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December 16, 2017
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  • Jason de Puit

    Old man Wallace returns to drop some knowledge!

  • HRC-E.B.

    The most knowledgeable people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet in cycling would tell you that 5-hour rides bring benefits to your aerobic development and efficiency that you can’t get any other way and that will be valuable to anyone racing only 3-hour races. If one intends to perform to his potential in them that is.

    • Perhaps in certain phases of training, but I’m with Wade based on my experience and the other advice I’ve heard, you don’t need long training rides to train for 3hr races… Even long Fondos you can get by without 5hr training rides if you train properly.

      • Stewie Griffin

        I only do 2 or 3 4h30+ rides a year and ride a couple of granfondo’s which are around 5h30 to 6h00 long. I never struggle at the end and have enough energy to smash it where I want it to. I do try to incorporate 1 session of around 2,5hours at 90-95% ftp a week. Those are killers, but bloody efficient, because then riding in Z2 feels like recovery

        • Jackson

          If you can ride for 2.5 hours at 95% of your FTP, that isn’t your FTP.

          • Stewie Griffin

            My FTP is 308 and when I’m fit, I can ride 280 average for 2,5 hours, that’s 90,9% average. Which means that I’m putting out around 300 watts constantly because there are turns and traffic lights. My NP is around 290 when I do them, which is 94% of my FTP.

            So, why wouldn’t it be my FTP, why would that be impossible?

  • Carl Sechrist

    Great, timely article. I could stand to have this pop up again in about two months as I really get into prep for the collegiate road racing season.

    • 6 months ago I questioned if I was ever going to lose that 10kg I put on, if I was going to be able to ride with the ‘fast’ group ever again, was going to be able to take the long loop. Even though the Tour of Bright has been cancelled this weekend, it’s not about that. I’ve proven to myself that I can do this again and that’s what matters.

      • roklando

        I am exactly were you were 6 months ago, although your ‘unfit” is probably way fitter than mine. bummer about the ToB.

  • Scott

    Classic CT, love it! more please!

  • AndyVB

    I object to the use of my image in the feature with that headline! ????

  • jules

    “Mark.. quickly burst my bubble by telling me that my current power/weight isn’t where it needs to be in order to get a good result. ”

    aren’t you in Masters A? you need a pro level w/kg to get a good result there

    • From memory, Mark Fenner told me that 5.2 or 5.3 w/kg was where I had to be for my 20min power output. Based on that, I wasn’t going to win on horsepower alone. I needed crosswinds and bad weather….but less than what was given to us!

  • roklando

    This reminds me of the “old” CT – which I miss. Consistency is so hard to find for me; with two kids, full time job and a partner with a full time job who also cycles, it’s hard to make the training not interfere with work or family. I should quit my job.

  • Andy B

    The biggest trouble I have is trying to balance the enjoyment of riding hard at “averagely hard tempo” (particularly during my commute) whilst still trying to train or peak for certain events
    I agree in making my easy days too hard.. ive found the best solution to this is a day off rather than a ride that ends up harder than planned
    I know what I’m doing wrong, I just seem to get too much enjoyment out of doing it wrong.. more than I would a club race result

    • Mark Fenner was able to include my commutes and bunch rides into my training program so I didn’t feel like I was missing any of that. To be honest, I feel like I’ve done it far easier that I would have if left to my own devices. But the confidence of having a coach is what I needed, and when to do that hard workouts (which were so much harder than I would have pushed myself).

  • Tom

    Item number 4 is brilliant, so true…
    It takes time to disconnect from Strava, experience riders will use TP as a data collection.
    Garmin software over the past year also transformed into a good looking application with accurate and valuable data.

    • Stewie Griffin

      Golden Cheetah is pretty user friendly if you set it up correctly. It’s a bit of a hassle at first, but afterwards, you can easily track your data with all the graphs and numbers a data geek would need

  • Gary Alexander

    Good to hear you are back enjoying the bike Wade. Come visit and we’ll get out for a bit, I’ve mostly found my way back as well.

    • Cheers Gary! I hope to come to Mallorca with you guys one year.

      • Gary Alexander

        I’ll look forward to that trip, good article. Now, if I could only learn these lessons.

  • smaquois123

    there is no train, there is only do. I ride, therefore I am. I don’t race, because that’s pointless. 1 mile, 10 miles. 10000 miles. the effort, the distance…means nothing. what you achieve is what you achieve. move as you do. release everything else.

    • krashdavage

      Wise words indeed, Grasshopper.

  • As someone who at one point was moderately fit a few years ago (3.5w/kg FTP, so nothing special but fit enough to get by on local rides) this couldn’t have come at a better time. I was riding 4+ times a week with no real focus or plan but I was still able to see gains in my strength and endurance. That was probably 4/5 years ago, but running my own business slowly took over and cycling was the first thing that I had to cut back on, ironic considering my business is producing products for cyclists, but I digress. Now I’ve just started loosely following one of the Strava CTS training plans, and hitting the wattbike in the gym to do some endurance/base type stuff with the plan to hit a few events next year. I’ve gone from wanting to hit PB’s on climbs to not really giving a sh!t about any of that and just enjoying riding, but I still want to be fit enough to be able to dig in on the climbs and put some distance between myself and my rival (aka my older sister). Here’s to 2018.

  • Deryck Walker

    Great article Wade, resonates with me strongly. There can be great satisfaction in holding your own against riders who have been doing double the weekly training hours.

    Now two kids later, im going to try and shake off two years of down time from the bike so have signed up for grafton 2018. 10kgs up and 100 watts down, ive some work to do.. this piece motivates me!

  • Stewie Griffin

    nr 12 : do not focus on FTP alone. Yes, it’s a trendy abreviation, but only FTP won’t make you win races. Focus on all zones of your power. From 10 second power, 1 minute, 2 minute, 3 minute etc etc. All these self coached “pro’s” are only focussing on “FTP” but then get popped in a race because of the constant surging

  • Patrick Murphy

    I’ve done a lot of structured training in the past but currently p1ssing in the wind thinking how to focus my efforts for next year, nice article, very timely too. Thanks.

  • Ashok Captain

    Brilliant piece. Thanks WW and CT. #1 is exactly what a Danish coach told us a long time ago.

  • Frank

    An enjoyable and informative article but the title is a bit unfortunate in my opinion. There are many good reasons to ride a bike beyond racing or training to race and what is described here as ‘mistakes’ to avoid will show up in other cycling contexts as the very purpose of the ride.

    • Cycling has taken many forms in my life, all which I’ve enjoyed. Racing comes and goes, and so do the other ways to enjoy the bike.

  • Marcus J

    Thanks Wade. Re the easy rides. When I went into structured training with a coach a couple of years ago, I struggled at first with the easy rides – the legacy of strava hunting, the tendency of bunch rides with racing cyclists to turn into macho smash fests, and burdening myself with having to do a little bit better every time. But I got used to it, and now I find it’s a treat to be able to cruise along calmly at endurance pace, particularly if it’s after a session where I’ve been doing the hard bits properly. It’s nice to be able to just smell the roses without nagging yourself that it should be harder. Also, when it’s time to do the efforts, it’s easier to throw yourself right into them.

  • marcus_moore

    Wade, great timely article – pity about the weather dashing the dreams (have you picked an alternate event?).
    One element missing from the article is the indoor aspect of specific training – to be able to smash oneself completely in a hard session invariably requires the controlled environment of CompuTrainer, Zwift, or similar. Trying to do the same on the road results in broken sessions due to lights, corners, reaching the top of a hill too early, etc.
    (& now to perfect shouldering while riding in a bunch – a la Vos!!)

    • jules

      did Vos flick you at the Giro della Donna?

      • marcus_moore

        I wish is was in the league to hold her wheel (oh, & I took the shorter course Gravel Grind after riding the Audax Sydney-Melbourne 1200 earlier in the week!)
        Ask Wade about her shouldering display!

        • jules

          did Vos flick Wade at the Giro della Donna?

          • She did, and also smashed me at a friendly game of ‘Horse’

    • For the life of me I can’t find the article we just wrote on this topic. I’ll find it and get back to you

December 16, 2017
December 15, 2017
December 14, 2017
December 13, 2017