What's Your Take on the Value of a Personal Cycling Coach?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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GaBa
Posts: 368
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:01 pm

by GaBa

AJS914 wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2023 8:26 pm
How much volume do you do to be well above 5watt/kg?

I don't doubt your interval schedule but when someone is on 6 hours per week the typical recommendation is 2-3 days per with with some intensity. That doesn't have to be soul crushing vo2max interals. It could be tempo, threshold, whatever above z2 endurance pace mentioned above.
I am well above 4, not 5 unfortunatelly 😄 my volume is higher though, true, ~10h cycling/week on average + 1.5h of weights at the moment.

Yes, type of intervals surely changes matters a bit but still. Anyhow, my comments obviously come from my experience, I like to have everything planned and if I plan on my own I usually exaggerate and en up having longer breaks than needed. Especially when things don't go as planned it is comforting to have someone I can turn to and not go through things on my own. It sure is important to have someone you trust though, I have a second coach now and could not be happier while I can't say that for the first one, especially when comparing approach of both of them.

I think it also depends on the personality of each individual when deciding whether to go with a coach or not. A friend of mine doesn't like to being told how to train so he does sports on his own, no real structure. And he's even stronger than I am on the bike, runs sub 3h marathon. He does more volume than I do though.

Torbjorn
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:44 pm

by Torbjorn

I am an exercise physiologist and have a PhD (doesn't mean I'm better than any of you, just that I may know a thing or two about this). People tend to very much over-complicate training (not so much in this tread where the advice has been quite balanced, so kudos to you), with (almost ridiculously) detailed and complicated training plans and/or interval sessions prescription and reporting. To the untrained eye I guess it looks really sophisticated and impressive putting long lists of numbers on Strava of the repetitions and timings of the interval sessions you're doing. I am (much) more impressed by seeing someone applying simplicity and consistency in their training over time. Training theory is still in its infancy and there is a lot we do not know. But we do know certain things pretty well, and that is that the key ingredients for physiological adaptation are consistency (train consistently over longer time) and variation (vary the intensity, volume and type of load) of training. In simple terms, for the vast majority of people just going out and riding consistently over time, with some attention to and variation of the load (including as you progress), will stimulate good adaptations and thus significantly increase the performance. Yes, for most (even athletes at a good level) it really is that simple! To take it one step further, most studies show that the most effective intensity distribution includes most of the riding done at lower intensity (think "my breathing rate is up, but I can hold a conversation"), interspersed with some either moderate-intensity ("pyramidal") or high-intensity interval training ("polarized"). While it's ok to train when fatigued (this can induce adaptations in itself), if you feel tired, you're probably.. tired, and could benefit from rest. Studies show that our subjective feeling outperforms other supposedly objective measures. Don't buy a Whoop and you don't need a power meter. If your goal is performance (and not weight loss), make sure you fuel well both during training sessions and consistently throughout the rest of the day. It matters.

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robertbb
Posts: 2180
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am

by robertbb

Torbjorn wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2023 4:52 pm
I am an exercise physiologist and have a PhD (doesn't mean I'm better than any of you, just that I may know a thing or two about this). People tend to very much over-complicate training (not so much in this tread where the advice has been quite balanced, so kudos to you), with (almost ridiculously) detailed and complicated training plans and/or interval sessions prescription and reporting. To the untrained eye I guess it looks really sophisticated and impressive putting long lists of numbers on Strava of the repetitions and timings of the interval sessions you're doing. I am (much) more impressed by seeing someone applying simplicity and consistency in their training over time. Training theory is still in its infancy and there is a lot we do not know. But we do know certain things pretty well, and that is that the key ingredients for physiological adaptation are consistency (train consistently over longer time) and variation (vary the intensity, volume and type of load) of training. In simple terms, for the vast majority of people just going out and riding consistently over time, with some attention to and variation of the load (including as you progress), will stimulate good adaptations and thus significantly increase the performance. Yes, for most (even athletes at a good level) it really is that simple! To take it one step further, most studies show that the most effective intensity distribution includes most of the riding done at lower intensity (think "my breathing rate is up, but I can hold a conversation"), interspersed with some either moderate-intensity ("pyramidal") or high-intensity interval training ("polarized"). While it's ok to train when fatigued (this can induce adaptations in itself), if you feel tired, you're probably.. tired, and could benefit from rest. Studies show that our subjective feeling outperforms other supposedly objective measures. Don't buy a Whoop and you don't need a power meter. If your goal is performance (and not weight loss), make sure you fuel well both during training sessions and consistently throughout the rest of the day. It matters.
Mods can close the thread right here, highlight the above and make it a sticky. This is every bit truth, expressed very eloquently. With regards to the underlined bit, I'd only add that most ppl will make the lower intensity riding too difficult and the higher intensity riding not difficult enough (whether following pyramidal or polarized). You definitely do not need a power meter unless you're trying to squeeze out the last few percent of very targeted adaptations (at a specific point on the PD curve). If you don't have *at least* a few years of consistent riding (and I don't even mean training, just consistent riding) under your belt, the "performance" juice aint worth the squeeze.

Torbjorn
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:44 pm

by Torbjorn

Much appreciated, robertbb :thanx:

xt49mk
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2024 10:50 am

by xt49mk

Your progress as a beginner road cyclist is impressive, especially with an FTP of 3.0 W/kg and completing challenging rides like Mount Seymour and the Triple Crown. Given your desire to improve further and tackle goals like the Whistler Gran Fondo in under five hours, personal cycling coaching could be highly beneficial. A coach can tailor a training plan to your strengths and weaknesses, provide expert feedback, and keep you motivated. From my own experience, I used to spend a lot of time playing games and even had a gaming addiction, but I found a psychological support hotline at somagyarkaszino, which motivated me to change my life and take up sports, including cycling. It turns out I have a prediabetic condition and coronary artery disease. Unfortunately, due to health issues, I had to stop and now maintain my fitness through walking and morning exercises. I learned the hard way about the importance of a health check-up before starting any sport, as it can prevent potential health risks. With professional guidance, you can train smarter and achieve your cycling goals more effectively.

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