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New training for me, 5 days on two days off!

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New training for me, 5 days on two days off!

Old 08-28-21, 11:25 AM
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New training for me, 5 days on two days off!

In a few weeks I may be starting a new full-time job, but other than that I'm ready to start some regular riding after at least a year in front of the TV fretting about masks and such. I plan to use the rhythm of polarized training as a framework in which to build my endurance and strength - I'll build up to a comfortable level (30 minutes per day) and sustain it for two weeks, then build the duration up 10% per week. I need to train saddle tolerance, fit refinement, aerobic base, and some increased effort , Seiler Zone 3 for 30 minutes. I need not only to train skills and capacity, but to convince my wife to be confident in my bike and traffic handling, et cetera, and settle her fears.

At first my target is to ride this routine for at least two weeks, exercising all of these skills. I expect that achieving the 30 minute hard day will be a challenge at first and perhaps for a few weeks, but I'll do my best, keeping up the effort until it's too hard, than ramp down while heading home. I'll keep slowly extending it until I'm sure I'm good with a full 30 minutes and can repeat it comfortably for the week after that. Continue the 10% growth, AAAnd we'll see about the winter. If I can ramp it up to maybe 7 hours per week outdoor/indoor by the beginning of March I'd feel like trying a metric or a century. If I recall RUSA Michigan usually hosts a 200km at that time of year, or there is one in central Ohio. Also the Ann Arbor club still hosts some longer rides.

I think a pattern like that is better than to train five days in a row doing 10 easy 10 hard 10 easy, for 5 days in a row. I think the day scheme will be easier for me to keep track of, so more likely that I will actually do it. And for the hotter or humid days I can take the slower route and leave the harder route for cooler days.
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Old 08-28-21, 04:47 PM
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I did something like that last winter, Oct.-Jan, coming off about 6 months of doing nothing more interesting than walking. Worked, IMO. I worked up to 2 hrs. at steady Seiler max Z1 pace, going by breathing, gradually increasing effort (watts) as the weeks went by, some days short, some days long so I didn't overcook. I kept at it until I could do the 2 hours, almost no HR drift, staying below VT1. Took me until the middle of December to be able to do that. Then I added the Seiler Z3. You can't do 30' of Z3. Try 3 X 4 X 4 after a good warmup and gradually increase the three numbers, going for a max of 4 X 8 X 4. I did that for a couple months, then started normal riding, the heck with all that structure, I just had fun, one 40-60 mile hilly ride/month and whatever other work I thought was best to be able to be fast on the long ride.
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Old 08-30-21, 09:58 AM
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You need to have recovery days. Conventional wisdom is that you should do two, maaaybe occasionally three hard days per week. My current regimen is 2 interval days and 2 steady-state days on the erg, and one long day out on the road.
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Old 08-30-21, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
You need to have recovery days. Conventional wisdom is that you should do two, maaaybe occasionally three hard days per week. My current regimen is 2 interval days and 2 steady-state days on the erg, and one long day out on the road.
My basic week (microcycle?) is 5 days on and two days off. Aren't those two days recovery days?

My first sentence said I've been sedentary (really sedentary) for a year. My thought is to use the basic bones of Seiler polarized as a way to do base for a while, starting at a level that feels comfortable right now, add volume incrementally, and bring in some intervals later as I feel prepared for them. I would aspire to do a pattern like yours, but I don't think I'm ready for it at the moment. I hope that in December or January I'd be up to 5 days an hour each, with some interval a few days a week. At that point I think I'll have a better idea what recovery I'll actually need. Metric or a 200k maybe in March or April.

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Old 08-31-21, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I did something like that last winter, Oct.-Jan, coming off about 6 months of doing nothing more interesting than walking. Worked, IMO. I worked up to 2 hrs. at steady Seiler max Z1 pace, going by breathing, gradually increasing effort (watts) as the weeks went by, some days short, some days long so I didn't overcook. I kept at it until I could do the 2 hours, almost no HR drift, staying below VT1. Took me until the middle of December to be able to do that. Then I added the Seiler Z3. You can't do 30' of Z3. Try 3 X 4 X 4 after a good warmup and gradually increase the three numbers, going for a max of 4 X 8 X 4. I did that for a couple months, then started normal riding, the heck with all that structure, I just had fun, one 40-60 mile hilly ride/month and whatever other work I thought was best to be able to be fast on the long ride.
Reading some of the papers on Seiler polarization, it looks like his Z3 (SZ3) begins near LT, so ... it should feel pretty difficult. I'm used to I would certainly have some SZ2 as I ramp it up from SZ1, and perhaps that is just part of doing intervals. I pedaled some SZ1 (metered by RPE) yesterday and it is comfortable. Going up to SZ3 will be unusual. On my Wahoo I need to do spinup pretty often, and it did not feel too hard, but would be hard to sustain. I think charging up some of our Southeast Michigan Alps would be a better way to get in those miles.

In the 3x4x4, I assume we're saying 3 minutes SZ1, 4 minutes SZ3, 4 minutes SZ1. If that's correct, how much of the 4 minutes SZ3 phase is taken up trying to get your HR up to LT and beyond? Outdoors, I would see charging up my "mountains" as hard as possible until reaching SZ3. Do I have this right?
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Old 08-31-21, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
My basic week (microcycle?) is 5 days on and two days off. Aren't those two days recovery days?
Yes, but if you're riding threshold intervals 5 days a week, you've got 5 hard days a week, not 23.
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Old 08-31-21, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Reading some of the papers on Seiler polarization, it looks like his Z3 (SZ3) begins near LT, so ... it should feel pretty difficult. I'm used to I would certainly have some SZ2 as I ramp it up from SZ1, and perhaps that is just part of doing intervals. I pedaled some SZ1 (metered by RPE) yesterday and it is comfortable. Going up to SZ3 will be unusual. On my Wahoo I need to do spinup pretty often, and it did not feel too hard, but would be hard to sustain. I think charging up some of our Southeast Michigan Alps would be a better way to get in those miles.

In the 3x4x4, I assume we're saying 3 minutes SZ1, 4 minutes SZ3, 4 minutes SZ1. If that's correct, how much of the 4 minutes SZ3 phase is taken up trying to get your HR up to LT and beyond? Outdoors, I would see charging up my "mountains" as hard as possible until reaching SZ3. Do I have this right?
Correct. I think we can treat LT as the lower end of Z3. Seiler began his investigations by looking at Nordic skiers, who have to go by HR, though Seiler himself as a cyclist uses power as well as HR and breathing when he works out on the bike. Seiler's method has been to delineate the three zones using neither power nor HR, but rather by breathing. The upper end of Z1 is at VT1 and the upper end of Z2 is at VT2 (google Vt1 and Vt2). The next step was to associate a HR and/or power number with those breakpoints in breathing, because we record HR and power, but don't record breathing rate. Thus we can examine and quantify our results using those numbers.

Got that? The concept is simple, but the application is not so simple. I assume you intend to do your workouts, including intervals, on an indoor "dumb" trainer, that is a trainer with no output measurements other than speed. Finally coming around to the answer to your question, on the bike you want to use power or its analogue speed to determine what zone you're in. If you want to be in Z1, you stay at or below VT1 while observing your speed and HR. The Z1 endurance goal is to hold VT1, speed, and HR steady, i.e. little or no HR drift when holding a constant speed. The goal during an interval effort is to hold speed (power) steady and arrive at VT2 and your Z3 HR at or before the end of the interval. The application of this theory takes a good bit of practice. You'll have to guess at what your RPE and speed should be in order to reach VT2 and go over threshold HR during the interval. Takes practice.

Outdoors it's exactly the same. Indoors you have the advantage of being able to hold a constant speed, knowing that you'll also be holding a constant power. The same thing is true outdoors IF the hill (or flat) you are using for your workout is at a constant gradient. IOW, you also can go by speed outdoors to enable you to hold power constant. Using HR to do an outdoor workout, one guesses by RPE how fast to go, then holds that speed, working hard enough to bring breathing and HR up into Z3 and holding that speed for the interval duration. If you can't hold the speed, you guessed wrong, back off until you can hold it and observe the speed. Similarly if you don't come up into Z3 go harder next time. Next interval, start off at the speed you've established, see if that works perfectly for your interval goal. I observe how far up the hill I got during the interval. On succeeding intervals, I will hopefully reach that same point. If you're going by HR rather than speed, eventually, maybe 4th interval, you'll fall short of that distance because your power has dropped off due to HR drift and quite possibly exhaustion. If it's the latter, you're done, if it's the former, try another interval or so.

By how you might have realized why so many riders have gone to riding by power instead of HR - it's way simpler and easier! Not necessarily better, as there a reasons other than ease of application to go by HR. Though you'll probably find that HR will vary some from day to day at the same power or speed, during an interval set it's quite useful as even that day-to-day variation contains information on your fitness..
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Old 08-31-21, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
Yes, but if you're riding threshold intervals 5 days a week, you've got 5 hard days a week, not 23.
He's not intending to ride any threshold intervals. He's using Seiler's and the European zone system of 3 zones. His week will consist of Z1 rides and 1 or 2 days of warmup and then Z3 intervals.
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Old 08-31-21, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Reading some of the papers on Seiler polarization, it looks like his Z3 (SZ3) begins near LT, so ... it should feel pretty difficult. I'm used to I would certainly have some SZ2 as I ramp it up from SZ1, and perhaps that is just part of doing intervals. I pedaled some SZ1 (metered by RPE) yesterday and it is comfortable. Going up to SZ3 will be unusual. On my Wahoo I need to do spinup pretty often, and it did not feel too hard, but would be hard to sustain. I think charging up some of our Southeast Michigan Alps would be a better way to get in those miles.

In the 3x4x4, I assume we're saying 3 minutes SZ1, 4 minutes SZ3, 4 minutes SZ1. If that's correct, how much of the 4 minutes SZ3 phase is taken up trying to get your HR up to LT and beyond? Outdoors, I would see charging up my "mountains" as hard as possible until reaching SZ3. Do I have this right?
I should mention that it's entirely feasible to do polarized training outdoors. Once one can ride the trainer is a steady Z1 for say 1.5 hours and also do Z3 intervals, one can go on long outdoor rides holding it to Z1 with gearing, and attacking every hill, not all out, but at a hard pace which will produce steady panting. Works great. One will also experience a good bit of HR Z2, but that's OK. The idea of mostly using Z1 outdoors is to allow one to maximize the amount of Z3 one can accomplish. It's the training at the high end which really increases one's average speed on a ride. It is said that high end training drags all one's zone boundaries up.
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Old 09-01-21, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
Yes, but if you're riding threshold intervals 5 days a week, you've got 5 hard days a week, not 23.
That's not my plan. My plan is not your plan. My original plan was to ride 4 days below or at VT1, which I have been calling SZ1, (remain conversational) and one day containing intervals, which I call SZ3 when I feel up to it. Carbonfiber shared that 30 minutes of SZ3 is really difficult, so I think I will follow his lead and postpone the SZ3 (except for hill-clombing enthusiasm) later on. So the initial plan is to do 5 days of conversational riding, at a manageable volume. I did 25 minutes on Sunday and have to do another 25 tonight.

I really like what Carbonfiberboy said he did, to work up to a very comfortable (no heart rate growth) 2 hours a day before adding the SZ3 stuff. Sounds like base training to me!

Adam, thank you for sharing your plan, but I'm starting at a level that is quite a bit behind you. Plus my age is not a low number.
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Old 09-01-21, 05:03 PM
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I had misread your plan. I'm not exactly a spring chicken myself.
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Old 09-01-21, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I should mention that it's entirely feasible to do polarized training outdoors. Once one can ride the trainer is a steady Z1 for say 1.5 hours and also do Z3 intervals, one can go on long outdoor rides holding it to Z1 with gearing, and attacking every hill, not all out, but at a hard pace which will produce steady panting. Works great. One will also experience a good bit of HR Z2, but that's OK. The idea of mostly using Z1 outdoors is to allow one to maximize the amount of Z3 one can accomplish. It's the training at the high end which really increases one's average speed on a ride. It is said that high end training drags all one's zone boundaries up.
Yes, I think I get the Z1 section pretty well. The reason I was talking about how Z3 works is so that I can understand it, not because I intend to do it right away. I hope to take advantage of the remaining decent weather out here in the North (makes me feel like I'm in Game of Thrones!), but Winter is Coming. Any case, my efforts will be a mix of indoor and outdoor. Wife still wants me to go out early in the mornings with her for an hour each day, she's been doing that for at least a year, and 45 mile loops early in the morning, every 2 weeks. she rides typically about 12 mph and is conversational, so she rarely is tired on the bike. I can't convince her to put in regular rest days, but I encourage her when she feels like not going out. She has no instruments on her bike. Usually when I re-start riding I get faster than her pretty quickly, but without the same muscular endurance. I haven't sorted out yet what aspects of record-keeping and growth-tracking are important, and I'm not sure any of it is important. I do know that controlling my ride to be within the intended level is important. If I can attach the criterion to HR that's great, but I have to look at power and decide on that. Which bike should get the power meter?
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Old 09-02-21, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
I had misread your plan. I'm not exactly a spring chicken myself.
No worries, Adam, tthanks!! Looks like you gave yourself the dopeslap, so no reason for me to do it as well! No worries, except for the actual riding!

As far s the plan goes, certainly several different ideas were under discussion.
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