if you can dodge a wrench, you can race a bike (training thread)

new trainin thread coz it’s time to be a jock like that

how much saddle time can you get on a consistent, weekly basis? obviously more time is better but most adults can’t swing the 20+ hours it takes to get beastmode.
what are your goals? what events/races do you want to do? you can plot these things on a calendar and work backwards to make a plan.[/quote]

I figure I can probably get 10 or 12 hours, but a lot of it will be on weekends.

One goal is to do some races this year, though I don’t know which yet (a couple exceptions being a spring classic April 21, a 68-mile charity ride on May 5, and the charity century I did last year in late September). To be honest, I’m not really sure how to pick road races to do. I do understand the whole periodization thing and all that, but I’m not sure how to put together workouts to build towards the races/events I decide to do. I know I want to get lots of time on the bike, but I did that training for the century last year and ended up totally able to finish, but way slow. I’d like to pick up my general pace.[/quote]

you can gain fitness at 10-12 hours a week but it can be frustrating sometimes.
i’d aim for 4 hours of threshold work. ftp intervals or sst.
a nice longer mixed pace ride on the weekends, 5 hours on the bike.
grab some recovery spins when you can, lunches/mornings/trainer sesh etc…
i did this for a while and i made progress, albeit slowly.

also if i were as thin as you i’d make sure my food intake was dialed. gotta eat properly or it’s all for waste.
maybe supping with glutamine will help you retain muscle better.

As a skinny vegetarian guy who spent 12-18hr a week on the bike during winter (Winter here in Nor Cal was a joke this year, so loads of training), I found that getting my diet in check was key. I supplement with a green protein smoothie after my hard rides, mixing in pea protein, chia seeds, kale, frozen yogurt/reg yogurt, frozen berries, ginger root, and spirulina powder. Makes a big difference for me. Other main factor was supplementing with Coconut oil. Skinny guy + veg diet = low fat. By adding a tablespoon with breakfast of coconut oil a day, I’ve really increased my endurance and recovery. Also my body feels better. My training plan nowadays:

Monday: recovery spin/off
Tuesday: race ride, 40mi w/ the team, 3 sprint points, solid work for ~30mi, 5mi before each sprint gets nuts, ~3mi recovery after each sprint. Maybe adding on a climbing ride right beforehand.
Wed: ~2hr interval work, in a few weeks will start being Wed night time trials.
Thur: 3hr+ climbing ride
Fri: 2hr easy spin
Sat: 3-4 hr road race, 30min TTT (TC: main motivation for upgrading = longer races. So bummed finishing a race and then realizing I need to ride more)
Sun: Crit + drive home, maybe 1.5hr total with race + warmup/cooldown

Thanks, Doug!

Do you mind posting a simple sample FTP and/or SST set?

ok, but i’m used to using a powermeter to gauge my efforts. these can all be done using PE, but it’ll take some trial and error.

for FTP i was doing 2x20 min intervals like so:
warm up consisting of:
20 mins easy pace, but working. breathe though my nose pace.
10 min at threshold. go high and back off to get the legs loaded up with acid quickly
5min at increased rpm-but easy pace (100-110 is high for me) to spin that out
the interval itself:
20 min ftp:
go to just below threshold for first 5 minutes, should seem kind of easy at first until you legs begin to load up.
then go to threshold. legs should be talking but not screaming. concentrate on smooth even pedaling. how do your feet feel? (feet are super sensitive-your body’s own powermeter) same pressure on both is ideal
if you get wonky, back off a little and then slowly build back up.
stand up every 4-5 mins to make sure blood getting to your goodies. i tend to click up a gear when i stand.
last 3-4 mins take it to legs screaming.
5 mins easy spin
20 min repeat
25 mins cool down at easy pace, but higher rpm. concentrate on mindful pedaling. i usually suck down some sort of recovery drink (i use muscle milk since it doesnt make me fart real bad)

those take practice to do well. they are very hard to do smoothly at first but become easier. eventually you come to love that lactic burn. its best to start them slow and finish strong. if you find yourself halfway in and have gone too hard ,ready to give up, just back off and finish the time. start the next one a little slower. time spent at threshold is the key to triggering adaptation.

for SST intervals i usually do them for about 90 mins. i head out the door and slowly ramp up to maybe 75% of threshold. hold that level of extertion for 1.5 hours. your legs should never feel loaded up like the ftp intervals will do, but you should be breathing and sweating pretty good. i mix it up sitting, standing, high rpm, mashing. whatever gets me to 1.5 hours without backin off the gas. after one hour you hate life and holding a steady rate is very difficult. you feel great and then you feel terrible and then good again.

i only do these when i have nothing much to do later. i still never nailed my recovery right with these. they make cranky and fighty all day after i do them.

I’ve been sick with Tonsillitis (insurance won’t pay to get my tonsils out) for the past four weeks so my schedule has been this:
Mon: cough
Tues: cough
Wed: hack
Thurs - Sun: couuuuuuggggggghhhh.
Hopefully this can change soon.


Thanks, guys! That is really helpful. I may get a power meter one day, but at my level, I just don’t know how necessary it is. Perceived Effort seems to work pretty well for me, so I’ll stick with that for now.

I’ve got my nutrition mostly dialed. When I’m working out a lot, I really like Vega products to help me keep on top of protein and all the other “building blocks” stuff. I’m also a big green smoothie proponent.

solid info all around in this thread.

but damn dougie. there was already 2-3 training threads prior to this one.

yeah but i couldn’t find them in the 3-4 pages back i looked on.

jerry, talk at me about food and nutrition. i wanna try something different for recovery drinks. muscle milk not giving me all of it.

sup on the coconut oil tip?

Dude, give Vega a try. They’ve recently come out with what appears to be a very nutritionally sound athletic range: http://vegasport.com/?cid=MYVEGA

I have had very good results with the performance protein and the recovery accelerator. I think you can get a kind of sample pack of their stuff online (or you should be able to pick up single-serving pouches of stuff at Food Fight or maybe New Seasons…).

i hated vega when I tried it, tasted like hell

It tastes better now. I used to not be able to stomach it even in smoothies, but the new formulation is much more palatable. It’s still not super tasty, but it’s good enough to throw in your water bottle and pound after a workout.

If your down with milk products nothing beats chocolate milk.

I’m too lazy to dig up the peer reviewed studies but this article summarises the info: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/chocolate-milk-after-workout/

Nesquick powder in milk has the same effect, that’s what I do so I don’t have to buy two different types of milk.

Also: If I spend a lot of time doing threshold and vO2 max stuff in my other sport (8-12 hours a week right now), should I just be riding for time in the saddle? Is there a way to work some speed/high effort work into my rides without over doing it?

[quote=truckdoug]yeah but i couldn’t find them in the 3-4 pages back i looked on.

jerry, talk at me about food and nutrition. i wanna try something different for recovery drinks. muscle milk not giving me all of it.

sup on the coconut oil tip?[/quote]

my thoughts on muscle milk: it’s okay if you’re in a hurry and looking for something to pick up at the corner store and you don’t mind paying the premium over chocolate milk, since it’s generally stocked everywhere. on it’s own, it’s mostly marketing driven, way more processed than other stuff and not that great in terms of what else is out there.

coconut oil is more for pre-fueling and less than post-workout nutrition. the idea is the body really likes using some of the specific fats that are found in coconuts and not much else, and using them as fuel. it certainly wouldn’t hurt as a way to supplement a recovery drink, but it ain’t the main component.

if you don’t mind drinking a mix, i still think the best way to go is getting a good whey protein isolate (you generally pay for what you get), and combining that with dextrose or malto. i have a secret alternative carb source that i had huge success with, but these days i’m more inclined to share those details in private instead of public. (it doesn’t really help that that alternative is a fair amount more expensive than dextrose, and you have to make it yourself.) by the way, to cut down on the dairy farts, you can take a lactase pill, or get whey with minimal residual lactose.

if you want real food, green smoothies are a solid thing to take post-workout because they’re so nutrient-dense. same rule applies as if you were making a whey shake: 4:1 carb:protein ratio is ideal. when i made them, i would mix up a package of spinach with one apple, one banana, and then whatever frozen fruit i had on hand (usually pineapples, papaya or berries). you can also play around with added extras: things like coconut oil/milk, spirulina, creatine, whey, BCAA’s, etc. this option gets expensive, though.

finally, the true proletariat choice is plain ol’ chocolate milk. it gets the job done, and well. if that doesn’t float your boat, yogurt and kefir are two other really good routes. same thing applies with taking lactase - additionally, it’s not very hard to find lactose-free chocolate milk these days.

actually, i can think of one other post-workout drink i’ve done, and i’ll make it public because i doubt most of you will even try it, but it’s amazing: homemade kefir with honey (extra bonus points if said honey is local and raw). you literally feel buzzed after drinking it, and get this quick euphoric rush. there’s a world of difference between homemade and storebought kefirs and yogurts. the fact that homemade kefir typically ferments into 0.5-1% alcohol doesn’t hurt.

in summary - one basic important principle units all of these: 4:1 carbs:protein ratio, with high-glycemic carbs. everything else is just icing on the cake in the form of micronutrients, antioxidants, probiotics, et al., and figuring out how much you want to spend.

If possible, get your recovery food/shake/cake in within 20 minutes of the end of your ride. The body has a much better glycemic response within this 20 minute window, so if you can pack in a lot of the carbs you’ve depleted during the ride by consuming them during this time, your body will process it more efficiently and much more quickly, and plus you won’t get a sugar high.

For fueling during a ride, I am a big proponent of Maltodextrin, it’s flavorless, dissolves super easily, and you can easily make 300 calorie bottles, which are great if you can’t stomach a lot of food while riding. Some studies have suggested (I can find em later if need be) to mix a more simple sugar (sucrose, fructose, dextrose) with malto so it can be absorbed more readily into your bloodstream. I buy bulk malto and mix it into my standard drink mix so I get electrolytes, sugar combo, and boost the calories.
Chocolate milk is pretty boss if your body can handle milk products alright. Works great as a recovery beverage. Former Olympic doc I knew swore by the stuff, said this fueled most athletes prior to the new wave of science-y stuff.
BCAA are okay, but expensive. Has a good effect on recovery, but you can make most of that up much more cheaply in diet.
Local raw honey is awesome. I buy honey from the area I spend most of my ride time in. This way, I can get the bee pollen to help with allergy response, but also it’s a healthy sweetener.

Best performance enhancer available: Caffeine. If crit: 200mg 20 min before. If RR: crush up caffeine pill for 200mg, and mix half into each of your bottles. Also have a gel or shot bloks with some caffeine in it to get that boost before your sprint.

Caffeine is pretty key, I actually saw my doc today about blood sugar problems and he suggested caffeine pre-workout to help speed up the fat–>glycogen conversion to prevent bonking early into rides/workouts

Gonna go ahead and plug my team’s main sponsor, Fluid. 2500mg L-glutamine, 7g protien, 140cal, and 27g of carbs per serving. Protien is whey isolate. Chocolate is my jam.

although i used this more for weight training than cycling, the cutting edge stuff i’ve read suggested that a post-workout shake may actually best be consumed during the workout itself (if not before, if it’s a short workout, but i’ve never been able to get any on-the-bike work done in less than an hour), the logic being that from bottle to muscle, the carbs/protein take longer to reach their destination than was theorized*.

this goes slightly against the grain of the conventional wisdom, so caveat emptor. i’m personally fairly open to trying new things, and got some fairly solid gains in the gym this winter from doing this and a few choice dietary measures.

*this is based off of measuring insulin responses as per consuming a shake before, during or after workout.

That’s actually really interesting, a few dudes I swim with who have trouble keeping muscle on (one of whom is blazing fast and will probably final at Oly trials in two weeks) start drinking their protein/recovery shakes during warm down like 20-30min before the end of workout, not sure where they got the idea but its sounds like it makes sense.

i’ll need to try that, Definitely gonna happen next track omnium event we’ve got.