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Mid week training for Weekend racing - what works

  • 09-05-2023 11:36am
    Registered Users Posts: 5,811 ✭✭✭

    First season in a long time for me to be racing at the weekends. For years my weekends consisted of long hilly routes early Saturday and/or Sunday morning and mid week I would do hill-interval training maybe 2 evenings, about an hour to an hour and a half. Throw in a bit of commuting and 3 gym sessions and that was me.

    This season I'm a bit at 6's and 7's trying to sort out a midweek schedule to compliment the Sunday racing and I just wondered what was working for other lads. Last week I did a hard, fast 75k spin on the Friday and I could feel it in the legs a bit too much on Sunday, so that was either too close or too hard or both. - What I'm thinking is - a soft spin to turn the legs on Saturday and probably tuesday and thursday hill intervals.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16,625 ✭✭✭✭dahat

    ... 40/20 , 30/15 efforts midweek work well in race season.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,811 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    Is that seconds on / seconds off? What's the "on" effort? And how many would you do?

    Tuesday night racing is starting next Tuesday which I hope to be able to do, so that would be a hard hour Tuesday after a hard 2 hours Sunday, so really I'd probably only have legs for one other session during the week, not too hard, and then something reasonably easy (and dare I say even enjoyable???!) Saturday. :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 383 ✭✭comete

    Sign up to trainerroad, tell it your availability and put in your A and B races and let AI do the rest.

    You can select to do workouts outdoors and it automatically loads it to your garmin.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    We're all different but two hard sessions is enough for me in one week. If the Sunday spin is hilly, fast and long then a lot of it is at threshold or above so I count that as a session.

    After that, I'll do 5 x 4 @ VO2 max or some over/unders. On a week with an easy Sunday I'll add in 4 x 10 at threshold on the Tuesday. The other spins I do are usually in around Zone 2.

    I do all the training, just need to grow a set and race now!

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,262 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    I think it's very n=1. I found I could get away with 3 workouts plus a race last season, but I'm conscious of being up a level and a year older this year so am playing it by ear and ready to drop a workout. Also, I'm building towards a trip in the summer, so the racing isn't my primary goal for the year.

    I don't race midweek - I can't make it work family wise (as well as being too much pressure to travel), but I tried a few last year and I found suddenly doing evening hard efforts didn't really work for me and I under performed (I train and race in the mornings generally).

    I use TrainerRoad, but I find their "openers" a bit hard for me - I generally do something easy, inside or out, on a Saturday. Normally just an hour's gravel to turn over the legs while I'm on dad cab duty to training.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,824 ✭✭✭levitronix

    Just what he said , tuesday some zone 4 outside that way its more of a under over, do these with a hard start and hard finish, sprint in sprint out. Wednesday do the ronnestad stuff on the trainer, its hard but your done in a hour. Endurance Friday . then your good to go ......

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,333 ✭✭✭beggars_bush

    Interesting thread

  • Registered Users Posts: 848 ✭✭✭gn3dr

    I was kind of curious about that with the AI . I just use Wahoo Systm X but not in any majorly structured way. Would you recommend Trainerroad as a solution for someone that doesn't have racing as a target or goal but just wants the most efficient fitness and weight loss benefits?

  • Registered Users Posts: 383 ✭✭comete

    I believe the plan configurator will ask you what you goals are if you don’t have any events logged in your calendar and the AI will adjust a plan around that, or there’s a train now section that recommends an ad-hoc session based on your recent sessions.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,625 ✭✭✭✭dahat

    15 min warm up increasing to Z3 at the end

    Set 1 - 30 secs Z6 15 secs Z1 x 4-6 depending on fitness @ 110 rpm

    4mins rest

    Set 2 - 40 secs Z5 20 secs Z1 x 4-6 depending on fitness @110 rpm

    4mins rest

    Set 3 - repeat set 1

    4 mins rest

    Cooldown by riding home.

    A good set for sharpening the legs and it will be testing. If feeling good you can always add in an extra 40/20.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,262 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    The A event can be a sportive (Gran Fondo in their speak), and it will give you a sustained power plan. I find the Adaptive Training works, if you're honest with how you answer the post workout survey. Most complaints I see are from people who do a lot outside of TrainerRoad (Adaptive Training doesn't fully adjust to that at this point), who seem reluctant to pick their low volume plans. I do most of my training inside, on trainerroad (as that works for me family/ work wise) fwiw.

    I've used it for years at this stage, including as part of weight loss. I prefer my own entertainment than the zwift/ rgt avatar, but that's very individual. I enjoyed zwift over the lockdowns, got bored of it once I could actually mix outside and went back to just TrainerRoad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,811 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    Sounds good, I'll give that a go.

    And in terms of timing - how close to race day would you do a hard session like that? Presuming Sunday race, is that a wed or thurs session?

    I raced last Sunday, did nothing Monday, went out yesterday evening for an hour 5x 6-7 minute hill repeats and about 3 mins rest (descending) between each. Not sure what zone it was tbh but high threshold. I was tired going out but felt fine once started.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,625 ✭✭✭✭dahat

    Below is an this weeks training for me working back from raceday. Some of these will involve positional work and/or cadence efforts.

    Sunday race

    Saturday - pre race session 60-90mins

    Friday off

    Thursday sub threshold

    Wednesday - threshold

    Tuesday - 40/20, 30/15

    Monday - off

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,419 ✭✭✭joey100

    Think it will depend on the race too, you can't go into every race as if it's your A race, so could be worth picking some to target. Others will become training races, done after a week of training normally too. If you were to stop the harder training because of the races and have easy days before and after you will start to lose fitness. Better to know you will go into some tired and do some work during the week.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,811 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    Yeah. Commuted to work today (20 mins each way) and my legs were dog tired so I'm gonna do nothing this evening. Might try the 40/20's tomorrow, could finish my normal threshold hill repeats with a few

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,161 ✭✭✭JMcL

    I've been using TR since last year, and by and large I'm quite happy with it. I'm not sure I've got my head around the ins and outs of low/medium/high volume, but I've gone with low volume to fit in with family commitments. I think next year I'd supplement it with "Train now" one or two days a week - probably at Z2. I'd rack up a Netflix box set or something to stave off the boredom, and get a good fan. Also you're probably looking at 6 months for one of their plans.

    The AI FTP calculation seems to be fairly accurate. I've been using it for a few months now, and I'd say it's pretty much bang on. It certainly beats the misery that is a ramp test, though you'll probably need one of those initially if you don't actually know your FTP

    It's good for fitness - I'd say my FTP is up about 15% since February (from a fairly miserable starting level following an autumn of viruses). As far as weight loss is concerned though, you'll need to look at diet for that as well (I am that soldier).

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,262 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    LV is 3 workouts a week - 2x 1 hour, 1 x 90mins

    MV is 5 workouts - 3 key (but can be 3x 90 minute ones), an easy one and a moderate sweetspot (that can be swapped for longer easy one).

    HV I've never looked at as they don't really recommend, but I think 6 days a week.

    LV with additions is probably the place to start.

  • Registered Users Posts: 743 ✭✭✭Arthurdaly

    I wouldn't put too much faith in Trainer road once you start introducing a significant amount of time on the road. The planner is TSS based so does not really take into consideration the true level of effort in a Sunday race.

    Given you are racing Sunday and Tuesday it doesn't leave much room for further high intensity sessions.

    It's all personal of course and depends how hard/long the races are, if you are sitting in the bunch then you could possibly fit in a V02max or Threshold session on the Thur. I take it the Tuesday race is a handicap club league so if you are in the correct group that won't be an easy race but probably on the short side.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,811 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    Yeah, once the Tuesday starts, the racing will be the training really. It's just a big change from previous years in terms of weekly mileage, but at a much higher intensity. I have to adapt to the effort and the recovery required and the type of training that will compliment.

    Diet is an issue too. My sugar cravings and intake has sky-rocketed, again because of the higher intensity efforts. I could do with losing a few kilos too but I'm happy with my race performances thus far and I'd be more inclined to fuel appropriately and err on the plus side rather than calorie-deficiting my way to getting dropped! :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,262 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    Anything that's not a real life personal coach is going to need user input and judgement. However, if you follow the usual TrainerRoad schedule, the hard workouts will be Tuesday/ Thursday/ Saturday. If you add a "B" race Sunday, it will drop the Saturday workout (for an opener if you take that option), and if you put the Race on Tuesday as B or C race, it will drop that workout too. Effectively leaving one workout for the week and an easy day (at MV).

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  • Registered Users Posts: 743 ✭✭✭Arthurdaly

    True, I love TR in the off season but it's difficult to manage around races. I'm not young so a hard 100km race of say 200TSS on the Sunday for example means I would struggle with an early morning Tue hard TR session, I'd get through it but can often lead to large amounts of fatigue at some point down the line.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,262 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    For me, it depends on my recovery - often hampered by the post race goo for a few afternoon cold ones! But yes, I'm definitely trying to listen to my body more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,625 ✭✭✭✭dahat

    I’d be eating more on the bike & less off it especially on rest days where higher intake of protein is better. A nice long endurance spin of 4 hrs will allow you to pig out on the bike 😂.

    Two races a week is hard graft unless you have good groundwork done for it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,688 ✭✭✭Whyner

    The Tuesday races are class. A good bit shorter than Sundays. I race twice a week also. I would not be doing any further high intensity stuff. I don't believe in targeting races unless you're elite. Race as often as possible and take your chances when they present themselves. Maybe an extra days rest but nothing drastic

    That hard 75k spin makes little sense. I'd be takng Friday off and doing an easy spin with some openers early Sat morning, 75 mins max. Take Monday off also, train Wed, Thurs. Hill repeats could mean lots of things. Do a test and get your zones defined

    Whatever works, stick to it and get the body used to the new routine

    See you in the Curragh 😁


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,811 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    Curragh Hill repeats it is!

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,262 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    I don't believe in targeting races unless you're elite.

    Well yes and no, could be a different race/ event; not necessarily a race in a league. fwiw my A event, and what I'm building towards isn't even a race, it's Raid Alpine.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,262 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    Wasn't 100km, but still hard as f*ck yesterday, so I'll be dropping down to two hard workouts this week! Need to get back to race weight after a few weekends of excess as the rolling courses are killing me.

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,266 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell

    Whatever you're doing, it's working @fat bloke

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,811 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    Indeed! I'd say I'll have my efforts "rewarded" shortly enough by being yanked out of the walled orange garden and thrown into the black pit of obscurity, anonymity and despair :D :D

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,262 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    I thought orange was the pit of obscurity, anonymity and despair? It is for some of us anyway!