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The No Plan Training Plan

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The No Plan Training Plan

Old 04-16-19, 10:04 AM
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Hondo Gravel
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The No Plan Training Plan

I just get on one of my bikes and ride with absolutely no plan at all. I just ride where to wind wants to take me I guess. I understand if you are a racer then a good training plan is necessary but for me riding around 150 miles a week keeps my weight down and my aerobic capacity in a good place. Staying fits makes everything else better.
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Old 04-16-19, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
I just get on one of my bikes and ride with absolutely no plan at all. I just ride where to wind wants to take me I guess.


That sounds great, except:

I understand if you are a racer then a good training plan is necessary but for me riding around 150 miles a week keeps my weight down and my aerobic capacity in a good place. Staying fits makes everything else better.
Your "no plan" is, as you've described, actually a pretty explicit plan. And a pretty high volume one if you get to ride 7500 miles a year. A lot of people don't have the time to ride that much.
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Old 04-16-19, 11:06 PM
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you are right it is a basic plan some weeks I get about 70 miles other close to 200 my eyeball guess is around 150 avg. consistent amount of mileage is my goal.
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Old 04-16-19, 11:58 PM
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Think of how many newbie threads could be answered with just that!

"Hey guys, I just bought a bike and I'd like to get stronger and faster."
"Okay, ride your bike 100 miles or more each week for a year and get back to us."
"But I don't have time t--"
"Then ride faster. Shoo!"

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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 04-17-19, 09:48 AM
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Similarly, this year i'm trying to do a certain amount of climbing each week, but gradually increasing it and therefore also mileage as the big summer rides get closer. Never tried having feet climbed as a specific goal before. Inside that goal is what I do to get there, rides, hill repeats, etc. I'll see how that goes. Might not be able to keep up with it, but never known if never tried.
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Old 04-18-19, 09:48 AM
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I don't have a plan either. I ride my bike to work most days, ride on the weekends if it's nice, take a day off before a long ride if I feel like it and go to the gym most days.
I'm not interested in racing bicycles or body building competitions - I ride and lift because I enjoy those activities. I figure I'm old enough to do what I enjoy the way I choose.
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Old 04-18-19, 09:56 AM
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nice plan. reminds me, when I was younger, a buddy & I would go for cruises in one car or the other's. we would just head where ever there was no traffic
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Old 04-18-19, 10:26 AM
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Do you have a powermeter? Xert might be something to look at. It models your fitness and "training" looking at all variable efforts. I'm testing it with my long commutes that are hard to do structure on. Works best if you still do some testing and intervals to lock in certain power durations
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Old 04-18-19, 04:41 PM
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Fartlek. That's my training plan. The no-plan training plan.

And it suits my terrain, which is mostly rollers. Some days I'll loaf along the flats and downhills, then put all the effort into the short, steep climbs for 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes (which pretty well mimics typical fast club B-group rides, where some folks coast downhill, piddle-pedal flats, and punch up every climb). Other days I'll sprint on the flats and downhills and loaf uphill.

Just depends on how I feel that day, weather and wind, etc.

If you ride with friends who are kinda-sorta competitive, you're probably already doing fartlek training, mixing casual riding with the occasional impromptu sprint just to liven things up or catch a buddy off guard.

If I do regimented timed intervals at all it's on the indoor trainer. The terrain here doesn't lend itself well to that.
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Old 04-23-19, 05:53 AM
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I never thought about training plans until a few years ago when I bought an indoor smart trainer and signed on to Zwift and started wearing a heart rate monitor and seeing power (at least indoors).

Outdoors, I still don't have a plan - I ride for fun, but I do watch my heart rate zones and try to push it up more than just what my comfort level would naturally select. Doing rides longer than two hours and bumping up the climbing gets me enough fitness benefit, since I'm not doing any competitive events.

But over the winter, I try to loosely follow the Time Crunched Cyclist training plan for experienced century riders - and my fitness level was way higher than after a normal winter just randomly doing spin classes or on "dumb" indoor trainers. I've now done that for 3 seasons, works for me - I am definitely faster on my usual solo or long group rides.
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Old 04-24-19, 10:53 AM
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I plan to utilize this plan
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Old 04-24-19, 11:44 AM
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I'm planning on not utilizing this non-plan.
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Old 04-26-19, 08:31 AM
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I commute on bike, I swim at least twice a week, and I run when I feel the need. This is my non-plan plan and I am in the best shape of my life.
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Old 05-04-19, 12:03 PM
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Sorry, but the no plan training plan isn't really a training plan. It's a basic exercise regime. I suppose one could say it were a general fitness training plan but that's dressing things up a bit.

To most athletes a training plan suggests there is some sort of activity for which you "train" towards, the plan being how you arrive at the fitness level needed for the activity, be it running a marathon or swimming the English Channel.

Saying one wants to be reasonably fit so one just rides a bike regularly (while good) is different than saying one wants to ride a century or a 200k brevet in a certain amount of time. It suggests having no plan is as viable as having a specific plan but only because there is no actual end goal being sought.
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Old 05-04-19, 01:47 PM
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On the other hand, every time I've lost weight I've done it with diet 100% . No exercise necessary. Just a word to the wise.
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Old 05-06-19, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Sorry, but the no plan training plan isn't really a training plan. It's a basic exercise regime. I suppose one could say it were a general fitness training plan but that's dressing things up a bit.

To most athletes a training plan suggests there is some sort of activity for which you "train" towards, the plan being how you arrive at the fitness level needed for the activity, be it running a marathon or swimming the English Channel.

Saying one wants to be reasonably fit so one just rides a bike regularly (while good) is different than saying one wants to ride a century or a 200k brevet in a certain amount of time. It suggests having no plan is as viable as having a specific plan but only because there is no actual end goal being sought.
Good post. The difference between exercise and training is that training has a goal, a plan and tracks certain measurable values. If you aren't doing these things somewhat regularly, you're exercising, not training.
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Old 05-06-19, 08:36 AM
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There is something very Zen about this approach. Goals easily become attachments, stressors. Whereas constant focus on the process instead can be very helpful in getting us there.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
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Old 05-06-19, 10:19 AM
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Interesting, I haven't had a plan other than to ride 3 to 4 times a week. Approximately 5 to 6 hours of riding. Cycling is my primary form of exercise and I also want to build my ability to withstand fatigue and to be able to ride faster at longer distances. I am in the early stages of attempting to determine how to train versus just riding. I will be reading this section of the forum regularly.
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Old 05-06-19, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Iwishihadknown View Post
Interesting, I haven't had a plan other than to ride 3 to 4 times a week. Approximately 5 to 6 hours of riding. Cycling is my primary form of exercise and I also want to build my ability to withstand fatigue and to be able to ride faster at longer distances. I am in the early stages of attempting to determine how to train versus just riding. I will be reading this section of the forum regularly.
As above, first you need a goal, then some means of tracking progress toward that goal, then a plan to make that progress.

Or not. Your goals are too vague. Think of something definite with a date. Failure doesn't matter - it's actually good. Without failure, we don't learn.
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Old 05-07-19, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
As above, first you need a goal, then some means of tracking progress toward that goal, then a plan to make that progress.

Or not. Your goals are too vague. Think of something definite with a date. Failure doesn't matter - it's actually good. Without failure, we don't learn.
Well, I don't know if I'd go that far Carbonfiberboy. I'd rather watch you and learn from your mistakes. Anyway, the goal would be to lose 20 pounds by December. The plan would be the method you're going to use to accomplish that goal.

For example, lets say I wanted to lose 20 pounds by cutting calories. I simply put the normal portion of food I eat per meal on my plate, then cut it in half. No muss, no fuss, and no calorie counting. I'd save the other half for the next meal.

Again, that is just one example that worked well for me. There are 100 other plans, so your mileage may vary.
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Old 05-07-19, 07:42 AM
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I understand that I was not specific. It makes sense to have a goal. For me it seems like an evolution. My primary goal would be increased fitness and I am not entirely sure how to quantify that but what comes to mind is being able to ride faster at the distances I regularly ride which is in the 17 to 40 mile range currently.
I want to approach it more scientifically as there has been no real structure or intent to my riding other than don't go hard all the time. I am going to do a FTP test and then will likely use a training program that incorporates the FTP heart rate zones. That is as much as I can articulate right now.
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Old 05-07-19, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Iwishihadknown View Post
I understand that I was not specific. It makes sense to have a goal. For me it seems like an evolution. My primary goal would be increased fitness and I am not entirely sure how to quantify that but what comes to mind is being able to ride faster at the distances I regularly ride which is in the 17 to 40 mile range currently.
I want to approach it more scientifically as there has been no real structure or intent to my riding other than don't go hard all the time. I am going to do a FTP test and then will likely use a training program that incorporates the FTP heart rate zones. That is as much as I can articulate right now.
So, a reasonable goal may be to increase your FTP by a certain amount. That's something that is directly measurable and should correlate strongly with your performance at rides between 17 and 40 miles.
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Old 06-17-19, 04:39 PM
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My “plan” is to ride everyday, unless I don’t.
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Old 06-17-19, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Iwishihadknown View Post
I understand that I was not specific. It makes sense to have a goal. For me it seems like an evolution. My primary goal would be increased fitness and I am not entirely sure how to quantify that but what comes to mind is being able to ride faster at the distances I regularly ride which is in the 17 to 40 mile range currently.
I want to approach it more scientifically as there has been no real structure or intent to my riding other than don't go hard all the time. I am going to do a FTP test and then will likely use a training program that incorporates the FTP heart rate zones. That is as much as I can articulate right now.
Then that would be the next step in achieving your goal. You need to have a clear and present PLAN on exactly how to get from Point A to Point B. Until you achieve that, your plan is incomplete and a lot less likely to succeed.
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