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Old 09-03-2012, 10:27 AM   #1
RustyBrooks
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RustyBrooks abandons LSD

So I've been cycling kind of a lot of the last few years. About a year and a half ago I ruptured a disc in my lower back and so was off the bike (and all other forms of exercise) for something like 9 months. I started up again last winter but it was pretty aimless - a lot of what they call LSD (long slow distance). My goal for that year was to get back into shape enough to ride the MS150, a bike ride from Houston to Austin that takes place over 2 days (as the name suggests, it's about 150 miles)

I have never systematically trained. So this year I decided to give it a try. I read "The Cyclists Training Bible" and "Training with Power" and "The Time Crunched Cyclist". I decided to go with the last one - I do not really have the time to put 13 hours/week into cycling. TCC is between 5-7 hours/week and I think I can swing that.

I also started Starting Strength over the summer, about 8 weeks ago. I'm going to try to continue with that although I think I'm going to reduce to 2 days/week. I'd rather not give this up and I don't think I'll have to. Programming could be a problem - I have 2-3 days off with the cycling program but I don't want to work every day, so I'll probably have some days with 2 workouts. Any advice in this area would be appreciated.

My goal is to improve my speed at all distances. There are a few rides I have in mind for benchmarks. I'll also probably test some common cycling metrics fairly regulary.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:34 AM   #2
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

So to kick it off, yesterday I completed what TCC calls a "CTS" test. I don't remember what the acronym stands for but it's a simple road test you can do instead of the more complicated/expensive "FTP" test. FTP stands for "Functional Threshold Power" and is the number of watts to you can sustain right at anaerobic threshold. A cyclist only has a few minutes of aneorbic work in him but top cyclists stay at their threshold for long periods.

The test consists of a warmup, followed up 8 minutes ridden as hard as you can ride for that time, a cool down, and then another 8 minutes of the same. Then you ride home slowly to cool down. You take the average power for each period and average heart rate, and take the highest of each.

DatePowerHeartrateWeight
2012-09-02226161184

I was expecting a number more like 250-275. FTP is usually calculated at 10% less than the power number shown here, so basically 203 watts. This puts me in the "untrained" category. I'd like to see this number at least be in the next category up (which is "poor" but this is the range that most category 5 racers are in). If I could get it into this range I would consider doing cat 5 races or time trials.

The program now wants me to rest for a few days and then get started.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:47 AM   #3
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

I love cycling although I am not serious about training in this sport. I will definitely subscribe to your thread though and I wish you good luck. I am particularly interested in seeing how SS affects your endurance training. I want to complement my running with SS in the near future so this will be a good glimpse into my future!
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:49 AM   #4
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Pics of bike or gtfo.

Last edited by tsearcher; 09-03-2012 at 10:49 AM. Reason: Good luck and have fun. Will be following thread with great interest.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:58 AM   #5
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

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Pics of bike or gtfo.
Hm, don't know if I have any. It's nothing special - bog standard Specialized Secteur, pure entry level. Less than $1000 new.

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Old 09-03-2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Nice. Thanks.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:33 PM   #7
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

So I guess I'm going to post my planned workouts here a week in advance. Unlike something like SS where the workouts are pretty unvaried, there are a lot of different things going on per week. The program is based on intervals performed within a larger ride. So for example the book might say "ride 60-90 minutes of 'endurance miles' and perform 3 SS intervals of 8 minutes each, with 5 minutes rest in between". But the book means that your ride should be 60-90 minutes *total* so you have to subtract out the intervals to figure out how long the regular ride should be. Kind of weird but that's how he does it.

DayWorkout 1Workout 2
Mon45-60 min E 
Tue60-90 min EM with 3x8min SS (5 min RBI) 
WedRest DayWeight Lifting?
Thurs60-90 min EM with 3x8min SS (5 min RBI) 
FriRest Day 
Sat90-120 min EM 
Sun90-120 min EMWeight Lifting?

So a few acronyms from the book:
EM = "Endurance Miles", steady riding at 45-73% of your CTS power
SS = "Steady State", intervals performed at 80-85% of your CTS power, around 90% of your HR
PI = "Power Interval", short intervals performed at or above your CTS power (usually 105% being about the minimum).
OU = "Over/Under intervals", these are sort of a combination of SS and climbing repeats. I'm a little skeptical of how I'll really work these in but we'll see.

There is really no way with my schedule to do long rides any day but weekends so I pretty much have to do this starting on mondays. So, I'll start this coming monday (not today obviously). I plan to do a ride or two this week to establish base line times on the routes I plan to use to gauge performance improvement.

Last edited by RustyBrooks; 09-03-2012 at 06:35 PM. Reason: FML I need to put weight lifting in here somewhere too
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:36 PM   #8
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

SS Workout. Moved from 3/week to 2/week starting this week.

ExerciseWeightxReps
HBBS65.0x5, 105.0x5, 155.0x5, 155.0x5, 155.0x5
Bench Press65.0x7, 105.0x5, 135.0x5, 130.0x5, 130.0x5
Deadlift115.0x5, 165.0x5, 195.0x5
Pull-Ups7, 7, 7

Yeah, I know. I'm working on it.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:40 PM   #9
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Looks fine to me dude.

Height/weight?
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:27 PM   #10
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

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Looks fine to me dude.

Height/weight?
6' / 180lb

strstd.com puts me at well below novice at pretty much anything. I only recently climbed out of "untrained" for the shoulder press.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:34 PM   #11
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

This thread is NOT what I thought it would be about. I'm going to try doing a search for "shaun deeb bananas" to get the nasty taste of fitness out of my brain.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:54 AM   #12
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

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This thread is NOT what I thought it would be about. I'm going to try doing a search for "shaun deeb bananas" to get the nasty taste of fitness out of my brain.
Or go find the video of Krantz and someone else laughing hysterically while stacking some guy stoned out of their minds on brownies or something.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:21 AM   #13
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Interesting log, nice to read something different. I'll be keeping an eye on this log cos I've got a vague idea in my head atm about doing a triathlon next year, so cycling training is something I'm going to have to learn about. If I decide to go ahead with it then I'll be joining you on the bike early next year.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:54 AM   #14
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

OK so today I did my 2 reference rides. I'm a little pissed that Strava isn't picking one of them up. If I try to add it as a segment it's like ARE YOU SURE YOU DIDN'T MEAN THIS EXISTING SEGMENT? Yes, I did. Use that one. But it still doesn't. OK, so I had to add it up manually.

Reference trackDistanceTimeAvg Power
Cele Loop10.8mi37:25167w
Immanuel climb.5mi1:45310w

The best times for these on Strava are about 31:00 and 1:20 respectively so I have some room to improve. My time for the first one is my best time ever - although usually it happens in the middle of a longer ride and not by itself.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:56 AM   #15
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

What are reference rides and Strava?
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:22 AM   #16
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

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What are reference rides and Strava?
Strava is a website/phone app that takes rides you've ridden and finds common "segments" in them that have been recorded by other people. So for example a lot of people ride the same basic places I do so the loop I did this morning is a segment on strava already. On any ride you do the website finds all the segments that match your ride and so you can compare yourself to other people (and also look at your performance on that same segment over time)

The reference rides are just sort of something I'm doing in my spare time before I start the program on monday. I'll ride them again at the "end" and maybe in the middle also, to see if I can put out more power, have a better time, etc. I'll use them as a reference for performance improvements.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:32 PM   #17
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

ExerciseWeightxReps
HBBS65.0x5, 105.0x5, 160.0x5, 155.0x5, 155.0x5
Shoulder Press35.0x5, 55.0x5, 80.0x5, 75.0x5, 70.0x6
Deadlift115.0x5, 165.0x5, 205.0x5
Chinup7, 7, 5
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:48 PM   #18
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

What do you use to measure power output? I've always been a geek about that stuff, but the tools all seem really expensive
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:58 PM   #19
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

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What do you use to measure power output? I've always been a geek about that stuff, but the tools all seem really expensive
The first one I had was a Polar unit. It worked but it was extremely finicky. It mounts on the chainstay and measures vibration in the chain. It also had a little unit on the derailleur that counted linked. My basic problem was that it was a strong magnet and the chain would stick to it, and it wouldn't always activate it. I bought a used unit though so maybe it was a bum one.

What I have now is a powertap. If you're on a budget it's probably what I'd recommend. You can buy a lightly used wheel on ebay for something like $500 if you're patient. This is a pretty good deal since most wheels cost a few hundred bucks already. Then you need a computer that uses ANT+ - there are a lot of them, I'm using the Garmin Edge. You can find these on ebay for $150-200ish depending on options.

Not cheap obviously - this is approaching the total cost of my bike. Training with power is not a strict requirement but I decided that it was worth the money to me to give it a try. Keep in mind that power meters didn't exist at all until like the 90s and in the 70s (and 80s?) there weren't even speed meters.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:02 PM   #20
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Oh and if you have a new-ish android or iphone, you can get an ANT+ adapter and use the phone as a bike computer. That would save you a few hundred.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:55 PM   #21
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Today was a "45-60 minute Endurance Miles" workout. Very easy - it only goes up to 75% of the field test power so the main struggle was keeping an eye on my cycling computer and trying to keep the number down.

Time: 57 minutes
Distance: 14.7 mi
Avg Power: 137 watts
Avg HR: 127
Avg Speed: 15.6 mph
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:00 PM   #22
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyBrooks View Post
The first one I had was a Polar unit. It worked but it was extremely finicky. It mounts on the chainstay and measures vibration in the chain. It also had a little unit on the derailleur that counted linked. My basic problem was that it was a strong magnet and the chain would stick to it, and it wouldn't always activate it. I bought a used unit though so maybe it was a bum one.

What I have now is a powertap. If you're on a budget it's probably what I'd recommend. You can buy a lightly used wheel on ebay for something like $500 if you're patient. This is a pretty good deal since most wheels cost a few hundred bucks already. Then you need a computer that uses ANT+ - there are a lot of them, I'm using the Garmin Edge. You can find these on ebay for $150-200ish depending on options.

Not cheap obviously - this is approaching the total cost of my bike. Training with power is not a strict requirement but I decided that it was worth the money to me to give it a try. Keep in mind that power meters didn't exist at all until like the 90s and in the 70s (and 80s?) there weren't even speed meters.
Cool! I don't cycle enough to consider a powertap, though I always was half interested. I still fantasize a bit about striking it rich and buying a cervelo r5 with the look keo power pedals.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:05 AM   #23
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Today was "60-90 min EM with 3x8min SS (5 min RBI)". This translates to:
60-90 minutes total
containing 3 sets of "steady state" intervals (85-90% CTS power)
the rest at "Endurance Miles" rate, 45-75% CTS power

Wasted some time fiddling with my cycling computer. The intervals are supposed to be from 85-90% of CTS power which is an absurdly small range. I can program this into my computer but it uses instantaneous readings to tell me to go harder or easier so it's CONSTANTLY beeping at me. I finally turned that part off, added a "30 second average" display and tried to keep that in the right range. I was supposed to be doing these in the 194-203 watt range and my averages for each interval were 196, 195, and 198, so I guess that method works pretty good although demands some attention.

The route was a lot of little bumpy hills so that didn't really help since I have to ease up going up hills and hammer down them.

Time: 90 minutes
Distance: 23 mi
Avg Power: 145 watts
Avg HR: 135
Avg Speed: 15.3 mph
kJ: 760
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:37 AM   #24
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

How vital do you think the cycling computer is to your success? I know that you're just starting out with your program, but if I wanted to start something similar without the bells and whistles, do you think it would be possible, theoretically? I am thinking about doing a triathlon next year and want to be prepared without spending a ton of money on gear.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:18 AM   #25
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

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Originally Posted by knightrunnermat View Post
How vital do you think the cycling computer is to your success? I know that you're just starting out with your program, but if I wanted to start something similar without the bells and whistles, do you think it would be possible, theoretically? I am thinking about doing a triathlon next year and want to be prepared without spending a ton of money on gear.
This is the first time I've done anything like this so I really don't know. I think at the least though you're going to want to a heart rate monitor - you can get a computer and a HRM for not too much (pretty sure sub-$100). The program I'm on assumes you have a way to measure power output.

Try reading the cyclist's training bible, it's relatively old school and may have some advice for training on perceived exertion alone.
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