General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Talk to me about cycling base training Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2020-12-14 1:57 PM

User image


1212
1000100100
McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: Talk to me about cycling base training

I have seen words and phrases like

1) "Winter Bike Maintenace"

2) "Base Training"

3) "Aerobic Booster"

4) "FTP Builder"

5) "Off-Season Training"

6) "Pre-season training"

7)  etc.... 

Are all of these the same thing or is there a notable difference and reason to do one vs. another? 

I am starting back into things after 4 weeks off and want to jump right into a 12-week FTP builder program, but my Tri Team is offering a 2-week Group Trainer Roads Aerobic Booster program the middle of January and I am now second-guessing how that fits into everything else.  Should I be doing a 4-12 week base training program before an Aerobic Booster plan or FTP builder plan?  I am guessing that all the FTP builder plans that I have used address all the base training requirements and have things in them to boost my aerobic capacity too.  I am also guessing that the FPT builder programs are the same thing as a "Winter Bike Focus", "Pre-Season Plan", etc.  Any thoughts on what type of base should be done (i.e. endurance, sweet spot, other.) and where PFT builder of Arobic Boosters should be used in the plan?  



2020-12-15 6:13 AM
in reply to: 0

User image

Official BT Coach
8495
500020001000100100100100252525
Indianapolis, Indiana
Gold member
Subject: RE: Talk to me about cycling base training

Originally posted by BlueBoy26

I have seen words and phrases like

1) "Winter Bike Maintenace"

2) "Base Training"

3) "Aerobic Booster"

4) "FTP Builder"

5) "Off-Season Training"

6) "Pre-season training"

7)  etc.... 

Are all of these the same thing or is there a notable difference and reason to do one vs. another? 

I am starting back into things after 4 weeks off and want to jump right into a 12-week FTP builder program, but my Tri Team is offering a 2-week Group Trainer Roads Aerobic Booster program the middle of January and I am now second-guessing how that fits into everything else.  Should I be doing a 4-12 week base training program before an Aerobic Booster plan or FTP builder plan?  I am guessing that all the FTP builder plans that I have used address all the base training requirements and have things in them to boost my aerobic capacity too.  I am also guessing that the FPT builder programs are the same thing as a "Winter Bike Focus", "Pre-Season Plan", etc.  Any thoughts on what type of base should be done (i.e. endurance, sweet spot, other.) and where PFT builder of Arobic Boosters should be used in the plan?  

Hey Curtis,

You've been around for several years so you have a fairly significant aerobic base already established.  Taking a few weeks off didn't erase that base.  What I'm about to say is taking your established base into account.  For someone just starting out, or someone with a limited aerobic base, I'd be encouraging typical LSD type of base training, regardless of 'A' race distance.

During the off-season period, you likely began thinking about the coming season and created some goals.  Where you go with your early season training, should, to some extent, be guided by your goals for the season.  Let me try and explain that a little bit.  If your 'A' race this season is a short-course triathlon - Sprint or an Olympic, your "high-altitude" season training plan would/should/could be different than if your 'A' race is a long-course triathlon - 70.3 or 140.6.

A traditional linear periodization model has you start out with a base phase that includes work on the aerobic engine by doing largely long, slow distance work to force adaptation of the aerobic energy pathway that will make it more effective at producing energy from fat burning.  You'd then progress into a build during which you up the intensity, and finally a peak phase which would further increase the intensity.  That format works extremely well for a short course race - which is a high intensity race, often very close to threshold, if not slightly above threshold.  However, the principal of specificity, combined with periodization, dictates that the closer you get to your 'A' race, the more like your race, the training should look.  With that in mind, you can see how, for a short-course 'A' race, traditional linear periodization makes sense as the closer you get to race day, the more your training looks like race day.  But what if your 'A' race is a long-course race?

During a 70.3 you are well below threshold for the entire race.  That is even more true for a 140.6.  Training at high intensity leading into a long-course race that will be well below threshold would be opposite what you'd desire if you're adhereing to the theory of periodization and the principal of specificity.  I would argue, for an EXPERIENCED athlete with a multi-year base, a reverse periodization model for a long-course race may be the better alternative.  In a reverse periodization model, you'd have the intensity in the base phase, the build would begin to increase the distance/duration while intensity begins to come down, and during the peak, distace/duration is at a maximum, while intensity mirrors race day intensity.  Reverse periodization also convenintly fits with the shorter, colder days of winter as your high intensity indoor trainer work would largely take place over the winter months.

You can see that for a short-course race, linear periodization has your training becomeing more like race day the closer you get to the race, while for a long-course triathlon, using reverse periodization does the same thing, the closer you get to race day, the more your training looks like the race.

Now, to your specific question about all the different terms, etc.  Many of those terms are exact opposites - "Aerobic Booster" vs. "FTP Builder" for example.  In one, you'd typically be relying on long slow distance, while the other you'd typically be doing high intensity intervals (at or near threshold) - 2-hours at 65-70% vs. 3 x 20-minutes at 94-99% w/10' EZ spin in between.  Hardly the same thing.  If you look to your season goal, and from that, determine the best periodization model for your chosen race distance, then how you should approach the base period becomes more clear.

For most age-group athletes, I suggest Sweet Spot training early in the base phase simply because you get the biggest bang for the training time buck and age-group athletes, by-and-large, are time challenged (balancing training time with real life responsibilities).  In your case, specifically, because you've taken some well deserved time off, a 2-4 week SS block will restore your fitness so you can handle the early season higher intensity training if you're chosen race is a long course race.  If your chosen 'A' race is a short course race, after the initial SS block, I'd stay with SS through the entire base phase, again due to the time/benefit of SS vs endurance training.  Come spring, I'd include an outdoor long ride.  If your chosen race is long course, then after the initial SS block, I'd suggest a threshold, VO2 MAX and SS ride each week through base.  If there is time add a second SS ride.  Then modify the intensity/duration as you get into build to create the reverse periodization model.

Hope that answers at least some of the questions.

Happy training!

2020-12-15 9:11 AM
in reply to: k9car363

User image


1212
1000100100
McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Talk to me about cycling base training

Originally posted by k9car363

...Hope that answers at least some of the questions.

Happy training!

 

Thanks Scott!  Yes, that answers a lot of my questions as well as clears up the confusion I always had between what appeared to be two different camps on whether high-intensity work or endurance work should be done in the winter.  

I looked up an Aerobic Booster plan a few weeks ago because I had never done one and wanted to know what the team 2-week plan might look like.  I noticed that plan I found had a lot of segments that were identical to segments in the 12-week FTP builder program that I did two years ago.  In that program, we had a group of about 30 people and after our initial power test, the group was split into two focuses with everyone with flat power curves doing a 6-week block focuses on our aerobic power and everyone with steep power curves focusing on endurance.  The idea was that to increase our one-hour power we needed to focus on the end of the curve that we were weakest.  I was in the group focused on the aerobic power and we did 10-second, 20-second, 40-second repeats after the warm-up in about every workout and some times did them again later in the workout.  I think we were between 65-85% for the remained of the intervals where were usually around 10 minute interval (wide generalization here). At any rate, one of the common intervals in that program was a progression of 5-minutes at 75% FTP, 3-min at 80% FTP, 2-min a 85% FTP.  I had never seen that progression befor but saw that is was also used liberally in the Arobic Booster plan that I looked at.  :-)

I don't have any real plans for 2021.  It is hard to plan when races are still up in the air.  Also, work is transfering me to Houston in 2-3 months.  I looked into IM-Texas since it will be local to my new location but it of course is already sold out for 2021.  I waitlisted but think that if I am going to get serious about finally doing the full 140.6 that IM-Texas in 2022 would be the best plan.  There is a September 70.3 in Louisiana (or at least it used to be a 70.3, they only had an Olympic race on their website in 2021 but I am hoping that is only because of the Pandemic).   At this point I think I will try to do any sprint/olypic races that I can find as non-Sunday races in the Houston area in the Late Spring and Summer and make the 70.3 race in the fall my "a-Race for 2021".  Hopefully I won't be doing it as a Virtual race like I did for my 70.3 Septermber of 2021 (that was supposed to be my A-race but that got canceled). 

2020-12-15 1:56 PM
in reply to: k9car363

User image

Expert
3555
200010005002525
Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Talk to me about cycling base training

Originally posted by k9car363

For most age-group athletes, I suggest Sweet Spot training early in the base phase simply because you get the biggest bang for the training time buck and age-group athletes, by-and-large, are time challenged (balancing training time with real life responsibilities).  In your case, specifically, because you've taken some well deserved time off, a 2-4 week SS block will restore your fitness so you can handle the early season higher intensity training if you're chosen race is a long course race.  If your chosen 'A' race is a short course race, after the initial SS block, I'd stay with SS through the entire base phase, again due to the time/benefit of SS vs endurance training.  Come spring, I'd include an outdoor long ride.  If your chosen race is long course, then after the initial SS block, I'd suggest a threshold, VO2 MAX and SS ride each week through base.  If there is time add a second SS ride.  Then modify the intensity/duration as you get into build to create the reverse periodization model.

Hope that answers at least some of the questions.

Happy training!

Hello - great info.  I'm justa cyclist hoping we have some races this year, so I'm following your plan as noted above on Trainer Road, going from 12 weeks of sweet spot base, into 8 weeks of general build, then 4 weeks criterium specific if it happens.  SS base work is tough, you really have to concentrate vs. just putzing around on Zwift or riding outdoors that I've been doing the last eight months.

Thanks for the detailed response, Scott.

2020-12-15 4:10 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

User image

Official BT Coach
8495
500020001000100100100100252525
Indianapolis, Indiana
Gold member
Subject: RE: Talk to me about cycling base training

Originally posted by BlueBoy26

. . . we had a group of about 30 people and after our initial power test, the group was split into two focuses with everyone with flat power curves doing a 6-week block focuses on our aerobic power and everyone with steep power curves focusing on endurance.  

And this highlights why "one-size-fits-all" pre-written plans aren't always the best option.  Training is highly individual.  As you pointed out in your group, 30 athletes, some with steep power curves, while others had flat power curves.  Having everyone on the same plan would have helped some while possibly forcing others onto a plateau.  Fortunately you were broken into two training groups.  Taking what I'd said in my last post a bit further and incorporating what you said about the two groups, if you think about the two approaches I described this morning, one is going fast, then adding far; while the other is going far, then adding fast.  Think about that relative to the two focuses you described in your training group.  The group with the step power curve is going fast and about to add the ability to go far, while the group with the flat power curve can go far, and about to add the ability to go fast.

There are many coaches that strongly advocate raising the intensity through the winter - for everyone.  I'm more of the mind it's individual - dependant upon the athlete, the athlete's current fitness, and their goals for the next season.  I think though we've talked about it enough you can begin to see the differences and what may cause you to favor one method over the other.

2020-12-16 7:10 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

User image

Extreme Veteran
5693
5000500100252525
Subject: RE: Talk to me about cycling base training
Originally posted by BlueBoy26
In that program, we had a group of about 30 people and after our initial power test, the group was split into two focuses with everyone with flat power curves doing a 6-week block focuses on our aerobic power and everyone with steep power curves focusing on endurance. 


Was this the group we did together on FB ?


2020-12-17 9:48 AM
in reply to: marcag

User image


1212
1000100100
McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Talk to me about cycling base training

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by BlueBoy26 In that program, we had a group of about 30 people and after our initial power test, the group was split into two focuses with everyone with flat power curves doing a 6-week block focuses on our aerobic power and everyone with steep power curves focusing on endurance. 
Was this the group we did together on FB ?

Yes, this was the group that you set up.  I still find that Sweet Spot workouts are very manageable.  3 x 20' @ 90% CP FTP?  No problem.  VO2_max intervals are a different story though.  If I have 8 intervals set up I sometimes get 6 intervals in and can't hold power any longer.  There is always something to work on. 

2020-12-18 9:49 AM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

User image

Extreme Veteran
5693
5000500100252525
Subject: RE: Talk to me about cycling base training
Originally posted by BlueBoy26

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by BlueBoy26 In that program, we had a group of about 30 people and after our initial power test, the group was split into two focuses with everyone with flat power curves doing a 6-week block focuses on our aerobic power and everyone with steep power curves focusing on endurance. 
Was this the group we did together on FB ?

Yes, this was the group that you set up.  I still find that Sweet Spot workouts are very manageable.  3 x 20' @ 90% CP FTP?  No problem.  VO2_max intervals are a different story though.  If I have 8 intervals set up I sometimes get 6 intervals in and can't hold power any longer.  There is always something to work on. 




If you remember, the guy writing the workouts was one of the top world-tour (Tour de France level) cycling coaches. I would have to go back and look but IIRC he didn't prescribe much 90% work.

I don't know if you remember the paper we discussed on polarized training, but it too showed it was the intensity that showed less gains in that study examining the impact of various training intensities.
2020-12-18 11:00 AM
in reply to: marcag

User image

Official BT Coach
8495
500020001000100100100100252525
Indianapolis, Indiana
Gold member
Subject: RE: Talk to me about cycling base training

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by BlueBoy26

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by BlueBoy26 In that program, we had a group of about 30 people and after our initial power test, the group was split into two focuses with everyone with flat power curves doing a 6-week block focuses on our aerobic power and everyone with steep power curves focusing on endurance. 
Was this the group we did together on FB ?

Yes, this was the group that you set up.  I still find that Sweet Spot workouts are very manageable.  3 x 20' @ 90% CP FTP?  No problem.  VO2_max intervals are a different story though.  If I have 8 intervals set up I sometimes get 6 intervals in and can't hold power any longer.  There is always something to work on. 

If you remember, the guy writing the workouts was one of the top world-tour (Tour de France level) cycling coaches. I would have to go back and look but IIRC he didn't prescribe much 90% work. I don't know if you remember the paper we discussed on polarized training, but it too showed it was the intensity that showed less gains in that study examining the impact of various training intensities.

Hey Marc,

I'm not trying to be argumentative.  Rather, I'm of the mind that learning never stops so interested in expanding my horizons.  Just thought I'd get that out there first.  The bolded is a fairly broadbrush statement.  I'm curious what context you mean that in?  Specifically, showed less gains where?  Training is often a compromise, and sometimes intensity falls into that compromise so interested in your response.

2020-12-18 11:53 AM
in reply to: k9car363

User image

Extreme Veteran
5693
5000500100252525
Subject: RE: Talk to me about cycling base training
Originally posted by k9car363

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by BlueBoy26

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by BlueBoy26 In that program, we had a group of about 30 people and after our initial power test, the group was split into two focuses with everyone with flat power curves doing a 6-week block focuses on our aerobic power and everyone with steep power curves focusing on endurance. 
Was this the group we did together on FB ?

Yes, this was the group that you set up.  I still find that Sweet Spot workouts are very manageable.  3 x 20' @ 90% CP FTP?  No problem.  VO2_max intervals are a different story though.  If I have 8 intervals set up I sometimes get 6 intervals in and can't hold power any longer.  There is always something to work on. 

If you remember, the guy writing the workouts was one of the top world-tour (Tour de France level) cycling coaches. I would have to go back and look but IIRC he didn't prescribe much 90% work. I don't know if you remember the paper we discussed on polarized training, but it too showed it was the intensity that showed less gains in that study examining the impact of various training intensities.

Hey Marc,

I'm not trying to be argumentative.  Rather, I'm of the mind that learning never stops so interested in expanding my horizons.  Just thought I'd get that out there first.  The bolded is a fairly broadbrush statement.  I'm curious what context you mean that in?  Specifically, showed less gains where?  Training is often a compromise, and sometimes intensity falls into that compromise so interested in your response.




The study was done by Seiler (the father of Polarized training) and had 3 groups doing 4x4, 4x8 and 4x16 sessions. Intensity was adjusted to the duration of the interval. The 16 min were basically Sweet Spot.

They measured improvements in VO2max, power at Vo2Max, Power at threshold and Time to exhaustion.

The 4x16 group saw the least improvement in all categories. The 4x8 was the highest.

2020-12-18 3:03 PM
in reply to: 0

User image


1212
1000100100
McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Talk to me about cycling base training

Originally posted by marcag 

If you remember, the guy writing the workouts was one of the top world-tour (Tour de France level) cycling coaches. I would have to go back and look but IIRC he didn't prescribe much 90% work. I don't know if you remember the paper we discussed on polarized training, but it too showed it was the intensity that showed less gains in that study examining the impact of various training intensities.

 

Yes,   I remember R.L. wrote all the workouts. 

I think the 5' @ 75% CP, 3' @ 80% CP, 2' @ 85% CP were about the highest I ever say with the expectations of the all-out efforts that were typically 10"-40". 

I mention 90% FTP because that is what I did my last Sweet Spot TrainerRoads workout at and what Michael (jmhpsu93) mentioned for one of his higher Sweet Spot workout. 

Yes, I remember that there was a paper by Sebastian Weber that was shared on VO2_max training towards the end of the group and a discussion on what members of the group might do after the program was done with a suggestion to do 8' VO2_Max intervals. I don't remember the peper very well.  I hand-entered all of R.L.'s workouts into TrainerRoads.  Reading them, converting them to a TR workout, doing the workout, then evaluating the work out drilled the workouts into me. I learned a ton from the group.

 



Edited by BlueBoy26 2020-12-18 3:11 PM


2020-12-21 10:22 AM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

User image

Extreme Veteran
5693
5000500100252525
Subject: RE: Talk to me about cycling base training

Another thing to note, people put labels on these training intensities and think they are doing say "Sweet spot" or Vo2max or....

But people do an incredibly bad job at assessing their actual zones. The result is they are doing tempo when they think they are aerobic, they are doing above threshold when they think they are sweet spot and they are highly anaerobic thinking they are doing VO2max.

Picking a type of interval only makes sense if you have an adequate measure to start with.

Ability to test properly is important, but confirming things in key sessions is also worth while. If someone is wiped doing 4x10 at SS, he probably isn't in SS.

Speaking about RL and the fact he doesn't prescribe much SS, I also know he worries more about recovery and fatigue than if you are in zone A or B or....

2020-12-22 9:01 PM
in reply to: marcag

User image


1212
1000100100
McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Talk to me about cycling base training

Originally posted by marcag Another thing to note, people put labels on these training intensities and think they are doing say "Sweet spot" or Vo2max or.... But people do an incredibly bad job at assessing their actual zones. The result is they are doing tempo when they think they are aerobic, they are doing above threshold when they think they are sweet spot and they are highly anaerobic thinking they are doing VO2max. Picking a type of interval only makes sense if you have an adequate measure to start with. Ability to test properly is important, but confirming things in key sessions is also worth while. If someone is wiped doing 4x10 at SS, he probably isn't in SS. Speaking about RL and the fact he doesn't prescribe much SS, I also know he worries more about recovery and fatigue than if you are in zone A or B or....

Thanks!

 

New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Talk to me about cycling base training Rss Feed  
RELATED POSTS

8.10.2020 - Monday Workouts and Talk

Started by BlueBoy26
Views: 229 Posts: 3

2020-08-10 10:14 PM Hot Runner

06.29.2012 - Monday Training and Training Roads Plans

Started by BlueBoy26
Views: 235 Posts: 1

2020-06-29 11:42 AM BlueBoy26

06.08.2020 - Muggy Monday Training Talk

Started by BlueBoy26
Views: 155 Posts: 1

2020-06-08 8:57 AM BlueBoy26

06.04.2020 - Thursday Training Talk

Started by BlueBoy26
Views: 160 Posts: 2

2020-06-04 10:39 AM dkiller

01.07.2020 Tuesday Training - Post YOUR Training

Started by PigeonTri
Views: 222 Posts: 5

2020-01-08 6:49 AM jdwyer02