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Help with time crunched training

bigglosfanbigglosfan Posts: 15
I bought my first road bike about 18 months a go, originally as a means to commute while hoping to lose some weight and get some fitness back after a motorcycle accident (I have plates in my pelvis and 6 pins in my leg!). My fitness improved and my weight dropped (to 80kg, I'm 6'3'') and so my goals changed to how far I could go, how many miles could pack into a month and could I better myself on the local strava segments. I spent a fair amount of time on the turbo over winter as my 3rd child was born last summer and it was the most time effective way to maintain/improve fitness without leaving the house.

Earlier this year I did my first century so ticked that one off the list. My attentions have more recently been focused on improving my 10 mile TT time. It really is just to see what I can do, I just like to see myself improving rather than measuring myself up to others. All my training has been around getting to and from work or in the last bit of daylight after the children are in bed so I'm keen to keep it focused and not waste the time I do get on the bike.

For the last 12 weeks I've been doing between 8-10 hours a week riding on average 5 days out of 7. My sessions comprise 2 interval days (perhaps 4x6min blocks or 2 x20 min at threshold HR), 1 long weekend ride (70-120km) where I may throw in some more concerted efforts, 1 'fast' commute day and 1 'Easy' commute day. I've been using an HRM to get an idea of which zones I'm working in but cant justify the cost of a power meter.

Is this the kind of time and mix of training that will see me get fitter and faster? should I cut anything out ? or add anything? I've been doing a 10 mile segment I spotted a local club use every 4-6 weeks and seen some steady improvement.

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  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    bigglosfan wrote:
    I bought my first road bike about 18 months a go, originally as a means to commute while hoping to lose some weight and get some fitness back after a motorcycle accident (I have plates in my pelvis and 6 pins in my leg!). My fitness improved and my weight dropped (to 80kg, I'm 6'3'') and so my goals changed to how far I could go, how many miles could pack into a month and could I better myself on the local strava segments. I spent a fair amount of time on the turbo over winter as my 3rd child was born last summer and it was the most time effective way to maintain/improve fitness without leaving the house.

    Earlier this year I did my first century so ticked that one off the list. My attentions have more recently been focused on improving my 10 mile TT time. It really is just to see what I can do, I just like to see myself improving rather than measuring myself up to others. All my training has been around getting to and from work or in the last bit of daylight after the children are in bed so I'm keen to keep it focused and not waste the time I do get on the bike.

    For the last 12 weeks I've been doing between 8-10 hours a week riding on average 5 days out of 7. My sessions comprise 2 interval days (perhaps 4x6min blocks or 2 x20 min at threshold HR), 1 long weekend ride (70-120km) where I may throw in some more concerted efforts, 1 'fast' commute day and 1 'Easy' commute day. I've been using an HRM to get an idea of which zones I'm working in but cant justify the cost of a power meter.

    Is this the kind of time and mix of training that will see me get fitter and faster? should I cut anything out ? or add anything? I've been doing a 10 mile segment I spotted a local club use every 4-6 weeks and seen some steady improvement.


    It sounds like you have everything right to me, you are doing 8-10 hours with a good mix of training, there doesn't appear to be any junk miles in there. You have stated that you are improving so that again is really good. If your focus is on the TT then lots of work at Threshold and Sweetspot is normally a good way to go, combine that with some efforts above threshold and you'll no doubt improve. It seems you are doing that already so just keep at it!
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,202
    Perhaps have a go at some actual (ie real) time trials, rather than just riding someone else's 10m segment. That would give you an immediate marker for improvement.
  • bigglosfanbigglosfan Posts: 15
    Thanks. good to know I'm on the right lines - there's lots of info to work through online. I'm really wary of 'junk' miles.

    Would like to do some actual time trials and aim to next year when I've built my confidence up a bit. Bit intimidated at the moment.

    Think I might add in some shorter sprint intervals now over threshold.
  • zoomer42zoomer42 Posts: 124
    Know you mentioned TT's, but ever considered trying some local crit races? That would definitely be 1 hour a week on the bike where you'd go to a very special place :)
  • bigglosfanbigglosfan Posts: 15
    I hadn't really... not sure I'm quite up to pace yet! Something to aim for though.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    A lot of people feel intimidated about doing a TT, but there really is no reason to be. A local club 10 will have a mix of riders, clearly you've given it some thought so I'd really not delay in having a go. We've got about 2 months of the season left, why not get down there, have a few goes and see how you get on. It'll surely help you focus on your training and give you a good guide as to where you are at.

    At the end of the day, it's 10 miles, the worst that can happen is that you go off way too fast. You'll normally find a few club events within your area, happy to help locate them for you.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    A lot of bollocks talked about junk miles.... actually they can be the rides where you go out and actually enjoy riding a bike from time to time .. take it from me, dont diss junk miles.
  • jrichjrich Posts: 278
    Seriously, just go and have a go at a few club TTs. Most of them round here are more like little social gatherings where everyone goes off and does 10 miles in the middle. 99% of clubs will just be happy to have more people getting involved as they are very rarely at maximum capacity. Doesn't matter if you're not a member. I think you have to be a member of some CTT affiliated club, unless the event is marked as 'Come and Try It' in which case you don't have to be a member of any club whatsoever. And, as mentioned, all ages and abilities are involved so times will generally range from 20 mins to 40 mins for a 10, or more if it's hilly). My advice is go get stuck in! :)

    ( I was in a similar position to you last spring. I did my first TT with a local club that June - a Come and Try It event - and I was hooked from the word 'GO'. I have found them to be great for improving fitness too - my time has dropped from 26 something to 19 something in the space of a little over a year. There's no better motivation for pushing hard than having a number pinned on your back!! I think I have improved my fitness more in the last year that my whole life to date!)
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    I find it mad that 10 hours a week is classed as time crunched. You can win races on a lot less than that.
  • bigglosfanbigglosfan Posts: 15
    I think your persuading me to get stuck in :lol: sometimes you just need a bit of encouragement!

    Perhaps didn't mean time crunched...maybe time interrupted! It's more that I'm never quite sure when I'll find the odd spare hour so find it difficult to stick to a schedule and time. I understand the argument re: junk miles...Enjoyed a long ride through the cotswolds this weekend. But I'm also enjoying seeing the gains of a more focused training during the week. Off to the vendee for a fortnight at the end of the week and aiming to get a few rides in there (I hear its pretty flat?).

    Noticed my local club has a come and try it event when I get back so will aim for that one.
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