Training Theory

Postby Fergie on Wed 24/Jun/09 5:40pm

Been an interesting diversion on the Canterbury Winter including some good discussion on tactics and now training for Horse Racing.

Perhaps we can discuss things in this thread.

At present I'm hearing about U17s doing 3.5 - 5 hour training rides. The U17 National Championship is a 65km race and will take approx 1.35-1.50 hrs long. Even if they are thinking long term about Oceania Games in U19 (which last year U17s can ride on their 2010 licence) this will be a 2.45-3.15hr long race. I think this sort of mileage is overkill. Some kids are doing 500-600km a week. Chad Adair won the U17 road tt on 350km a week in 2007 and in 1994 Ewan MacMaster was Elite Road Champion on 500km a week.

So while I argue that pure strength is not a limit to endurance cycling neither is ones about to sit in the saddle for 5-6hrs so why spend so much time training this ability?
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Re: Training Theory

Postby XCrazy on Wed 24/Jun/09 5:59pm

Agreed it is interesting. My understanding on longer rides as part of preparation for shorter events is the longer rides increase conditioning so you can later in the season carry out longer and more frequent interval/harder sessions. Please feel free to change my understainding :)
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Re: Training Theory

Postby SlackBoy on Wed 24/Jun/09 6:12pm

I also have a theory about training
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Re: Training Theory

Postby Nick_K on Wed 24/Jun/09 6:16pm

SlackBoy wrote:I also have a theory about training


That its for homax's?
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Re: Training Theory

Postby DropKick on Wed 24/Jun/09 6:17pm

I'd just get on the juice :thumbsup:
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Re: Training Theory

Postby slidecontrol on Wed 24/Jun/09 6:20pm

hmm, when I was rowing we would row up to 40km in a session ( admittedly a long one ) for a 2000m race, typically lasting 6-7 minutes.
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Re: Training Theory

Postby 84millsy on Wed 24/Jun/09 6:27pm

XCrazy wrote:Agreed it is interesting. My understanding on longer rides as part of preparation for shorter events is the longer rides increase conditioning so you can later in the season carry out longer and more frequent interval/harder sessions. Please feel free to change my understainding :)


I've been doing some research (books and junk - not directly with coaches), and my understanding is the longer rides were base building for the rest of the season/future. I've structured my training similar to this, where I plan to taper off on the long rides and start focusing on my speed and strength work mid way through my base building phase in the cycling 'year' ( which is approx. winter and part of spring). My endurance rides (the long ones) are to build an aerobic and bike confidence platform that I will build upon with targeted training. I plan on returning to a heavy endurance season next year as a tune up. In other words, I agree with XCrazy. Someone tell me I'm wrong now before I go and waste my winter training chasing something I don't need.

As for U17 doing this, perhaps it is for the future of the sport rather than the immediate racing? Might have the opposite effect of burnout however.
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Re: Training Theory

Postby FLATULENTFRIEND on Wed 24/Jun/09 6:32pm

:) I wished the teenagers I worked with would cycle for even one hour - anything to get them as far away from us as possible as quickly as possible!

Seriously Ferg we know (you particularly, me generally) that there are top class racers who do well on less than 5-600kms a week and they're racing longer races than these teens.
Maybe they need to hear about those people and about intensity / intervals related to higher speeds.
But...teens being teens they can easily obsess over stuff and for some of these guys and girls that may mean in their minds more kms = going to go faster on race days.
Also - many just love riding :thumbsup: (much like when I was learning classical guitar - my teacher said he'd see his teen students playing their guitars on the way to school etc).
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Re: Training Theory

Postby Te Rauparaha on Wed 24/Jun/09 6:38pm

I like the 400 to 500km per week theory much more than the extra long stuff. I don't see the need to train way more distance than the race distance. Of course it's good to get the miles under the belt as a base for a long season but not to train for a big race.

Also wouldn't a long ride end up becoming of little value if they are not pushing themselves during the very long training ride? Doesn't the improvement come from pushing one's self? A 3 and half hour ride would have to be dominated by just ticking over and not pushing surely? It would be too hard mentally too after a while.
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Re: Training Theory

Postby Fergie on Wed 24/Jun/09 6:43pm

Base of what? What is base and how much is enough. And if age 15 and doing 5 hour rides for a <2hr race how will you progressively overload for your Professional Career when you will be racing 4-7hr events.

Conditioning? This was Arthur Lydiard's quite brialliant contribution to training theory. He ran everything from 30km to 500km a week before settling on 160km a week of running as the ideal volume to build excellent condition before. These were hard ks as well. All runs at best aerobic pace. But any personal trainer will tell you that excelent condition can be achieved on a a very low volume of training by using very high intensity exercise and sound nutritional strategies.

Do young athletes need a base. Two of our top performing cyclists Greg Henderson and Julian Dean both came from BMX where the focus is power over 40-60sec, to Track Cycling (240-300sec power) and have built the endurance from there to handle the rigours of hard European races.
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Re: Training Theory

Postby Te Rauparaha on Wed 24/Jun/09 7:21pm

Well I would suggest long rides once fit to do them, early in the season to get the legs under you but I would drop back in distance but increase intensity closer to the event, not counting a taper in the last few days. I do like the idea of tapering if the rider is at top fitness. In saying that, it would be possible if you knew what you were doing, to work up to longer events on a basis of as little long training possible and shorter race events and build up to the bigger longer ones that may be your long term goal.

This is how gallopers are trained. A Melbourne cup horse starts off in short races early in the season, say a 1400m race or two, then they go to one or two 1600m races, then to 2000m races. Interesting is that they don't run in any 3200m races before the cup even though the cup is 3200m. Gallopers usually only do short distance training too. Their main gallop can be as little as 600 meters two or three times per week and then they race in races from 1200m to 2000m off this training. Harness horses do many more miles and most do 3200m training efforts and then race in a 2000 meter race. They are opposites and yet the standardbred came from the thoroughbred although it was from thoroughbreds being mated with tough hacks originally. Interesting isn't it? For one, the galloper is more timid and not as tough and wouldn't take the hard training but then they are asked to do more on raceday as they aren't really trained for the effort and of course they go faster than a pacer in a race. The standardbred does much more training to race over a shorter distance to it's training efforts.


Of course a lot depends on the rider too. My son prefers short fast intense training to the long rides at this point in time which you took into account with your first schedules for him Hamish and it's gone really well. The good thing about it is that he's getting confidence from your training right now and will step up if and when you want because he trusts your training. I can imagine some coaches putting him straight onto a long hard training schedule which would have backfired on all concerned ending in him chucking it in. Knowing the athlete may well be the biggest thing in coaching.
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Re: Training Theory

Postby ThingOne on Wed 24/Jun/09 8:13pm

Nick_K wrote:
SlackBoy wrote:I also have a theory about training


That its for homax's?


Nick doesnt train, he just rides lots really hard regulary.
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Re: Training Theory

Postby Monolith on Wed 24/Jun/09 8:26pm

Fergie wrote:Base of what? What is base and how much is enough. And if age 15 and doing 5 hour rides for a <2hr race how will you progressively overload for your Professional Career when you will be racing 4-7hr events.

Conditioning? This was Arthur Lydiard's quite brialliant contribution to training theory. He ran everything from 30km to 500km a week before settling on 160km a week of running as the ideal volume to build excellent condition before. These were hard ks as well. All runs at best aerobic pace. But any personal trainer will tell you that excelent condition can be achieved on a a very low volume of training by using very high intensity exercise and sound nutritional strategies.

Do young athletes need a base. Two of our top performing cyclists Greg Henderson and Julian Dean both came from BMX where the focus is power over 40-60sec, to Track Cycling (240-300sec power) and have built the endurance from there to handle the rigours of hard European races.


Depending on the rider, doing long (5hr + rides) can be useful IMO. If they're like me (fat) they need to eat SFA and hit a hew long days in the saddle to drop weight before getting into strength and speed work. Even if you've got plenty of power, you still won't get up hills as well as a proper whippet.

Personally I'm a huge fan of high intensity in training - not doing 5 hour rides 3 times per week, maybe 1 longish ride and 4 or 5 1 - 2 hour rides with a mixture of sprinting/intervals/hill work etc... while a good programme will focus on different things at different times (Might start a season with more strength work, then gradually move towards speed as you get nearer target races).

Most importantly, train as you race. IMO there are a heap of riders out there who could be lots faster, but don't seem to be able to ride hard enough in training to reap any real rewards come race day.
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Re: Training Theory

Postby mfw on Wed 24/Jun/09 8:29pm

I thought the theory was to do high volume base km's to get as fast as possible at low intensity, i.e. high efficiency.
Then, later in the season your reduced volume high intensity work will be built on top of a higher performing base.

In the real world where most people are time limited I think the high intensity is the important bit, the high volume base is just the icing on the cake.
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Re: Training Theory

Postby Eljefe on Wed 24/Jun/09 8:34pm

Some kids ride 500kms because they probably have bad OCD, and if they didnt, they might be snorting crack or blowing up peoples letter boxes. I know kids who do nothing like those kms and only train for 2 or 3 months in a year with awesome results. Everyone is different and responds to different things.

I have also observed that some kids are fast from the get-go... they seem to be born that way. Other kids take 6 years to get to the same level... but I tend to think that the ones that do it easy get bored easy, and move on to the next challenge.... I think that's why I am still trying! Not enough natural talent.

If you read Kashi's stuff, his coach doesnt advocate Lydiards pryamid, and even the Aussie roadies say that thru-out the year they have elements of all their training in a weeks training... just different ratios of it. So even in a "base" time they might still throw in a sprint, or a bit of strength work of some kind.

I tend to think with kids they will find their own level. Kids should be having fun..... if training hard is having fun, then well and good. But cranking out 500kms a week if they werent loving every minute of it would be a mistake in my view.
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