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How much turbo is too much turbo?

SpookedSpooked Posts: 90
edited February 2015 in Training, fitness and health
Hi guys,

I have recently got a road bike after a fairly long lay off from cycling. I'm vaguely fit and am 6ft and weigh 12 Stoneish.

While the weather is a bit rubbish in the evening I have been on the Turbo doing intervals over a 30 minute period one day followed by an hour easy pedalling the following day.

I've been doing this five days straight now and am feeling great.

Would you say this is too much? I realise I need to rest for the body to heal and recover but am really enjoying it and also the improvements I'm seeing (slight double chin has dissapeared ;) )

How many days consecutively would you ride/turbo and when would you have a rest day? Or do I need a rest day?

I clearly have issues as I'm really enjoying the turbo and the pain :D

Thanks for any advice. I'm new to this training malarkey. I'm doing a sportive in five or so weeks time for the first time so want to enjoy it rather than be knackered after the first few miles.

Posts

  • That's much at all, if you're feeling good keep doing it. But throwing in a rest day or an easy day won't hurt.
  • Bar ShakerBar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    Provided your intermediate days are relaxed, I don't see a problem with this. If anything, try to up your interval nights to an hour too.

    If you wear a HR monitor, I would try and keep your intermediate rides in your Zone 2 so you are barely working your legs but are working your CV system.

    The problem comes if you are giving it everything, every day. Your muscles never get to repair and you are training whilst tired, so are constantly working below your maximum potential. This is what people call 'wasted' or 'junk' miles.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    No harm to throw in a day off each week bt if your easy rides are proper easy rides that may not be essential. For me Friday is always a day off and I have an easy week approx every 4 weeks if I'm training consistently. Of course if I haven't been training consistently which does happen now and again, the rest days are appearing on their own and the planned ones can be dumped.
  • snowleysnowley Posts: 149
    sounds ok as it is to me, like others have said, I would up the interval session to 45 minutes and then 1 hour if possible.
  • SpookedSpooked Posts: 90
    That's brilliant. Thanks everyone. Feel amazing at the moment and it works well with the time I have. Will look at upping the time spent on the intervals and see how my body responds :)

    Thank you!
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Spooked wrote:
    That's brilliant. Thanks everyone. Feel amazing at the moment and it works well with the time I have. Will look at upping the time spent on the intervals and see how my body responds :)

    Thank you!
    The trick when starting off is to do enough to keep you motivated, develop a consistent routine and make progress without doing so much that you get fatigued and sick of it.
    Best of luck and well done on what sounds like a great start!
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Bar Shaker wrote:
    If you wear a HR monitor, I would try and keep your intermediate rides in your Zone 2 so you are barely working your legs but are working your CV system.
    you are making a false distinction between training the CV system and the legs. The adaptations you are looking to achieve through aerobic training take place primarily in the muscles (in the legs) the less you work the muscles, the less stimulus you provide for them to adapt.

    OP, I would question the value of an hour easy pedalling in such a low-volume plan. Make each session count (hard) an train as many days as allows you enough recovery to complete your sessions at target intensity.
  • birdy247birdy247 Posts: 454
    It sounds like you are doing things sensibly at the moment with an easier day separating your interval sessions. The answer to "how much is too much" is different for everyone.

    The more load your body is used to, the more load it can cope with. If you are keen to ride the turbo every day (and many people do this, sometimes twice a day), then make sure your easy sessions are exactly that, easy. If you push too hard in your easy sessions, you will be tired for the interval sessions and likely not get the most out of them.

    As always, listen to your body, it usually knows best.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    The best two guides for training are
    - Am I getting fitter?
    - Am I enjoying it?

    As long as you can answer both questions yes then the more training you do the better. You really don't need to worry about doing "too much", it's actually very difficult to do as an amateur especially if your job involves a lot of sitting around.

    If you get to the point when you are still getting fitter but no longer enjoy it then that's a decision point. "Listening to your body" is OK advice but you won't reach your maximum potential if you skive off just because you feel a bit rough.

    It's all about priorities. For some people training is all about being the fastest at this that or the other and they just have to suck up and continue the training. For others training is about feeling good and if it's counter-productive in this respect then best ease up.

    The only reason to really worry about easing up is if you answer both questions no. But really it is very difficult for someone who has a real life outside training to hit this point unless reality involves a lot of physical exertion. Pros are better than us because, in part, simply the train longer and harder. It doesn't hurt any less for them, they suffer just as much if not more, just that they suffer while climbing mountains at 15mph while you suffer doing them at 10mph.

    It is unlikely anyone here will put themselves through the pain involved in a long tour event like the tour de France. However those pros that make this through to the end will end up stronger than they started. So until you start doing 20+ hours a week don't fret about doing too much so long as its still fun
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Definitely schedule in some rest days and easier weeks.

    You won't lose fitness with a week off - but overtraining is a real problem that will slow you down, I know I've done that in the past. Flying in January and grovelling in March.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Tom Dean wrote:
    OP, I would question the value of an hour easy pedalling in such a low-volume plan. Make each session count (hard) an train as many days as allows you enough recovery to complete your sessions at target intensity.

    ^^This - I too would question the "recovery" session.

    Go hard - stretch properly after.
  • I've also been training mostly on turbo this last week or so as don't fancy getting out in this weather. Very new to turbo land so just feeling my way at present. Struggled to do more than 45 mins (intervals) due to the boredom, as only just got garmin too and not got that set up yet (new bike also). New bike back today after bike fit changes and also wheel and tyre for turbo so should be able to start more 'interesting' sessions.

    I did manage a longer session yesterday though as I decided to have an easy (ish) spin whilst watching tennis on telly. Managed 1 hour 45 mins. May try for 2 hours tomorrow while watching the final :) .

    Steve.
  • "I love my Turbo'

    Said nobody, ever
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Tom Dean wrote:
    Bar Shaker wrote:
    If you wear a HR monitor, I would try and keep your intermediate rides in your Zone 2 so you are barely working your legs but are working your CV system.
    you are making a false distinction between training the CV system and the legs. The adaptations you are looking to achieve through aerobic training take place primarily in the muscles (in the legs) the less you work the muscles, the less stimulus you provide for them to adapt.

    OP, I would question the value of an hour easy pedalling in such a low-volume plan. Make each session count (hard) an train as many days as allows you enough recovery to complete your sessions at target intensity.

    Going hard every day is a mistake - you'll just deplete your glycogen which is a zero-sum game. If you're going properly hard, you simply can't manage it every day.

    Better, as suggested, to either work really hard (really drive your CV system) or really easy but for at least an hour (longer the better) to promote fat burning adaptations whilst going easy on the glycogen so you're ready for the hard day. At least, that's the model that makes the most physiological sense to me.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Tom Dean wrote:
    Bar Shaker wrote:
    If you wear a HR monitor, I would try and keep your intermediate rides in your Zone 2 so you are barely working your legs but are working your CV system.
    you are making a false distinction between training the CV system and the legs. The adaptations you are looking to achieve through aerobic training take place primarily in the muscles (in the legs) the less you work the muscles, the less stimulus you provide for them to adapt.

    OP, I would question the value of an hour easy pedalling in such a low-volume plan. Make each session count (hard) an train as many days as allows you enough recovery to complete your sessions at target intensity.

    Going hard every day is a mistake - you'll just deplete your glycogen which is a zero-sum game. If you're going properly hard, you simply can't manage it every day.

    Better, as suggested, to either work really hard (really drive your CV system) or really easy but for at least an hour (longer the better) to promote fat burning adaptations whilst going easy on the glycogen so you're ready for the hard day. At least, that's the model that makes the most physiological sense to me.

    this is pretty much exactly what everything I've read on training suggests. not that I am an expert, but I was quite surprised to read that one should go 'hard' over going easy the day after intervals.

    aerobic exercising is very important for developing a base, and based on pretty much everything I've read I would even question doing intervals this early on at all. long slow miles to build a base, and then start to add interval days into the mix, but interspersed with more long and easy work, along with a couple of days off a week.

    look up heart rate training and training plans online. there is lots of free advice available.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    I have just finished Trainer Road's 2015 'tour' which is basically 13 turbo workouts in 9 days.It was simply for me impossible to go 100% each and every time. I can feel the fatigue in my legs and yes fed up of the thought of more turbo work... for the time being.. organising a cycle track session tomorrow in Shrewsbury at 11am if anyone interested btw...
    Today's last workout of 2 hours, I was happy to complete at 200watts of Normalised Power.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Would you really have much chance of depleting your glycogen in a 30 minute turbo session - given you are warming up for at least the first 3-5 mins?
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    diy wrote:
    Would you really have much chance of depleting your glycogen in a 30 minute turbo session - given you are warming up for at least the first 3-5 mins?

    Depends how hard you're working. Yes, if you're working hard enough. The point is that you don't replenish it fast enough. And, also, in that time, you also don't develop fat-burning adaptations. That's why, for me at least, the alternating Hard Easy routine has so much going for it.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • SpookedSpooked Posts: 90
    Wow. Thank you for all the help and information.

    Went and did a night ride which summed up why I've been turboing. Purely from a safety aspect. close call with a car despite resembling a illuminous Christmas tree.

    Went out today and the turbo has definatley helped.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    "I love my Turbo'

    Said nobody, ever

    I do love mine. In the winter it's a great piece of kit - snow ice gales. No problem.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Tom Dean wrote:
    Bar Shaker wrote:
    If you wear a HR monitor, I would try and keep your intermediate rides in your Zone 2 so you are barely working your legs but are working your CV system.
    you are making a false distinction between training the CV system and the legs. The adaptations you are looking to achieve through aerobic training take place primarily in the muscles (in the legs) the less you work the muscles, the less stimulus you provide for them to adapt.

    OP, I would question the value of an hour easy pedalling in such a low-volume plan. Make each session count (hard) an train as many days as allows you enough recovery to complete your sessions at target intensity.

    Going hard every day is a mistake - you'll just deplete your glycogen which is a zero-sum game. If you're going properly hard, you simply can't manage it every day.

    Better, as suggested, to either work really hard (really drive your CV system) or really easy but for at least an hour (longer the better) to promote fat burning adaptations whilst going easy on the glycogen so you're ready for the hard day. At least, that's the model that makes the most physiological sense to me.
    I wasn't suggesting training every day.

    Maybe it depends what your goals are, I don't consider fat-burning adaptations to be of great relevance for lower cat racers. Even so, I would be surprised if any gains from a short easy session would outweigh the negative effect on recovery. As I understand it there is more to recovery than glycogen replenishment.
    class5700 wrote:
    ...this is pretty much exactly what everything I've read on training suggests. not that I am an expert, but I was quite surprised to read that one should go 'hard' over going easy the day after intervals.

    aerobic exercising is very important for developing a base, and based on pretty much everything I've read I would even question doing intervals this early on at all. long slow miles to build a base, and then start to add interval days into the mix, but interspersed with more long and easy work, along with a couple of days off a week.

    look up heart rate training and training plans online. there is lots of free advice available.
    My suggestion was meant in the context of the OP's 30-60 minute sessions, where long slow rides are not possible. Intervals don't have to be high intensity. Neither 'aerobic' nor 'base' necessarily imply low intensity. There's no reason not to do back-to-back hard days if you are recovered enough.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,643
    cougie wrote:
    "I love my Turbo'

    Said nobody, ever

    I do love mine. In the winter it's a great piece of kit - snow ice gales. No problem.

    Me too, first 5 month period I have REALLY used it consistently - have covered over 300 miles indoors so far this year on it!

    My way of not making it boring is either to watch coverage of racing, ie Tour Down under if your looking for something current, plenty on youtube, and or making up a training plan either of my own design, or one from the Carmichael time crunched book.
    I've adapted a few, and made adjustments so I can fit some in, inbetween the time I get home and my gf gets home with my daughter.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
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