Thursday, September 28, 2006

Training zones explained

As requested, here is a quick explanation of my training zones:

I-1 - 45-60% of max VO2, 60-72% of max HR, 0.8-1.5 lactate levels

I-2 - 65-80% of max VO2, 72-82% of max HR, 1.5-2.5 lactate levels

I-3 - 80-87% of max VO2, 82-87% of max HR, 2.5-4.0 lactate levels

I-4 - 87-94% of max VO2, 87-92% of max HR, 4.o-6.0 lactate levels

I-5 - 94-100% of max VO2, 94-100% of max HR, 6.0-10.0 lactate levels

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

October - Month 1, 2007

Periodic goal - Maintain energy, have fun. Stay healthy and focused. Maintain quality and mental tasks during training.

I have 9 high intensity sessions planned for this month. 7 of them are threshold (I-3) sessions, while 2 are distance sessions (16km TT - I-4).

Each week has 1 rest-day planned, but as always - listening to my body is nr. 1 priority. If I need more rest, I'll simply take it.

Each week also has 3 core-strength sessions, as I described recently in an earlier posting. Other than that, I've got easy, I-1 rides scheduled. Total monthly training load is just over 60 hours.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Brad W. speaks out -

Right on, man! Well said.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Random thoughts

As promised, I will give a detailed description of my training plan, month by month, in the run-up to the 2007 season. Next week I will post my plan for the month of October, which is the first month of preparation for me.

On the year as a whole, I have started to evaluate the now dwindling season. What worked in terms of training? What didn't work? What do I need to focus on for next year?

Well, lets start with what didn't work so well in the 2006 season - as some of you might remember, I incorporated quite a bit of max strength training this year, hoping that it would improve efficiency. In fact, it might have improved efficiency, but I felt that I was sacrificing recovery time. In other words, the amount of time I was spending lifting affected my time and energy available for specific training on the bike. So, as a whole, the strength training was a bad choice on my part. Needless to say, I will not be doing any max strength training in the gym this year. This will free up time, and more importantly energy, for specific training on the bike. If I do some strength training, it will be Obree-style on the fixed gear.

Moving on, as a whole I probably did about 15-20 percent high intensity training (I-3 to I-5), with the brunt of that closer to the beginning of the season. This year I will be increasing the amount of high intensity training and decreasing volume a little bit. In other words, training the engine will be more of a focus area. I plan to do lots of I-3 training (threshold), simply because it is very easy to recover from and the trend in most endurance sports is just that. More and more time spent with I-3 training. Of course - there will also be quite a bit of I-4 and I-5 training, but that will come later (November through April).

I will also change my periodization slightly. Starting in November, I will have a capacity period of 6-12 days of very hard training (exclusively high intensity, I-4 to I-5) every 4-5 weeks. These periods will be very, very tough, but should give a good boost of performance. As always, it becomes extremely important to listen to the body during these periods. Knowing when to push and when to rest becomes vital. One of the overriding goals will be to stay healthy the whole year.

In a nutshell, from November through April, I will have two normal weeks followed by a very hard period, which in turn is followed by an easy week. Simple and basic, but very effective in terms of development. As always, the most important week is the easy week.

Quality, quality, quality. This will be my motto in 2007. Everything that I do needs to have top quality. All training, including the easy rides, food, rest, sleep, mental focus - nothing will be done without top quality.

Flexibility - I did some good work on that in 2006 and will certainly continue that next year. This is almost a daily thing, except after hard sessions. I have seen good results from it, since I can now produce more power in a more aerodynamic (lower) position.

Core strength - Another good area from 2006, which will be continued next year. Basically, I will do 3 sessions a week, year round. Each session lasts about 40 minutes, excluding warm-up, so it's fast and easy.

So, what about the future? Well, in the grand-scheme of things, the main goal still exists - I will be in the top 5 in the world by 2010 - 2011. That's a big goal, and every day, month and year is a small step towards that goal. On paper, it's pretty simple - to reach the top I need to be able to maintain 50-53 km/h for a 1 hour effort in the TT, for example. Each season, I need to take small steps towards the increase in performance. With proper training, each day, it is a realistic, but gutsy, goal.

As an interesting side-note, I have been experimenting with the 4000 m pursuit in training this year, and it turns out that I have some potential in this event. With very little training for this event, I have been posting some pretty fast times and I might be aiming for riding some world cups in this event in the future. With some small changes in equipment, position and specific training - I might be looking at doing a double (track and road), if possible.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Nurturing a cold

Well, looks like I've got the standard end-of-season infection. Not a big crisis really, my head is almost entirely focused on the upcoming season. I will start preparing for it on October 1st, although that month will be relatively slow and easy. Trying to recharge mental batteries. I will post my training plan and goals for each month of season prep this year, so if you are interested - stop by towards the end of September to find out what I'm going to be doing in October.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A great loss

Rest in peace, Steve Irwin. The world has lost a great animal conservationist. A sad day indeed.

Friday, September 01, 2006

True or false

Ever notice how the shoulders and upper body starts to rock on some riders, when they start fatiguing during a time trial?

Well, could this be caused by poor / weak core strength? With a strong, stabilizing core - it gives the lower body a stable and rigid force to push against. Even after fatigue. True or false?