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Staying below AeT (VT1): use breathing, HR, or FTP %?

Old 11-25-20, 10:54 PM
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Staying below AeT (VT1): use breathing, HR, or FTP %?

My wife and I are doing a series of indoor rides during which we try to stay just a little below AeT, one's aerobic threshold. My understanding is that breathing rate increases rather abruptly at AeT, plus there are recommended percentages of HR (85% of LTHR), and power (75% FTP) which are supposed to define one's approximate AeT. We're both using our FTP and LTHR from last year, which may not be particularly accurate, but hopefully great accuracy is not required.

Working to my AeT seems relatively simple. My breathing rate increases around, actually a little above, 75% FTP, and quite close to 85% LTHR. For my wife, trying to work just below AeT is more frustrating. She's in quite good aerobic condition. Her morning resting HRs are usually between 45 and 48, however her lungs are small and her bronchia are narrow - on a good day she blows ~300 on a peak flow meter, where I blow 800. Her breathing rate increases at ~80% LTHR and ~60% FTP

So what to do? Go strictly by breathing rate or let rate rise a little to get a slightly harder workout? What we're both trying to accomplish is exercise that is strictly aerobic, meaning no lactate generation. We aren't interested in investing in a blood lactate meter, but maybe there are other signs?

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 11-26-20, 06:35 AM
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But as you workout you’ll become fitter, or sometimes you get sick and need a couple weeks off. Anyway, you need to do an FTP test at least once a month to recalibrate the numbers. You can’t use a number that is over a year old. Not sure what you mean by ‘great accuracy’, because the accuracy of any given FTP test method will have some issues that influence the accuracy, but you don’t know at all if you don’t test.
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Old 11-26-20, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
But as you workout you’ll become fitter, or sometimes you get sick and need a couple weeks off. Anyway, you need to do an FTP test at least once a month to recalibrate the numbers. You can’t use a number that is over a year old. Not sure what you mean by ‘great accuracy’, because the accuracy of any given FTP test method will have some issues that influence the accuracy, but you don’t know at all if you don’t test.
While FTP might be the most accurate output for judging fitness, it is not an accurate input for judging AeT. I can stay quite close to AeT at power numbers from 70% to 89%, depending on cadence. Therefore exact FTP is not of much help. Over the years I've trained to be able to ride hard at a wide variety of cadences.
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Old 11-26-20, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
But as you workout you’ll become fitter, or sometimes you get sick and need a couple weeks off. Anyway, you need to do an FTP test at least once a month to recalibrate the numbers. You can’t use a number that is over a year old. Not sure what you mean by ‘great accuracy’, because the accuracy of any given FTP test method will have some issues that influence the accuracy, but you don’t know at all if you don’t test.
Not true in the least. Training is essentially testing. You don't have to do an FTP test to do structured power training at all. You can either do a workout or hit a particular power for a particular duration or you can't. Getting got up in the minutiae of what FTP is or isn't (because hell, that's about the least exact concept that's currently popular in training terms) really doesn't matter for training or performance.
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Old 11-26-20, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
So what to do? Go strictly by breathing rate or let rate rise a little to get a slightly harder workout? What we're both trying to accomplish is exercise that is strictly aerobic, meaning no lactate generation. We aren't interested in investing in a blood lactate meter, but maybe there are other signs?
.
I don't understand the point of trying to train this way at all. It seems needlessly complicated and non-exact. Breathing rate, as you attest to, can be influenced by a number of things: cadence, adrenaline, fatigue, weather, glycogen levels, etc, etc. If you want a ride focused primarily on AeT, I would think the easiest thing to do would be a two hour time trial and then just using average power from that as a baseline.

But again, I don't know what the point of that would be in regards to adaptations that you could very likely achieve from riding below that power for longer and above that power for shorter.

Also, your body always makes lactate, even at rest.
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Old 11-26-20, 01:59 PM
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When I take an interest in training and get confused about stuff I usually find that what Joe Friel writes makes some sense to me. At least he writes at a level I can understand. I thought I'd read that you use LTHR to set your zones so why not assume your AeT is 80% of that?

June 13, 2014 by Joe Friel

Aerobic threshold (AeT). This is a relatively low level of intensity marked by light breathing and the feeling that you could maintain the effort for a few hours. It occurs at about 60% of your aerobic capacity or at about 70% of max heart rate or around 80% of lactate threshold. A ballpark way of determining your aerobic threshold is to subtract 30 beats per minute from your lactate threshold (see below) heart rate. In a sport science lab aerobic threshold is usually defined as the intensity at which lactate just begins to accumulate above the resting level.
https://joefrielsblog.com/common-but...esting%20level.

https://joefrielsblog.com/?s=aet+aerobic+threshold
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Old 11-26-20, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I don't understand the point of trying to train this way at all. It seems needlessly complicated and non-exact. Breathing rate, as you attest to, can be influenced by a number of things: cadence, adrenaline, fatigue, weather, glycogen levels, etc, etc. If you want a ride focused primarily on AeT, I would think the easiest thing to do would be a two hour time trial and then just using average power from that as a baseline.

But again, I don't know what the point of that would be in regards to adaptations that you could very likely achieve from riding below that power for longer and above that power for shorter.

Also, your body always makes lactate, even at rest.
Thanks! I'm not asking for understanding. That's quite hard to come by. I'm just asking for help. My wife and I are doing some steady-power rides, she in erg mode on a trainer, me on my resistance rollers. The game is to increase purely aerobic power, no contribution from the anaerobic system. We'll train that later. Do you remember, there was some famous coach, whose name I've forgotten, who made his riders train in fall all below AeT because he said if they didn't they would not develop proper capillarization? Which was complete BS except that his riders had good success? So once it was known that this capillarization thing was BS, his training method was dropped. There's been a lot written and studied about this sort of thing over the years. I've read Chapple's base building book. He makes a good case for it. So I'm 75, got nothing else to do this fall, so I'm experimenting. True or BS? One way to find out. But to experiment, the data has to be as clean as possible, hence my focus on staying under AeT. We can only do that indoors.

There was a guy on here, years ago, who did this same thing. I think his username ended in "10". He used a lactate meter and claimed that doing this enough, his lactate levels didn't rise even after a couple hours of it. I'm not about to spend $350 on experiment equipment, though. My understanding of the theory is that the more power you can produce without lactate levels rising, the smaller addition you'll need from your anaerobic system to produce the same power, thus the higher your FTP will be.

I suspect that breathing is the key, but HR also might be a good indicator. My HR at 75% has dropped almost 10 beats in 5 weeks of doing this 4-5 days/week. We did a 10-day backpack in the Cascades right before starting this program. We're also doing strength work 1-2 days/week.

Anyway, that's the rationale. Now for help doing that? Your idea of the two hour TT is good except that I have to do it without HR rising. I'm working on that now, going to 1:45 next week, 2:00 by mid-December, I think, HR if anything dropping. Then I'll be doing 8-10 hours/week of it, about 120 miles on my rollers. THEN I'll start doing some intensity.

I just wish I knew better what to do about my wife's increased breathing rate at what seems to me to be too low power levels. Her MHR is ~165 and she starts breathing more rapidly at 116. The end game is that we're going to start riding tandem again in the spring and we want to be able to make the machine go again.
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Old 11-26-20, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
When I take an interest in training and get confused about stuff I usually find that what Joe Friel writes makes some sense to me. At least he writes at a level I can understand. I thought I'd read that you use LTHR to set your zones so why not assume your AeT is 80% of that?



https://joefrielsblog.com/common-but...esting%20level.

https://joefrielsblog.com/?s=aet+aerobic+threshold
Good points. I have the first edition, though I haven't looked at it in years. Yeah, maybe she's right in the ballpark after all. 165 MHR, 140 LTHR, breathing starts to increase ~117. So maybe we're all good and maybe her FTP isn't what it was or maybe most of her FTP was driven by the anaerobic process. She's doing this AeT work at 60% of what her tested FTP was last spring while I'm at 75%. That was what was confusing me, that my markers for AeT were all wrong. Maybe having small lungs, that's just how her body has accommodated that. When we day hike, I carry the gear and her climbing HR will be about 30-40 beats higher than mine, even though her LTHR is only 5 beats higher. She's a tough woman.
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Old 11-30-20, 04:11 AM
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Sounds like you want to do some type of base training.

There are two types of base training, traditionally it is spending a lot of time in Zone 2 (60%-75% FTP), which is what you are trying to do. But there is also the Sweet Spot Base training, which takes up much less time and consists of intervals in the sweet spot range around 90% FTP.

You can find lots of information on this on the web, here are a couple of links:
https://www.trainerroad.com/blog/swe...-need-to-know/
https://gccoaching.fit/2019/02/06/sw...obic-capacity/
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Old 11-30-20, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
There was a guy on here, years ago, who did this same thing. I think his username ended in "10". He used a lactate meter and claimed that doing this enough, his lactate levels didn't rise even after a couple hours of it. I'm not about to spend $350 on experiment equipment, though. My understanding of the theory is that the more power you can produce without lactate levels rising, the smaller addition you'll need from your anaerobic system to produce the same power, thus the higher your FTP will be.
From running, what I've read and ascertained in the past was that pushing AeT higher doesn't necessarily result in a higher AnT (you'd still have to do appropriate work to raise that if it's not already topped out), but it is possible to significantly close the gap from AeT to AnT. In running contexts, this was related to elite marathoners trying to run a low 2:00 marathon.

Essentially, the higher the pace when compared to AnT, the higher the glycogen consumption. By closing the gap between the two, glycogen use could be slowed down/spared enough to ensure the completion of 2 hours and change of maximum effort before completely running out of glycogen.

This was done with "long, steady fast runs" in which runners were essentially doing time trials for 2 hours plus at slightly slower than marathon pace (maybe 2:15ish pace, for example).

While all very interesting, I've never head the application for cycling. May be something to it?
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Old 11-30-20, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Thanks! I'm not asking for understanding. That's quite hard to come by. I'm just asking for help. My wife and I are doing some steady-power rides, she in erg mode on a trainer, me on my resistance rollers. The game is to increase purely aerobic power, no contribution from the anaerobic system. We'll train that later. Do you remember, there was some famous coach, whose name I've forgotten, who made his riders train in fall all below AeT because he said if they didn't they would not develop proper capillarization? Which was complete BS except that his riders had good success? So once it was known that this capillarization thing was BS, his training method was dropped. There's been a lot written and studied about this sort of thing over the years. I've read Chapple's base building book. He makes a good case for it. So I'm 75, got nothing else to do this fall, so I'm experimenting. True or BS? One way to find out. But to experiment, the data has to be as clean as possible, hence my focus on staying under AeT. We can only do that indoors.

There was a guy on here, years ago, who did this same thing. I think his username ended in "10". He used a lactate meter and claimed that doing this enough, his lactate levels didn't rise even after a couple hours of it. I'm not about to spend $350 on experiment equipment, though. My understanding of the theory is that the more power you can produce without lactate levels rising, the smaller addition you'll need from your anaerobic system to produce the same power, thus the higher your FTP will be.

I suspect that breathing is the key, but HR also might be a good indicator. My HR at 75% has dropped almost 10 beats in 5 weeks of doing this 4-5 days/week. We did a 10-day backpack in the Cascades right before starting this program. We're also doing strength work 1-2 days/week.

Anyway, that's the rationale. Now for help doing that? Your idea of the two hour TT is good except that I have to do it without HR rising. I'm working on that now, going to 1:45 next week, 2:00 by mid-December, I think, HR if anything dropping. Then I'll be doing 8-10 hours/week of it, about 120 miles on my rollers. THEN I'll start doing some intensity.

I just wish I knew better what to do about my wife's increased breathing rate at what seems to me to be too low power levels. Her MHR is ~165 and she starts breathing more rapidly at 116. The end game is that we're going to start riding tandem again in the spring and we want to be able to make the machine go again.
Carbon, now that description sounds a bit like Seiler!
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Old 11-30-20, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Carbon, now that description sounds a bit like Seiler!
Ya think?
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Old 11-30-20, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
From running, what I've read and ascertained in the past was that pushing AeT higher doesn't necessarily result in a higher AnT (you'd still have to do appropriate work to raise that if it's not already topped out), but it is possible to significantly close the gap from AeT to AnT. In running contexts, this was related to elite marathoners trying to run a low 2:00 marathon.

Essentially, the higher the pace when compared to AnT, the higher the glycogen consumption. By closing the gap between the two, glycogen use could be slowed down/spared enough to ensure the completion of 2 hours and change of maximum effort before completely running out of glycogen.

This was done with "long, steady fast runs" in which runners were essentially doing time trials for 2 hours plus at slightly slower than marathon pace (maybe 2:15ish pace, for example).

While all very interesting, I've never head the application for cycling. May be something to it?
Yes, exactly. That's a hypothesis, and only that, partly because it might depend on the individual and on age. So I'm experimenting to see I might give it the honor of calling it a theory at least anecdotally.

If one can increase power at AeT the idea is that if one leaves AnT power alone, FTP still goes up. So far it's been interesting.

We were pretty weak when we started our 10-day backpack. It was really tough. The day after, my TSB was -39. I tried a recovery roller ride the next day and averaged 106w for 15' before the pain in my legs forced me off the bike. That was 10 weeks of training ago. After a few weeks, my HR at or just below AeT started dropping. I'm shooting for 2 hours of it 4-5 days/week by the end of December. Then I'll start raising the watts for that until I get back up to just below AeT, which has obviously gone up in terms of power.

There was a guy who got a lot of press in the training world for doing really well at Kona, I forget the name. He changed his training that year to massive doses of below Aet. The caveat is yeah, that works for the elite who can handle that level of volume, but not for us average folks. Maybe, maybe not. I won't know for sure until probably March. By then I should have been able to add in enough SS to get a decent FTP test. I'm hoping to have added some watts. For the past 10 weeks, my legs have hurt every day, but not on the bike. On the bike, 75% feels lighter and lighter. I'm not taking any easy weeks. Don't seem to need it, as predicted by the guru. I keep cranking up the kj/week by increasing duration, about 11 hrs. this week if life doesn't interfere, counting my 3 X 30 dumbbell sessions. I'm maxed out with that, but then I've been maxed out every week so far.

As far as my OP goes, breathing and HR seem closely related to each other and to AeT. Raw power not so much, which is the good news, though perhaps the percent of FTP I'm using is dropping. Won't know that answer for some months yet.
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Old 12-01-20, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
<snip> May be something to it?
My wife has been doing this program with me, though god himself and the promise of eternal salvation could not get her to stay on her trainer for more than an hour at a time. I think that's pretty common among recreational cyclists like us. Anyway . . .the resting heart rate of this older, small lunged woman with chronic asthma has dropped steadily over these 10 weeks to 45. Though she very much enjoys riding tandem with me, her real sport is dressage riding. She's not a tall, blond diamond wearing specimen riding a $50,000 horse, so she's not competitive, but she really enjoys it. She gets the same instrumentation and analysis that I get, including on a horse. Her maximum sustainable HR during hard dressage efforts has gone up to 164 and she can maintain those high HRs much longer than she ever could before. Her trainer used to have to give her rests fairly often so she could catch her breath. Not anymore. I did not expect this result at all. She's been riding for 67 years and she's better now than ever, after just 10 weeks of AeT work. Bizarre.
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Old 12-07-20, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Ya think?
So I was going to ask you why do you want to control against AET, not that I fully appreciate what it is. My winter training is going to be mainly organized around the Century Training pattern Friel gives in "Cycling Past 50." Some of my rides in that are pretty steady and spinny, I've been thinking I want to try those in a Seiler-like fashion, since Joe Friel calls formost of your time to be spent in Z2 and 3 (the "long ride," the Z1 "recovery ride," and the Z2/3 "maintenance ride" are all in or close to Seiler's lower zone, and teh single hilly ride is intended to be all zones, no cadence limits - do whatever it takes to go fast on the hills for a little while at least. Should be hitting the higher zones when you can in this one.

So I'll follow some of those clues you left about AeT. I'll be on a Wahoo with built in power, for a change.
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Old 12-08-20, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
So I was going to ask you why do you want to control against AET, not that I fully appreciate what it is. My winter training is going to be mainly organized around the Century Training pattern Friel gives in "Cycling Past 50." Some of my rides in that are pretty steady and spinny, I've been thinking I want to try those in a Seiler-like fashion, since Joe Friel calls formost of your time to be spent in Z2 and 3 (the "long ride," the Z1 "recovery ride," and the Z2/3 "maintenance ride" are all in or close to Seiler's lower zone, and teh single hilly ride is intended to be all zones, no cadence limits - do whatever it takes to go fast on the hills for a little while at least. Should be hitting the higher zones when you can in this one.

So I'll follow some of those clues you left about AeT. I'll be on a Wahoo with built in power, for a change.
The idea of staying below AeT for endurance rides is to train purely the aerobic system and train it a lot more. It seems to be impossible to overcook oneself while staying below Aet, so volume is only limited by your endurance and that's what endurance rides work on.

Below AeT your anaerobic system isn't providing much if any of your watts. This year, I'm trying to separate my aerobic and anaerobic work during my base work. So on hilly rides, I'll try to keep it down to AeT when not climbing and then climb as hard as I can. That's a training-only goal. On rides where I'm working against the clock, I'll push the whole time, just lots harder on the hills. One has to practice that too, or one won't know what it's supposed to feel like. Once my base and interval training had gotten results, I found the best distance training to be riding very hard 4 hour hilly rides, done to exhaustion. My hard rides are in June and July. I hope to start the hard rides in maybe March.

Seilerizing Friel, one would keep power, breathing, HR, whatever works, below Aet on the endurance rides or at least as much as possible, so no zone 3, nor the upper part of zone 2 in the 5 zone system. And thus no need for any Z1 recovery rides. Then as you say, as much zone 5 as you can handle on the hilly rides, though Seilerizing, try to keep it around 105% of FTP, so just barely into the panting zone, which will allow one to do more of it.
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Old 12-08-20, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
The idea of staying below AeT for endurance rides is to train purely the aerobic system and train it a lot more. It seems to be impossible to overcook oneself while staying below Aet, so volume is only limited by your endurance and that's what endurance rides work on.

Below AeT your anaerobic system isn't providing much if any of your watts. This year, I'm trying to separate my aerobic and anaerobic work during my base work. So on hilly rides, I'll try to keep it down to AeT when not climbing and then climb as hard as I can. That's a training-only goal. On rides where I'm working against the clock, I'll push the whole time, just lots harder on the hills. One has to practice that too, or one won't know what it's supposed to feel like. Once my base and interval training had gotten results, I found the best distance training to be riding very hard 4 hour hilly rides, done to exhaustion. My hard rides are in June and July. I hope to start the hard rides in maybe March.

Seilerizing Friel, one would keep power, breathing, HR, whatever works, below Aet on the endurance rides or at least as much as possible, so no zone 3, nor the upper part of zone 2 in the 5 zone system. And thus no need for any Z1 recovery rides. Then as you say, as much zone 5 as you can handle on the hilly rides, though Seilerizing, try to keep it around 105% of FTP, so just barely into the panting zone, which will allow one to do more of it.
"Seilerizing Friel," that's a great way to look at it. And I think its a great way for me to get back in the saddle. I'm hoping to get out on the road in late April or early May. One goal is to ride a solo 100 miles late May when the Friel 50+ century plan ("Cycling Past 50") ends, starting this week. I'm pedaling an hour this evening, hoping my butt holds up. The problem in the performance training that I see is how to maintain efort near AeT (aerobic threshold). Been reading Training Bible 4th edition, and he talks about how the AeT cannot be detected by clear physical indications, and how it "cannot be pinpointed in a lab, put is physiologcally marked by a SLIGHT INCREASE (my emphasis, not Joe's) in depth of breathing accompanied by a sense of moderate -effort intensity." Perhaps this is RPE 2 out of 5? But that isn't any easier to perceive nor to focus on for an hour. A program of long walks might be better to start AeT training? One can speedwalk, but it does not look comfortable. Neither does slow running, though perhaps I should look at Friel's books on triathletics.

Joe Friel also talks about how to build up basic aerobic endurance (ATMO I'm a recovering couch potato ducking CoVid exposure by binge-watching .. everything, with popcorn) "a good portion of each week's training in the Base Period should be devoted to training at the aerobic threshold." Based on the softness of the signs of the AeT, I would think it's probably adequate to be NEAR AeT, since we con't really know where it is. But I think this is the point you were asking about in the first post of this thread. I guess my thought is, maybe there is an activity which is a natural limiter, where one is not tempted to drop the hammer, even just a little bit.

After the May century, I think my cardiovascular and aerobic endurance should be pretty good considering it will be only 5.5 months or work, and I can change the training plan to include working on muscular endurance with such things as cruise intervals, which are among the exercises Joe Friel recommends for developing power and performance.

Might want get a rear hub power sensor, once I get out of the basement. I run Campy 10 speed on my road bike, so there may be a few decent sensor road hubs on the market, sold by guys who have traded up to Campy 11 or 12s.
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Old 12-08-20, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
"Seilerizing Friel," that's a great way to look at it. And I think its a great way for me to get back in the saddle. I'm hoping to get out on the road in late April or early May. One goal is to ride a solo 100 miles late May when the Friel 50+ century plan ("Cycling Past 50") ends, starting this week. I'm pedaling an hour this evening, hoping my butt holds up. The problem in the performance training that I see is how to maintain efort near AeT (aerobic threshold). Been reading Training Bible 4th edition, and he talks about how the AeT cannot be detected by clear physical indications, and how it "cannot be pinpointed in a lab, put is physiologcally marked by a SLIGHT INCREASE (my emphasis, not Joe's) in depth of breathing accompanied by a sense of moderate -effort intensity." Perhaps this is RPE 2 out of 5? But that isn't any easier to perceive nor to focus on for an hour. A program of long walks might be better to start AeT training? One can speedwalk, but it does not look comfortable. Neither does slow running, though perhaps I should look at Friel's books on triathletics.

Joe Friel also talks about how to build up basic aerobic endurance (ATMO I'm a recovering couch potato ducking CoVid exposure by binge-watching .. everything, with popcorn) "a good portion of each week's training in the Base Period should be devoted to training at the aerobic threshold." Based on the softness of the signs of the AeT, I would think it's probably adequate to be NEAR AeT, since we con't really know where it is. But I think this is the point you were asking about in the first post of this thread. I guess my thought is, maybe there is an activity which is a natural limiter, where one is not tempted to drop the hammer, even just a little bit.

After the May century, I think my cardiovascular and aerobic endurance should be pretty good considering it will be only 5.5 months or work, and I can change the training plan to include working on muscular endurance with such things as cruise intervals, which are among the exercises Joe Friel recommends for developing power and performance.

Might want get a rear hub power sensor, once I get out of the basement. I run Campy 10 speed on my road bike, so there may be a few decent sensor road hubs on the market, sold by guys who have traded up to Campy 11 or 12s.
Maybe I can help. I've been messing with this for 10 weeks now. Do you have a heart rate monitor and know your lactate threshold heart rate? That's another data point. Do you know your FTP? I'll guess no to both of those until you say Yes, If you don't have a HRM, get one. It's very valuable for this sort of training.

For now, I'll just discuss breathing. IME it's more noticeable than a SLIGHT INCREASE. On your trainer, warm up and then pick up your usual endurance/Z2 gear. (I'll assume you're a 90 cadence rider. If not adjust these up or down) Start this test as say 70 rpm and slowly increase the cadence, say 5 RPM every 5 minutes. Just stay in that gear as cadence very gradually goes up. Your power and HR will follow it up. Aerobic demand is very closely linked to cadence, more closely than to power, but about the same as HR. Thing is, breathing responds to increased demand a little ahead of HR, which lags both power and breathing. That's why cadence is important here.

So as you see cadence, power, and HR gradually go up, for a long time your breathing rate will hold relatively steady. It'll get a lot deeper than it is at rest, but rate will still be relatively slow. This is commonly referred to as the "conversational zone" meaning that you can converse in full sentences. A good test is to recite the alphabet out loud and not super fast. If you can do that, you're below AeT. So keep adding cadence until really, all of a sudden you start breathing noticeably faster and pretty soon can't recite the alphabet anymore. Now drop back until your breathing slows back down. Repeat this test a few times, noticing your HR, power, and cadence as you go through that point on the way up. Just below that point is your AeT. Like the book says, it is a slight increase right there, but almost immediately becomes very noticeable.

What makes it more complicated is that this exact mix of each: HR, power, and cadence is unique. You can find AeT at many different mixes of these. HR is most closely related to that AeT breathing point. If you find AeT in different gears, you'll notice that as cadence at AeT goes up, power goes down. Conversely if you lower your cadence with a higher gear, your power at AeT will increase. This is actually quite convenient because you can practice pedaling fast for neuromuscular development or slowly, for pure muscle strength, all at AeT. That takes some of the boredom out of it. Once you locate 2 or 3 cadence/power combos at AeT, it's easy to find them again and to hold them for a long time after you warm up.

A big thing to notice when holding a cadence/power combo for a long time is that when one is starting out, one will see HR very gradually drift up, perhaps more noticeably toward the end of the session. "HR drift" means you're not there yet. No HR drift is what you want and that comes from lots of doing this. You'll also notice (or hope to) that once HR drift has quit at that power, you might be able to increase the power slightly and repeat the process w/r to HR drift. HR drift can also be do to dehydration, so watch that on long endurance rides. OTOH, HR drop toward the end of a session can mean that you're running a little low on blood sugar and should have some sports drink.

This week I find that I can do at least 105' endurance ride almost every day without exhausting myself, but that's after 10 weeks. Each time, quit when your legs start to go. That'll gradually get to be longer, and eventually you'll have to drop the cadence and increase power to tire them again.

All the above assumes you have a dumb trainer where you change resistance by changing gear. If you are riding in erg mode, you could hold your usual cadence and move the power up and down to find AeT. The above points about cadence etc. still hold but you get to them differently on an erg.

Definitely get the hub meter. There are always some on ebay, but do your research and get a wireless ANT+ one. I got a used one and had to change the batteries right away, but fine.
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Old 12-09-20, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Maybe I can help. I've been messing with this for 10 weeks now. Do you have a heart rate monitor and know your lactate threshold heart rate? That's another data point. Do you know your FTP? I'll guess no to both of those until you say Yes, If you don't have a HRM, get one. It's very valuable for this sort of training.

For now, I'll just discuss breathing. IME it's more noticeable than a SLIGHT INCREASE. On your trainer, warm up and then pick up your usual endurance/Z2 gear. (I'll assume you're a 90 cadence rider. If not adjust these up or down) Start this test as say 70 rpm and slowly increase the cadence, say 5 RPM every 5 minutes. Just stay in that gear as cadence very gradually goes up. Your power and HR will follow it up. Aerobic demand is very closely linked to cadence, more closely than to power, but about the same as HR. Thing is, breathing responds to increased demand a little ahead of HR, which lags both power and breathing. That's why cadence is important here.

So as you see cadence, power, and HR gradually go up, for a long time your breathing rate will hold relatively steady. It'll get a lot deeper than it is at rest, but rate will still be relatively slow. This is commonly referred to as the "conversational zone" meaning that you can converse in full sentences. A good test is to recite the alphabet out loud and not super fast. If you can do that, you're below AeT. So keep adding cadence until really, all of a sudden you start breathing noticeably faster and pretty soon can't recite the alphabet anymore. Now drop back until your breathing slows back down. Repeat this test a few times, noticing your HR, power, and cadence as you go through that point on the way up. Just below that point is your AeT. Like the book says, it is a slight increase right there, but almost immediately becomes very noticeable.

What makes it more complicated is that this exact mix of each: HR, power, and cadence is unique. You can find AeT at many different mixes of these. HR is most closely related to that AeT breathing point. If you find AeT in different gears, you'll notice that as cadence at AeT goes up, power goes down. Conversely if you lower your cadence with a higher gear, your power at AeT will increase. This is actually quite convenient because you can practice pedaling fast for neuromuscular development or slowly, for pure muscle strength, all at AeT. That takes some of the boredom out of it. Once you locate 2 or 3 cadence/power combos at AeT, it's easy to find them again and to hold them for a long time after you warm up.

A big thing to notice when holding a cadence/power combo for a long time is that when one is starting out, one will see HR very gradually drift up, perhaps more noticeably toward the end of the session. "HR drift" means you're not there yet. No HR drift is what you want and that comes from lots of doing this. You'll also notice (or hope to) that once HR drift has quit at that power, you might be able to increase the power slightly and repeat the process w/r to HR drift. HR drift can also be do to dehydration, so watch that on long endurance rides. OTOH, HR drop toward the end of a session can mean that you're running a little low on blood sugar and should have some sports drink.

This week I find that I can do at least 105' endurance ride almost every day without exhausting myself, but that's after 10 weeks. Each time, quit when your legs start to go. That'll gradually get to be longer, and eventually you'll have to drop the cadence and increase power to tire them again.

All the above assumes you have a dumb trainer where you change resistance by changing gear. If you are riding in erg mode, you could hold your usual cadence and move the power up and down to find AeT. The above points about cadence etc. still hold but you get to them differently on an erg.

Definitely get the hub meter. There are always some on ebay, but do your research and get a wireless ANT+ one. I got a used one and had to change the batteries right away, but fine.
I have a Wahoo Kickr Snap trainer which contains a power meter, and a Wahoo Elemnt which can control the trainer in an Ergometer mode, so that is good. I don't really need an on-road power sensor until I am going out on the road. I think the Wahoo Elemnt speaks a special form of Bluetooth, but not Ant+. But I can sort that data interfacing. But the Wahoo stuff is by no means a dumb trainer, though I haven't used it to its limits.
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Old 12-09-20, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Maybe I can help. I've been messing with this for 10 weeks now. Do you have a heart rate monitor and know your lactate threshold heart rate? That's another data point. Do you know your FTP? I'll guess no to both of those until you say Yes, If you don't have a HRM, get one. It's very valuable for this sort of training.

For now, I'll just discuss breathing. IME it's more noticeable than a SLIGHT INCREASE. On your trainer, warm up and then pick up your usual endurance/Z2 gear. (I'll assume you're a 90 cadence rider. If not adjust these up or down) Start this test as say 70 rpm and slowly increase the cadence, say 5 RPM every 5 minutes. Just stay in that gear as cadence very gradually goes up. Your power and HR will follow it up. Aerobic demand is very closely linked to cadence, more closely than to power, but about the same as HR. Thing is, breathing responds to increased demand a little ahead of HR, which lags both power and breathing. That's why cadence is important here.

So as you see cadence, power, and HR gradually go up, for a long time your breathing rate will hold relatively steady. It'll get a lot deeper than it is at rest, but rate will still be relatively slow. This is commonly referred to as the "conversational zone" meaning that you can converse in full sentences. A good test is to recite the alphabet out loud and not super fast. If you can do that, you're below AeT. So keep adding cadence until really, all of a sudden you start breathing noticeably faster and pretty soon can't recite the alphabet anymore. Now drop back until your breathing slows back down. Repeat this test a few times, noticing your HR, power, and cadence as you go through that point on the way up. Just below that point is your AeT. Like the book says, it is a slight increase right there, but almost immediately becomes very noticeable.

What makes it more complicated is that this exact mix of each: HR, power, and cadence is unique. You can find AeT at many different mixes of these. HR is most closely related to that AeT breathing point. If you find AeT in different gears, you'll notice that as cadence at AeT goes up, power goes down. Conversely if you lower your cadence with a higher gear, your power at AeT will increase. This is actually quite convenient because you can practice pedaling fast for neuromuscular development or slowly, for pure muscle strength, all at AeT. That takes some of the boredom out of it. Once you locate 2 or 3 cadence/power combos at AeT, it's easy to find them again and to hold them for a long time after you warm up.

A big thing to notice when holding a cadence/power combo for a long time is that when one is starting out, one will see HR very gradually drift up, perhaps more noticeably toward the end of the session. "HR drift" means you're not there yet. No HR drift is what you want and that comes from lots of doing this. You'll also notice (or hope to) that once HR drift has quit at that power, you might be able to increase the power slightly and repeat the process w/r to HR drift. HR drift can also be do to dehydration, so watch that on long endurance rides. OTOH, HR drop toward the end of a session can mean that you're running a little low on blood sugar and should have some sports drink.

This week I find that I can do at least 105' endurance ride almost every day without exhausting myself, but that's after 10 weeks. Each time, quit when your legs start to go. That'll gradually get to be longer, and eventually you'll have to drop the cadence and increase power to tire them again.

All the above assumes you have a dumb trainer where you change resistance by changing gear. If you are riding in erg mode, you could hold your usual cadence and move the power up and down to find AeT. The above points about cadence etc. still hold but you get to them differently on an erg.

Definitely get the hub meter. There are always some on ebay, but do your research and get a wireless ANT+ one. I got a used one and had to change the batteries right away, but fine.
I have a Wahoo Kickr Snap trainer which contains a power meter, and a Wahoo Elemnt which can control the trainer in an Ergometer mode, so that is good. I don't really need an on-road power sensor until I am going out on the road. I think the Wahoo Elemnt speaks a special form of Bluetooth, but not Ant+. But I can sort that data interfacing. But the Wahoo stuff is by no means a dumb trainer, though I haven't used it to its limits.
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Old 12-09-20, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I have a Wahoo Kickr Snap trainer which contains a power meter, and a Wahoo Elemnt which can control the trainer in an Ergometer mode, so that is good. I don't really need an on-road power sensor until I am going out on the road. I think the Wahoo Elemnt speaks a special form of Bluetooth, but not Ant+. But I can sort that data interfacing. But the Wahoo stuff is by no means a dumb trainer, though I haven't used it to its limits.
Erg mode is very nice for this sort of thing. One can vary cadence at will without hunting around in a new gear for the power/cadence combo.
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Old 12-11-20, 12:55 PM
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Sounds like you are following Dr. Seiler. Fast Talk podcasts have had him as a guest on several episodes. They discuss this issue that there is no accurate way to assess VT1 without lactate testing. The best approximation he mentions is breathing solely through your nose. In fact he went as far as taping his mouth shut while on they trainer. He also mention using controlled deep belly breathing vs chest breathing as aiding in controlling breathing levels below VT1.

Lastly, no need to train right at VT1, no energy system magic that are being used there vs. middle of the zone.
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Old 12-11-20, 01:05 PM
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I would not worry about your wife’s numbers. I would be willing to bet that your ftp tests are the 95% of 20 minute test. That test was developed as an approximation for the hour test in order for coaches to impart less stress on athletes but be able to test more often. So I think you are applying rules of thumb as absolutes and are confused by the results when they do not hit them. FYI when studies are conducted comparing 20 minute test to the hour test the range can be anywhere from 87% to over 95% due to the anaerobic system contributions on the shorter test.

So do not worry about your numbers and only look at them after the ride as an indication of your progress.
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Old 12-11-20, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Carverbiker View Post
I would not worry about your wife’s numbers. I would be willing to bet that your ftp tests are the 95% of 20 minute test. That test was developed as an approximation for the hour test in order for coaches to impart less stress on athletes but be able to test more often. So I think you are applying rules of thumb as absolutes and are confused by the results when they do not hit them. FYI when studies are conducted comparing 20 minute test to the hour test the range can be anywhere from 87% to over 95% due to the anaerobic system contributions on the shorter test.

So do not worry about your numbers and only look at them after the ride as an indication of your progress.
Thanks so much for the useful info. I will back it off 5 watts. I thought to get stronger by pushing my body as long as I didn't go over. However, I was having trouble seeing how Seiler could do 2 hours on the trainer and want another 2. I'll back it off a bit. I was stuck at 1-3/4 hrs. when my legs would pack it in. It was interesting though to see that my average watts at the same HR and breathing rate kept gradually going up. The desire for results is my nemesis. I've always belly-breathed. I will try the nose breathing. I never do that when exercising, though I don't readily see why not..

All my tests for the past 20+ years have been the 8 minute 90% CTS tests or else a 5 mile TT. They are, as you say, too warped by anaerobic power. So that's what I'm trying to fix. I'm hoping to come up with a FTP that I can hold for at least 50' by early summer. This morning, my resting HR was 46 and standing resting was 52, so my aerobic conditioning is coming right along. When resting, I can feel each heart beat shaking my chest again. Progress.

Your answers are the input I was hoping to get and make sense.
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Old 12-24-20, 01:05 PM
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I was over-thinking it as usual instead of being simply bull-headed about it. Doing the latter, I can now ride for 2 hours at 75% FTP, HR at 84% LTHR, no drift. That was my goal for the end of the year, doing that several times/week. Done. Now I've added one interval day/week, 105% FTP. Just did a set of 4 X 3' X 3' to get a feel for it. Went just over LTHR, almost reaching VT2 on the last one, so I'm in the ballpark. Next week I'll try 4 X 4' X 2' and more 120' at 75%.

References I've looked at lately:
https://www.researchgate.net/publica...trolled_Trials
https://elementssystem.com/wp-conten.../05/Hydren.pdf
https://www.researchgate.net/publica...ained_cyclists
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