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Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance
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There has been a lot of good information on here lately pertaining to increasing FTP. I am wondering how best to match that goal with building to the distance for the bike portion of the IM. At this time of year, I am going to focus on FTP improvement, and wondering at what point I should begin building the long bike ride workout with a goal toward IM LP. As well, what is a reasonable % of FTP to be riding at for the long bike ride/IM bike leg.....thanks.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [fe_girl] [ In reply to ]
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i don't have a response at the moment for your post.....


i just wanted to say how i noticed your username and it made me almost spit out my tea. Fe=iron i get it.


Tim
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [fe_girl] [ In reply to ]
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I think you'll find most people will target between 68-72% of FTP, you can ride a little harder if you're off the bike faster.

As to when, whenever the snow melts, I would want at least 12 weeks of long riding though.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [fe_girl] [ In reply to ]
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fe_girl wrote:
There has been a lot of good information on here lately pertaining to increasing FTP. I am wondering how best to match that goal with building to the distance for the bike portion of the IM. At this time of year, I am going to focus on FTP improvement, and wondering at what point I should begin building the long bike ride workout with a goal toward IM LP. As well, what is a reasonable % of FTP to be riding at for the long bike ride/IM bike leg.....thanks.

If you are fit, it does not take much time to put "far" on top of "fast." You could emerge from a winter of doing consistent, hard, FTP interval training (consistency is key) and within 2 months be performing well at 4-5 hour efforts on the bike. Spend a couple of dollars on an Endurance Nation plan and date it backwards from IMLP. They have been refining that issue every year now for quite some time and have it pretty well worked out.

Simplify, Train, Live
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [fe_girl] [ In reply to ]
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I think building and increasing your FTP is a worthy pursuit but question the timing. Increasing your FTP will be most suited to performing well at the Oly to 70.3 distance. If performing well in an Ironman in your goal you'd be best suited doing a lot of long easy rides either on a trainer or outside now. Having lots of base will suit you well and what is required at this time to perform well in a July Ironman. In the Mar-May timeframe I'd start really working on speed with endurance (such as the FTP you mention). Make sense? Base-speed-build-taper-race.

Kona Kev
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [ktkva] [ In reply to ]
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Are you sure about that?
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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I think building and increasing your FTP is a worthy pursuit but question the timing. Increasing your FTP will be most suited to performing well at the Oly to 70.3 distance. If performing well in an Ironman in your goal you'd be best suited doing a lot of long easy rides either on a trainer or outside now. Having lots of base will suit you well and what is required at this time to perform well in a July Ironman. In the Mar-May timeframe I'd start really working on speed with endurance (such as the FTP you mention). Make sense? Base-speed-build-taper-race.

This deserved better than a smart ass remark - so here is one.

I respectfully disagree, as will many on this forum. 12 months ago I would have possibly agree with you. 18 months ago, you would have had me eating out of your hand.

However, now you won't.

The problem with the approach you suggest is that to truly build a base that is able to sustain your through a FTP cycle and then a build requires WAY to much time to be sustainable for most folks year round, particularly if they live in a temperate climate. So that means most folks will try to include to much volume during their FTP building cycle that is taking place in april/may/june, and won't be able to dedicate enough focus on FTP work to truly raise it optimally. Or they'll start including races and both will be compromised. With very few exceptions it's becoming more and more apperant (and buzz worthy) that most atheltes are best suited for focusing on threshold during the winter months, and as it get's nice outside (and closer to a target race) cut back the threshold work to maintance and add the appropriate volume.

This lets folks succeed at all distances of racing - which as many of the old fogies contend helps build success as the desired distance.

To illustrate my conversion, I'll tell a short story.

12 months and 13 days ago, I had foot surgery. This basically prevented me from riding, running, swimming - hell even walking until the middle of march. Starting in late january I was able to spin stupid easy (read - 20 to 30 minutes at about 50 watts), just to keep me from killing someone. When I was able to begin training for "real" in mid march - I had essentially 0 endurance, my FTP was approximately 30% below my previous season peak - maybe more, and I had not run a step in 5 months.

I had a race in Olympic Distance race in 6 weeks, and the triple T in 10 weeks, and IMWI in 22 weeks. The approach I took was that I was WAY behind the 8 ball - so I focused on the componants for success for the races I had planned with the idea of optimizing success for each one. This meant that I spent the initial period of training focused on threshold work on the bike - the run was a totally different story, as I simply had to "learn" how to run again. As I closed in on the TTT I slowly added a little volume, but maintained the threshold work. As I closed in on IMWI, I kicked the volume up yet again.

The result? An excellent race at St. A's relative to the situation, a 2nd place Male Team OA @ the TTT - with a PR bike split in the half, and a run only 3 minutes slower than in 2008 when I was in great running shape. A PR HIM in July, a PR olympic in July, and a huge PR at IMWI.

I've done the build a base, and then try to add speed for 5 years, typically I never could deal with the threshold work on top of the volume - so it never happened. That and my HIM PR (legit) was set in 2006, and was only broken this year. I attribute a lot to the "build a base", but a attribute my break through to beating the shit out of the 8 ball, and then worrying about endurance.


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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [fe_girl] [ In reply to ]
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After 3 years in the sport, not much, I know, countless books, trial and error, I will partially answer your question. I am not qualified to fully discuss this as I obviously lack experience.
I am going to assume that you are an average AG athlete, have a life, family and a job, probably live in a colder climate.
I am towing the Endurance Nation line on this subject as I have been fully convinced that "Fast" than "Far" is the way to go and that it works. Before EN, I have attempted twice to raise FTP and train far to the tune of total volume on the bike of 8-10hrs a week and failed miserably. Overtrained each time due to lack of adequate recovery.
To race ironman distance bike, your effort will be based on percentage of your FTP. Equation is very simple, the higher the FTP, the higher your absolute value at which you race ironman will be. So, makes perfect sense to spend time raising FTP, than laying far on top of that.
If you were a "pro" unlimited time for training and recovery, maybe a different story. You could than also approach that with volume on the bike and ride yourself to death at 400mi/week and achieve similar, with most of your riding at ironman goal effort or power.
There is more than one way to achieve the goal, just have to pick the one that suits your lifestyle the best and that will be optimum for you.
Once again, fast and far at he same time for an average person, I don't think is optimum.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [fe_girl] [ In reply to ]
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fe_girl wrote:
There has been a lot of good information on here lately pertaining to increasing FTP. I am wondering how best to match that goal with building to the distance for the bike portion of the IM. At this time of year, I am going to focus on FTP improvement, and wondering at what point I should begin building the long bike ride workout with a goal toward IM LP. As well, what is a reasonable % of FTP to be riding at for the long bike ride/IM bike leg.....thanks.

I suggest your start with a framework which will inevitably help you sort out the details. The framework should incorporate a training philosophy based on a set of principles and a periodized training program. I'll give you an example:

I won't get into my specific philosophy and principles but my training program consists of two basic periods which are General Prep (~16 weeks) and Race-Specific Prep (~8 weeks). The GP period will consist of multiple 8-week training blocks. To address your question, one of the things I focus on during GP is increasing my FTP and one of the things I focus on during RSP is increasing long ride training stress with an emphasis on race-specific execution. The approach basically falls under the the general philosophy behind the concept of "raise the left, fill the right." My idea of race-specific execution has to do with 1) riding solo or in very small groups where no drafting occurs 2) primarily done n the aero position

The end of GP and starting with RSP is probably a good time to start building the volume of your long ride but the best time is quite individual. The appropriate intensity depends on multiple factors too. There are some number of people who believe that you need to do your long ride at target IM power but I think they're dead wrong. Remember, one of the fundamental principles of the sport is progressive overload. There is an ideal amount of training stress you need to achieve as you build fitness through your training program so the ideal intensity will depend on factors like long ride volume, total weekly volume (this includes the run) and the intensity of your surrounding training (which also includes the run). I believe that most time-constrained athletes will need to do a bulk of their long rides at >IM power. Now this doesn't mean you shouldn't spend any time practicing pacing at target IM power but there needs to be an understanding of what component of your training is fundamentally responsible for building fitness. Riding at IM power at the expense of not achieving the appropriate amount of training stress is a focus away from the fundamentals, imho.

I avoided getting into more specific details because I can't address them, nor can anyone else, without knowing more about your schedule, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

Thanks, Chris
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [ktkva] [ In reply to ]
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ktkva wrote:
I think building and increasing your FTP is a worthy pursuit but question the timing. Increasing your FTP will be most suited to performing well at the Oly to 70.3 distance. If performing well in an Ironman in your goal you'd be best suited doing a lot of long easy rides either on a trainer or outside now. Having lots of base will suit you well and what is required at this time to perform well in a July Ironman. In the Mar-May timeframe I'd start really working on speed with endurance (such as the FTP you mention). Make sense? Base-speed-build-taper-race.

Does not make sense at all. Are you saying that 4-5 hour rides outdoors right now is a good idea? Not going to happen in most of the country, too cold, too much snow, dark too early. How about 4-5 hour trainer rides? That is insane and the best way to kill a love for the sport. Buildiing base with LSD on the bnike in the winter is an unrealistic recommendation. It makes more sense to build FTP on the trainer when it is too cold (and dark) to ride outdoors, then start to build some distance when the weather gets better. That way, when you are riding far, you can do it fast. Not too much fitness to be gained in tooling around slow and easy anyway. A more effective approach to long rides is to put in some sustained interval efforts during the long rides. This is easily done after a winter doing hard FTP work on the trainer. Besides going from fast to long is in essence going from less specific to more specific, which is a more correct approach to periodization for Ironman (different than Olys and even 1/2s).
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Mike Prevost] [ In reply to ]
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Maybe a better way of looking at it is:


  • last summer/fall's long course race specific prep is your base for this winter's FTP training
  • This winter's FTP training is "speedwork" for next summer's long course season
....and the cycle repeats itself.

This cycle works better than trying to do a "base period"-"intensity period"-"race period" - "recovery/restoration period", sequentially in a span of 12 months starting say on Jan 1

Instead you just have


  • Intensity Period
  • Race Period
  • Recovery/Restoration

Since you're racing long course, your race period just happens to be the base period for "next year"
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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good description!


Fitness is a continium.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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So the caveat here is that the newbie rider or a rider who had a looong layoff should not dive into FTP type of training this winter, without "getting some base" first. For athletes who were racing "long" last summer, they already have base.

Dev
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:
Maybe a better way of looking at it is:


  • last summer/fall's long course race specific prep is your base for this winter's FTP training
  • This winter's FTP training is "speedwork" for next summer's long course season
....and the cycle repeats itself.

This cycle works better than trying to do a "base period"-"intensity period"-"race period" - "recovery/restoration period", sequentially in a span of 12 months starting say on Jan 1

Instead you just have


  • Intensity Period
  • Race Period
  • Recovery/Restoration

Since you're racing long course, your race period just happens to be the base period for "next year"

...and training for edot/stupidity 2014 started yesterday!

the higher your FTP the faster you will be able to ride at all distances...hard to imagine any possible drawback to raising FTP. Hell of a lot easier to practice riding easy for long periods of time than to do lots of FTP work. Same goes for running fast, hurts, so people don't do it.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [fe_girl] [ In reply to ]
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I'm not sure if running workouts can translate into bike workouts, but short fast high intensity work outs are equal or more effective than a long low intensity work out.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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I know what you're saying, but I don't know if I'd phrase it that way.

I think that threshold work would still have a place in a new athletes diet, but the focus would be less obsessive I'd think.

Did you read my earlier post?
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, I did read your post. By looong layoff I was thinking 3+ years. I think the athlete in that boat would want to get all the joining tissue (tendons/ligaments) working for while even in a low impact sport like biking before hammering too hard....especially an older athlete (but maybe I am just being overly conservative....certainly would apply to running).
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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details :)
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [fe_girl] [ In reply to ]
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So alot of what people are saying, is in line with this article, which someone posted in another post a few days ago...

http://biketechreview.com/...ase-a-new-definition
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [fe_girl] [ In reply to ]
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fe_girl wrote:
So alot of what people are saying, is in line with this article, which someone posted in another post a few days ago...http://biketechreview.com/...ase-a-new-definition[/quote[/url]]

fe_girl, i think it's easy to miss what i think is the point of that article. There is a Power/Duration curve that is fairly predictable for well trained athletes. Improving FTP, or 20 MP, is a good way to push the curve up. However, that does not mean that improving your 20 MP will always improve your speed at the far end of the duration curve (or the begining either).

The best predictor of the marathon time (stand alone) is 10k time. But that doesn't mean that you only have to train for a fast 10k to have a great marathon. You have to do a lot of long runs as well.

So, the question for a non-elite / non-full time training person is 'how much of each' is best for optimal perfomance. That of course depends on a lot of variables. But one thing for sure (at least for me) is that when you're riding 5-6 hrs and thinking the whole time 'i have to pace myself to be ready for the marathon' it helps if you've done that distance (or close to it) a bunch of times in training.

good luck


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"Competetive sport begins where healthy sport ends"
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [fe_girl] [ In reply to ]
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Reading this forum, one would believe there are only 2 zones to train in, slow or threshold, and that you have to choose one or the other.


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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Supersquid] [ In reply to ]
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I think it depends on who you are listening to.

There are a number of threads where folks like lakerfan and Rich Strauss et al. are promoting, threshold work, and SST type work.

Others promote a bit more on/off.

Yet others the traditional "build a base"

I tend to think it is more dependent upon the time of year in relation to your A race, what your A race is, and what your current aerobic "skillset" is.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [fe_girl] [ In reply to ]
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If you read slowtwitch a lot you would start thinking that you need to focus on a very special kind of aerobic capacity to improve your FTP. And you would almost start believing that increasing that special kind of aerobic capacity needs to be the focus for a specific time of the year. Some coaches can even sell you a training plan for this magic aerobic capacity!
Last edited by: big slow mover: Dec 28, 10 6:40
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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sentania wrote:
I think it depends on who you are listening to.

There are a number of threads where folks like lakerfan and Rich Strauss et al. are promoting, threshold work, and SST type work.

Others promote a bit more on/off.

Yet others the traditional "build a base"

I tend to think it is more dependent upon the time of year in relation to your A race, what your A race is, and what your current aerobic "skillset" is.


I think it also depends on the the individual too. Not everyone adapts to the same type of training stimulus in the same way and at the same rate. I've tried the LSD base training for a number of years and it never worked for me. My FTP drops way too much and it takes way longer for me to get it back than my endurance. I'm sure that could work the opposite for some folks.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [packetloss] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
My FTP drops way too much and it takes way longer for me to get it back than my endurance. I'm sure that could work the opposite for some folks.


There's a reason it drops :)




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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [fe_girl] [ In reply to ]
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Many good comments already. My notes:
  • To borrow a saying from my motorcycling world, "there's no replacement for displacement." There is no replacement for a higher FTP. If you buy into my advice that you ride a x% of your FTP for 112 miles, than earn the right to ride at higher watts by earning a higher FTP. Rider A with an FTP of 250w will ALWAYS ride a faster IM bike split than Rider B with an FTP of 220w, assuming equal weight, identical aero-ness, equally good pacing, nutrition, etc.
  • There is no such thing as aerobic base-mileage pixie dust that allows Mr 220w to outsplit Mr 250w for the IM bike, given the assumptions above, and assuming that 250w guy has done a handful of 3.5-4.5hr rides, maybe even gone over 100 miles a time or two.
  • The best way to lift FTP is to train at, near, or slight above FTP and recover properly between those sessions.
  • You can lift FTP through lower intensity training but, in my experience, 95% of the AG'ers training this way aren't putting in enough mileage or time in the saddle to pull their FTP up this way. In my experience, you need to be cycling 15-20+hrs/wk to lift your FTP through Z1-2, maybe Z3 riding. So the problem is that AG'ers apply a pro solution (Z2 + high volume = FTP increase) to an AG scenario -- Z2 + moderate volume (most AG'ers settle in at 7-10hrs/wk cycling) = FTP stagnation.
  • Dev, I disagree about the need for base building miles on the bike before you earn the right to do the hard training that will make you faster. Toss your leg over the top tube of a well fitting, well adjusted bicycle, have someone look at you to identify any saddle height, knee tracking issues, etc. Learn how to shift, brake, not hit anything...then go that way, as fast as you can. In my experience, cycling, even high intensity cycling, is a very, very low risk activity, certainly when compared to the run.
-------------------------

Rich Strauss
Endurance Nation Ironman 2013 and 2014 World Champion TriClub, Div I
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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Rich,

I agree with your rider A and rider B analogy. Rider A will have the faster bike split but what about the run split?

I I think there is a median between FTP trg and base or endurance type trg. If Rider B spends more time doing endurance type trg they will probably come off the bike fresher and ready to drop down a quicker run split.

I think running performance has proved this time and again. You need a serious base to apply the tempo and speed to. Yes you can get by without the base but it will eventually cost your performance. Contrary if you only run long and never do speed work you'll likewise stagnate.

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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [jmaley] [ In reply to ]
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jmaley wrote:
Rich,

I agree with your rider A and rider B analogy. Rider A will have the faster bike split but what about the run split?

I I think there is a median between FTP trg and base or endurance type trg. If Rider B spends more time doing endurance type trg they will probably come off the bike fresher and ready to drop down a quicker run split.

I think running performance has proved this time and again. You need a serious base to apply the tempo and speed to. Yes you can get by without the base but it will eventually cost your performance. Contrary if you only run long and never do speed work you'll likewise stagnate.

I am always curious about what people mean when they say "building an aerobic base". As Rich Strauss mentioned (one of the most qualified coaches in multisport) most athletes think this means plodding around in zone 1 and 2 and never doing work near their threshold or FTP. Most of these athletes repeat their performances year after year with nary an improvement in their FTP or run splits.

As far as "building that aerobic base before you add intensity", what about the last 48 weeks of training that I did? Does that count toward an aerobic base or do I simply need to start from scratch in zones 1 and 2 all winter?

My athletes follow a protocol that pushes them intensely through their winter workouts and allows them to carry this fitness into their endurance training in the spring. The improvement in their performances has been stunning.

Last week one of my athletes had a 22% improvement in FTP and a 1:20 decrease in their 5k time - after 8 weeks.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [jmaley] [ In reply to ]
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jmaley wrote:
Rich,

I agree with your rider A and rider B analogy. Rider A will have the faster bike split but what about the run split?

I I think there is a median between FTP trg and base or endurance type trg. If Rider B spends more time doing endurance type trg they will probably come off the bike fresher and ready to drop down a quicker run split.

I think running performance has proved this time and again. You need a serious base to apply the tempo and speed to. Yes you can get by without the base but it will eventually cost your performance. Contrary if you only run long and never do speed work you'll likewise stagnate.

I am pretty sure that Rich will chime in again to answer directly. In the mean time, judging by the team work, he is not advocating lack of base, opposite, there is a huge base built along the plan execution, but a lot of it is done through FTP work+numerous hours spent in 80-85% of FTP through the same.
If you also reference Hunter/Cogan's book and their table of adaptations with different zone work, you will find that Z4 work achieves the same adaptations as Z2, but more amplified in every department. Rich simply picks Z3 and Z4 work as the most ROI vs. time invested, again the mentioned table will reflect that.
Another note, base building is a chronic activity exposure as well.
Yes, you are completely correct with run performance related to bike overall fitness. There will be no good run, unless bike fitness is where it needs to be to allow a fast split+enough left for a run to your potential.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:
So the caveat here is that the newbie rider or a rider who had a looong layoff should not dive into FTP type of training this winter, without "getting some base" first. For athletes who were racing "long" last summer, they already have base.

Dev

OK, so I'm your newb rider then- started riding last April, trained/raced through early October, haven't been on the bike since, until yesterday. What should I be doing before hitting the bike hard? I come from a pretty competitive running background, so my cardio is fine, but I am less than good at cycling. What does a newb cycling base look like for someone planning to do Oly/HIM next summer and fall?
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [RFXCrunner] [ In reply to ]
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RFXCrunner wrote:
devashish_paul wrote:
So the caveat here is that the newbie rider or a rider who had a looong layoff should not dive into FTP type of training this winter, without "getting some base" first. For athletes who were racing "long" last summer, they already have base.

Dev


OK, so I'm your newb rider then- started riding last April, trained/raced through early October, haven't been on the bike since, until yesterday. What should I be doing before hitting the bike hard? I come from a pretty competitive running background, so my cardio is fine, but I am less than good at cycling. What does a newb cycling base look like for someone planning to do Oly/HIM next summer and fall?


Change riding for running and u can answer your own question...


The entire event (IM) is like "death by 1000 cuts" and the best race is minimizing all those cuts and losing less blood than the other guy. - Dev
Last edited by: camaleon: Dec 29, 10 7:01
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [atasic] [ In reply to ]
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80-85% of FTP! If that is where you are working or at least some of the time then the base required to go the distance will be getting formed. My concern was simply that Rich was advocating FTP work (95-105% FTP) without hardly a mention of some lower intensity endurance(muscular) type trg. If EN is advocating some trg in the 80-85% range then that covers off my concern with the endurance trg as that is essentially trg at your HIM race intensity.


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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [camaleon] [ In reply to ]
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Doesn't really answer the question- my early season running is typically 30-45 min of running for 6-7 days a week. Somehow I doubt this is optimal for cycling.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [jmaley] [ In reply to ]
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jmaley wrote:
80-85% of FTP! If that is where you are working or at least some of the time then the base required to go the distance will be getting formed. My concern was simply that Rich was advocating FTP work (95-105% FTP) without hardly a mention of some lower intensity endurance(muscular) type trg. If EN is advocating some trg in the 80-85% range then that covers off my concern with the endurance trg as that is essentially trg at your HIM race intensity.


Below is cut and paste from our 20wk advanced IM plan, week 13 Saturday long ride of 4.5hrs. Definitions:
  • WU = Warmup
  • MS = Main Set
  • ' = minutes
  • (x') = rest interval, in minutes
  • 95-100%/Z4/Hard = ride at 95-100% of FTP, or at a Z4 heart rate, or Hard, depending on whether you have power, heart rate, or nothing at all.
  • WD: Warmdown

Bike 4:30 WU: 20-30' @ 65-70%/Z1-2/Easy

MS:
8' (3') @ 95-100%/Z4/Hard

10' (3') @ 95-100%/Z4/Hard

12' (3') @ 95-100%/Z4/Hard

12' (4') @ 95-100%/Z4/Hard

10' (4') @ 95-100%/Z4/Hard

8' (4') @ 95-100%/Z4/Hard

6 x 12' (2') @ 80-85%/Z3/Mod-Hard

For each interval include 2' standing WITHOUT spiking watts or effort, ie, standing for position change only.

Remainder of ride time is @75-80%/Z2, in the aerobars, practicing steady riding: no surges, constant power, etc.

WD: 10' Easy spin.

As a frame of reference, and because we are talking power-speak, a well-paced Ironman bike leg will generally accrue 275-~300 TSS points from about 5:15 to 6hrs. Athletes riding longer than 6hrs will generally put up 300-330 TSS points. We can use these numbers as a frame of reference for our training rides: "If I expect to put up ~285 TSS on race day, and on my Saturday ride I just racked up ~275 TSS, I've basically introduced an Ironman-ride's worth of training stress to my body, even though I did so in 4.5hrs vs the 6hrs that my friends say I need to be doing.

Guarantee that that ride above will net you north of 275 TSS, maybe close to 300 in 4.5hrs vs 6hrs.
  • 95-100%: we include this so the athlete continues to lift their FTP
  • 80-85%: we've found we can dramatically increase the TSS/hr of a ride by having them spend a lot of time at this intensity.
  • 75-80%: a tick higher than IM intensity, so they get used to riding in the bars, fueling themselves, etc at just higher than IM intensity.
  • The standing, steady riding, no surging stuff: I want them to develop the skill of riding steady. To stand...without spiking watts; to ride hills...without spiking watts, focusing on their efforts on the crest and into the downhill, etc
  • Around this workout, we've also told them they are stapled into the aerobars from Week X through race day.
  • These last two bullets reflect, for me, the requirement for race specific training.
The ride is followed by a 30' brick run, as Easy out, Marathon Pace (per Jack Daniels) back.

Next is the same week, Sunday ride:

Bike 3:00 WU: 20-30' @ 65-70%/Z1/Easy

MS: Spend as much time @ 80-85%/Z3/Mod-Hard as possible. Take short recoveries as needed (eat, drink, etc),

WD: 10' Easy spin.

"But what about aerobic base, race specific intensity, how can you ride 6hrs on race day if you've only ridden 4.5hrs in training."
  • The plan will include 2 x race sims of 112 mile ride followed by a 6mi run.
  • Plan includes 1-2 "big days:" ~1hr swim, 4hr bike, 1hr run.
  • We encourage folks to schedule a high volume bike or tri week if they want and have the resources.
Finally, there's what you read in a book, there's what you learn by coaching a handful of IM athletes...then there's what you learn in 15+yrs of IM-only coaching and thousands of athletes. Those workouts above reflect the experience of the later. Just sayin'.

--------------------------------

Rich Strauss
Endurance Nation Ironman 2013 and 2014 World Champion TriClub, Div I
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Last edited by: Rich Strauss: Dec 29, 10 9:11
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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sentania wrote:

Quote:
My FTP drops way too much and it takes way longer for me to get it back than my endurance. I'm sure that could work the opposite for some folks.



There's a reason it drops :)





Yes, the Myth that riding in Z2 for countless hours over 2 months (with no FTP work) will enable you to achieve a higher FTP in only 1 or 2 months of spring work, compared to working on FTP over the winter and into spring.

As others have stated, your previous seasons long workouts serve as plenty of base such that you can work on FTP during the winter. It's not like as soon as November rolls around that your aerobic fitness just dissapears and you have to start from scratch again.

Base is good and even necessary for athletes new to a particular sport, but for anyone with more than 2 seasons of experience, it is just an excuse to do workouts that are as beneficial as sitting around watching TV.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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Rich,

Thanks for the clarification. The example from your long ride makes perfect sense to me.

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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [packetloss] [ In reply to ]
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FTP is an estimate for your aerobic base. It is pretty objective and easy to measure yourself but nothing more. Any sort of aerobic base building should have a positive effect on that FTP, or you do the base training wrong. Just as good base training should have a positive effect on your 20 minute power threshold, and your 2:30 hour threshold power.

Nobody who prescribes so called "FTP training" can explain why that one hour threshold power should be the benchmark for your winter training block. FTP training is nothing but pseudo science used to confuse the clients about a very simple concept. Focusing on your 2:30 hour threshold power or your 28:32 minutes threshold power will have the same results for your summer races. There is absolutely nothing special going on while riding at FTP. And there is no reason at all to work specifically towards increasing this arbitrarily chosen measure for aerobic capacity.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [RFXCrunner] [ In reply to ]
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ms ftp tss...if i had to remember all this terminology and kind of workout id quit the sport. not trying to bash anyone's "training" opinions,but...people overthink this stuff to death.... most of the fast people just train hard,recover,repeat...dont get too obsessed with the numbers. i dont even ride with a bike computer, or race with a watch on...i guess im just not a type A personality either :)...

john
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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So do Mark Allen & Dr. Maffetone have it completely wrong?

Allen's times in Kona 15-20 years ago are still some of the fastest ever. His training programs include aggressive base building at paces/heart rates that are difficult to maintain when you start (difficult to go that slow). He did this for 3-4 months during his base phase.

Why is this approach not a good one?

Edit...I'm not being a smart-ass. I really want to understand why the approach of a 6-time Kona winner is not the best one...or at least a valid one.
Last edited by: cjbruin: Dec 29, 10 13:05
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [cjbruin] [ In reply to ]
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [cjbruin] [ In reply to ]
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cjbruin wrote:
So do Mark Allen & Dr. Maffetone have it completely wrong?

Allen's times in Kona 15-20 years ago are still some of the fastest ever. His training programs include aggressive base building at paces/heart rates that are difficult to maintain when you start (difficult to go that slow). He did this for 3-4 months during his base phase.

Why is this approach not a good one?

Edit...I'm not being a smart-ass. I really want to understand why the approach of a 6-time Kona winner is not the best one...or at least a valid one.

Um.... genetics?


Steve

http://www.PeaksCoachingGroup.com
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [big slow mover] [ In reply to ]
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Nobody who prescribes so called "FTP training" can explain why that one hour threshold power should be the benchmark for your winter training block. FTP training is nothing but pseudo science used to confuse the clients about a very simple concept. Focusing on your 2:30 hour threshold power or your 28:32 minutes threshold power will have the same results for your summer races. There is absolutely nothing special going on while riding at FTP. And there is no reason at all to work specifically towards increasing this arbitrarily chosen measure for aerobic capacity.

Oh stop it with your common sense already! How on earth will people sell books & training plans now?




blood, sweat...and big gears

I hated every minute of training, but I said, ''Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.''
- Muhammad Ali
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [cjbruin] [ In reply to ]
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I don't think anyone is saying they have it wrong or increasing your FTP is the only way to go. There are many other great and very effective approaches to training just like the ones you mentioned. If you can spend the amount of time required to build a base as those programs suggest and then continue to increase your training stress throughout the year and over future years they will likely work well for you also.

The life of a world champion professional athlete is very different than most rank and file age groupers. The focus of the EN plans that Rich share is different and around fitting training into the typical age groupers life. Therefore getting the best return on investment from the time you have available to train.

My life just doesn't allow me to train large numbers of hours. The EN plans work for me because I keep my wife, daughter and boss happy while l still get to compete in triathlon. Sure I may be able to get a little faster if I built a huge base and did higher volume training but I would also be divorced, not able to spend time with my daughter or not able to perform as well at work.

Plus, I would much rather be riding on my trainer for an hour at a time all winter raising my FTP then spining for hours on end in my basement. I save the long rides for spring and summer when I can go outside and enjoy being on my bike for hours.

Others may have a life that allows them to train 20-30 hours a week and for them a different type of training may be more effective.

ZOOT ULTRA Team
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [cjbruin] [ In reply to ]
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cjbruin wrote:
So do Mark Allen & Dr. Maffetone have it completely wrong?

Allen's times in Kona 15-20 years ago are still some of the fastest ever. His training programs include aggressive base building at paces/heart rates that are difficult to maintain when you start (difficult to go that slow). He did this for 3-4 months during his base phase.

Why is this approach not a good one?

Edit...I'm not being a smart-ass. I really want to understand why the approach of a 6-time Kona winner is not the best one...or at least a valid one.

Absolutely not. Mark Allen had all the time in the world to spend it all on training and recovery. Yes, it is a way to go for sure. Can you, do you have 30hrs a week to train. I don't. I have a family and a job that pays the bills. EN way is proven to work in my case with 15-17hrs to train. Mancona summed it up pretty nicely.
There is more than one way of doing it and no one is doubting that Mark Allen and other pros have it correct. It fits their life.
EN is just proving, contributing and confirming the science of excersize physiology that there is another way. Hunter/ Coggan are also very explicit in their book as well of the importance of FTP work. They also state that the most effective way to elevate ones FTP is to train at that level, slightly below and slightly above. Pick up the book and look at it.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [big slow mover] [ In reply to ]
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big slow mover wrote:
FTP is an estimate for your aerobic base. It is pretty objective and easy to measure yourself but nothing more. Any sort of aerobic base building should have a positive effect on that FTP, or you do the base training wrong. Just as good base training should have a positive effect on your 20 minute power threshold, and your 2:30 hour threshold power.

Nobody who prescribes so called "FTP training" can explain why that one hour threshold power should be the benchmark for your winter training block. FTP training is nothing but pseudo science used to confuse the clients about a very simple concept. Focusing on your 2:30 hour threshold power or your 28:32 minutes threshold power will have the same results for your summer races. There is absolutely nothing special going on while riding at FTP. And there is no reason at all to work specifically towards increasing this arbitrarily chosen measure for aerobic capacity.

Now that isn't exactly true - although I would agree that your 28:32 minute power would be close enough. Training is a balance between overloading the proper systems and recovery. What is "special" about FTP is that it's at a high enough level to promote maximal adaption to the aerobic system, without requiring massive recovery time. You could train in the subthreshold zone and get good improvements too. With that said if you exclusively work at FTP or below, you won't be able to do repetitive 200% surges such are what is needed in Crits or road races.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [big slow mover] [ In reply to ]
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big slow mover wrote:
FTP is an estimate for your aerobic base. It is pretty objective and easy to measure yourself but nothing more. Any sort of aerobic base building should have a positive effect on that FTP, or you do the base training wrong. Just as good base training should have a positive effect on your 20 minute power threshold, and your 2:30 hour threshold power.

correct
Nobody who prescribes so called "FTP training" can explain why that one hour threshold power should be the benchmark for your winter training block. FTP training is nothing but pseudo science used to confuse the clients about a very simple concept. Focusing on your 2:30 hour threshold power or your 28:32 minutes threshold power will have the same results for your summer races. There is absolutely nothing special going on while riding at FTP. And there is no reason at all to work specifically towards increasing this arbitrarily chosen measure for aerobic capacity.

incorrect, unless youre talking about threshold zone (zone 4) training. zone 3-4 are in the sweet spot where you can accumulate a lot of quality work in with predictable and rather short recoveries.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [S McGregor] [ In reply to ]
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S McGregor wrote:
cjbruin wrote:
So do Mark Allen & Dr. Maffetone have it completely wrong?

Allen's times in Kona 15-20 years ago are still some of the fastest ever. His training programs include aggressive base building at paces/heart rates that are difficult to maintain when you start (difficult to go that slow). He did this for 3-4 months during his base phase.

Why is this approach not a good one?

Edit...I'm not being a smart-ass. I really want to understand why the approach of a 6-time Kona winner is not the best one...or at least a valid one.


Um.... genetics?

Don't forget training time limited only by the need to eat and sleep. If someone has 30-40 hours/week to train, lots of Level 2 would probably be just fine.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [cjbruin] [ In reply to ]
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Your question makes me wonder what Mark Allen Online prescribes to their athletes. This would give a comparable reference to what MA thinks an age grouper should be doing.

Anyone? Anyone?
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [cjbruin] [ In reply to ]
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The problem with the Mark Allen approach is the obsession with Heart Rates and people (including MAO) making assumptions about what is happening at a given HR. The HR that is calculated is based on a rule of thumb that has no scientific basis. because of this there is room for error in thier programmes, but rules of thumb, have a funny way of working well for large sample sizes.

If you take a MAO HR based training and did all off your ong rides at say the bottom of the zone then you would be noodling around getting good at riding slow. If you work at the higher end of the HR zone (accepting the flaws of HR) then this approximates reasonably well to the 80-85 % type of pace prescribed in EN.

If you complete a MAO programme you will be very fit and you will do a lot of work at good intensities, some people will say that is in spite of the method, however the method provides the oppurtunity to do the work. The EN approach takes out the guess work and you know that you are doing the work and can see the improvement.

MAO are also encouraging folk to get out and do more races especially bike races due to people spending too much time at the easy part of the zone. Looking at the easy pace, which would be Mark riding at 155 BPM for 5 hours, how easy do you think that is, it is probably friggin fast and would get a godd TSS.

The HR and the assumptions they make are not solid but the method works in spite of this, excpet for people who noodle abotu too much and the error associated with HR based training
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [JollyRogers] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Don't forget training time limited only by the need to eat and sleep. If someone has 30-40 hours/week to train, lots of Level 2 would probably be just fine.

That explains how they had the time to do a lot of base training, but not why they did it. I hear a lot of people argue that pros do a lot of base training because they have the time. That doesn't explain why they do it. Why would you do something that's of little to no benefit just because you have the time?

They do it because it works.

Not having the time to do a lot of base training doesn't mean it's not the best way to train for an endurance event. It just means it may not be the best way for you.

The problem with using FTP to determine Ironman power is that few people ever do a real FTP test - an hour at threshold. They only do 20 minute intervals and from that they extrapolate their FTP and from that determine their ironman power. So they're determining their 5-7 hour power based on a 20 minute test.

I know a lot of triathletes and cyclists who can hammer hard for 20 minutes or even an hour, but fall apart after 3 hours at a good, aerobic pace. The limiting factor for many, if not most, endurance athletes is endurance.

I'm not saying threshold work isn't valuable, but I don't see it as a substitute for good, aerobic base work. But I don't believe in one or the other either. I believe all levels need to be trained, although for long course I don't worry much about anything over threshold.


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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Alex M] [ In reply to ]
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MarkAllenOnline.com used to have a recommendation for base training that no longer appears on the general (free) site...I suspect you need to sign up to get to the info. If I recall correctly, it stated that all workouts for 3-4 months should be at a HR of no more than 180 minus your current age (there were some minor adjustments based upon current fitness levels). I believe this is also referred to as the Maffetone Method which is supposed to train your body to burn fat as fuel and allow you to get faster at lower HR levels. Allen calls it building your aerobic engine and says that it was one of the most important parts of his training that helped him reach his levels in Kona. He also mentioned that it helped him stay injury-free as opposed to some others who hurt themselves with too much intensity too early in the season. I think Mike Pigg also used this in his training.

After you have built a rock-solid base, you sign up for one of the 16-20 week programs. I don't believe that this method requires 30 hrs per week of base training.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [JollyRogers] [ In reply to ]
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JollyRogers wrote:
S McGregor wrote:
cjbruin wrote:
So do Mark Allen & Dr. Maffetone have it completely wrong?

Allen's times in Kona 15-20 years ago are still some of the fastest ever. His training programs include aggressive base building at paces/heart rates that are difficult to maintain when you start (difficult to go that slow). He did this for 3-4 months during his base phase.

Why is this approach not a good one?

Edit...I'm not being a smart-ass. I really want to understand why the approach of a 6-time Kona winner is not the best one...or at least a valid one.


Um.... genetics?


Don't forget training time limited only by the need to eat and sleep. If someone has 30-40 hours/week to train, lots of Level 2 would probably be just fine.

Fine if you have the genetics. I don't care who you are. If you have 50 hr a week to train in L2, you are not going to win like Allen unless you have the genetics. OTOH, Allen could have done lots of things in training, and the result would have been very similar, regardless. It's impossible to prove a negative, but even with an unconstrained by time pro, 30 hr of L2 is not optimal. Lots do it, and get away with it, because they can. They have the genetics.


Steve

http://www.PeaksCoachingGroup.com
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [S McGregor] [ In reply to ]
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S McGregor wrote:
JollyRogers wrote:
S McGregor wrote:
cjbruin wrote:
So do Mark Allen & Dr. Maffetone have it completely wrong?

Allen's times in Kona 15-20 years ago are still some of the fastest ever. His training programs include aggressive base building at paces/heart rates that are difficult to maintain when you start (difficult to go that slow). He did this for 3-4 months during his base phase.

Why is this approach not a good one?

Edit...I'm not being a smart-ass. I really want to understand why the approach of a 6-time Kona winner is not the best one...or at least a valid one.


Um.... genetics?


Don't forget training time limited only by the need to eat and sleep. If someone has 30-40 hours/week to train, lots of Level 2 would probably be just fine.


Fine if you have the genetics. I don't care who you are. If you have 50 hr a week to train in L2, you are not going to win like Allen unless you have the genetics. OTOH, Allen could have done lots of things in training, and the result would have been very similar, regardless. It's impossible to prove a negative, but even with an unconstrained by time pro, 30 hr of L2 is not optimal. Lots do it, and get away with it, because they can. They have the genetics.

So it seems that you are saying that the training approach that Mark Allen attributes to his success was the wrong way to train and that he got away with it because of his genetics.

The question isn't if one can attain results of MA based upon that type of training but if it might be the right approach to achieve their best results based on their own genetics.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [cjbruin] [ In reply to ]
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cjbruin wrote:
S McGregor wrote:
JollyRogers wrote:
S McGregor wrote:
cjbruin wrote:
So do Mark Allen & Dr. Maffetone have it completely wrong?

Allen's times in Kona 15-20 years ago are still some of the fastest ever. His training programs include aggressive base building at paces/heart rates that are difficult to maintain when you start (difficult to go that slow). He did this for 3-4 months during his base phase.

Why is this approach not a good one?

Edit...I'm not being a smart-ass. I really want to understand why the approach of a 6-time Kona winner is not the best one...or at least a valid one.


Um.... genetics?


Don't forget training time limited only by the need to eat and sleep. If someone has 30-40 hours/week to train, lots of Level 2 would probably be just fine.


Fine if you have the genetics. I don't care who you are. If you have 50 hr a week to train in L2, you are not going to win like Allen unless you have the genetics. OTOH, Allen could have done lots of things in training, and the result would have been very similar, regardless. It's impossible to prove a negative, but even with an unconstrained by time pro, 30 hr of L2 is not optimal. Lots do it, and get away with it, because they can. They have the genetics.


So it seems that you are saying that the training approach that Mark Allen attributes to his success was the wrong way to train and that he got away with it because of his genetics.

The question isn't if one can attain results of MA based upon that type of training but if it might be the right approach to achieve their best results based on their own genetics.

Well, I'm not sure if everyone has the correct impression of the way he trained. I wasn't there for every workout, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he didn't train as "easily" as most of you would like to believe. But in response to this....

"If someone has 30-40 hours/week to train, lots of Level 2 would probably be just fine"

my response stands. Most pros, though, are pros because of genetics, and sometimes in spite of their training. Allen's approach worked for him,... obviously, but as I pointed out, he probably could have taken one of several different approaches to training, and he would have been very successful. Again, it's impossible to know though if any other approach would have worked better for him. It's hard to imagine "better".


Steve

http://www.PeaksCoachingGroup.com
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [S McGregor] [ In reply to ]
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Do you know for a fact Allen had good genetics, or are you just assuming that he must based on his results and that makes more sense to you than a good training program. I'm not saying Allen didn't have good genetics. I don't know. But people always assume genetics must play a bigger role than good training. If someone is very good at something, it must be because they have a lot of talent or good genetics. Hard work goes a lot further than people realize. It's just that few are willing to do the work.

Here's a link to an article with Allen's heart rate formula mentioned earlier in this thread: http://www.duathlon.com/articles/1460



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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Supersquid] [ In reply to ]
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Supersquid wrote:
Do you know for a fact Allen had good genetics, or are you just assuming that he must based on his results and that makes more sense to you than a good training program. I'm not saying Allen didn't have good genetics. I don't know. But people always assume genetics must play a bigger role than good training. If someone is very good at something, it must be because they have a lot of talent or good genetics. Hard work goes a lot further than people realize. It's just that few are willing to do the work.

Here's a link to an article with Allen's heart rate formula mentioned earlier in this thread: http://www.duathlon.com/articles/1460

You know, you're probably right. He probably has a tiny heart and a VO2max of 55 ml/kg/min. He just trained a lot smarter than everybody else. Heck, he had the magic training program where you just run Pose all day and train your body how to burn fat, and won a bunch of races.

Dood, I'm a coach, it's all about the training! I know that program he used. Call me up and I'll make you an IM champ!


Steve

http://www.PeaksCoachingGroup.com
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Supersquid] [ In reply to ]
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Supersquid wrote:
Do you know for a fact Allen had good genetics, or are you just assuming that he must based on his results and that makes more sense to you than a good training program. I'm not saying Allen didn't have good genetics. I don't know. But people always assume genetics must play a bigger role than good training. If someone is very good at something, it must be because they have a lot of talent or good genetics. Hard work goes a lot further than people realize. It's just that few are willing to do the work.

Here's a link to an article with Allen's heart rate formula mentioned earlier in this thread: http://www.duathlon.com/articles/1460

Any "formula" for heart rate that starts with a fixed number is worthless. If I used that formual I'd have to stop before I got down my block. Z4 for me is in the low 180s. I guarantee that I would not see my pace improve if I trained only at his recommended HR.

In answer to your other question, it doesn't matter how good your training is, if you don't have the genetics, you aren't even going to be close to competitive at the top level.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Supersquid] [ In reply to ]
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Supersquid wrote:
Quote:
Don't forget training time limited only by the need to eat and sleep. If someone has 30-40 hours/week to train, lots of Level 2 would probably be just fine.


The problem with using FTP to determine Ironman power is that few people ever do a real FTP test - an hour at threshold. They only do 20 minute intervals and from that they extrapolate their FTP and from that determine their ironman power. So they're determining their 5-7 hour power based on a 20 minute test. Sorry, 100's of athletes every year race Ironman successfully using this method.

I know a lot of triathletes and cyclists who can hammer hard for 20 minutes or even an hour, but fall apart after 3 hours at a good, aerobic pace. The limiting factor for many, if not most, endurance athletes is endurance. If you can ride outside, jump on your bike this Saturday and do that 4.5hr ride I posted. Or do a 2-3hr version of it. Do that ride and tell me it's not building your endurance.

I'm not saying threshold work isn't valuable, but I don't see it as a substitute for good, aerobic base work. But I don't believe in one or the other either. I believe all levels need to be trained, although for long course I don't worry much about anything over threshold.

You can believe in anything you want, but the fact is that hundreds of triathletes out there are doing work on the bike with the specific purpose of lifting their FTP. They then/around this/at a different time of year/whatever you want to call it, do more "endurance" type riding, to build endurance on top of this FTP. They go faster on race day as a result of this combination but the absolute requirement of this combo is a higher FTP. If you want to ride fast, you have to ride fast. Period. Anyone riding with power has learned this lesson.

The triathlon world is full of athletes trying to get faster by riding longer...how's that working out? Not so well, I feel. The reason is that they can't do the volume of slow/steady/aerobic
/AeT/made-up-definition-of-the-month required to go faster by going slow. In my experience, and I say this because I've done it and learned there is a better way, that cycling volume is 15-20hrs per week. I've done 250, 300, 400 mile, 25hr, 30hr cycling weeks. By definition, the intensity was much, much lower than I usually do. I did get faster, no doubt. But to apply this method to 98% of the AG'ers reading this post is professional negligence.

So the net is that the difference between 8hrs/wk of Z1-2 volume (doesn't make you faster) and the 15-20hrs/wk of Z1-2 cycling that will make you faster is essentially wasted time. And the tri-world is full AG'ers applying aerobic, Z1-2 volume to AG'er volume constraints and not getting any faster. Or they try to accommodate extended periods of 10, 12, 15hrs/wk cycling, still don't get any faster, but sure do feel good about all the saddle time they've punched at the expense of life, family, job, etc.

-----------------

Rich Strauss
Endurance Nation Ironman 2013 and 2014 World Champion TriClub, Div I
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
They then/around this/at a different time of year/whatever you want to call it, do more "endurance" type riding, to build endurance on top of this FTP.

Exactly. They do endurance type riding to build their endurance. My point is that you can't replace the endurance base work with threshold work. You supplement it with threshold work. It doesn't matter how many 20 minute threshold efforts you do if you don't build the endurance you need to sustain a good, aerobic effort (IM power) for 5-7 hours.

I never said there was no value to threshold work. I do threshold work. But I don't rely on it to build the specific endurance I need for an ironman. Like I said, I believe all levels need to be trained.







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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [S McGregor] [ In reply to ]
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Mark also did and prescribes about 6-8 weeks in a 20 week programme of gut wrenching intervals in each sport, he is not saying train easy all the time, there are some errors in the theory underlying the practice of thier coaching, but do a MAO programme gets you:

Lots of SBR at or near threshold and quality work above threshold. The HR is not the best way to measure it but regardless of their thinkinh the end result is the same, for a fiar bit of thier programmes people are doing V02 work and plenty at or around threshold
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [kennyDalglish] [ In reply to ]
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kennyDalglish wrote:
Mark also did and prescribes about 6-8 weeks in a 20 week programme of gut wrenching intervals in each sport, he is not saying train easy all the time, there are some errors in the theory underlying the practice of thier coaching, but do a MAO programme gets you:

Lots of SBR at or near threshold and quality work above threshold. The HR is not the best way to measure it but regardless of their thinkinh the end result is the same, for a fiar bit of thier programmes people are doing V02 work and plenty at or around threshold

Absolutely correct. The intervals and threshold work come after you've built an aerobic base. Seems to me like you can't do one without the other.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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Rich Strauss wrote:

You can believe in anything you want, but the fact is that hundreds of triathletes out there are doing work on the bike with the specific purpose of lifting their FTP. They then/around this/at a different time of year/whatever you want to call it, do more "endurance" type riding, to build endurance on top of this FTP. They go faster on race day as a result of this combination but the absolute requirement of this combo is a higher FTP. If you want to ride fast, you have to ride fast. Period. Anyone riding with power has learned this lesson.

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What is the physiological reason to work specifically on FTP?

I do understand that you have to ride faster if you want to become a better athlete but why do you take FTP as the benchmark, and not 20 minute power or 2:30 hours?
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [packetloss] [ In reply to ]
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packetloss wrote:
In answer to your other question, it doesn't matter how good your training is, if you don't have the genetics, you aren't even going to be close to competitive at the top level.

How many pros, let alone AGers, can no longer improve solely due to genetics?

There's a lot of aspects where we can seek improvements, irrespective of genes, eg. recovery. Recovery prior/after/between training sessions, compression, icing, ice baths, massage, electrostimulation, sleep, post training nutrition, stretching etc. That's just looking at one small aspect: recovery.

I'll cherry pick another one: daily nutrition. How many athletes are doing absolutely everything to improve their diet? Getting the right balance and quantities of macronutrients at the right time of the day, all the necessary vitamins/minerals, adequately hydrating, supplementing: all this is important. This isn't even getting in to race nutrition or body composition as a result of daily nutrition.

Another one: psychology. How much do you want to achieve your goals? Is your mind in the right place? At every race, whether it's a small local race of a world championship, guys finish ahead of fitter athletes due to higher motivation and desire. Just because this isn't quantifiable doesn't mean it's not an important factor.

I think blaming genetics for inferior results is really passing the buck. Not only that, but it diminishes the achievements of the best athletes. I don't doubt that Chrissie has genes that make her a natural athlete, but at the end of the day she puts everything together and delivers, and earns the result. People don't win triathlon races accidentally. There is literally an endless list of factors that we can control which effect performance.

Nick Baldwin | @baldwin_nick | Facebook
Drag2Zero| ISPC Seychelles
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [packetloss] [ In reply to ]
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packetloss wrote:

Now that isn't exactly true - although I would agree that your 28:32 minute power would be close enough. Training is a balance between overloading the proper systems and recovery. What is "special" about FTP is that it's at a high enough level to promote maximal adaption to the aerobic system, without requiring massive recovery time. You could train in the subthreshold zone and get good improvements too. With that said if you exclusively work at FTP or below, you won't be able to do repetitive 200% surges such are what is needed in Crits or road races.

Isn't it funny, that the maximal adaptation to the aerobic system occurs at ONE HOUR threshold? What if someone once decided our day had 12 hours instead of 24? Do you think we would give the same meaning to that "one hour" threshold power? I do think so.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [big slow mover] [ In reply to ]
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I think you are getting awefully close

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

I think FTP/threshold/CP is chosen because it represents a physiological point of intensity that once exceeded, results in a near exponential decrease in sustainable duration.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [sesel] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
I think blaming genetics for inferior results is really passing the buck. Not only that, but it diminishes the achievements of the best athletes.

I agree. I'm sure a lot of athletes competing against Mark Allen had good genetics, yet he consistently came out on top. Why? Better genetics?

Genetics play a role, but like you mentioned, there are a lot of other factors that contribute to athletic success. Blindly attributing success to "good genetics" is missing an opportunity to learn from someone's accomplishments and improve your own training.

******

Here's a link to a post by Alan Couzens that talks a little about the benefits of 'steady' and threshold work on slowtwitch fibers. By 'steady' they're talking about AeT work, which I believe would be around the top of Friel's zone one/bottom of zone 2. Right around ironman pace. Based on this, there's an argument for incorporating both types of training, which is what I believe is best. I believe FTP work is a good supplement to endurance training, but I don't believe FTP determines your ironman pace (correlation vs. causation). I believe it's possible to ride around 70% of your FTP for an ironman (I've done it a few times now), but I think it's your aerobic ('steady') conditioning that determines your ability to hold that pace for that long, not FTP. Simply having an FTP of 300 doesn't mean you can ride an ironman at 210 watts if you haven't done the appropriate amount of base/endurance work.

I personally find these debates a little strange because they turn into FTP vs. Base as if you can't incorporate both into your training. I do, but I don't do a lot of FTP work because of the recovery time it requires and I benefit more from aerobic, base work. But that's me.

Here's the link: http://alancouzens.blogspot.com/...ience-of-steady.html








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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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Rich Strauss wrote:
jmaley wrote:
80-85% of FTP! If that is where you are working or at least some of the time then the base required to go the distance will be getting formed. My concern was simply that Rich was advocating FTP work (95-105% FTP) without hardly a mention of some lower intensity endurance(muscular) type trg. If EN is advocating some trg in the 80-85% range then that covers off my concern with the endurance trg as that is essentially trg at your HIM race intensity.


Below is cut and paste from our 20wk advanced IM plan, week 13 Saturday long ride of 4.5hrs. Definitions:

  • WU = Warmup
  • MS = Main Set
  • ' = minutes
  • (x') = rest interval, in minutes
  • 95-100%/Z4/Hard = ride at 95-100% of FTP, or at a Z4 heart rate, or Hard, depending on whether you have power, heart rate, or nothing at all.
  • WD: Warmdown

Bike 4:30 WU: 20-30' @ 65-70%/Z1-2/Easy

MS:
8' (3') @ 95-100%/Z4/Hard

10' (3') @ 95-100%/Z4/Hard

12' (3') @ 95-100%/Z4/Hard

12' (4') @ 95-100%/Z4/Hard

10' (4') @ 95-100%/Z4/Hard

8' (4') @ 95-100%/Z4/Hard

6 x 12' (2') @ 80-85%/Z3/Mod-Hard

For each interval include 2' standing WITHOUT spiking watts or effort, ie, standing for position change only.

Remainder of ride time is @75-80%/Z2, in the aerobars, practicing steady riding: no surges, constant power, etc.

WD: 10' Easy spin.

As a frame of reference, and because we are talking power-speak, a well-paced Ironman bike leg will generally accrue 275-~300 TSS points from about 5:15 to 6hrs. Athletes riding longer than 6hrs will generally put up 300-330 TSS points. We can use these numbers as a frame of reference for our training rides: "If I expect to put up ~285 TSS on race day, and on my Saturday ride I just racked up ~275 TSS, I've basically introduced an Ironman-ride's worth of training stress to my body, even though I did so in 4.5hrs vs the 6hrs that my friends say I need to be doing.

Guarantee that that ride above will net you north of 275 TSS, maybe close to 300 in 4.5hrs vs 6hrs.

  • 95-100%: we include this so the athlete continues to lift their FTP
  • 80-85%: we've found we can dramatically increase the TSS/hr of a ride by having them spend a lot of time at this intensity.
  • 75-80%: a tick higher than IM intensity, so they get used to riding in the bars, fueling themselves, etc at just higher than IM intensity.
  • The standing, steady riding, no surging stuff: I want them to develop the skill of riding steady. To stand...without spiking watts; to ride hills...without spiking watts, focusing on their efforts on the crest and into the downhill, etc
  • Around this workout, we've also told them they are stapled into the aerobars from Week X through race day.
  • These last two bullets reflect, for me, the requirement for race specific training.
The ride is followed by a 30' brick run, as Easy out, Marathon Pace (per Jack Daniels) back.

Next is the same week, Sunday ride:

Bike 3:00 WU: 20-30' @ 65-70%/Z1/Easy

MS: Spend as much time @ 80-85%/Z3/Mod-Hard as possible. Take short recoveries as needed (eat, drink, etc),

WD: 10' Easy spin.

"But what about aerobic base, race specific intensity, how can you ride 6hrs on race day if you've only ridden 4.5hrs in training."

  • The plan will include 2 x race sims of 112 mile ride followed by a 6mi run.
  • Plan includes 1-2 "big days:" ~1hr swim, 4hr bike, 1hr run.
  • We encourage folks to schedule a high volume bike or tri week if they want and have the resources.
Finally, there's what you read in a book, there's what you learn by coaching a handful of IM athletes...then there's what you learn in 15+yrs of IM-only coaching and thousands of athletes. Those workouts above reflect the experience of the later. Just sayin'.

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seems very complicated and what good is a 30 foot brick run after? Why not "just ride hard for 4 1/2 hours" - push the hills, coast the downhills - make sure you drink enough.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [bmcmaster11] [ In reply to ]
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30' = 30 minutes
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [Supersquid] [ In reply to ]
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I don't think that anyone is really contending it's an either or proposition.

What's really being proposed is that there is a time and place for each - building speed and building stamnia. I prefer to think of it that way as that's what your really doing and it's a bit less emotion invoking.


Someone who has a reasonable level of fitness and history of training will take a very small amount of time to truly be prepared for a longer distance race. As such, why not leverage that and spend the time not required to specifically prepare for a long distance race by getting faster - raising your VO2max and or Threshold.

I think the reason that it turns into a bit of an and/or proposition is that your average guy/gal doesn't ahve the ability to recover from both high volume stamnia building work and VO2max/threshold work.

Another reason is turns into and/or is that Threshold work does do a really good job of building speed AND building stamnia - perhaps not enough for a HIM/IM in and of itself, but if you did nothing but 3x Threshold rides a week for a few months, you'd be pretty damn strong on the bike with an ability to go longer than you'd guess.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [sesel] [ In reply to ]
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sesel wrote:
packetloss wrote:
In answer to your other question, it doesn't matter how good your training is, if you don't have the genetics, you aren't even going to be close to competitive at the top level.


How many pros, let alone AGers, can no longer improve solely due to genetics?

....

I think blaming genetics for inferior results is really passing the buck. Not only that, but it diminishes the achievements of the best athletes. I don't doubt that Chrissie has genes that make her a natural athlete, but at the end of the day she puts everything together and delivers, and earns the result. People don't win triathlon races accidentally. There is literally an endless list of factors that we can control which effect performance.

Now you are twisting my comment. I never claimed you can't improve, that training style didn't help, or that you can strictly blame genetics for poor results. All I said is that if you don't have the proper genetics you aren't going to be competitive even if you had the best possible training, motivation, nutrition, rest, luck, equipment etc. Anyone who made it to the pro level, clearly has superior genetics - (high VO2, high economy), or some combination of the 2 that puts them above average.
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [big slow mover] [ In reply to ]
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big slow mover wrote:
packetloss wrote:

Now that isn't exactly true - although I would agree that your 28:32 minute power would be close enough. Training is a balance between overloading the proper systems and recovery. What is "special" about FTP is that it's at a high enough level to promote maximal adaption to the aerobic system, without requiring massive recovery time. You could train in the subthreshold zone and get good improvements too. With that said if you exclusively work at FTP or below, you won't be able to do repetitive 200% surges such are what is needed in Crits or road races.


Isn't it funny, that the maximal adaptation to the aerobic system occurs at ONE HOUR threshold? What if someone once decided our day had 12 hours instead of 24? Do you think we would give the same meaning to that "one hour" threshold power? I do think so.


I don't think it has anything to do with the length of a day. There is more behind it than this, but the main factor about FTP is that it's just at the limit to where you can maintain the effort for a decent amount of time. Thus it's right near the end of the bell shaped curve depicting effort against time that you can maintain that effort. Go just a bit above FTP and you aren't going to be holding it very long.

Technically, it appears that maximal gains are achieved at around 88-94% of FTP (according to Coggan). I would guess that is because you can hold those efforts even longer, but your still taxing your body quite a bit.
Last edited by: packetloss: Dec 30, 10 5:58
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [packetloss] [ In reply to ]
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packetloss wrote:
All I said is that if you don't have the proper genetics you aren't going to be competitive

Well it depends on what we're defining as 'competitive', but I disagree. Smart and serious training goes a long way. If we're talking 'competitive' in terms of winning major titles like the ITU World Championship Series, IM 70.3 and IM World Championships, then genetics is an important factor, but IMO it's still a long way down the list. If the top athletes slacked in their preparation it would be reflected in their results. Genes don't win titles.

Nick Baldwin | @baldwin_nick | Facebook
Drag2Zero| ISPC Seychelles
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [sesel] [ In reply to ]
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Training, execution and motivation being equal, genetics are the remaining differentiator....genetics may also play into how an athlete is wired from a motivation perspective. If you coach kids, some kids are just wired to excel....some are wired to accept second place :-)

Anyway, this thread is getting silly. I don't think Rich or anyone is arguing that FTP type training is better than 'base' type training. We're just talking about the timing of focusing on each type of training given the finite time and recovery resources of your average age grouper.....see my post above where I said, "last year's long course training and races is base for this winter's FTP training". Rich/EN is providing age grroupers with a practical framework for maximizing results off limited time...rather than squander hours away noodling around to generate the physiological adaptations that can be achieved in much shorter duration.

Rich....I've been doing this now for 20 years....race tris during the summer which are typically 2-11 hour races and require a bit more of a 'longer duration" focus to race specificity. In the winter race XC ski races, which at 30 min to 2.5 hour races which require lot of Threshold and VO2max type training (for the mass start races, it's like a bike race, so you have to train to stay in the pack). No surprise that I typically have had very good races at St. Croix and Wildflower coming off my winter race season :-). Tri season is base training for winter "speed" racing season (XC) :-).

I will call you to discuss how I can weave EN type training into this.....but maybe best to wait till I get through the next 2 months of racing on skis.

Dev
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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sentania wrote:
I think it depends on who you are listening to.

There are a number of threads where folks like lakerfan and Rich Strauss et al. are promoting, threshold work, and SST type work.

Others promote a bit more on/off.

Yet others the traditional "build a base"

I tend to think it is more dependent upon the time of year in relation to your A race, what your A race is, and what your current aerobic "skillset" is.


Just for clarity sake, what I truly promote from a general perspective is:

1. somewhat based on the athlete's response to a specific type of training stimulus
2. highly based on the athlete's schedule and their time available to train within that schedule
3. highly based on time of year

Having said that, I've said this a million times but it really comes down to achieving some rather simple principles in the sport. I think all of that magic/fancy protocol shit that people talk about is just that... shit. It's very safe to say that the more variability (on/off) you have in your training, the more challenging it becomes to balance the training stress -- a critical requirement within the progressive overload principle. I believe that most people screw up because they really don't know how to effectively accomplish a *progressive* overload so they end up getting hurt, cause muscle damage or just make little progress because they don't know how to push themselves.

SST is definitely not fancy but it enforces consistent hard work so there's not a lot of on/off stuff making it relatively easy to manage. If you choose an "on/off" approach you really have to keep your easy days easy and your hard days hard. I think I can count the number of males who have that kind of discipline on one hand. ;-) Your average female is a different story though.

Thanks, Chris
Last edited by: lakerfan: Jan 6, 11 21:34
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Re: Increasing FTP and Building IM Bike Distance [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry, I checked off the net for the holiday. My notes:

Endurance work
Yes, absolutely. But as Dev said, in my opinion it's a matter of timing. The method we use is to do it closer to the race, preferring to use lower volume for the balance of the season to create the opportunity to focus on lifting FTP, which we believe is at the core of cycling faster. That workout I shared is how we build endurance in this race prep phase.

Why FTP?
Fitness is in the muscles and the purpose of exercise to recruit a lot of muscles, forcing them to adapt and become better at what they do. Several years ago a smart guy named Andy Coggan said that FTP, your average power for a 60' TT, is a good benchmark to use because it's a power level that recruits a lot of muscle fibers and you can sit there a long time, forcing them to adapt. Since then thousands of cyclists and triathletes have used FTP as a benchmark and gotten faster for it. In short, because it works.

Complicated
I prefer "detailed." I prefer to give people detailed guidance and then show them how to amend that detail to fit their own personal riding situations and constraints.

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Rich Strauss
Endurance Nation Ironman 2013 and 2014 World Champion TriClub, Div I
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