Hey Amigo-Glad to hear its iron and B's! Had a feeling it mightr of had to do w altitude. Totally off topic for this blog but I was wondering what the hardest long bike workout you would give an athlete who is looking to break 10 this yr at Placid. I pose this question to you because I'm pretty confident you have a good idea of the limit of a challenging but appropriae training stimulus ;)
Hey Josh- I just looked back at both of my LP training builds to see what stood out. Both build periods leading up to LP involved big ride days (as opposed to multiple smaller rides). In 2000 as an amateur I rode 5:03 (that's with a 3:00 stand down penalty)and I was working ~30 hours a week. I was doing one hard trainer ride of ~1:30 which included some brutal wall sits between long intervals at LT wattage. Then I was riding on long-ish ride of 80 miles with a focus on big gear hill repeats of 12:00-13:00. Then one long ride of ~120 miles all at MAF on flat roads. Before LP I was hitting those long rides in 6:00 averaging 230 watts for the ride. I was only riding maybe ~240-260 mile a week. Tony DeBoom helped me prepare for 2004 and his suggestion's (which you can correctly assume come from the book of Tim DeBoom also)included massive muscle endurance volume. Insane rides that included MULTIPLE trips up LeftHand Cyn to Super James, Lee AND Ward... all in one ride! I was a strong cyclist, but when he showed me that workout I got queezy. I ended up biking slightly slower in 2004, but I ran 2:52 (~20:00 faster than in 2000) There seems to be some division in thinking as to whether or not ME intervals work. Anecdotal evidence always outweighs scientific evidence in my book- especially with the Ironman! I would suggest including big sets of ME work, but don't fiddle around with moderate wattage. Pick a steep hill, get your cadence down to 30 revs, and treat it like a squat session. Then during your longest rides- ride the last in your big ring only. The fatigue from the first ~90 miles will enhance the benefit. You certainly do not have a strength limitation, so you still need a lot of focus on metabolic and neuromuscular economy. 4-5 X 1 hour at MAF on 10:00 easy for example. Economy is still the king regardless of the course! LP is also a course where you have the opportunity to go fairly hard on the climbs at the end of the first loop, then recover on the very long descent starting the second loop. You'll have a chance to spin easy at 30+mph (IE: not lose time), get your HR down and legs flushed out a bit, and take in extra calories before starting to climb again. The key to LP is the back side of the second loop. From ~mile 80 on you have to be fueled correctly and also prepared for the climbs. Another suggestion would be to try mimic that layout on your long rides where you climb a ton in the last 30 miles of a 110+ mile ride and ride it fairly hard (~MAF +10 or ~10 beats below threshold). Then brick off that ride just to see how your nutrition was. The over riding focus on your training in the last ~6-8 weeks should be big days (not weeks)that are very specific to your goal. The follow those days up with very diligent recovery to absorb the workouts. If you can get 3-4 rides of 120 miles at goal speed or wattage (on the flats) and recovery very well from them then you'll do well. Avoid trying to pad your log with useless 40-50 mile rides at an easy effort- those are for the base period. As you near any "A" race workouts need take on a predominately specific focus. Over-all weekly volume comes down, big days are really big, and recovery is nearly complete between these big days. If you have any follow up questions ask! T
Holy Cow! Thanks so much for this info. I need to sit with this for a bit and digest. J
Okay-This all makes great sense. My biggest issue is the lack of "flat" riding in Madison, WI. I know you've ridden the IM course out here and I would consider the course some of the flattest riding I can hit where I ride. I have a couple of other ideas that I will need to play around with. Boulder definitely had more of a variety of terrain to get what you need in terms of flats and long hills. Once again thanks so much for the great feedback.
Part of the reasoning behind choosing flat riding is that it allows long intervals at specific speed/ wattage. You have to train your muscles to function similarly to race demand. Too many short rollers and you don't train to hold a steady effort as well. Even a very long climb isn't the same as riding the same wattage on the flats. I would tell you too to do quite a bit of riding at goal speed (MPH) rather than HR or wattage. T
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