Sunday, July 08, 2007

Training Week -- 7/2 - 7/8

Mixed it up a bit with some shorter intervals and some sprints.

Number of rides: 7
Riding time: 13 hrs
Time in mid/high aerobic zone: 5 hrs
Best ride of the week: 4th-of-July climbing in the early morning
Other: nothing
- Had a mild cold Friday-Sunday


Chester said...

Do you do most of your training solo? with your team? with freinds?
How do you know what to do when?

Marco Fanelli said...


The more motivated I am, the more solo training I do. Typically it's about 50/50. Our Tue/Wed/Thu lunchtime rides are good because we push each other. Lately I've been wishing we had some more structured interval and sprint group rides.

One of the coolest things about bike racing, as opposed to, say, running or triathlons, is how varied the physiological demands are. There's always more to work on than there is time or capacity available, and choosing where to focus is a challenge for anybody. A popular saying is to "train your weaknesses and race your strengths" which makes some sense as long as you've got your strength(s) going at least pretty good.

I'm a big believer in variety in training. Around SB, too many people rely on the same old group rides for all their training, and too few people go up into the mountains. That's just my opinion. Also, since almost every race ends in some sort of sprint, most people should be doing some dedicated sprint training.

For a new racer, the key is to find your natural strengths and weaknesses, and also decide what kind of races you like. Those don't always coincide--sometimes natural sprinters like the road races better and vice versa. Once you've figured out those things, it'll be more clear where you should put your training energy.

Chester said...

How do you figure out what your natural strengths are?

Marco Fanelli said...

You do the Echelon ride, right? Relative to everyone else on the ride, how are you on the hills in Hope Ranch? Can you pull harder/faster/longer than other people on the flat parts of Cathedral Oaks? If you are there at the end for the sprint up Glen Annie, how does that go for you? I already know you can go up OSM pretty fast, so clearly you've got decent aerobic power-to-weight ratio.

Bottom line is, after doing lots of group rides and races, you'll know where you go good and where you have trouble.

Chester said...

ok one last question for you mark. What consitutes "Dedicated Sprint Training"

Marco Fanelli said...


Questions are great; hopefully my answers are useful...

By "dedicated sprint training" I mean a training day where your ride's only purpose is to train for sprinting. For example, a good sprint day would be to ride for an hour or so to get warmed up, and then do 10-15 hard sprints. And just to be clear, a "sprint" is a 10-15 second MAXIMUM effort.

One of the fun things about sprint training, in my opinion, is that there are a lot of different ways to do it. Pick a 200-300 meter stretch of straight rode (e.g., near the end of Glen Annie) and then roll up to your start at ~20 mph and then jump with maximum force and try to get as high of a max speed as you can by the end. Repeat a few times with just a few minutes rest between. Then give yourself 10 minutes of rolling around and then do another set of three. Mix it up--start at higher speed; have a shorter/longer stretch of road; try it with a lower/bigger gear; slight uphill/downhill. Lots of things to play with.

Another really good sprint workout is what's called "stomps". In a pretty big gear, roll to a near stop like a track-stand, and then jump (stomp on the pedals) as hard as you can and get up to speed as fast as you can. Hands in the drops and out of the saddle, putting your whole body into the effort. Again, do that over 200-300 meters. A couple sets of those done right, and your legs will be quivering like a bowl of jello.

If you've got several people doing the sprint training, then take turns leading it out and take turns spriting from the back. For decades here in SB, a favorite spot for group sprint training has been the west end of Padaro Ln. where a group of 2-5 would roll down the hill from the freeway overpass and the front guy would get the speed up to ~30 mph and then at a specified spot, the riders behind would sprint around. It can be done in a more organized, sequential way with several lead-out people each upping the speed a bit, or it can be more of a free-for-all. Its also a good place for people to figure out whether they like to sprint long, from the front, or pop out at the last minute with a short acceleration.

If you incorporate sprints into your training, then you have to measure your progress. Obviously having a power meter would help--you could use your max wattage in a 10 second sprint as a benchmark. Without a power meter, just pay attention to max speed.

Chester said...

Thanks Mark. Your Answers are very helpful.