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How to structure my training

Old 01-03-12, 04:05 PM
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oib111
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How to structure my training

I recently (around mid October) got into biking, and I'm mainly doing it to get into shape, but I do really love biking. I was wondering about the way I'm training though. My current routine looks like:

Monday-Thursday: Medium ride
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Long Ride
Sunday: Rest

It seems to be working well, but I'm not an expert. I'd also like to eventually incorporate some sort of interval training or something to help my VO2 max and lactate threshold. Oh, and I just started a beginner weightlifting routine (a modified Starting Strength routine) that goes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I'm not sure how that and my cardio are going to affect each other (especially with squats happening three days a week).
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Old 01-03-12, 06:07 PM
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What are you training for? "Get into shape" isn't useful as a goal.

You just started. Pretty much anything you do for at least the next two years will make you faster. Try different things and see what you like.

The weight lifting may cause enough muscle soreness that it'll affect the higher quality bike workouts. Depends on how hard you work, how well you recover, etc. Sometimes for me I'm ok the day after but hurting the day after that. You'll want to experiment.

If you think you may race in the future, consider keeping a log and taking notes now. The notes are so you can figure out what was working in the past and what wasn't.

As far as setting goals and training objectives, the appropriate chapters of Friel's training bible are very useful if you're racing.
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Old 01-03-12, 06:34 PM
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I'm mainly training to be a better overall cyclist. I don't plan to do anything competitive in the future, but I'd like to be able to get to the point where something like a century ride is feasible.
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Old 01-03-12, 08:06 PM
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Sounds fine to me. On the Saturday ride, try particularly to ride hills. That will take care of your interval training for now. You might want to lift only 2 days/week so you're rested for the Saturday ride. If you are riding alone, try to lay out an interesting route and gradually up the distance. Better to make the long ride a group ride.
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Old 01-03-12, 08:51 PM
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My long rides are mainly on the bike path at the beach near my house, so as you can imagine it isn't very hilly. I can try to restructure the rides so that there are more hills, but the bike path is very convenient and very enjoyable. Where would I put intervals in my schedule and are there any specific interval routines you recommend?
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Old 01-03-12, 09:20 PM
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If you're riding a bike path for your long ride, you have no need for intervals. You shouldn't ride over about 15 mph on a bike path. Try riding anywhere but a bike path. Personally, I hates 'em.
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Old 01-03-12, 11:48 PM
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I really like the bike path (easy to cover large distance, scenic, much less stopping, company of other riders, etc), but it's not that hilly, so why no intervals?
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Old 01-06-12, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by oib111 View Post
I really like the bike path (easy to cover large distance, scenic, much less stopping, company of other riders, etc), but it's not that hilly, so why no intervals?
Children on bikes, roller bladers with headphones, dog walkers with 30' leads fully extended across the trail from where they're sitting on the bench yakking on their cell phones...
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Old 01-06-12, 06:12 PM
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Oh. I never met to do intervals on that particular ride (the long ride, on the bike path) if that's where this confusion is coming from. I just meant working some sort of interval training into my general schedule, which would probably mean it'd end up being on one of my other, shorter rides (i.e anything between Monday and Thursday).
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Old 01-07-12, 03:04 AM
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You don't need to do intervals to finish or be fast on a century. There's nothing wrong with them if you like them, but if they make cycling into a chore there's no reason to do them.

You do need to get in enough time on the bike, and work up to doing a long ride that's close enough that doing the full century is not too much of a stretch. Being able to do a 70 mile ride on the same terrain (i.e. hilly if your goal is a hilly century) is enough. Your rides during the week can be shorter and faster, and the weekend ride longer and a little slower.

Vo2max isn't important for century rides- you shouldn't be going that hard. You shouldn't be at threshold much either.
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Old 01-09-12, 03:09 PM
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I realize they aren't a necessity, but I'd still like to them just to increase my overall performance and ability.
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Old 01-09-12, 03:58 PM
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I would do more of endurance, slow ride on Saturday as it seems to be your long ride. During the weekdays, pick maybe one or two as your "climbing" ride or "fast" ride would give it some variance. For now though, I would concentrate more on base training. I noticed myself becoming better rider by going "slower" after about a year of pushing too hard.
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Old 01-15-12, 04:36 PM
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Oh ok. Thanks. Also, how much should I increase mileage each week? I've recently been trying to add 3-5 miles each week, but what's really appropriate (i.e would a percentage increase be better). As a point of reference my long ride this week was around 27 miles.
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Old 01-15-12, 05:12 PM
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The usual rule of thumb is to increase total riding time or time of longest ride by no more than 10% a week. But that's a pretty safe number. 20% might be doable at least some weeks,
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Old 01-15-12, 09:34 PM
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I really want to second the comment that at this point, anything you do over the next couple of years will make you faster. I further encourage you not to over think it at this stage. I think the comments regarding intervals is that they really can make getting on the bike feel like a chore. They are important as you approach some asymptotes in terms of things like lactate thresholds and vo2max but the first couple of years are really the easiest gains that you'll make and so the most important thing is to get out there and ride.

I would say also to keep at the bike path if that's what you enjoy and maybe when there's some variation in the terrain, maybe hit some of the hills a little harder. Maybe make it a goal once in a while to really feel like your tongue is hanging out for some of the time. But the biggest thing that you can do is to make it a habit.

I get the desire to really dig into a training routine but at some point, it can really detract from the joy of riding. Finding some folks to ride with also makes a huge difference.

You're really at the steep part of the curve for improvement. I remember (e.g., 18 months ago) when a 35 mile ride made me want to come home and do nothing for the rest of the day, but with no really structured training, i'm pretty happy going out on a nice saturday (which we haven't had much of recently) and doing an unsupported century (albeit, not fast) because it feels good.
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Old 01-16-12, 10:49 AM
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Thanks so much glocken! Really straightened everything out for me. Right now I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing and build a base. I'll worry about intervals later when I'll really need them.
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Old 01-19-12, 06:48 AM
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I was lifting 4 times a week with a 10-20 min jog/run before hand and biking on the 2 days after leg workouts. The bike rides will help move the lactic acid out of your quads/hammies and help you recover faster. Easliy paced rides worked for me (especially since I don't have a riding group to push me) but when I felt like I could handle attacking a hill or two I did it.

Just remember to vary your workouts and what I mean by that is do different exercises that target the same muscle group and always warm up with light cardio (specifically dynamic stretches) before and deep static stretches after. Do the same thing before your ride and you'll see how well your body adjusts!

Also,your muscles only heal when you sleep. So at a minimum, maintain your current sleep schedule if you can't afford more sack time. Last thing is to adjust your diet, I am currently doing some research on this matter since the whole thing is hieroglyphics to me. Bodybuilding.com has a ton of information on workouts w/ cardio, dieting, supplements, etc. Check it out if you want to delve into it further.

I forgot to mention, listen to your body. If you feel like you need more rest or a lighter workout, do that. Like glockenspieler said the best thing you can do is make it a habit.

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Old 03-05-12, 05:18 PM
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I hate to reopen a dead thread, but I thought it might be best to post in here instead of creating a new thread since it's related-ish. I know increase in speed comes with time, and I've searched around on this forum for threads about gaining speed and most people recommend just that, riding more and letting it come to you with time. That's fine, but I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to maximize speed gains when you're starting off and still getting noob gains (although I think at this point I'm beginning to progress out of that category, but still)?
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Old 03-27-12, 01:06 AM
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I dunno if this is going to work or not, but you could try the method used in running. Doing interval sprints: 100 meter walk/jog immediately followed by 200 meter sprint. I don't know how the distances would equate on a bike though. Maybe you could do time instead of distance. Let me know what works for you though.
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