By Joe Friel
Joe Friel is author of the successful “Training Bible” series ofbooks, a regular columnist for VeloNews and Inside Triathlonand the founder of www.ultrafit.com.Friel also offers answers to a selection of questions in this weekly column here on VeloNews.com. Readers can send questions to Friel in care of VeloNews.com at WebLetters@7Dogs.com.(Be sure to include “Friel” in the subject line.)
Qustion: I have never lifted weights before, but I’m following your book—The Cyclist’s Training Bible. Since time is my biggest limiter, I’m lifting two days a week. I can workout five days a week. On nights I lift weights, would I be hurting myself by doing 30 minutes on a stationary bike at a low heart rate?—J.G.
Answer: No, not at all. I think it is a very good idea to spin at a low effort and relatively high cadence following a weight workout. This keeps the legs a bit more supple and helps to ensure that lifting doesn’t make you a “masher.”—Joe Friel
Q: I am a cat 2 racer and I just broke my collarbone. The racing begins here in about six weeks. Do you have any advice on how to maintain fitness while my collarbone heals?—J.W.
A: When they feel up to it I have healing riders turn their road handlebars upside down and ride a trainer at a low intensity, at first just working on pedaling skills and endurance. As they begin to feel stronger as the collarbone heals they gradually increase the intensity. They are generally able to do cruise intervals like this within a few weeks. But they don’t return to the road until their doc thinks that’s OK. A fall could set you back. It’s also a good idea to talk with your doc about riding indoors and how to judge when the time is right to increase the intensity.—Joe Friel
Q: I am 52 and pick six to nine hilly road races a year to enter. Last season I noted a lack of power that limited my ability to hang with the lead break and found me chasing a lot in the six to 12 position in a pack of 40 or so. So I have started a weight program and the resultsare already very positive. My question is: I would like to lift all year to build and maintain muscle mass (I am returning to the muscle mass I had at around 36), but do not know how to change the workout for the period April thru August to keep developing strength while having some freshness in the legs and speed for maximum efforts.—D.L.
A: Here is what I have typically done for building and maintaining strength in masters riders I’ve coached. I have them lift in the Prep period (AA strength phase) three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, most commonly. In the Base 1 period (MS strength phase) they typically lift two or three times a week the same as above or on Mondays and Thursdays. The on-bike training is not very stressful at this time so the weight workouts are the heart of their training. This is generally about November and December. In Base 2 they cut back to two workouts per week in the weight room (PE phase)—Mondays and Thursdays with harder (not very hard yet) rides on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. In Base 3 (PE or ME weights) they cut back to one or two per strength sessions week on Mondays and/or Thursdays. In the Build1 and 2, Peak and Race periods (SM—Strength Maintenance) they lift on Mondays with the harder training days on some combination of the following days: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays (seldom are all of these hard-training days).—Joe Friel
Joe Friel is the author of the “Training Bible” series of books and offers coaching services and a free, monthly newsletter at www.ultrafit.com.