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Race The Training Thread

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
1,440
1,075
I haven't done much proper cycling training lately, but I bought a Garmin watch and it's motivated me to run... a lot. Probably too much. Haha.

I wanted to use the watch in the pool, but I got the cross arms. Apparently most pools in Japan don't allow watches. Next time I'll just cover it with a neoprene sleeve and tell them it's a wrist supporter.

On another note, I've been meaning to give rowing a try for a while....
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,426
2,063
It's been a while since someone posted to this thread. Last season was great — as long as it lasted. I peaked at 348 W (4.7 W/kg), and was pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, the season ended a bit too early, I could barely enjoy my spoils. A work trip in October ended my season. I managed to dodge Covid twice on the trip, but a regular URI from my kids got to me when I returned back home. Ugh. So I spent 5–6 weeks off the bike.

Progress-wise, I am quite happy. I did a polarized block and added strength training rather than a 5th workout. That went very well, I went from 322 W to 333 W (as of this morning). I might have held on for a few more seconds, but I think an 11 W gain is plenty.

My two goals for this season are (1) taking another stab at integrating strength training and (2) my weight. I tried strength training last season, and I really loved it — but eventually fell off the wagon. However, I could really tell it made a difference, especially when it came to stability. My right leg is not as stable as my left, I can really tell from doing pistol squats.

Plus, I want to get rid of my “Corona fat”. In 2020 I made the conscious decision to gain a few kg. Now I need to get rid of them. Add to that the weight gain from Christmas and all, and I really would like to weigh 4 kg less than I do now. Right now I am at 77 kg, and I want to go back to 72.5–73 kg.

The last bit of news is that I am coaching now. This is a bit of an experiment, and I am not making much money off of it. But I get to dip my toe into the water and see whether I like it. So far, so good. My athlete knows what he wants and isn't afraid of telling me, which suits my personality.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
3,296
3,550
It's been a while since someone posted to this thread. Last season was great — as long as it lasted. I peaked at 348 W (4.7 W/kg), and was pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, the season ended a bit too early, I could barely enjoy my spoils. A work trip in October ended my season. I managed to dodge Covid twice on the trip, but a regular URI from my kids got to me when I returned back home. Ugh. So I spent 5–6 weeks off the bike.

Progress-wise, I am quite happy. I did a polarized block and added strength training rather than a 5th workout. That went very well, I went from 322 W to 333 W (as of this morning). I might have held on for a few more seconds, but I think an 11 W gain is plenty.

My two goals for this season are (1) taking another stab at integrating strength training and (2) my weight. I tried strength training last season, and I really loved it — but eventually fell off the wagon. However, I could really tell it made a difference, especially when it came to stability. My right leg is not as stable as my left, I can really tell from doing pistol squats.

Plus, I want to get rid of my “Corona fat”. In 2020 I made the conscious decision to gain a few kg. Now I need to get rid of them. Add to that the weight gain from Christmas and all, and I really would like to weigh 4 kg less than I do now. Right now I am at 77 kg, and I want to go back to 72.5–73 kg.

The last bit of news is that I am coaching now. This is a bit of an experiment, and I am not making much money off of it. But I get to dip my toe into the water and see whether I like it. So far, so good. My athlete knows what he wants and isn't afraid of telling me, which suits my personality.
We need to get this thread going again.

I just signed up for Zao CX in 2 weeks. In February I may go to Odaiba Tokyo CX. Maybe. In March, Fukushima and Niigata CX.

For road, in May I want to aim for my 10th Tokyo-Itoigawa 300km victory after a long absence. In June, I will do our local Kashiwazaki Gururin 200km and maybe a gravel race in Nagano. In July I plan to organize the 3rd Sunset Street event in Kashiwazaki. Maybe two biggish road events over 2 days. Then in August, I will go back to the UK and enjoy riding the Yorkshire hills.

48 in a few weeks. Don't stop me now!

Andy
 

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,533
1,770
I have a question. GCN and other sites talk up Zone 2 training. But I also read that you have to do a lot of it for it to be effective and if you are time crunched, SST is better.

Also from GCN - a couple rest days during the week, a couple HIT sessions, some SST, then Zone 2 on the weekends.

Thoughts?
 

Ruda

Maximum Pace
Nov 22, 2019
107
106
I have a question. GCN and other sites talk up Zone 2 training. But I also read that you have to do a lot of it for it to be effective and if you are time crunched, SST is better.

Also from GCN - a couple rest days during the week, a couple HIT sessions, some SST, then Zone 2 on the weekends.

Thoughts?
short z2 rides are effective, but not as longer rides would be.
too much sweetspot riding is likely to keep you on a fatigue state for too long and not ready for harder efforts.
but i guess all depends on your goals and current phase of your training block.

when im hitting harder interval sessions, usually i would go for 2 hard sessions on the week, 1 or 2 das completely off and lower intensity on the other days, probably around z2.

also worth pointing that z2 shouldnt be as easy as a lot of people make it sound...
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,426
2,063
@Chuck
Both is correct, but you cannot exchange one for the other. If you are strapped for time, doing e. g. two sweet spot rides in addition to your weekend rides will give you a lot of bang for the buck. Endurance rides are very helpful to increase your endurance.

A very simplistic way to think about this is with an analogy to video games: you have a power bar (= the strength of your attacks) and a health bar. Sweet spot rides do more to increase your power bar, endurance rides will tend to increase your health bar. If you want to have a balanced character in your video game, you ultimately need to address both.

Another way to visualize what is going on is with a “power tower” where the base of the tower is your endurance at a certain power level (= height/floor number). Endurance workouts will tend to broaden your base whereas sweet spot, threshold and VO2max workouts will increase the height of your power tower. Also here, you don’t want a very stubby, super broad tower as you are leaving a lot of performance on the table. And if you don’t have a sufficient base and the tower gets too high, your fitness might become brittle (“the tower might fall over”).
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,426
2,063
when im hitting harder interval sessions, usually i would go for 2 hard sessions on the week, 1 or 2 das completely off and lower intensity on the other days, probably around z2.

also worth pointing that z2 shouldnt be as easy as a lot of people make it sound...
That sounds very sensible: you should alternate workouts, easy-hard-easy-hard. Note that Z2 workouts can be hard. My definition of a hard workout is when you need more than 1 day to recover from it. An easy workout is one where you need less than 1 day to recover from it.
 

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,533
1,770
I was off the bike a lot last year so my base is low. As for power....somewhere around whale crap level. So, I have a long road ahead. Thanks for the input @Ruda & @OreoCookie
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,426
2,063
I was off the bike a lot last year so my base is low. As for power....somewhere around whale crap level. So, I have a long road ahead. Thanks for the input @Ruda & @OreoCookie
I would start easy and then build on that. Just start with one hard interval session per week and add endurance rides. Even a single 45–60-minute session per week should have a significant impact.
 

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,533
1,770
So then, probably one HIT, one SST and one Z2 ride and two rest days during the week, then long rides outdoors on the weekend (with some hill climbing) for endurance, followed by a rest day. I think I need to increase my hours on the bike a bit. I'm at a little over 8 hours a week now (since it is almost all indoors, that's about all I can stand). Will try for gradual increase over the next few weeks. My FTP is still basement level so I have a lot of work to do. Using Alpe du Zwift as a measure of improvement.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,426
2,063
So then, probably one HIT, one SST and one Z2 ride and two rest days during the week, then long rides outdoors on the weekend (with some hill climbing) for endurance, followed by a rest day.
That'd work. Make sure to alternate easy and hard workouts, and to keep things fun. Using (virtual) Strava segments is a great way to keep track of your progress.
 

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
1,440
1,075
I missed about three weeks of training due to holiday travel and a cold.
Thanks to drinking way too much alcohol while visiting family in the states, I am heavier than I have been in years.

So I am starting a diet that officially started yesterday and ends at the end of April. I figure I need a deadline to have even a chance of success, and it needs to be at least 15 weeks long to come anywhere close to my goal.

I also started doing proper training again now that my cold is gone.

I went out on a limb and put a 2500-yen gel cover from One's Cycle on my saddle. This has been a revelation for me. Now indoor training is much less unpleasant. Should have got one years ago. I also put some tinfoil and old socks over my shoes to keep my toes from going numb. Yes, even indoors.

I also took a page from Andy and am making sure I have a stack of towels next to me.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,426
2,063
So I am starting a diet that officially started yesterday and ends at the end of April. I figure I need a deadline to have even a chance of success, and it needs to be at least 15 weeks long to come anywhere close to my goal.
Do you have any specific weight in mind?

What's your training plan this year? Do you plan to change anything? Add anything?
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,426
2,063
Let us know if you want our help/input on anything, we’ll happily nerd out with you. Or just need us to cheer you up.
 

Tsuga

Warming-Up
Jan 17, 2023
9
6
We need to get this thread going again.

I just signed up for Zao CX in 2 weeks. In February I may go to Odaiba Tokyo CX. Maybe. In March, Fukushima and Niigata CX.

For road, in May I want to aim for my 10th Tokyo-Itoigawa 300km victory after a long absence. In June, I will do our local Kashiwazaki Gururin 200km and maybe a gravel race in Nagano. In July I plan to organize the 3rd Sunset Street event in Kashiwazaki. Maybe two biggish road events over 2 days. Then in August, I will go back to the UK and enjoy riding the Yorkshire hills.

48 in a few weeks. Don't stop me now!

Andy
Hey Andy,

Sorry to be a bother, but do you have links to these events? I moved to Ishikawa prefecture in August of 2022. Formerly from Western North Carolina, USA (hence the Tsuga username). I told myself that part of this move would involve stepping away from racing, but I've found I'm jonesing to get out and do an event. I've planned some personal "events" like a 1-day 400km ride coming up in May, but nothing official. I have done multiple 240km+ rides in the past, with the longest being 287km & 5,600m of elevation.

In the US I raced road, gravel and mountain at a semi-professional level. I'm still hanging on to a lot of that fitness through this winter. FTP of 5 w/kg at 66kg, but very comfortable riding 3.5 hours + at 3.5 w/kg. I have a road leaning gravel bike with a road & gravel wheelset, so comfortable in either type of event. For fun in the US I hopped into some Pro/1/2 road events on it to guest ride for friend's teams.

I guess in short, I'm feeling a bit dressed up with no where to go.
 

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
1,440
1,075
Hey Andy,

Sorry to be a bother, but do you have links to these events? I moved to Ishikawa prefecture in August of 2022. Formerly from Western North Carolina, USA (hence the Tsuga username). I told myself that part of this move would involve stepping away from racing, but I've found I'm jonesing to get out and do an event. I've planned some personal "events" like a 1-day 400km ride coming up in May, but nothing official. I have done multiple 240km+ rides in the past, with the longest being 287km & 5,600m of elevation.

In the US I raced road, gravel and mountain at a semi-professional level. I'm still hanging on to a lot of that fitness through this winter. FTP of 5 w/kg at 66kg, but very comfortable riding 3.5 hours + at 3.5 w/kg. I have a road leaning gravel bike with a road & gravel wheelset, so comfortable in either type of event. For fun in the US I hopped into some Pro/1/2 road events on it to guest ride for friend's teams.

I guess in short, I'm feeling a bit dressed up with no where to go.
You should also look into hillclimbs. They're the cheapest, most frequent, most accessible, safest form of racing here. They're basically the gravel racing of Japan.

You can find many cycling and other events on https://www.sportsentry.ne.jp/ and here https://www.cyclesports.jp/race-event_calendar/ and here https://www.cyclowired.jp/race-event-calendar (Edit: actually, scratch the last one, it's very bad...) .

The problem is that there are quite a few events that fall between the cracks.
 
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baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
1,440
1,075
Let us know if you want our help/input on anything, we’ll happily nerd out with you. Or just need us to cheer you up.
I was over 2 kg down this morning since a few days ago.
Must have depleted my glycogen. No wonder I could barely push 230 watts at the end of last night's turbo session... Hahaha.
It would also explain the frequent urination...
 
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