Training Routines

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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siwong1210
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:48 pm

by siwong1210

Not purely cycling specific, but I've been on the Tridot training plan. They've got me doing a variation of high intensity to sustained intervals. I've definitely noticed my fitness shoot up in the month that I've been on it.

robeambro
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by robeambro

Quick random question: I had my first stab at structured training. according to Strava Fitness, my RHR as of late, anecdotal ride with a friend, and general feeling, I seem to have accumulated a quite high level of fatigue post 2 months of training.

I know for sure (because of how I feel) that if I only rested two days in a row I would not flush fatigue out of the system.

Ideally I'd like to achieve the below:

- rest to draw most of this fatigue out of the system WITHOUT losing the fitness I've gained, so I can start a new block fresh and revitalised.

- test my FTP which would both assess any progress from training AND also allow me to set proper zones for the next training block

How do I do this properly? As I don't have fancy training programs, my guess would be to trust Strava's fitness & freshness calcs and just do a mix of moderate volume Z1-Z2 work with some very limited intensity work for a couple weeks, then get my FTP tested once I see my RHR gets to around usual lows again and I don't feel tired as now.

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cheapvega
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by cheapvega

In my very novice opinion, doesn't seem like you will be able to accurately assess your fitness if you are fatigued, so to me the most logical course of action is some forced time off. If you've been going hard for 2 months straight you def need some time off. Every structured program I've seen has some kind of deload or rest week built in, usually around the 4th-5th week.

Also, if you aren't tracking training stress, you should probably start. Golden Cheetah's interface is a bit wonky and overwhelming, but I think it's a good and free tool to keep this in check.

AJS914
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by AJS914

How do I do this properly?
Are you asking how to rest or how to test?

A rest week for me is droping hours from 10+ to under 6 and doing 3-4 easy rides instead of 5-6 rides which include some intensity. If you are new to structured training or a masters athlete you may have much more success on 2 or 3 weeks "on" and 1 week "off" or easy. You may not even need a full week of rest but just 3-4 days.

As far as testing goes, find a test and use the same protocol over and over. The book, Racing and Training With a Power Meter includes the 20 minute protocol and I think the 8min x 2 protocol. This may be an interesting link:

https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/the- ... protocols/

Roadbiker10
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by Roadbiker10

What percentage of ftp is optimal for Z2 training? I keep hearing about Z2 and Dylan Johnson keeps talking about it, but are there any studies on what is optimal?

I have a friend who got a PT. He has him doing Z2 right on the border of Z2 and Z3. He says that the body uses fat and not much glycogen when doing this. I can't really make sense of why you would do Z2 bordering on Z3. His PT said that pro's do lower % of ftp than that because they do alot of hours. But if you are doing 10-15h a week, then you should do Z2 as high as possible. He's doing Z2 at the exact ponit of his LT1.
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fruitfly
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by fruitfly

A "good enough", free, and specific to the individual way to do Z2 is to pay attention to the transition between nose breathing to mouth breathing. This transition marks LT1. So ride as fast as you can and still breathe through your nose, and this will be optimal. It is fine if you go over and start mouth breathing once in a while, because that tells you that you are near where you want to be. I am definitely old school, so I think it is a good idea to "ride by feel". That said, for Z2 riding, I did use a heart rate monitor until I became confident about my ability to gauge my effort, and sitll use it from time to time to make sure I am not deluding myself.

Speaking to the question above about rest, as a 67 year old, I try to do polarized training (one hard session a week) in a week where I normally ride 3 days, rest 1 day, ride 2 days, rest 1 day. I don't stick to this religiously because I live in a wet part of the world, and so if weather suggests a two day rest, and 5 days riding, I do that. Sometimes I do 3 days on and 1 day off. This gives me enough recovery time, to benefit from the hard session. Last year I did 16,000km, and 289,000m of climbing using this approach. I do find having an indoor trainer makes it a lot harder to avoid over-training!
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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

Roadbiker10 wrote:
Mon Mar 28, 2022 2:03 pm
What percentage of ftp is optimal for Z2 training? I keep hearing about Z2 and Dylan Johnson keeps talking about it, but are there any studies on what is optimal?

I have a friend who got a PT. He has him doing Z2 right on the border of Z2 and Z3. He says that the body uses fat and not much glycogen when doing this. I can't really make sense of why you would do Z2 bordering on Z3. His PT said that pro's do lower % of ftp than that because they do alot of hours. But if you are doing 10-15h a week, then you should do Z2 as high as possible. He's doing Z2 at the exact ponit of his LT1.
Putting aside the issues related to a PT (I'm reading this as 'personal trainer', so 'trained' in S&C) coaching a cyclist, the below is a great listen with regards to the fat utilisation part. And other episodes of theirs will help with the z2 question

https://www.empiricalcycling.com/podcas ... -fallacies
But if you are doing 10-15h a week, then you should do Z2 as high as possible.
Hello burnout.
He's doing Z2 at the exact ponit of his LT1
If he knows his LT1 precisely he would know it is not at the very edge of z2.

Roadbiker10
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by Roadbiker10

Tinea Pedis wrote:
Mon Mar 28, 2022 11:50 pm
Roadbiker10 wrote:
Mon Mar 28, 2022 2:03 pm
What percentage of ftp is optimal for Z2 training? I keep hearing about Z2 and Dylan Johnson keeps talking about it, but are there any studies on what is optimal?

I have a friend who got a PT. He has him doing Z2 right on the border of Z2 and Z3. He says that the body uses fat and not much glycogen when doing this. I can't really make sense of why you would do Z2 bordering on Z3. His PT said that pro's do lower % of ftp than that because they do alot of hours. But if you are doing 10-15h a week, then you should do Z2 as high as possible. He's doing Z2 at the exact ponit of his LT1.
Putting aside the issues related to a PT (I'm reading this as 'personal trainer', so 'trained' in S&C) coaching a cyclist, the below is a great listen with regards to the fat utilisation part. And other episodes of theirs will help with the z2 question

https://www.empiricalcycling.com/podcas ... -fallacies
But if you are doing 10-15h a week, then you should do Z2 as high as possible.
Hello burnout.
He's doing Z2 at the exact ponit of his LT1
If he knows his LT1 precisely he would know it is not at the very edge of z2.
Thanks. I will have a listen. Yes I meant personal trainer. He also calles it fatmax.

Yes he does know his LT1 and 2 precisely because his PT has him do regular testing, which is included in the cost. That's how the PT set up his zones. LT1 is exactly at the point where Z3 begins. I'm guessing then that his zones are not set right because he doesn't seem to find it too difficult although he has yet to do more than 8h a week of Z2 consistently.

So LT1 should be lower than the highest end of Z2 then?
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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

I struggle to think of anyone I know (being the internet watch someone storm in "WELL ACTUALLY" 😂) whose top end of z2 is their LT1.

Fruitfly's note of when nose breathing turns to mouth breathing is a much more reliable measure.

Roadbiker10
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by Roadbiker10

Tinea Pedis wrote:
Mon Mar 28, 2022 11:50 pm
Roadbiker10 wrote:
Mon Mar 28, 2022 2:03 pm
What percentage of ftp is optimal for Z2 training? I keep hearing about Z2 and Dylan Johnson keeps talking about it, but are there any studies on what is optimal?

I have a friend who got a PT. He has him doing Z2 right on the border of Z2 and Z3. He says that the body uses fat and not much glycogen when doing this. I can't really make sense of why you would do Z2 bordering on Z3. His PT said that pro's do lower % of ftp than that because they do alot of hours. But if you are doing 10-15h a week, then you should do Z2 as high as possible. He's doing Z2 at the exact ponit of his LT1.
Putting aside the issues related to a PT (I'm reading this as 'personal trainer', so 'trained' in S&C) coaching a cyclist, the below is a great listen with regards to the fat utilisation part. And other episodes of theirs will help with the z2 question

https://www.empiricalcycling.com/podcas ... -fallacies
But if you are doing 10-15h a week, then you should do Z2 as high as possible.
Hello burnout.
He's doing Z2 at the exact ponit of his LT1
If he knows his LT1 precisely he would know it is not at the very edge of z2.
I just listened to the fatmax episode. I also listened to an interview with Jeukendrup who is I think the one who didthose studies. He's saying that there are benefits to variating, sometimes training with carbs and sometimes not, to train both systems of energy.

I keep hearing though that this fasting training is outdated and people aren't doing it anymore. And why do some say fasted training can do more harm than good?

Anyone have an opinion on this?
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cheapvega
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by cheapvega

Man I can't wait to try that nose to mouth breathing transition thing. I need more Z2 in my routine.

RustyCage
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by RustyCage

In my opinion, people are over thinking endurance training (and training in general). Do you think Greg Lemond (or your choice of world class athletes) was worried about "zones" and "thresholds" and all that physiology jargon? No. If you're doing an endurance ride, then ride hard enough to finish with some energy. Try to go a little harder or longer as your time/ability permit. Smashed when you get home... you're doing it wrong! Stop looking at your numbers while you ride, feel how to gauge your efforts. Eat, sleep, and plan your rides so that you finish your rides with a little energy. Grumpy and tired, take 2-3 days off. Do group rides and make friends, but not all the time. Listen to your body. Don't do a lot of high intensity stuff without doing a solid base, it'll make you grumpy. Want to go faster? Find more time to ride.

maxim809
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by maxim809

RustyCage wrote:
Tue Nov 22, 2022 1:29 am
In my opinion, people are over thinking endurance training (and training in general). Do you think Greg Lemond (or your choice of world class athletes) was worried about "zones" and "thresholds" and all that physiology jargon? No. If you're doing an endurance ride, then ride hard enough to finish with some energy. Try to go a little harder or longer as your time/ability permit. Smashed when you get home... you're doing it wrong! Stop looking at your numbers while you ride, feel how to gauge your efforts. Eat, sleep, and plan your rides so that you finish your rides with a little energy. Grumpy and tired, take 2-3 days off. Do group rides and make friends, but not all the time. Listen to your body. Don't do a lot of high intensity stuff without doing a solid base, it'll make you grumpy. Want to go faster? Find more time to ride.
I actually agree with a ton of what is here. Some people really overthink the details (or more accurately: overshoot).

You mention Lemond, and I think many people look up to pro's as if they have all the answers.

Michi proved even the pro's were getting the details wrong:


robeambro
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by robeambro

maxim809 wrote:
Tue Nov 22, 2022 5:00 am
RustyCage wrote:
Tue Nov 22, 2022 1:29 am
In my opinion, people are over thinking endurance training (and training in general). Do you think Greg Lemond (or your choice of world class athletes) was worried about "zones" and "thresholds" and all that physiology jargon? No. If you're doing an endurance ride, then ride hard enough to finish with some energy. Try to go a little harder or longer as your time/ability permit. Smashed when you get home... you're doing it wrong! Stop looking at your numbers while you ride, feel how to gauge your efforts. Eat, sleep, and plan your rides so that you finish your rides with a little energy. Grumpy and tired, take 2-3 days off. Do group rides and make friends, but not all the time. Listen to your body. Don't do a lot of high intensity stuff without doing a solid base, it'll make you grumpy. Want to go faster? Find more time to ride.
I actually agree with a ton of what is here. Some people really overthink the details (or more accurately: overshoot).

You mention Lemond, and I think many people look up to pro's as if they have all the answers.

Michi proved even the pro's were getting the details wrong:

Whilst I agree partly with the sentiment, I do think that paradoxically amateurs need to be even more careful than pros when it comes to their training. What I mean is, pro's get it "easy" when it comes to zone management, since their zones are so large. For example, for most amateurs a 20w overshoot may bring them onto a completely different training zone and make their training suboptimal, whilst for pros it's hardly a concern if they were meant to do 230w and they do 250w, those 20w will be roughly between +/-5% of their FTP..

maxim809
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by maxim809

robeambro wrote:
Tue Nov 22, 2022 12:46 pm
Whilst I agree partly with the sentiment, I do think that paradoxically amateurs need to be even more careful than pros when it comes to their training. What I mean is, pro's get it "easy" when it comes to zone management, since their zones are so large. For example, for most amateurs a 20w overshoot may bring them onto a completely different training zone and make their training suboptimal, whilst for pros it's hardly a concern if they were meant to do 230w and they do 250w, those 20w will be roughly between +/-5% of their FTP..
You make a great point that lower FTP = tighter margin.

To put more succinctly:
200w FTP
70% ± 5 = 130w~150w
20w range

400w FTP
70% ± 5 = 260w~300w
40w range


So yes, bigger fitness = bigger margins. Whether those should be normalized or not is a whole conversation in itself. But taking a huge step back, before even talking about Zones we need to talk about training to power philosophy... I always see two camps:

1. Train to specific power/HR targets
2. Train to RPE, and let the power/HR zones be whatever they are

You are talking about targeting zones. @RustyCage is talking about targeting to RPE.

We actually all start riding to RPE when we first get our bikes. The serious people and enthusiasts eventually get power meters, HRMs... and either:

1. Continues to let power/HR be descriptive outcomes of their rides.
2. Or, they flip it on its head and target to specific power/HR zones.

I think experimenting with both at some point in the training journey is absolutely necessary part of learning about yourself as a cyclist. The goal is to map what you're doing to how you're feeling. Eventually, you develop an intuitive understanding of how your RPE/Power/HR correlate based on internal and external factors. And you can simply turn off the head unit screen, ride all out, and look at the power/HR numbers afterwards to see if you got fitter or not.

But each rider needs to go thru the complexity of looking at numbers, targeting zones, and riding a ton (with purpose) to get to that point of being able to map all three. It's after having gone thru all that complexity where training becomes incredibly simple again. Every once in a while, I see riders stuck on targeting zones forever, and never 'graduating' back to this state of simplicity.

If that was way too much text, tl;dr:
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