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You're looking for something that's already been written. It's called The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel and Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Andrew Coggan (the latter is entirely relevant even if you have not got a power meter).
I think discussions on power meters fit right into the purposes of /r/Velo. Why don't you tell us a little about your riding and training background? How long have you been training, and what sort of goals do you have? Have you read Friel's Training Bible or Allen and Coggan's Training and Racing with a Power Meter?
As far as power meters go, there are a few different types on the market right now (and others will chip in here if i'm forgetting anything, because reasons). Here I'm sorting them from closest to power generation down the driveline:
Cycling training, as you can imagine, is complex and there are many opinions on how to best train for races. I'm no expert on coaching/training but I have been a serious cyclist and racer for 25 years.
Today, the most common approach to training is to use 'periodized' training. The idea of periodized training is to structure your year so that you build a foundation of fitness over the winter (after an autumn break) and then tailor your workouts carefully in the spring and summer such that you peak in time for important races.
It is called 'periodized' training because your year is broken up into periods (and those periods are, in turn, broken up into smaller periods). The first of these high-level periods is a rest period around this time of year. Then, over the winter, you'll be in a 'base period' during which you develop a foundation for peak fitness next summer. Your spring and summer will have multiple 'build' and 'peak' periods designed to build your fitness ahead of important races (build) and then to taper off just a bit to reduce fatigue just prior to important races (peak).
Today's training methods (as opposed to training from 2 decades ago when I first started racing) is very scientific and prescriptive thanks to technologies that provide us with metrics on our performance. Specifically, heart rate monitors and, more importantly, power meters. Data from these can be used to maximize your workouts' impact and can be fed into physiological models of how bodies respond to and recover from workouts in order to predict and manage what's called your 'form' during the racing season. Because these model quantify your body's response to workouts, 'form' can be quantified and is defined as: form = fitness - fatigue.
Your goal is to maximize form on race days (so-called 'peaking'). But because your fitness is always dropping when you are not doing workouts and your fatigue is increasing when you do work out, managing your form is a dynamic and not so simple. Furthermore, each person is different and, as we age, our response to training changes. And, to add more complication, each type of race also demands different skills and abilities and so it all becomes complicated which is why coaches exist. Frankly, I find this fascinating though.
For amateurs like us who don't have coaches (or limited coaching), there are tons of online tools and books which can help. Book-wise, I recommend that you get a copy of a The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel. Check out www.trainingpeaks.com for nice training/planning tools including - if you get the paid version - preplanned workouts. And, for sure, get a power meter (I can't recommend one as I have Vector pedals which, although I like very much, are (too?) expensive and, for some reason, not widely liked) along with a hear rate monitor. For winter training, get a trainer whose resistance you can adjust from your handlebars. You can also get rollers too but don't unless you also get a trainer because a trainer is more versatile.
Frankly, equipment doesn't make a huge difference as long as your bike is reasonably light (and then, this is only important if your races have lots of climbing) and your wheels and components are at least reasonably decent. A Scott Foil 15 and Specialized Allez are both fine bikes.
One last comment. When doing your workouts be sure to follow the planned intensity. Especially in your base periods, many workouts will be at a low level of intensity which will be boring. Don't be tempted to go hard during these long, boring, low-intensity workouts as they really do pay huge dividends in preparing your body for the heavy-duty 'build' workouts that will come a few months later. The metaphor to a building's foundation is not just a trite description - it really is true.
Joe Friel's book is good. Take your time with it and really understand what he's recommending. It's a bit complicated to figure out at first, but he knows what he's talking about.
Friel's training bible is very popular - http://amazon.com/The-Cyclists-Training-Bible-Friel/dp/1934030201
For GoPro style race videos, sometimes with commentary - http://bikevideoarchive.com (seems to be down at the moment)
The Cyclist's Training Bible is the go-to introduction to training concepts. It's probably information overload if you're just getting into the sport, but there's a ton of good information.
The Time-Crunched Cyclist is a really good introduction to interval training. You'd need at least an HR monitor to do the workouts. I don't follow Carmichael's plans in that book, but I did adapt it a little to fit my needs last summer.
Buy it, read it, do what it says.
First, all you need to get is the cyclists training bible by joe friel. It will tell you everything you ever wanted to know. Base, Build, Peak, baby!
Next, join us over in /r/velo. It's a little dead now in the off season, but things get going in the spring!
edit: I also have the book "Racing Weight" by Matt Fitzgerald. I would highly recommend it.
And you're already thin. Becoming a better cyclist is way more important than losing 2 or 3 more pounds of body fat.
I use a spread sheet I'm fairly sure it was made or at least endorsed by Joel Friel. You can download it here: https://www.trainingbible.com/resource.php.
If you don't have a plan I strongly recommend getting this book called "The Cyclists Training Bible" which will guide you in all aspects of creating a personalized plan and answers a bunch of other training questions. You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1934030201/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1419837779&amp;sr=8-1&amp;dpPl=1&amp;dpID=519fhwt12TL&amp;ref=plSrch&amp;pi=AC_SY200_QL40. It is also available as an ebook.
These are just my two cents so interpret how you want. From the looks of things, it seems like you've got a lot of interval sessions in there and this time of year you should focusing on base miles (lots of steady efforts)
I know what you're thinking, '..but I've done a lot of long rides over the summer, so I've essentially already done my base miles?' The thing is that developing your aerobic engine (which is what base miles do) takes a lot of hours and this is the time of the year to do it. Also, doing lots of interval sessions can burn you out before racing season even arrives!
My advice, primarily taken from The Cyclist Training Bible by Joe Freil, would be to cut down your interval sessions to once a week. Also, you mentioned you wanted to help your sprint for next year and the perfect way to do that at this time of the year is some weight training once a week. Fill the rest of the time with base miles. Your running is good for base stuff as well so keep that up.
Finally, if you find yourself getting bored on the turbo you could always do some speed skill sessions which focus on how you pedal and to improve the 'smoothness'. Two sesssions that I currently do are:
Get him this book as a gift. If/when he gets to the strength chapter he'll come back for help.
There is so much complexity in becoming a good bike racer... if you can hire a coach you should. But here's some generic advice:
I noticed that you're still in high school, which means you've got the benefit of youth on your side. So it really comes down to what you want to get out of cycling.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to follow the three rules of the French.
Buy and read The Cyclists Training Bible by Joe Friel.
Even if you aren't targeting a particular race, the best way to improve is to train in cycles.
"ride lots" is fine too, esp. since you aren't particularly interested in racing, but the truth is if you want to get as fast as possible as soon as possible, train like you're racing. This may not be as fun, but you have to decide what's worth it to you.
Start doing intervals. Here's a decent guide. Here's another.
I'd recommend getting a book like Serious Cycling or The Cyclist's Training Bible if you'd like to learn more about how to go about training in a structured way.
Buy and read all of this;
Tons of invaluable knowledge
Personally, I'd work on over-unders, in your case going uphill; for a given work interval, stand up for 1-2 minutes bringing your HR/Power/RPE above threshold, then back down into the saddle and to tempo or sub threshold for 1-2 minutes (to start I would recommend doubling your work time to find your "recovery" time). Repeat this 3-4 times, then rest for an equal amount of time going very very easy, ie zone 1-2. Repeat. This mixed in with some steadier efforts. If you haven't read Friel that's a good place to start. Racing Weight and the Quick Start Guide help me lose weight. Depending on the type of racing you're doing, you may not have to lose all that much more weight. I race in NYC (virtually flat, no hill more than 40m) and I race fine at 5'10" and 165-170 lbs. Hope this helps.
I can only tackle a few of those questions - I'm entering my second season on a team, but I joined the team a month after buying my road bike and only did one race last season so may not be the best source on all of this....
> can you clarify? (new to this). Thanks!
You may want to check this book and this book out from your local library. There is a "new competitor" plan in the first book that focuses on the goals you outlined in your post. But, even the "time crunched" plans require 6+ hours on the bike per week over 3 to 4 days. Is she able to hop on a trainer once or twice a week in addition to heading out with you and the groups? Those books with the included plans may help.
Have you considered riding with your wife outside of the group setting for a bit? You'd be able to train with her and get her endurance up so she'd be able to hang with the groups you both would rather ride with.
In the end, the shortest answer to help her is "ride more" but that's more of an /r/bicycling response than an /r/velo response.
Edit: And in case anyone is curious, it seems OP is in Florida. Around my parts, 30 mile routes at 18-20mph is no joke, let alone 22 or 24mph. But, rated climbs are about 5 miles from my driveway ;)
Check out this book
Hi from the US!
Have you dropped by a local bike shop? There might be some one more experienced with the route for this race and be able to give you a more specialized answer so you can be better prepared.
Make sure to check out /r/mtb and maybe /r/velo.
My friends and I like to do uphill sprints, and intervals on a couple times a week, at least, in addition to a long road or gravel rides.
Honestly, I wouldn't hit the gym up much this close to a race- I'd focus on riding, with a long ride once a week plus a couple smaller ones later in the well, separated by intervals. And then a good full week of recovery before the race.
But, in general, medium intensity-medium volume (6 sets of 12) squats, deadlifts, leg press, never the same day or day before a long ride or race, worked best for us during the off-season.
I'd pack several snack bars, a first aid kit, a rear derailleur hanger, multitool with chain breaker, extra chain, tire levers, tubes and patches, paper currency, toilet paper or wet wipes, plenty of water. Maybe an extra tire.
Rest as needed. I wouldn't worry about time, so much as finishing and navigating the route.
There will be more races! Wait until you discover enduro... Until then, have fun, check out "The Cyclist Training Bible" and http://www.ridethedividemovie.com
No worries - cycling is full of random terms that you have to get wrong a few times before you start to sound like a real cyclist!
As far as long-term plans - you can't go wrong with anything by Joe Friel
And again, there's nothing wrong with an intense program this year so you can get some racing under your belt - just know the limitations of it. Also, since cross is so technical, a season of racing on a shortened training plan will probably do you wonders next year. That way you won't have any jitters and will know what you're in for.
Also, "Base Building for Cyclists" is very good as well:
Generally accepted cadence for aerobic focused pedaling is between 80-100. Any less than 60 is considered grinding. Bradley Wiggins won the hour world record with a cadence of 105, shorter cranks have higher cadence typically.
The generally accepted book for cyclist training is: https://www.amazon.com/Cyclists-Training-Bible-Joe-Friel/dp/1934030201
The next step is attending local group rides. Guys will tell you what you're doing wrong quickly if they're anything like me and they'll drill good habits into you. Hanging with them will make you cycle longer and harder than you're used to and bump up your fitness.
If not, at least read this:
You are going to need to increase your power (FTP) and introduce long intervals into your training. I"m talking about specific rides where your only goal is something like 3x20 minute intervals at 85-90% of your max power or heart rate. These are rides done by yourself, alone, and in some degree of pain towards the end of the session.
There's plenty of information on the internet on increasing your FTP, but essentially you want a decent (20 minute) warm up followed by 3 x 20 minute intervals at 85-90% of your max power or HR with 5 minutes of rest (riding super slow). You can start at 10 minute intervals first if you like. This has always worked very well for me in the past and I'm old school before Power Meters so it does work using HR, but most modern training is now done with power meters. It will still work with a heart rate monitor, but you need to know a few things about your heart rate zones, max hr, etc.
A good book that will probably get mentioned here is "The Cyclist's Training Bible" and it is highly recommended. Good luck, getting faster is hard work, but the rewards are worth it.
Wrt when you have gym access again.
My current program is split into 2 phases, Phase 1 (Growth) and Phase 2 (Recovery), the prior lasting 4 weeks and the latter 2 weeks. Each week has a Day A and a Day B (Wednesday and Friday for me) in which I go to the gym and work on a specific routine. Both days focus on lifts/exercises which are targeting key areas and muscle groups that are utilised when cycling.
>Day A Routine
> * Pre-Lifting Stretches
Joe Friel's The Cyclist's Training Bible
At less than 65% you would drop into "Active Recovery" zone. The % of your max heart rate correlates to (perceived) effort.
after training, your 65% MHR power would go up dramatically. A typical training plan you would do base training for long hours at 65% for 2-3 months. Then start adding in higher intensity intervals.
This is pretty much the TLDR for The Cyclist Training Bible
Here is the mobile version of your link
All the answers you need are here:
As /u/milliken says, having a structured training plan is definitely beneficial. I'm just now starting to develop my plan as I get back into racing after a long layoff, and I've found this book indispensable.
FWIW, I also recommend:
Welcome to the dangerous world of road bike racing. It is a deep hole and how far down you go depends on you.
A few tips below:
You are right. SO MUCH OUT THERE.
The training bible is a great start/must read - https://www.amazon.com/Cyclists-Training-Bible-Joe-Friel/dp/1934030201
From there, I'd think about what worked for you as a rower and try to build out a plan that makes sense for how you individually enjoy training. Success is heavily tied to your happiness during the activity/training grind (as I am sure you know from rowing).
I am happy to try and give you tips as questions come up, feel free to DM me. I am not the best rider, but I've been fortunate enough to learn from some very smart riders.
So no one has really mentioned this yet, but if you want to be going stronger next summer, don't do hills / hard rides over the winter. Base miles are relatively easy miles. Also, a bike trainer takes up way less space than an elliptical, and lets you use the same seat / bike geometry / etc.
Take a look at Joe Friel's training book (http://www.amazon.com/The-Cyclists-Training-Bible-Friel/dp/1934030201/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1377283726&amp;sr=8-3) or this one - http://www.amazon.com/Base-Building-Cyclists-Foundation-Performance/dp/193138293X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1377283778&amp;sr=8-1
Read The Cyclists Training Bible by Joe Friel.
Like others say its such a hard question to answer. I (and many others) found that book to be a very good starting point.
Before you do that, you might want to read this: http://www.amazon.com/The-Cyclists-Training-Bible-Friel/dp/1934030201/
You can use that with this: http://www.amazon.com/Training-Racing-Power-Meter-Hunter/dp/1934030554/
And create your own workouts and training plan.
*This is from a layman's perspective on exercise science and physiology as it relates to amateur cycling training
I'd rank ways to measure the training load of intervals like this from least to most helpful:
4. Distance at RPE or Speed
3. Time at RPE or Speed
2. Time at HR
I tried to ride 3-4 times per week. Some weeks are better than others. I am going to participate in my first race on March 11th, so I am riding every day until then. Sometimes it is only 30 minutes, but other times it is 2-4 hours. I have two young children and a full time+ job, so I just work it in where I can.
My suggestion is to find a community around a good bike shop or a club. If you live in a populated area at all, there will be a bike club. Check Facebook.
There are two books that really helped me.
The Bicycling Big Book of Cycling for Beginners: Everything a new cyclist needs to know to gear up and start riding https://www.amazon.com/dp/1623361648/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_IcXBybG217E1R
The Cyclist's Training Bible https://www.amazon.com/dp/1934030201/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_.cXByb7BXMY38
This isn't going to be a popular answer: don't buy upgrades.
Ride your bike and save your money. Then replace your existing bike with something better later.
If something breaks/wears out, by all means, replace it with something a little better. But, the bit-by-bit upgrades thing doesn't dramatically improve the bike.
Instead of buying a power meter, how about finding two group rides a week that are vaguely competitive and reading Joel Friel's book? http://www.amazon.com/The-Cyclists-Training-Bible-Friel/dp/1934030201
The simple act of trying to go faster a couple of times a week will improve your performance. Friel's book will give you an idea how to structure a week. Remember that the number of hours/week in the book is very high for most.
If you really want to train with power, once you have a plan using Friel's book, find a stretch of road that you can easily and safely ride hard without stopping for about 5 minutes and has two landmarks to start/stop a stopwatch. Ride the stretch of road the same time in the week every other week and log the times. Over time, (many weeks) you should see increases in performance. There's your power meter.
I'm not saying power meters are useless. I'm saying there's quite a bit to learn before using one has definite benefits.