Old 02-19-19, 12:27 PM
just another gosling
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 14,873

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 85 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1758 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 16 Posts
Originally Posted by fstrnu View Post
While the purpose of this thread is to explain how to make adjustments to workout intensity, duration and frequency, some appear to be both confused and adamant around goals, etc.

Here's a very rough draft of how I, living in a free country, choose to prioritize energy system targeting based on my individual training goals, fitness, place in the season, target events, etc.

Please don't reply that you are not living in a free country because I can't help you with that.

I view training plans as living things primarily concerned with energy system prioritization.

The end.

Seriously, though, that's all I do. For any particular event, I need some blend of being able to perform over a long period of time, medium period of time and short period of time.

For most of the events I enter, I take my training from general ==> specific, endurance ==> long intervals ==> short intervals.

This is because the ability to maintain and the time it takes to gain/lose each system decreases as you go from long ==> short.

For this reason, I also spend the largest number of weeks with a focus on endurance and the least number of weeks with a focus on short power.

My endurance phase is all long as it needs to be unless I need to compromise based on the number of calendar days I have before the event.

My "in-between" phase length depends on the importance of that energy system relative to other energy systems but also the potential for improvement because my strategy MAY need to consider my strengths over my weakness, depending on which has the most potential to improve and also my thoughts regarding my competition and THEIR likely strategy, etc.

The prioritization occurs both in when to "change focus" ("phase") and also with a phase or block with respect to how time is distributed among energy systems.

Friel does a great job of simplifying this and making it practical in Fast After Fifty.

What it all boils down to is how are you going to allocate time at intensity? In "base", many do more endurance which you then maintain, for example, one long weekly ride. In the in-between times (does that conjure SpongeBob memories for anyone?), "middle intensity" stuff takes center stage and make way for short power as the event approaches. Of course, for time trialists and some triathletes the middle intensity stuff is also event-specific so they may even swap short and middle intensity stuff to "raise the ceiling", etc.

Regardless, I following the same process for any event. I just manipulate how I budget time at intensity.

The end.
This is all good and about what all of us training wonks do.

A few riders, and I'm one, will start their next season in October with a couple of months of mostly endurance work, though even that will include pedaling drills, some zone 3 and 4 work and some cross training. After a couple months of this sort of base work, if one even bothers with that, one wants to incorporate workouts of various intensities into every week, and not only various intensities, but various types of workout.

This is winter in the PNW. Typical for winters here, outdoor riding is frequently not reasonable, i.e 34 and raining and/or wet snow banks on the road shoulders. OTOH, we have snow in the mountains. So my typical workouts until at least April will be skiing, both Alpine and Nordic, snowshoeing, Stepmill and strength work at the gym, roller work - mostly FastPedal, one-legged pedaling, Z3 intervals at both very low and high cadences, and a little Z2 steady-state work. Plus, weather permitting, one long hard group ride a week.

My big rides will be in late June to late July. I'll be able to change to a strong outdoor cycling regimen about April 1, supplemented by roller work when the weather's bad. That period also will have a variety workouts in every week. Rather than do one long endurance ride a week at an endurance pace, I do one long hard group ride with a ton on intensity in it once a week, or even two days in a row if I can get fit enough. That's the way to build real endurance, capacity training.

Thus my winter work is all about whole body fitness to support injury-free hard cycling work and there are zero weeks when I only do a progression of similar workouts. For instance I've found I need Z4 work every week, all year, to stay aerobically fit, and pedaling drills on the rollers every week to keep my pedaling skills up and net get sloppy.

As you say, the variety of workouts will slowly trend toward those with greater intensity throughout the training year. Strength work will trend from the general to the specific and toward lower volume and higher intensity.
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline