More training information

Bravo on the great work outs today. I was very much impressed with the work and dedication shown today and I really want to thank the coaches and volunteers who came out and supported all the kids today.

 

Please all riders take a second to read the information below. I think it will really complement all that you know and that I have tried to teach. This is a great tool that I do believe will complement, help and support your overall knowledge of training concepts.

 

After a few days I presume that you all have read this and that this is common knowledge. I say this because I will use this as a base level of knowledge as I start to try and discuss things with you all.

 

The power training zones, described below, were developed by drawing upon fundamental principles of exercise physiology as well as approximately two decades of experience with power-based training in both laboratory and field settings. Some of the logic behind the development of this classification scheme is described below.

 

Please everyone that uses a power meter have your numbers taped to your bike so that you don’t have to guess. You may redo them in any way that you like and please reference the chart below to re-calculate your values if you like/.

 

Basis for System and Number of Zones

Power at lactate threshold (LT) is the most important physiological determinant of endurance cycling performance, since it integrates VO2max, the percentage of VO2max that can be sustained for a given duration, and cycling efficiency. As such, it is more logical to define training zones relative to an athlete’s threshold power, vs., for example, power at VO2max (just as it is more logical to define HR-based training levels relative to threshold HR vs. maximal HR). On the other hand, determining the appropriate number of zones is somewhat arbitrary, since the physiological responses to exercise really fall on a continuum, with one intensity domain simply blending into the next. A compromise must therefore be made between defining more zones, thus better reflecting this fact, and defining fewer zones, for the sake of simplicity. In the present system, seven zones were felt to be the minimum needed to represent the full range of physiological responses and to adequately describe the different types of training required/used to meet the demands of competitive cycling. The table shown below lists the primary physiological adaptations expected to result from training at each zone, although these will obviously be influenced by factors such as the initial fitness of the individual, the duration of each workout, the time taken between each interval effort, etc.

Determination of Lactate Threshold Power

At least in theory, the most precise way of determining an athlete’s power at LT would be to rely on laboratory-based testing with invasive blood sampling. Very few individuals, however, have access to such measurements on a routine basis. Furthermore, while LT is often defined by sports scientists as the initial non-linear increase in lactate with increasing exercise intensity, this intensity tends to be significantly below that which coaches and athletes tend to associate, on the basis of practical experience, with the concept of a “threshold” exercise intensity. Thus, probably the easiest and most direct way of estimating a rider’s functional threshold power is to simply rely on data collected in the field using a power meter.

Heart Rate Guidelines

Relating or translating the specified power levels to corresponding heart rate (HR) ranges or zones is somewhat difficult, due to the inherent variability of HR as well as individual differences in the power-HR relationship (even when referenced to threshold power). Nonetheless, approximate HR guidelines have been provided in Table 1, such that they can be used along with power to help guide training if desired.

Perceived Exertion (PE) Guidelines

The values given are from Borg’s 10 point category-ratio scale, shown below, not the original 20 point scale that is more commonly used. The category-ratio scale is used because it explicitly recognizes the non-linear response of many physiological variables (e.g., blood and muscle lactate), and thus provides a better indicator of overall effort. Since perceived exertion increases over time even at a constant exercise intensity (power), the suggested values or ranges refer to perceived effort as determined relatively early in a training session/series of intervals.

Other Issues

While the system is based on the average power during a workout or interval effort, consideration must also be given to the distribution of power. For example, average power during mass start races typically falls within zone 3, but races are often more stressful than training at zone 3, due to the greater variability (and therefore higher peaks) in power. Similarly, due to soft-pedaling/coasting, the same average power achieved during a hilly ride or group training session will not reflect the same stress as the same average power achieved during a completely flat ride or solo workout. In part, the variability in power is taken into account in defining the various zones, especially zones 2 and 3 (training at the higher zones will tend to be much more structured, thus limiting variations in power). Furthermore, there is obviously an inverse relationship between power output and the duration that power can be sustained. Thus, it is axiomatic that power during shorter training sessions or efforts will fall towards the higher end of a given range, whereas power during longer sessions or efforts will fall towards the lower end of a given range. Nonetheless, a workout consisting of, for example, 30 min of cycling at zone 1 (as warm-up), 60 min of cycling at zone 3, and another 30 min of cycling at zone 1 (as warm down) would best be described as a tempo training session, even though the overall average power might fall within zone 2.

TABLE 1 – POWER BASED TRAINING ZONES (COGGAN POWER ZONES)

Level Name Average Power Average HR Perceived Exertion Description
1 Active Recovery <55% <68 <2 “Easy spinning” or “light pedal pressure”, i.e., very low level exercise, too low in and of itself to induce significant physiological adaptations. Minimal sensation of leg effort/fatigue. Requires no concentration to maintain pace, and continuous conversation possible. Typically used for active recovery after strenuous training days (or races), between interval efforts, or for socializing.
2 Endurance 56-75% 69-83% 2-3 “All day” pace, or classic long slow distance (LSD) training. Sensation of leg effort/fatigue generally low, but may rise periodically to higher levels (e.g., when climbing). Concentration generally required to maintain effort only at highest end of range and/or during longer training sessions. Breathing is more regular than at level 1, but continuous conversation still possible. Frequent (daily) training sessions of moderate duration (e.g., 2 h) at level 2 possible (provided dietary carbohydrate intake is adequate), but complete recovery from very long workouts may take more than 24 hs.
3 Tempo 76-90% 84-94% 3-4 Typical intensity of fartlek workout, ‘spirited’ group ride, or briskly moving paceline. More frequent/greater sensation of leg effort/fatigue than at level 2. Requires concentration to maintain alone, especially at upper end of range, to prevent effort from falling back to level 2. Breathing deeper and more rhythmic than level 2, such that any conversation must be somewhat halting, but not as difficult as at level 4. Recovery from level 3 training sessions more difficult than after level 2 workouts, but consecutive days of level 3 training still possible if duration is not excessive and dietary carbohydrate intake is adequate.
4 Lactate Threshold 91-105% 95-105%(may not be achieved during initial phases of effort(s)) 4-5 Just below to just above TT effort, taking into account duration, current fitness, environmental conditions, etc. Essentially continuous sensation of moderate or even greater leg effort/fatigue. Continuous conversation difficult at best, due to depth/frequency of breathing. Effort sufficiently high that sustained exercise at this level is mentally very taxing – therefore typically performed in training as multiple ‘repeats’, ‘modules’, or ‘blocks’ of 10-30 min duration. Consecutive days of training at level 4 possible, but such workouts generally only performed when sufficiently rested/recovered from prior training so as to be able to maintain intensity.
5 VOMax 106-120% >106% 6-7 Typical intensity of longer (3-8 min) intervals intended to increase VO2max. Strong to severe sensations of leg effort/fatigue, such that completion of more than 30-40 min total training time is difficult at best. Conversation not possible due to often ‘ragged’ breathing. Should generally be attempted only when adequately recovered from prior training – consecutive days of level 5 work not necessarily desirable even if possible. Note: At this level, the average heart rate may not be due to slowness of heart rate response and/or ceiling imposed by maximum heart rate)
6 Anaerobic Capacity >121% N/A >7 Short (30 s to 3 min), high intensity intervals designed to increase anaerobic capacity. Heart rate generally not useful as guide to intensity due to non-steady-state nature of effort. Severe sensation of leg effort/fatigue, and conversation impossible. Consecutive days of extended level 6 training usually not attempted.
7 Neuromuscular
Power
N/A N/A *
(Maximal)
Very short, very high intensity efforts (e.g., jumps, standing starts, short sprints) that generally place greater stress on musculoskeletal rather than metabolic systems. Power useful as guide, but only in reference to prior similar efforts, not TT pace.

TABLE 2 – EXPECTED PHYSIOLOGICAL/PERFORMANCE ADAPTATIONS RESULTING FROM TRAINING AT LEVELS 1-7:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Increased plasma volume ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Increased muscle mitochondrial enzymes ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Increased lactate threshold ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Increased muscle glycogen storage ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Hypertrophy of slow twitch muscle fibers ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Increased muscle capillarization ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Interconversion of fast twitch muscle fibers (type IIb -> type IIa) ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Increased stroke volume/maximal cardiac output ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Increased VO2 Max ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Increased muscle high engergy phosphate (ATP/PCr) Stores ✔✔
Increased anaerobic capacity (“lactate tolerance”) ✔ ✔ ✔
Hypertrophy of fast twitch fibers ✔✔
Increased neuromuscular power ✔ ✔ ✔

TABLE 3 – BORG’S 10 POINT CATEGORY-RATIO SCALE OF PERCEIVED EXERTION:

Perceived Exertion Description
0 Nothing at all
0.5 Extremely weak
1 Very weak
2 Weak (light)
3 Moderate
4 Somewhat Strong
5 Strong (Heavy)
6
7 Very Strong
8
9
10 Extremely Strong
* Maximal

Building Block Week 1

Congratulations to everyone who rode on Sunday. I heard nothing but the most positive feed back from all the coaches. They were quite impressed with you passion and efforts.

 

I will say the same congratulations to all the kids that I took to the mountain bike race. Every youth that raced three laps all had a faster last lap then second. What that tells me is that you all stayed committed and proud when the race became its hardest. That level of self trust is priceless. Congratulations to you all.

 

Now that have built our base and we have rested and power tested we are ready to start to get fast.

 

These next three are going to be very structured and hard. They will make you fast. These next three weeks are some of the best structure many of you are going to get all season as soon enough we start to race a lot. So please commit to these weeks. Try your very best to come and be ready to work hard. They will be hard so please emotionally and mentally prepare before coming.

 

Tuesday– RD bikes

 

Wednesday– 3:45 RD and MTB

4:30 MTB only

 

Thursday– RD bikes

 

Please notice that I did not put the exact workouts here. It does not matter. You come to practice to work hard and I will tell you then. I don’t want anyone to skip a practice because they think it is going to be too hard. This is intentional.

 

Saturday– 7:15 Old Man with Extra

7:30 Big Kid with Madera

8:30 B Ride. All C Team riders have now been moved up

 

Sunday– 8:30 am leave the clubhouse.

Valley kids — Mt Lemmon

8:30 am Bonelli Boys– Bugs Springs riding up from the Base. Driving a van to the base

8 am meet. All others– Gabe Z bound. Heading north and south.

Wednesday Practice and weekend info

Wednesday — All start times are 4:30 today. So the power talk and the ride for the MTB kids all start at 4:30 today.

 

Saturday– B+C Team ride starts at 8:30. No extra we want you ready for the power test on Sunday

 

Old Man and Big Kid Shoot Out no extra. 7:15 and 7:30 starts

 

Saturday MTB crew— We will depart at 9 am.

We will arrive back home by 6 pm ish

 

Please bring a change of clothes with an El Grupo T shirt, a hat, and change of shoes. Do not arrive  in full kit. Change at the venue.

Also bring food you want to eat. We will have some lunch stuff, but bring things you like to snack on.

 

Sunday– 8:30 am leave the clubhouse heading to Mt Lemmon for Power test. Please ensure that all power materials are ready, this included Heart Rate if that is what you use.

We should be at the base of the mountain by 9:30 and we should be done with the test by 10:30 thus having us home by 11:30- Noonish.

 

 

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