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Bella Boards > Velo Bella Fun Stuff - Public > Racing and Training > spring training questions/thoughts

spring training questions/thoughts
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beth h
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 Posted: Sun Feb 28th, 2010 12:41 am

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I am coming out of a long rest period (where all I did was commute daily and do a couple of large cargo-hauling trips between mid-December and now) and heading into the beginning of my perp for racing. Focusing on short-track XC and cyclocross, my two big local series are PIR (mid-June through early August) and Cross Crusade starting in October. There aren't a lot of other formal mountain bike racing opportunities for me that don't require a car (though I do have my eye on a regular XC race in mid-April).

At this point I'm seeking advice on D-I-Y training (mostly home-based, can't afford gym membership or lots of special equipment, and don't live near other Bellas who could be training partners). Mostly what this has consisted of so far is yoga three times a week (often with my partner, though not always), crunches every other night, and commuting by bicycle nearly every day. I wonder if at times I will have to NOT commute by bike as a form of rest/recovery (I could take the bus those days).

The only home equipment I have is an inflatable exercise ball (the big one you can sit on) and a pair of 3-lb. dumbbells I scored at Goodwill. I also recently found a Huffy wind trainer next to a dumpster and am in the process of making it functional again, through I have never used one of these and wonder if I really need it. Maybe the commuting could negate the need for the trainer. I don't know.

Is there a good resource online or in print that can help me create a workout plan without getting into too much jargonese? I envision making a sort of poster I can put on the wall in the spare room, exercises and maybe pictures of a few helpful yoga poses I can refer to as I train.

Ideas from other D-I-Y'ers welcome. Thanks --B

SlowPoke2320
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 Posted: Tue Mar 2nd, 2010 01:52 pm

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Hi Beth,

Your current crunches/yoga routine sounds like sufficient-off-the-bike training.  There are many different opinions on weight training for cycling about how much it helps or what is most effective.  I'm not a cycling coach, but I don't think weight training is crucial enough to cycling for you to stress about not being able to go to a gym.

It's more important to see how you can improve your on-the-bike training.  You don't say how long your bike commute is, so it's hard to say whether simply increasing your time on the bike would be beneficial or not.  It's also possible that your schedule doesn't allow more time on the bike, in which case you would have to use the time you do have wisely. 

Is your ride to and from work very urban, with lots of stoplights, etc. or do you have some good stretches of uninterrupted road along the way?  Either way, you can probably work some sort of intervals 2-3 days a week.  If have a good stretch of road, you can time them and do longer medium-hard efforts some days and shorter, very hard efforts the other days.  If you have stoplights, it's not so good, but you can throw some sprints in between, as long as you are careful.  Basically, spending some time above JRA (just riding along) pace will be beneficial, especially since you are focusing on very short, intense races.

Last edited on Tue Mar 2nd, 2010 01:53 pm by SlowPoke2320

beth h
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 Posted: Tue Mar 2nd, 2010 03:12 pm

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Hi and thanks for your thoughts.

My ride is a combination of dense residential and business district, with quite a few stoplights or stop signs along the way. it's about 9 miles RT. Depending on the day I will ride my upright city bike (most days), my Surly cargo bike (once a week to run bulky errands for the shop), or my drop-bar brevet bike (perhaps once a week for commuting plus a longer ride every other weekend or so). I generally don't commute on my race bike because it's a singlespeed mountain bike and my commute is somewhat hilly.

I am fairly slow and it usually takes me about 40 minutes to ride each way; a little longer with the cargo bike. If I'm in a hurry and catch the lights I can make it there in about half an hour but it's a supreme effort that leaves me winded when I do.

Next month when everyone's schedules sync up more, some friends and I are planning to take our race bikes and go check out a new pump track that's been created in mid-county. I'll take pix and post them if it turns out to be a cool place to play.

girochatterbox
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 Posted: Wed Mar 10th, 2010 12:57 am

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Hi Beth,

One popular method of training for folks who get most of their hours during commuting is to do "fartlek". Fartlek is basically playful intervals...like go hard for 15 seconds every time you see a red car. Or, do a max acceleration from stoplights and then wind back down to "just riding around" pace.

Fartlek intervals tend to be hard (anaerobic), so you want to limit the number of days you do them.

Here might be a sample week for you:

M- just ride to work or take a rest day

T- fartlek to work

W- yoga + just ride to work

Th - fartlek to work

F - yoga + just ride to work

Sa - go for a long ride (whatever that is to you) Maybe 1.5 hours and work in 3 x 10 mintues at a steady state threshold pace (hard, but maintainable for 1 hour). So, your ride would be...warm up 30 mins, 10 minutes hard-ish, 5 minutes easy, 10 minutes hard-ish, 5 minutes easy, 10 minutes hard-ish, cooldown 20 mins.

Sun - yoga with your honey, rest and relaxation

Hope that helps!
-Sarah

beth h
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 Posted: Wed Mar 10th, 2010 01:06 am

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Wow. I already do "Fartlek" about once a week on the average -- baby-sprints is what I call them, to the light or the next stop sign, or up the two block-long incline back to the shop with a load on the cargo bike (this last is much harder and I don't do it often!).

Thanks for the sample week, too. All this info helps.

For now I am battling a Crohn's flare-up and must take even more rest than planned. I hope to resume something more regular in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile I'm doing lots of multi-modal commuting, a combination of bike and transit both ways, until I get my energy back. And no cargo biking at all this week.
Thanks again --Beth

Last edited on Wed Mar 10th, 2010 01:06 am by


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