Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Time Crunched Cyclist questions

burnthesheepburnthesheep Posts: 675
edited November 2017 in Training, fitness and health
Bought this book and read it during flights and layovers on vacation.

I had a few questions that during reading came up. I know a few people familiar with this book come to this forum.

-For rest days that aren’t “rest or easy spin”. Let’s say the wind is dead still on your favorite 10 mile time trial route and you really want to try it. Any type of workouts that come after a rest day you would avoid doing this for (maybe power intervals?).

-How flexible are the days of the week a type of workout occurs on? I know it is probably on purpose to follow one day and another in the plan (two EM days in a row). Which things in series would be more “okay” for changing days versus keeping it where it is for effectiveness? Not everyone can definitely do the specific days of the week shown in the plans.

-Do you have an opinion on the ever popular and debated “FTP chart for racing classes”? Many people feel it is pretty much junk since the ranges can vary greatly dependingon region, year, sandbaggers, etc….
I’d like to try a local race someday that’s near Raleigh NC, but in this region it seems there is never a “Cat 5” only. They always group the 4’s and 5’s into one category. And Raleigh has a lot of riders in the last few years it seems. It’s becoming a “fitness” region. You never know till you try, but what is a reasonable cutoff for trying Cat 4 based on that “chart”. For 20 min I’m at 220w and 77kg. For 1 min I’m at 550w and 77kg. Just don’t want to choose poorly since I don't get many chances to do an "event" each year.

This would also help me see how much weight I may need to cut if I know what I can expect power-wise after finishing an 11 week plan.
«1

Posts

  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Personally I wouldn't worry if you fancy a race, just go ahead and do it. Use the plan as a guide to building you up, you can always throw different things in the mix. In your example of a 10 mile TT, unless you ride in and ride back you'll not accumulate much TSS so could very well just continue on with whatever you were planned in after the supposed rest day.
  • Personally I wouldn't worry if you fancy a race, just go ahead and do it. Use the plan as a guide to building you up, you can always throw different things in the mix. In your example of a 10 mile TT, unless you ride in and ride back you'll not accumulate much TSS so could very well just continue on with whatever you were planned in after the supposed rest day.

    Makes sense. Thanks!

    I'm only on week 1, but I need to go ahead and buy Strava premium or another so I can have the "freshness" tracking metric. The book seemed to rely on that to know when to do more or when to not.

    I'm loving the basic power and HR zone breakdown on my Bolt after a workout. Really very handy.
  • You can buy Strava premium for "freshness" chart, or you can install the free plugin for Google Chrome called Stravistix, it's a great tool for data-tastic info and includes a "freshness" chart which uses a different scale to the Premium one.

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... pckn?hl=en
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • I'll look into that. Only issue is it may not install on my laptop's Chrome. I only have a work laptop and it is locked down on installs pretty badly.

    So, that's why I was trying web based tools like Strava.

    Someone recommended Trainingpeaks over Strava though as they claimed Strava can take nice looking powermeter data and muck it up sometimes.
  • Strava can take nice looking powermeter data and muck it up sometimes.

    I wouldn't trust Strava for anything more than a ride diary.

    Id aim to raise my ftp by at least 80 watts if you want to do a one off 'event'
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • JoshgavJoshgav Posts: 158
    I'll look into that. Only issue is it may not install on my laptop's Chrome. I only have a work laptop and it is locked down on installs pretty badly.

    So, that's why I was trying web based tools like Strava.

    Someone recommended Trainingpeaks over Strava though as they claimed Strava can take nice looking powermeter data and muck it up sometimes.

    +1 for Stravaistix. I have a pretty locked down work laptop and it installed with no problems. Chrome plugins seem to be acceptable to my IT department. :D
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,826
    You can buy Strava premium for "freshness" chart, or you can install the free plugin for Google Chrome called Stravistix, it's a great tool for data-tastic info and includes a "freshness" chart which uses a different scale to the Premium one.

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... pckn?hl=en

    Cool tool - but a 14 zone HR scale, WTF? Although the trends look the same as on Strava F+F and on my own spreadsheet so it doesn't seem to be affecting the usefulness.

    It does look better than Strava's (pretty basic) F+F tool, much more professional.


    As an aside, I think Strava gives you a "suffer score" (HR-based TSS) on non-premium? If so it's easy to enter this into your own spreadsheet.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,826
    Actually Stravistix is brilliant, I take that back. The Strava plugins it gives you are really handy.
  • JoshgavJoshgav Posts: 158
    bobmcstuff wrote:

    Cool tool - but a 14 zone HR scale, WTF? Although the trends look the same as on Strava F+F and on my own spreadsheet so it doesn't seem to be affecting the usefulness.

    You can change both the zones and the number of zones. I have 7 HR zones on it (to approximate the 5 zones I train with). It possibly is similar to Strava F+F but because I don't pay for Strava then I can't compare. Stravaistix gives that functionality for free.
  • Tried plugin, blocked by admin. :roll:

    80 watts? That seems a bit much to gain for a one-time event as a Cat 5 person, or rather a "nobody". I looked up the powermeter data from a local 30 mile Cat 5 race and the people finishing in the bunch sprint had about 170 to 190 watts NP over the race.

    At this point I'd like to get to 250w and down from 77kg to 72kg. If I do that, that's the difference between a 3.0 and a 3.5.

    I'm starting at about 225w and 77kg.

    If this training plan gives bigger gains, so be it. But I don't think I "need" 310w ftp for a local cat 5 race.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,826
    Tried plugin, blocked by admin. :roll:

    80 watts? That seems a bit much to gain for a one-time event as a Cat 5 person, or rather a "nobody".

    He's a joker. He thinks it's a stupid question so he gave a stupid answer. Supermurph's advice is more useful...
  • For doing intervals on the road, what power meter averaging do you find most helpful. It seems something under 10 seconds is too twitchy.

    If the intervals are longer than 5 min I feel 10 seconds or so perhaps will work well. This way you can steadily adjust your output instead of seeing values jump and spiking high or low.
  • bobmcstuff wrote:
    Tried plugin, blocked by admin. :roll:

    80 watts? That seems a bit much to gain for a one-time event as a Cat 5 person, or rather a "nobody".

    He's a joker. He thinks it's a stupid question so he gave a stupid answer. Supermurph's advice is more useful...

    Either contribute something worthwhile or get off the thread with your petty sniping.

    The OP is currently at 2.7 Watts per Kg. So 'IF' he loses 5kg and adds 30 watts he'll be around 3.3 Watts per Kg. Still at the low end to be competitive
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,826
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    Tried plugin, blocked by admin. :roll:

    80 watts? That seems a bit much to gain for a one-time event as a Cat 5 person, or rather a "nobody".

    He's a joker. He thinks it's a stupid question so he gave a stupid answer. Supermurph's advice is more useful...

    Either contribute something worthwhile or get off the thread with your petty sniping.

    The OP is currently at 2.7 Watts per Kg. So 'IF' he loses 5kg and adds 30 watts he'll be around 3.3 Watts per Kg. Still at the low end to be competitive

    Sure, but you said he should gain 80 watts just to do his first cat 4/5. Which would be a lot of work and might not even be achievable, at least not in any reasonable timeframe.

    Anyway he'll never know if he doesn't try, your initial 80w gain suggestion would give him 4W/kg (as you say 'IF' he also loses 5kg) - if he thinks he needs 4 W/kg just to consider entering his first cat 4/5 he might spend the rest of his cycling career trying to get there and never entering, when there will be a lot of people there who don't have that power.
  • bobmcstuff wrote:
    Tried plugin, blocked by admin. :roll:

    80 watts? That seems a bit much to gain for a one-time event as a Cat 5 person, or rather a "nobody".

    He's a joker. He thinks it's a stupid question so he gave a stupid answer. Supermurph's advice is more useful...

    Either contribute something worthwhile or get off the thread with your petty sniping.

    The OP is currently at 2.7 Watts per Kg. So 'IF' he loses 5kg and adds 30 watts he'll be around 3.3 Watts per Kg. Still at the low end to be competitive

    Math, how does it work?

    225/77 = 2.92
    250/72 = 3.47

    That's losing 5kg and gaining 25w. Not even 30w. Your gaining 80w and losing 5kg would be 305/72 = 4.24

    I pulled the powermeter data up of the 5 people in the bunch sprint at the end of the local 30mile cat 4/5 race. Nominal power for the race was anywhere from 170 to 190 in the group. Threshold efforts and hard efforts were right in the wheelhouse of what I can almost already do.

    I think if you showed up with a 305w threshold and weren't a fat bloke people would be quite angry when you do a solo breakaway for 90 minutes and win by 3 or 4 minutes solo.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,826
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    Tried plugin, blocked by admin. :roll:

    80 watts? That seems a bit much to gain for a one-time event as a Cat 5 person, or rather a "nobody".

    He's a joker. He thinks it's a stupid question so he gave a stupid answer. Supermurph's advice is more useful...

    Either contribute something worthwhile or get off the thread with your petty sniping.

    The OP is currently at 2.7 Watts per Kg. So 'IF' he loses 5kg and adds 30 watts he'll be around 3.3 Watts per Kg. Still at the low end to be competitive

    Math, how does it work?

    225/77 = 2.92
    250/72 = 3.47

    That's losing 5kg and gaining 25w. Not even 30w. Your gaining 80w and losing 5kg would be 305/72 = 4.24

    I pulled the powermeter data up of the 5 people in the bunch sprint at the end of the local 30mile cat 4/5 race. Nominal power for the race was anywhere from 170 to 190 in the group. Threshold efforts and hard efforts were right in the wheelhouse of what I can almost already do.

    I think if you showed up with a 305w threshold and weren't a fat bloke people would be quite angry when you do a solo breakaway for 90 minutes and win by 3 or 4 minutes solo.

    FTP is 0.95x your 20 minute power.

    So 220 x 0.95 = 209W, and 209 / 77 = 2.71 W/kg.
  • I've already multiplied by .95.

    Even so, that's a lot for cat 5.

    That chart floating around the internet of ftp vs. minutes by each race category might be 'a bit low' but it can't be THAT far off.

    https://zwiftblog.com/rider-categorizat ... -you-rank/
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,826
    I've already multiplied by .95.

    Even so, that's a lot for cat 5.

    That chart floating around the internet of ftp vs. minutes by each race category might be 'a bit low' but it can't be THAT far off.

    https://zwiftblog.com/rider-categorizat ... -you-rank/

    Well this is why I thought the recommendation to gain at least 80 watts before considering it might be a bit much.

    So where you've said in OP that your 20 minute power is 220W, what you really mean is your 20 minute power is 232W and your FTP is 220W? Not that it really matters.
  • bobmcstuff wrote:
    I've already multiplied by .95.

    Even so, that's a lot for cat 5.

    That chart floating around the internet of ftp vs. minutes by each race category might be 'a bit low' but it can't be THAT far off.

    https://zwiftblog.com/rider-categorizat ... -you-rank/

    Well this is why I thought the recommendation to gain at least 80 watts before considering it might be a bit much.

    So where you've said in OP that your 20 minute power is 220W, what you really mean is your 20 minute power is 232W and your FTP is 220W? Not that it really matters.

    Yes, I've done 230w for 20 minutes.
    For the other things on that table:
    I've done 300w for 5 min and 550w for 1 min

    I set the trainer to this power setting and crank out the time. This is indoors, for whatever that means.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    just ride . Do a variety intervals (outdoors or indoors) and recover. The more you worry about your training the less fun it will be. this is meant to be fun never forget that. as for races forget about choosing the right ones you'll work that out by entering the wrong ones. you have to do that first.

    And i would not get to caught up with the numbers I could not tell you what my FTP is and I dont care either. I know what my garmin thinks it is, I think I know how it calculates it. My training this year has been focused on very long TT's not racing which quite frankly I have been poor at. Then after the recent long TT's I enter a circuit race and finish 5th. I have been training my endurance not the components of fittness I should have been training for an hrs race yet I rode better than I have ridden for a long time in a race like that.

    All that time spent last year and the year before looking at data got me know where. this year I have ignored it mostly and so far things are going well.

    you can become to obsessed with data and w/kg and they become the goal. the main goal should be to enjoy riding, being fitter helps that/ Ride, enjoy and enter a race and enjoy that too whether you finish with the bunch, get points or drop off.

    There is alot more to racing than FTP. I am still not very good at racing mind.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • Thanks for all the feedback everyone!

    I'm continuing with the plan, but am making sure to get outdoors whenever possible and also make my EM rides enjoyable.

    I'm just going to enter what I want to enter. If I get dropped on a race, it's 90min max. I spend much more time a week than that riding, so what's a blown 90min if you get dropped? Whatever, I would learn. So I'll try it.

    It is very fun to be able to chew up routes and kind of attack what you were only able to "survive" before. I'm still a nobody, but a quicker nobody than before.

    Once the first cycle of 11 weeks is over, I'll post a result. Don't expect some cool high number, it will only be a year and 6 months after starting to ride. But, hope is it will be more than from the start.
  • I'm into week 7 of 11. It's been tough at times, I've missed one or two interval sessions along the way that I substituted for a time trial or an EM ride instead. So I'm sticking to it about 95%.

    The work is........working. I'm not expecting some crazy gains. But I'd be very happy if I gain 10watts with each 11 week cycle. 3 training cycles before the first race I want to try and that would get me plenty of horsepower.

    It's amazing to be able to ride solo in flat terrain at 20/21 mph now. For an hour or more at a time too. That's "nothing" to many people, but it's really fun to pass people on TT bikes or solo past people in B-group chaingangs.

    I dropped an e-bike on Friday that tried to play. :mrgreen:
  • So far it looks like this 11 week cycle will net about 20 watts and about 5 lbs weight loss. Meaning getting to 3.0 and above for power/weight ratio.

    Started with their version of an ftp test that's a best-of 8-minutes twice. Got 230. Now I re-tried it out of curiosity and got 256. Still several weeks to go for this training plan's cycle. They choose 8 min because you multiply it to get your training zones to do workouts at, that way it's higher than the 20 minute test and stresses you in the workouts.

    The threshold power is nice, but what is really really nice is the improvements in your endurance and steady state power levels. It is soooooooo nice as a really new rider to get out of the 170's for a steady-state power and into the 200's. That means being able to cruise for well over an hour at 20 to 21 mph solo instead of farting around at 17 to 18 mph.

    That's peanuts compared to a lot of people's ability on here, but I've not ridden long. Maybe a year seriously riding.

    The training is enough to be challenging but not so much that you can't still enjoy riding for fun as someone who will NEVER ride for a living.

    It will be interesting to see what the limits are of 5 to 6 hours a week on these plans a few years from now. I'm guessing it won't necessarily be a power level or power/weight ratio, but a matter of how long of a race you could use it in.

    I don't have a use for a huge 4 hour "base" if I'll only ever want to ride in events around 90 minutes to 2 and a half hours. If I need to train for an audax, I'll just take 5 weeks and increment my long rides up to the event length.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,643
    Fine work BTS, serious improvements there :-)

    I used that book to decent effect before having my daughter, now I need the extra convenience of trainerroad, but they are pretty much the same thing, or approach at any rate.

    Will be interested to see how you progress, and what racing if any you attempt, as I am also rather tempted, but nervous at the same time.

    Completed my first timed event at the weekend (Hillclimb) and have spotted another one not too far away that I will likely have a go at in a few weeks time - hoping to TT in spring - is that something you are targeting overly?
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • Glad to hear it worked some Daniel.

    In the region I live in the US, it is very heavily biased to Crit racing, triathlon, and running. :(

    I have a LONG time before the first road race, it is May of next year. It is a 33 mile route that will take about 85 minutes if I hang in the main group the whole time.

    We don't have a very active TT scene. I just made a public segment on Strava of 10 miles in a very fair route for us to use, and do that as a workout maybe once a month.

    If I repeat the "new competitor" plan a few more times, power won't be an issue for that race. I'll need to find a group to practice race with as a bunch on a group ride or something.

    No good having power and low weight and wasting energy chasing wheels off the back. Need to figure out how to stay on wheels in the front 1/3.

    I can't decide what my least favorite (most suffering) workout is between the SEPI, over unders, and peak and fades.
  • It sounds counterintuitive, but the book is saying that now the 11 week plan ends this week that they really heavily recommend taking 4-6 weeks of just group and EM rides with a few solid efforts.

    I'm a fairly new rider still. Just a year and maybe 4 months.

    Wondering how to plan the weeks doing easier work and starting the new plans. I don't have time for 3 full plans before the race if including the demanded easier weeks. I have time for 2 plan repetitions, but that would leave more than the normal weeks in between.

    Just trying to think how to fill that up.

    The event is 2nd/3rd weekend in May. Each plan is about 11 to 12 weeks long. With 4 weeks in between each plan.

    From how the book reads, I still need to be doing the beginner plans. I've not enough years for the more rapid adaptation of riders who've done this for a long time.

    I feel like repeating the "new competitor" plan twice more. But with more than 4 weeks in between, maybe throwing in some over/under and SS work in there.

    Surely the intensity of these plans isn't any higher than what people with much more time on their hands do. Meaning they can keep going but we can't.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,643
    Unless anyone has any better advice, I will stick my neck out here, and say that does seem like a long time, and I would wager could be easy to lose your focus - well it would be for me with a young family, but depends on how you tick I guess.

    Trainerroad only recommend something like 1-2 weeks max break inbetween some pretty punishing plans.

    I tend to carry finish a plan, and give myself 3-4 days of rest, and then hit the FTP test.

    I suppose I could be classed as a fairly experienced cyclist, having ridden semi seriously for some 11 years now, but my Time crunched exposure was some 5-6 years ago now, and it's only this year I have properly committed to trainerroad, and have been training since January - there was a 4 week break (Which set me back a bit and only contained two rides) in the summer, for holiday, and a subsequent cold caught on the flight back, but apart from that I have been on the mid volume (7 hours a week approx) week in, week out.

    I plan to give Zwift a go at some point with a trial, but am not convinced my old laptop will be up to it alas.

    Anyway, don't go by what I say alone, hopefully there will be other replies shortly!
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Like any 'generalist' plan designed for mass audience consumption (like the TCC plans are), you will need to adapt it to your individual circumstances. If you're a new rider, the important thing is to keep riding. You have over seven months until May, so any plan which is giving you specific periodisation work this far out is probably not worth following to the letter anyway.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,643
    Additionally, it could be worthwhile factoring in some leeway, should other commitments, or illness stop you from training.

    Ie don't plan your training to end it just before your event, as you can always repeat a week or two.if everything seems like it is going smoothly.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • Update:

    At the start of the "New Competitor" 11 week plan, I was at 220w for 20min and 230w for their 8min test and an overall power/weight of 220w/79kg = 2.77. I completed the plan the best I could. If I skipped a workout, it was typically shorting myself endurance miles and not interval work.

    New levels:
    20min test @ 250w
    8min test @ 275w
    5min farting around managed 300w
    the "boxer's" weigh in: 166 lbs today......
    Power/weight: 250w/75.3kg = 3.33

    I'm definitely at a power level now that with the plan repeating now, without any change in diet (drinking some beer, same snacks as usual, and meals) my weight is now falling. I'd say 1/2 pound a week.

    I'm wondering if during this next 11 week training cycle if at some point I'll need to address the weight by eating MORE. I'm not dieting right now at all. What I want to eat, I eat. Now, I do NOT eat right now special for the workouts. For a longer endurance ride I'll take either one gel or a banana or a pair of clementines. Water in both bottles when cool outdoors, and one water one electrolye/sugar when it's hot.

    If I get to 155lb or so, I'll consider having to add calories.

    I'll likely hit my goal weight I originally set for next May in 2 weeks. It's falling off now.

    155lb seems do-able now. A very exciting proposition would be to hit 280w at 155lbs. gets me to a 4.0w/kg.

    30w over 6 months seems do-able.

    It's a magical time to be on the "fast gains" side of training. I'm not looking forward to reaching the point where the gains start nearing nothing.
Sign In or Register to comment.