Advice needed - training programs

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
Marcus Aurelius
Posts: 794
Joined: 1 Feb 2018, 10:20am

Re: Advice needed - training programs

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 31 Jan 2020, 3:02pm

mattheus wrote:One of the all-time great quotes, from (possibly) The all-time great!

There's a lot of truth in it - a mixture of hard, easy, long, short, plus rest is common to most effective programs; riders that do this without really planning to, often turn out very well trained and successful!

My little Pet Theory:
this idea of training for recovery - typically by back-to-back long/or/hard days - doesn't make sense to me. I haven't seen any internal process by which our bodies would adapt to this, and I haven't seen any papers on it. So there's a challenge for our training science geeks - prove me wrong!


Cycling uses your muscles in ways which are fairly unique to cycling. You engage the fast and slow twitch muscles pretty much according to how you cycle. The slow twitch fibres are the ones you want to engage more, in these types of effort, and they recover far more readily than the fast twitch fibres ( mostly down to the fact that blood / nutrient flow is superior in these muscles )So by back to back long ride training, you are encouraging dominance of the slow twitch fibres, and therefore better / quicker recovery.

PhilD28
Posts: 112
Joined: 26 Sep 2016, 8:31am

Re: Advice needed - training programs

Postby PhilD28 » 31 Jan 2020, 3:24pm

mattheus wrote:One of the all-time great quotes, from (possibly) The all-time great!


My little Pet Theory:
this idea of training for recovery - typically by back-to-back long/or/hard days - doesn't make sense to me. I haven't seen any internal process by which our bodies would adapt to this, and I haven't seen any papers on it. So there's a challenge for our training science geeks - prove me wrong!


Not exactly the average rider but Eddie Merckx was famous for training every day he wasn't racing, a minimum of 100 miles/day. As well as being faster than everyone else his recovery was legendary.

From my own experience of racing as a 2nd cat rider and after retiring from racing at 50 have done camping tours all over the world of up to 6 months duration where I ride 6 days a week typically and get stronger as I go on. It works very well for me and I most definitely adapt as I go on. Maybe you are different.
When I was racing I never had more than 1 day a week off the bike, I rode to work 10 miles there and added in loops of various distances on the way home or rode a couple of 10 mile TT's mid week, club run or racing on a weekend. But that's only my own experience. BTW, just because you haven't seen any papers on it doesn't mean it isn't so, possibly it's just my little pet theory.
I'm 67 now and still ride every day in very hilly terrain, all weathers and never less than 25 miles with a couple of long rides each week thrown in unless it's snowing. My next tour starting in May will be 3500 miles and I'll ride 6 days a week, averaging 60 miles/day camping all the way and I'll get stronger every week and I meet many long distance riders on my travels who do exactly the same, it's not in the least bit unusual.

I was careful above to not claim that this would work for the original poster, but explained my own regime and how it worked for me.
This forum never ceases to amaze me that amongst all the knowledge and experience displayed by posters there are always a few people who seem to want to trash it rather than offer any constructive advice. I should stop wasting my time here.

mattheus
Posts: 1453
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm

Re: Advice needed - training programs

Postby mattheus » 31 Jan 2020, 3:42pm

PhilD28 wrote:I was careful above to not claim that this would work for the original poster, but explained my own regime and how it worked for me.
This forum never ceases to amaze me that amongst all the knowledge and experience displayed by posters there are always a few people who seem to want to trash it rather than offer any constructive advice. I should stop wasting my time here.


Do you mean me? That wasn't my intention at all! Plenty of useful advice above already, so I don't see the harm in starting a little constructive debate.

thatsnotmyname
Posts: 189
Joined: 23 Jan 2020, 10:23am

Re: Advice needed - training programs

Postby thatsnotmyname » 31 Jan 2020, 9:27pm

mattheus wrote:My little Pet Theory:
this idea of training for recovery - typically by back-to-back* long/or/hard days - doesn't make sense to me. I haven't seen any internal process by which our bodies would adapt to this, and I haven't seen any papers on it. So there's a challenge for our training science geeks - prove me wrong!


The laws of specificity apply to many things, and they generally apply to exercise science as well. If you want to train for a ride involving back-to-back days in the saddle, then training by doing back-to-back rides is generally a very good idea.

Tezzerthebikerider
Posts: 9
Joined: 2 Dec 2019, 7:50pm

Re: Advice needed - training programs

Postby Tezzerthebikerider » 31 Jan 2020, 9:55pm

My take on this as a former 2nd Cat too and 37 years of racing is this.
I cannot possibly train enough to make big endurance gains considering I'm doing a 7 day Lejog but what I can do is ride much faster than I'm planning to ride Lejog .
Example is my rides at 18 mph are around 130 Heart rate , sustainable for a few hrs but if I slow to my wife's 14/ 15 mph I'm around 100 BPM. This kind of effort would be sustainable all day ,just the mental aspect of knowing I'll be pedalling a long time .

I rode the 3Peaks CX last year at 161 HR for over 4 hrs so I'm used to hard efforts ,just need to slow down .
Breaking the ride down into chunks with food stops also make it seem more manageable however 910 miles in a week won't be easy .
So 30 miles then breakfast then 2 x50 mile rides left for the day on average .
In your case I'd suggest gradual build up of hrs and speed but knowing on the event you'll be going slower .
Goodluck

mattheus
Posts: 1453
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm

Re: Advice needed - training programs

Postby mattheus » 1 Feb 2020, 8:03am

thatsnotmyname wrote:
mattheus wrote:My little Pet Theory:
this idea of training for recovery - typically by back-to-back* long/or/hard days - doesn't make sense to me. I haven't seen any internal process by which our bodies would adapt to this, and I haven't seen any papers on it. So there's a challenge for our training science geeks - prove me wrong!


The laws of specificity apply to many things, and they generally apply to exercise science as well. If you want to train for a ride involving back-to-back days in the saddle, then training by doing back-to-back rides is generally a very good idea.

True; but the "laws of specificity" aren't hard science like the Law of Gravity; they're more like rules of thumb, developed before we had any idea about the physiology.
There are definitely exceptions e.g. how many Grand Tours do the GC contenders ride as training? Why is interval training effective?

We know why weight-lifting works - muscle fibres get broken down, then rebuild stronger (more numerous?). But I haven't seen a similar explanation for back-to-back long rides being effective.

thatsnotmyname
Posts: 189
Joined: 23 Jan 2020, 10:23am

Re: Advice needed - training programs

Postby thatsnotmyname » 1 Feb 2020, 8:56am

mattheus wrote:True; but the "laws of specificity" aren't hard science like the Law of Gravity; they're more like rules of thumb, developed before we had any idea about the physiology.
There are definitely exceptions e.g. how many Grand Tours do the GC contenders ride as training? Why is interval training effective?

We know why weight-lifting works - muscle fibres get broken down, then rebuild stronger (more numerous?). But I haven't seen a similar explanation for back-to-back long rides being effective.


I know they aren't physical 'laws', obviously. But ask any exercise physiologist and they will tell you that they are still relevant. As for GC contenders - it's not a case of riding 'grand tours' as training - it's a case of being physically capable of repeating hard, multi-day distance rides which train your aerobic metabolism and its ability to recover. You don't necessarily have to ride GTs to do that. On the recent Bahrain/Mclaren camp in Benidorm, the team was knocking out 90-100 mile rides every day for around a week or so. As for interval training, the science behind that is well-established, widely-documented and easy enough to find.

mattheus
Posts: 1453
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm

Re: Advice needed - training programs

Postby mattheus » 1 Feb 2020, 12:47pm

thatsnotmyname wrote:
mattheus wrote:True; but the "laws of specificity" aren't hard science like the Law of Gravity; they're more like rules of thumb, developed before we had any idea about the physiology.
There are definitely exceptions e.g. how many Grand Tours do the GC contenders ride as training? Why is interval training effective?
....

As for interval training, the science behind that is well-established, widely-documented and easy enough to find.


Don't worry, I'm not disputing that interval training works! :) My point is that it works even when it's not specific e.g. 5min intervals work really well for riders doing much longer efforts in races.

So I'm still waiting for the science of back-to-back long days ...