Editor’s Note: Joe Friel is author of the successful “TrainingBible” series of books, a regular columnist for VeloNews and InsideTriathlon magazines and the founder of www.ultrafit.com. Dirk Frielraces professionally and coaches along with Joe at Ultrafit Associates.The Friels also offer answers to a selection of questions in this weeklycolumn here on VeloNews.com. Readers can send questions to Joe and DirkFriel in care of VeloNews.com at WebLetters@7Dogs.com.(Be sure to include “Friel” in the subject line.)
I will be eligible for social security benefit next year and currentlyusing your book, “Cycling Past 50” as guide. In chapter 8 of the book you talked about strength training and strength phases. I was wondering ifyou could give me a suggestion on how to use my variable resistant fluidtraining effectively for strength training purposes. I believe my trainerhas sufficient resistant at present for me since at maximum setting, andat 52X12, I am only able to keep the cadence at 30 to 35 rpm.Thanks,
C.H. SuDear C.H.
Great question. Indoor trainers can be a great tool to build strengthand force. The older a person gets the more important it becomes to incorporatestrength work into their program to both build and maintain strength. Ridersover 50 should consider at least one day a week of strength maintenancework.Strength maintenance can most effectively be accomplished in theweight room, but sometimes during intense build and race periods doingthe strength work on the bike preferred since it is sport specific.Here are a few workouts to consider which can be done indoors onyour trainer. These workout codes start with a letter “F” which indicatesthe force ability. The number indicates the level of workout intensity,and a “BT” means breakthrough workout. A BT workout needs to be undertakenwith caution and followed by a rest period to recover from the workout.To view all a full list of our workout menus please visit our siteat www.TrainingBible.com.Force Workouts-
F1a- Trainer hills. Shift up and down thru gears to simulatehills. 2 to 5 minutes in each gear. Seated. Heart rate in 1-4 zones.F2a- ‘Hills.’ On trainer with high resistance setting. Dothe following 8-12 times: 30 seconds @ 70-80 rpm, 30 seconds shift up,30 seconds shift up, (90 seconds recovery). Seated. Heart rate 4-5a zones.F2b- BT: Ride several 1-2 minute climbs of varying grades.Shift to a higher gear than you would normally use for any given climb.Cadence is 50-60 rpm. Seated. Heart rate max is 5a zone.F2c- BT: On flat road or on a trainer. Use the big chain ringand a gear that allows only about 50-60 rpm. While in the saddle drivethe pedals down as hard as possible for 15-20 revolutions of the cranks.Do 6-10 of these starting a new one every 3-5 minutes after warming up.Heart rate is not observed.Dirk Friel
I’ve been on vacation for the past 11 days and did not get much timefor training, ran a couple of miles a couple of days, I was just completingmy Base mileage for some races this fall/winter. Where should I pickup? Should I still move on to the Build stage or should I rerun a weekor two of Base mileage, or should I just evaluate how I’m feeling and gofrom there.Look forward to hearing from you,Sincerely,
Andrew MeyerDear Andrew,
Hope you had a great vacation. I would redo one or two weeks ofthe last base period you have completed. Hopefully it won’t disrupt yourbuild and peak periods too much. The reason I say this is because it maybe overwhelming to enter an intense build period if you lost some endurance,and muscular endurance ability, with close to two weeks away.Good luck,
I love hills, I could climb all day. It is the going downhillpart that slows me down. During local time trials or triathlons,I’ll pass others on the hills with my Cervelo just to be passed by themgoing down the hill. My nerves have me grabbing the rear brake leversand braking. Others are going 69 km/h while I’ll be lucky to go 53km/h. Mechanically, I am doing everything correctly. Is therea program or series of steps or professional help even that I could obtainthat will ease my nerves and learn and enjoy going, without closing myeyes, down hills?Thanks,
Russell NicholsonDear Russell,This a tough question as it may have a lot more to do with psychology,than with bike handling skills. You didn’t mention any bike control issuessuch a shimmy or vibration coming from your bike. if this is the case Iwould get your bike checked out by a shop to see if the frame is alignedproperly and if the fork is in good shape.To develop skills and confidence I would suggest consulting witha local rider you know who is a good descender. Try to arrange some rideswith this person and see if they can give you some insight as to how theythink and descend. Working one-on-one with another more experienced ridercan give you confidence. Try going to a downhill with them and follow theirwheel about 10 yards back through some turns that you both know are safeand clear of objects. Maybe try a series of downhills where your friendleads and each time the pace is increased by 5km/hr. Be sure to choosea road that is not busy and has a clear shoulder. Once one downhill is”mastered” go on to another and make this a weekly ritual as it is a limiterfor you just as any other ability may be.Good luck,
I’m just dead tired. My season started very enthusiasticallywith lots of miles and hours, much more than I had done before, I workedhard at forming a base before entering higher intensity workouts. Thingswent well until mid May, since then my motivation has roller-coasteredand often I have a hard time motivating myself to train hard or get myheart rate up. I assumed I
was just way over trained and took about four weeks of just three rideseasy per week.Even so, with the time off the bike, I’m still having problems. If indeedI am over trained, how long should I take off? I don’t want to become lazy,and want to continue some form of exercise. Would I be negating the effectsof “time off” if I were to switch sports to running, weights, swimmingetc., or should I just couch potato it for a while?Thanks,
Tom and KatieDear Tom or Katie(?),
Sorry to hear about your lack of motivation and being tired. Itsounds like overtraining is not the problem, as you had a good amount oftime off and still have the lack of motivation. I’d suggest searching outwhat does motivate you at this point and see if things don’t start to turnaround. You did mention running, weights and swimming. These are greatactivities to undertake and may supply you with a new outlook on your currentfitness and get you back into a good routine again.I suggest cross-training activities for any cyclist, no matter whattheir level of expertise is. Maybe try in the future to add into your programsome of these fun activities every few weeks to get your mind away fromthe bike and help you stay motivated throughout the season. Even feel freeto take a few days off regularly to freshen up and stay mentally sharp.There is no shame in that.Good luck,
Joe Friel is the author of “TheCyclist’s Training Bible.” Dirk Friel races professionally and coachesalong with Joe at Ultrafit Associates. For software go to www.TrainingBible.com,and for coaching services and a free training newsletter go to www.Ultrafit.com.Questions can be sent to WebLetters@7Dogs.com.