average was 154bpm with 194 max. My absolute max is 202.

    Goals were originally TT focused for ten and twenty five milers but I will focus on those specifics on the turbo this winter.

    My goals are vague really wanting to be a good all rounder I have improved up hill on the flats and on descents by just pushing myself every ride. I was just unsure if there is any point in the occasional slower tempo ride and if it gives you any benefits regardless of goals.

    I will be focusing on achieving a 23min 10TT and 1:05:00 25TT on my standard road bike by May. I am currently at 26mins and 1:12:00only having done 3x10TT and 1x25TT.

    Hi Graeme,
    not that i can add a lot to this thread but i feel i am in the same position as you - inc HR and TT times! 8)
    A friend has suggested to me to stop going as hard as i can every ride to focus on lowering my HR for fat burn and endurance.
    The probelm i hae with that is that i climb and carry a better average speed over any distance better than him and have been improving all summer - sort of dispells that theory.

    I will be keeping an eye on this thread

    Matt
  • matt-h wrote:
    not that i can add a lot to this thread but i feel i am in the same position as you


    I will be keeping an eye on this thread

    Why!?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • matt-hmatt-h Posts: 847
    matt-h wrote:
    not that i can add a lot to this thread but i feel i am in the same position as you


    I will be keeping an eye on this thread

    Why!?

    Why watch it?
    Because it saves me making a duplicate post :roll:

    Matt
  • matt-h wrote:
    Hi Graeme,
    not that i can add a lot to this thread but i feel i am in the same position as you - inc HR and TT times! 8)
    A friend has suggested to me to stop going as hard as i can every ride to focus on lowering my HR for fat burn and endurance.
    The probelm i hae with that is that i climb and carry a better average speed over any distance better than him and have been improving all summer - sort of dispells that theory.

    I will be keeping an eye on this thread

    Matt

    To clarify, while riding at a lower effort (HR) will result in more 'fat' being 'burnt' (as a percentage of total energy expended)*, it's entirely possible that riding at a higher intensity will result in more energy being expended and this will have a more positive effect on your weight management and fitness (as well as the fact that it will also help you to burn more fat at a given intensity).

    However, that doesn't mean that every session should be hard, some sessions do need to be easier (but just not for the reasons that you're specifically thinking of).

    * if you extend out your original thought you'd come to the conclusion that sitting in a chair with your feet would expend the highest amount of fat. which unfortunately isn't right! (shame as training would be some much easier if we could all just sit and relax :-)!).

    ric
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
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  • This is my take.

    If your aim is to burn fat, generally a longer, slower ride will, in total be more effective as you can ride so much longer for a relatively smaller reduction in effort. Generally speaking, four hours at the maximum pace you can sustain for four hours will burn more calories than 2 hours at the maximum pace you can sustain for two hours. Also, a higher percentage of the energy expended will be derived from fat.

    If your aim is to build your endurance, aerobic capacity and so forth, long miles can work very effectively, especially as a compliment to higher intensity sessions. For example, take a look at these papers:

    http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/endurance-training-large-amounts-of-low-intensity-training-can-develop-base-conditioning-and-aid-recovery-41932

    http://www.sportsci.org/2009/ss.pdf

    However, there is one big caveat. To progress you generally need to do a session at pace that will impose a significant training stress on you, and the fitter you get the higher the intensity / the longer the duration needs to be.

    The traditional 'Base building' approach focus' on the duration part of the equation, keeping the level of effort at around what has been called your 'Maximum aerobic function' level of intensity. This equates to around 70% of your HR range using the Karvonen equation. For example, with a maximum HR of 190, and a resting Hr of 50, your range would be 140 and your MAF would be 70% of this, plus your resting HR, giving 148 bpm. Some formulations allow for some adjustment of this figure, for example, adding 5 beats if you are an experienced athlete, giving a 'ceiling' of 153 Bpm.

    The idea is that you train, at least for the first part of your periodisation cycle at or just below this intensity. Some argue that even a couple of hours at this pace will provide an effective training stimulus, but my feeling is that if you get home having felt you have done nothing, there won't be much of a training stress that will trigger a recovery / adaption phase. Hence, I would go along with those who would argue that you really do need to 'get the hours in' at this pace.
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • matt-h wrote:
    A friend has suggested to me to stop going as hard as i can every ride to focus on lowering my HR for fat burn and endurance. The probelm i hae with that is that i climb and carry a better average speed over any distance better than him and have been improving all summer - sort of dispells that theory.

    Perhaps you are simply a more gifted rider than he is?

    Also, part of the idea behind 'base' training is that it helps to promote long-term gains, and to prepare the body better for higher intensity efforts, so allowing the body to gain more from them.

    Sure, if you are relatively new to the sport going as hard as you can every time you go out will lead to rapid improvements, but you will eventually reach a 'plateau'. When this happens a more 'polarised' approach may be needed, not least because continuing to batter away every time you go out will leave you totally wasted, especially at the higher intensities and longer durations that your newly developed fitness will allow.

    Some more on the importance of MAF work, from a running perspective:

    http://barefootrunner.co.uk/user/sites/barefootrunner.co.uk/files/docs/Want_Speed_Slow_Down_2007.pdf
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    The straight answer to your question for your goals is yes but I'd advise being more specific.

    A key part to going faster in any form of TT is balancing consistent power output, aerodynamics and comfort (not just nice to have, it may well be the limiter for a 25miler). This can be done on a turbo but is best done in conjunction with riding on real roads.

    Rides like the one you mention are ideal to practice these. If you find a good aero position you can hold for the duration of the ride it will be a good reference point to build power from and tweak from an bike setup/ aerodynamic pov. (Also and especially if you are planning to use tri bars and are not used to them).

    Other point about being specific is take note of some key splits on the ride,say a flat 5 mile section. Then you can easily rerun the workout but at as a harder one by trying to do the 5 mile at your target 1 hour pace. Note rpe/hr. It will be a useful base and also a reference point for turbo training.

    Once you have a set-up you are happy with you can then transfer to turbo and work on upping intensity.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • Cheers guys some interesting replies over the last few days.
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    One element that seems to be missing from this discussion is the volume of training done eg how many hours per week are you going to ride?

    Those studies above provide good reading but both seem focused on studies of elite athletes training daily and Beer mentions 15+ hours per week training. That really is a lot of riding for most people and even on my 'big' weeks I rarely hit that level or higher!

    I think its important to factor in your own circumstances and available time. As your volume increases then you have to reduce intensity in some workouts just to get through it. If you only do 6 hours per week then you'll likely want to go harder than someone with 15 hours available. Does the 80:20 ratio of easy:HIT work still apply to a 6-8 hour week?

    I also think the specificity aspect is key. Elite athletes who race 160-200km daily races, often back to back or at least on a frequent basis, might need a different type of training to those of us doing 10 or 25 mile TTs.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • marykamaryka Posts: 748
    Bigpikle wrote:
    Does the 80:20 ratio of easy:HIT work still apply to a 6-8 hour week?
    Absolutely not... if I did that, I would detrain! When you use a powermeter and TSS (training stress score based on power produced in a workout) to measure your effort, you'll see that unless you have a very low CTL (chronic training load, i.e. the TSS you can do day in and day out) you will actually lose fitness if you do 6-7 hours of easy work and only 1-2 hours of hard work per week.

    Not that I advocate 8hrs of intensity per week either but certainly with a limited amount of time to train, you have to make it count. To maintain a CTL of ~80* which is about the minimum I need to race well (where an hour at threshold is worth 100) I need to do 560 TSS a week. A week of riding 7 hours at 70% and 1 hour at 90% would get me about 425 TSS = detraining.

    * simplistic model for purposes of illustration
  • Bigpikle wrote:
    One element that seems to be missing from this discussion is the volume of training done eg how many hours per week are you going to ride? ...I think its important to factor in your own circumstances and available time.

    I did mention this.
    Some argue that even a couple of hours at this pace will provide an effective training stimulus, but my feeling is that if you get home having felt you have done nothing, there won't be much of a training stress that will trigger a recovery / adaption phase. Hence, I would go along with those who would argue that you really do need to 'get the hours in' at this pace.
    Bigpikle wrote:
    ...Elite athletes who race 160-200km daily races, often back to back or at least on a frequent basis, might need a different type of training to those of us doing 10 or 25 mile TTs.

    Agreed, and I have much the same over on the coaching thread. However, if your thing is riding 80 mile road races, or even hilly or Alpine 'sportives' as many do, I would argue that you still need to get the miles in, at least more than someone exclusively riding short time trials, and this more or less demands a more polarised approach.
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • maryka wrote:
    Not that I advocate 8hrs of intensity per week either but certainly with a limited amount of time to train, you have to make it count. To maintain a CTL of ~80* which is about the minimum I need to race well (where an hour at threshold is worth 100) I need to do 560 TSS a week. A week of riding 7 hours at 70% and 1 hour at 90% would get me about 425 TSS = detraining.

    Of course, another perspective would be to say that "MAF' level rides should not be considered to be 'training' as such, rather they allow a base to be laid down that will allow more true training to be done later, and more benefit to be derived from it. I.e. MAF work is effectively 'training for training'.

    Also, I don't think what you say about 'detraining' is correct. Plenty of studies have shown that once you have gained a certain level of fitness a much smaller volume of high-quality training is enough to maintain those gains.

    Oh, and gains need to be made in a cyclical manner in any case, so there will always be time in the training cycle when you will be in a slightly 'detrained' state as compared to those periods when you are on top form.
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    maryka wrote:
    Bigpikle wrote:
    Does the 80:20 ratio of easy:HIT work still apply to a 6-8 hour week?
    Absolutely not... if I did that, I would detrain! When you use a powermeter and TSS (training stress score based on power produced in a workout) to measure your effort, you'll see that unless you have a very low CTL (chronic training load, i.e. the TSS you can do day in and day out) you will actually lose fitness if you do 6-7 hours of easy work and only 1-2 hours of hard work per week.

    Not that I advocate 8hrs of intensity per week either but certainly with a limited amount of time to train, you have to make it count. To maintain a CTL of ~80* which is about the minimum I need to race well (where an hour at threshold is worth 100) I need to do 560 TSS a week. A week of riding 7 hours at 70% and 1 hour at 90% would get me about 425 TSS = detraining.

    * simplistic model for purposes of illustration

    I totally agree with you - I just posed my question as something of a rhetorical question really.

    I'm convinced there are lots of good reasons to ride lots of lower intensity miles throughout the year, but I'm also convinced that many/most of the training adaptions can just as well be delivered by upping the intensity slightly and reducing the volume. Thats not to say you do all true HIT work by any stretch, but increased amounts of tempo and sweetspot work can replace higher volumes of endurance pace riding pretty effectively for most people IMHO. IF you have the time to include lots of longer rides then why not enjoy those benefits, I'm just not convinced that <12-15 hrs per week gives you the time to do that and gain the same training stimulus.

    Of course if long sportives were your goal then you'd be a little foolish not to get those long rides in as part of your training, if nothing else to get used to the saddle time involved and mentally prepare for a long day out, but personal experience of a fair number of mountain rides - training camps, sportives, GFs, Raids - has taught me that the best way for me to get better at climbing cols at a decent pace all day long is to ride long tempo sessions that replicate the watts I'll be riding at in the event. Of course loads of easier miles would probably do the same thing, but I just dont see the same benefit unless the volume is significantly increased as well and therein lies the issue for me, and I suspect most others really, especially once they have enough base fitness to reach the end.

    As with all things 'training', there's no single best prescription for us all.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • Bigpikle wrote:
    I'm convinced there are lots of good reasons to ride lots of lower intensity miles throughout the year, but I'm also convinced that many/most of the training adaptions can just as well be delivered by upping the intensity slightly and reducing the volume. Thats not to say you do all true HIT work by any stretch, but increased amounts of tempo and sweetspot work can replace higher volumes of endurance pace riding pretty effectively for most people IMHO. IF you have the time to include lots of longer rides then why not enjoy those benefits, I'm just not convinced that <12-15 hrs per week gives you the time to do that and gain the same training stimulus.

    Well put, especially the bit in bold. A couple of things I would add though.

    For some people, 12 -15 hours a week, with a substantial amount of this being tempo and 'sweet spot' work, may be too much. After all, 15 hours is 3 hours a day, 5 days a week! For such people the choice would seem to be cut back on the time and maintain the intensity, or if you actually like getting the hours in, ease down the tempo for some of the hours you are out.

    Also, as ever, it is necessary to ensure that you are pretty well fully recovered if you are going to get the best out of those all-important high intensity, supra-threshold sessions. Unfortunately, many people addicted to the buzz of riding at tempo or sweet spot intensities probably don't take into account the fact that recovery from such sessions will take longer than from a lower intensity ride.

    Finally, many will still probably benefit from lower level, longer rides as part of a 'base building' or transitional phase, even if in order to progress later on they need to cut the hours and increase the intensity. Few can hammer away all year, and only a little high intensity work will maintain most of the gains made, so a phase focusing primarily on 'MAF' intensities will keep you riding and give a much needed psychological break.
    Bigpikle wrote:
    As with all things 'training', there's no single best prescription for us all.

    Agreed, which is why I believe that, unless you have a Peter Keen - Chris Boardman type of relationship, the most effective coach you can find is usually yourself. You just have to put the time in to read the theory and then have the patience to find out what works best for you, rather than taking the easy (if expensive) way out of getting someone else to do the brain-work and to tell you what to do.
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • maryka wrote:
    Bigpikle wrote:
    Does the 80:20 ratio of easy:HIT work still apply to a 6-8 hour week?
    Absolutely not... if I did that, I would detrain! When you use a powermeter and TSS (training stress score based on power produced in a workout) to measure your effort, you'll see that unless you have a very low CTL (chronic training load, i.e. the TSS you can do day in and day out) you will actually lose fitness if you do 6-7 hours of easy work and only 1-2 hours of hard work per week.

    Not that I advocate 8hrs of intensity per week either but certainly with a limited amount of time to train, you have to make it count. To maintain a CTL of ~80* which is about the minimum I need to race well (where an hour at threshold is worth 100) I need to do 560 TSS a week. A week of riding 7 hours at 70% and 1 hour at 90% would get me about 425 TSS = detraining.

    * simplistic model for purposes of illustration

    It is plain daft and ridiculous to assume you can accurately describe something so complicated as training load and the imposed stress on an individual with a single number. Very different training programs may produce the same weekly TSS total. One training session may give the same TSS score as another completely different type of training session. Different individuals won't respond in anything like the same way. The same individual may not always respond in the the same way. The TSS score completely ignores many other factors such as temperature, rest, life stresses, diet etc etc.

    Systems like TSS assume specificity, they assume those using them understand each training session must be specific to what they are training for. The software can't 'fix' the idiocy of doing daft workouts. It is not merely a matter of racking up points, the person using the software must comprehend that the composition of the points scored is so important. .
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Very different training programs may produce the same weekly TSS total. One training session may give the same TSS score as another completely different type of training session.
    Isn't that the whole point?
    Different individuals won't respond in anything like the same way.
    No, that is why you use your own TSS, and not someone else's...
    The same individual may not always respond in the the same way.
    TSS is a measure of stress, not the response to that stress.
    The TSS score completely ignores many other factors such as temperature, rest, life stresses, diet etc etc.
    That is why it is called 'training stress score', not 'training, temperature, rest, life, diet stress score'.
    Systems like TSS assume specificity, they assume those using them understand each training session must be specific to what they are training for. The software can't 'fix' the idiocy of doing daft workouts. It is not merely a matter of racking up points, the person using the software must comprehend that the composition of the points scored is so important. .
    I'm not sure how simple data can assume anything about the understanding level of the person looking at it, but again, the very point is to assign comparable values to different types of training. It tells you how much training you are doing, not whether you are doing the right kind of training.
  • BigFatBlokeBigFatBloke Posts: 167
    edited August 2013
    A greater limitation to the entire concept, though, is that the
    basic premise – i.e., that you can adequately describe the training load
    and the stress it imposes on an individual based on just one number
    (TSS), completely ignoring how that “score” is achieved and other
    factors (e.g., diet, rest) – is, on its face, ridiculous. In particular,
    it must be recognized that just because, e.g., two different training
    programs produce the same weekly TSS total, doesn’t mean that an
    individual will respond in exactly the same way.

    Edit: The above was quoted from this below.

    http://lists.topica....rt=d&start=9353
  • marykamaryka Posts: 748
    Just a reminder that under your User Control Panel > Friends and Foes, you can add usernames you want to ignore. Handy feature!
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    A greater limitation to the entire concept, though, is that the
    basic premise – i.e., that you can adequately describe the training load
    and the stress it imposes on an individual based on just one number
    (TSS), completely ignoring how that “score” is achieved and other
    factors (e.g., diet, rest) – is, on its face, ridiculous. In particular,
    it must be recognized that just because, e.g., two different training
    programs produce the same weekly TSS total, doesn’t mean that an
    individual will respond in exactly the same way.

    The whole point of TSS is that it DOES take into account how that stress was accumulated - it doesnt treat every minute or mile the same. Look at the algorithm and see how it mirrors the effect of different intensities on physiology. Just go ride and watch the TSS number on your Garmin when you ride at endurance, threshold or VO2 efforts. It mirrors quite well how the body accumulates stress, but as we are not all robots it cant be perfect for everyone.

    This might help...

    http://home.trainingpeaks.com/land/what-is-tss.aspx
    Its just 1 measure that when used along with CTL, TSB etc can help you identify patterns in how you perform at different levels of fatigue. The key is just to use it as 1 metric of many.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • The way to use the software is to be aware of the limitations and accept the software assumes specificity and that the person using it understands the need to be specific in their training as the software cannot fix the stupidity of doing daft sessions.

    When using this sort of software you need to understand the importance of how the points were attained in each session not just blindly rack up the numbers..


    http://lists.topica.com/lists/wattage/r ... start=9353
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Ok - be aware of the limitations (everyone seems to be). As opposed to 'don't be aware of the limitations'... Fascinating insight there, and nothing to do with the OP. Nice input.
  • dw300dw300 Posts: 1,642
    This probably comes down to how much time you have available to train doesn't it?

    If you have 10hrs a week then you are probably doing a lot of high intensity. But if you ride 40 hours a week, then you are going to do an awful lot more low intensity stuff so that your legs dont fall off.
    All the above is just advice .. you can do whatever the f*ck you wana do!
    Bike Radar Strava Club
    The Northern Ireland Thread
  • dw300 wrote:
    This probably comes down to how much time you have available to train doesn't it?

    If you have 10hrs a week then you are probably doing a lot of high intensity. But if you ride 40 hours a week, then you are going to do an awful lot more low intensity stuff so that your legs dont fall off.

    Exactly.
  • Typical BFB answer - 10000000 times more complicated than the answer to the OPs question.

    Well I did not start the woffle about TSS--- my apologies to the OP - I have sent him a PM.
  • dawebbodawebbo Posts: 456
    What are people views on where easy commutes stand in terms of "steady miles"

    I have an hour commute where I usually take it very easy, so the 2hrs nets me 50-60tss. Personally I feel like these add very little fitness and simply regard them as saving some money vs the train and burning some extra calories so I can eat more during the day.
  • No worries about the waffle guys I switched off on the thread.

    I mix up my riding with steady commutes to work on the way in and fast tempo on the way home 2-3times a week with a couple of 25-40mile tempo rides in the week. I just don't have the time for 70+mile burners!
    I did a century at 16.5 miles per hour with 4000ft of elevation but 6hrs on the bike is a day off gone and as someone else mentioned time, family, and other interests have to be balanced.
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