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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed a number of posts about strength and the bike so I figured I'd chime in a little.<br><br>
In general, cyclists tend to do a block of strength development work, for many years it was kind of accepted to hit the gym for 3 days a week of power lifting, using squat-clean-bench type exercises with fairly low reps. Lately, more riders are skipping some of the gym work and doing some core type exercises instead and doing the strength stuff on the bike. You can still hit the gym and gain strength for sure, and this time of year is perfect, especially for triathletes who have a later season start.<br><br>
There are a few workouts that help strengthen the legs on the bike. It's important to be careful of the knees and cover them in the cold and curtail the workout if any sharp pains develop.<br><br>
1) Low RPM work--ride at 50-60 RPM's in a pretty hard gear or with high resistence on the trainer. Use good form and don't bob around. Work intervals of 1-5 minutes with equal recovery. Heartrate should elevate but not be anywhere near your AT. You can do this work on a trainer, a long gradual uphill or into a headwind.<br><br>
2) Power tempo - similar to a regular tempo ride, but at lower rpm's, maybe 80. These can follow #1 above for 20-40 minutes of work<br><br>
3) Power starts- best done on the road, put your bike in the 53x12 at an almost standstill and wind up out of the saddle for about 30 seconds<br><br>
During this phase, you can do longer intervals and tempo, where you have submaximal work of 10 minutes up to over an hour. You can do all of it on the trainer or outside. Riding a mountain bike in the much and snow can be a great low rpm workout, for example. Cyclocross riding is also a great strength builder and can be done is the cold and snow pretty well.<br><br>
One of the real keys is to reduce some volume during this phase and get on the bike with fairly fresh legs and get off it a libble wobbly. It's hard to do these workouts when your legs are tired from running, they just don't have enough strength left.<br><br>
Hope this clears it up a little, I'm not a coach but these workouts have helped me get stronger legs.
 

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OK, great stuff. One question, how much aerobic work is needed? I think you mentioned earlier on you try to get out for a 2-3 hour once a week?<br><br>
And how about laying out a typcal type week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Remember I don't swim, so I have some options, but here's what I'm doing in a typical week:<br><br>
3 trainer workouts-- 1 is 4x10 mins on 5 off, this is the "hardest"<br>
strength is the second one with 14 x 1 min on 1 min off at 50 rpms, followed by 40 mins of 80 rpm power tempo,<br>
finally the thrid workout is tempo which is about say an hour in duration, maybe 90 mins at most, I do this maybe 10 beats below AT perhaps even easier so that's about 5 hours of mostly quality, but nothing anaerobic.<br><br>
I try to get out for a 2.5 or so hour ride during the week when I can, or sub in a similar length ski or a 10 mile run if worst comes to worse<br><br>
On the weekend, I like to get out for a longer ride, I really ought to ride both days, but I'm also trying to run, so one day of about 2-3.5 hours, then a longer run. The other days I might do a shorter run. I take a day off occasionally this time of year and take about every 4th. or 5th. week easier. I'm not planning on doing any real long races in the spring, so I figure if I'm going to do some overlength races in the fall, I can just go out for some 5 hour rides in August and feel ready enough.<br><br>
It's clearly a program that overweights the cycling, but I'm so injury prone i have trouble doing more running.
 

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So, are your longer rides mostly done because you are a cyclist? Or because they are an important part of your training as a cyclist?<br><br>
Was that clear?<br><br>
Basically, I am milling over my early season training trying to find a good mix. I am training for an April marathon, but it is not really an A-race. A much larger focus is the early July 112 mile bike and marathon. Are those 3 trainer workouts enough, with maybe one other aerobic/mixed ride during the week between now and say early April? I am thinking yes at this point, because 1) I do a lot of aerobic work in my running shoes, and 2) there is plenty of time for the long bike ride later.<br><br>
Having said that, how deep into the training season should those strength workouts go? After a good 4 or 6 week block, should the workouts shift towards replacing the strength workout with another tempo? Or are those strength workouts good to keep around longer?<br><br>
I am trying to be the Thor of this early season and make big big money on the trainer this winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Those are good questions. In the past, I rode more races of 80+ miles, so I tended to do more time for the outside rides, plus I didn't run a step. Now, I figure 2.5 hours will be enough for the distances I do. In terms of the base building, I'd rather get the strength now during the winter months, then when March arrives and we can start getting more days with clear roads, then I do the highest volume of the year for maybe 6 weeks, no more low rpm stuff, use the trainer for some shorter intervals and ride outside in the hills and do tempo rides outside, plus race a lot. After 6-8 week, I ride less and focus on getting faster and race off the base and strength I have built. In August, it's starting to run out, so I do a mini buildup for cyclocross (or perhaps a long duathlon in Oct if my running is still OK) with 8 weeks of longer rides and lots of low RPM work to re build strength--then race all the way through the end of November. Take a week easy and repeat for 20 years.
 

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I have seen pictures of your quads and calves.<br><br>
What ever you do sure makes your legs strong, so these workouts must be good stuff.
 
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