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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our main season runs Jan to June, with three additional races in the fall.

Last year, started in CAT 2 after riding for fun for a year, which was after not riding at all for 12 or so. 32 y/o now, raced for 5 years in high school/college.

Basically got it handed too me last year, but bought a trainer and the Bible mid-season and got some focus.

Busted my butt on intervals, sleep, diet, etc throughout the summer, and got my first podium in the fall (granted most of the fast guys weren't there).

Starting last November, I laid out a detaile, structured, specific plan following Friel's book. Priority races, periodization, etc. Having nothing else to go on, I knew that having some structure was better than none, regardless of whether or not his plans were the "best".

Got a Powertap in December, which REALLY helped with the intervals, and knowing when to go hard, and when to rest.

All of this was to culminate (sp?) in an A Race this past weekend, and my favorite course.

All until the Monday of the Race Week, I got sick, and was sick all last week. Very frustrated given how long and how hard I had been working. :madman:

I wasn't at full power, and just couldn't push the pace I had been able too up to the point of being sick, and was hacking up nose crap most of the time. It was only good for 4th, a minute behind the winner.

Didn't win, but set a PR that was 8 minutes faster than the same race event (same number of laps) from last October, with being sick. This is what really built a lot of confidence in my training plan, adapted very strongly (basically exactly) from Friel's book. The way I see it, is if I can knock 8 minutes off my time in 4 months of a structured plan, while being sick, it must be working, at least for me.

For anyone considering it, I can say I think it works. :thumbsup:
 

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cru_jones said:
Our main season runs Jan to June, with three additional races in the fall.

Last year, started in CAT 2 after riding for fun for a year, which was after not riding at all for 12 or so. 32 y/o now, raced for 5 years in high school/college.

Basically got it handed too me last year, but bought a trainer and the Bible mid-season and got some focus.

Busted my butt on intervals, sleep, diet, etc throughout the summer, and got my first podium in the fall (granted most of the fast guys weren't there).

Starting last November, I laid out a detaile, structured, specific plan following Friel's book. Priority races, periodization, etc. Having nothing else to go on, I knew that having some structure was better than none, regardless of whether or not his plans were the "best".

Got a Powertap in December, which REALLY helped with the intervals, and knowing when to go hard, and when to rest.

All of this was to culminate (sp?) in an A Race this past weekend, and my favorite course.

All until the Monday of the Race Week, I got sick, and was sick all last week. Very frustrated given how long and how hard I had been working. :madman:

I wasn't at full power, and just couldn't push the pace I had been able too up to the point of being sick, and was hacking up nose crap most of the time. It was only good for 4th, a minute behind the winner.

Didn't win, but set a PR that was 8 minutes faster than the same race event (same number of laps) from last October, with being sick. This is what really built a lot of confidence in my training plan, adapted very strongly (basically exactly) from Friel's book. The way I see it, is if I can knock 8 minutes off my time in 4 months of a structured plan, while being sick, it must be working, at least for me.

For anyone considering it, I can say I think it works. :thumbsup:
Good job. Thats great to hear. I just bought the book from amazon.com and read the first 50 pages non-stop in one shot. It sounds like some good training info. Cant wait for the snow to melt and try what I learn.

I always had the mentallity of no pain no gain and would crush it my hardest every ride - exactly the opposite of what Friel's philosophy is all about. It will feel almost wrong not putting 100% into every ride.
 

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I'm reading it too, it's snow out here, so I've been reading the book, speeding through it. Theres been a ton of good info so far ... oh ya I accidentally got the cycling bible book, oh well, probably good info anyhoo .. maybe I'll pickup the mtb one too later.
 

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Friel has some good info. I also feel that if you are doing your own training you should read the other good booms like coggan. Lydiard is pretty much the father of modern training and reading about him, his history, and his methods were very educational in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
whybotherme said:
Friel has some good info. I also feel that if you are doing your own training you should read the other good booms like coggan. Lydiard is pretty much the father of modern training and reading about him, his history, and his methods were very educational in my opinion.
I just finished Training with a Power Meter. The similarities are good, but the workouts are a little more detailed than Friels, but I think they would add some variability to it. I wanted to get a few weeks worth of rides with the PT before really trying to start analyzing the data, didn't want it too be to overwhelming.

I do all my intervals on the trainer, even though in AZ we can ride year around. The PT really lets them be specific and purposeful.
 

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I have been using it this season too. Last year was just "riding" with no plan.

I haven't raced yet to check performance, so I don't know for sure how it is going, but I feel decent.

I am moving into the first build period now. Are all you you first-timers (first season training) skipping Anaerobic Endurance work like Friel says? I am planning on it, but I am not sure what to fill the workout time with. I may add another cruise interval per week, but that is only like 20 minutes. Maybe keep a couple speed workouts once a week?

Any non-Anaerobic suggestions (that fall into the Friel plan)?
 

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I started training this fall for my first season of mtb racing using the Friel training bible. I think that Friel is somewhat conservative in what he recommends for new racers. If you can handle the workout, and recover well I don't see any reason to skip it. However, if it kills you and you can't get a good E2 ride in the next day (following weekly schedule in the book) then replace it with another lower intensity workout such as M2 or F2. Unfortunately, I don't start build for a couple more weeks so I can't give any first hand advice, but I am planning to attempt the workout and see how I handle it. If I'm not physically ready for it, than it won't do me much good anyway.

Are you going to the Yankee Springs TT? That will be my first mtb race. I'm planning to enter as a beginner and move to sport as soon as I can. I hope the trails clear up soon, I've been on the trainer so much that I'm not confident I can balance a bike any more! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
jonw9 said:
I have been using it this season too. Last year was just "riding" with no plan.

I haven't raced yet to check performance, so I don't know for sure how it is going, but I feel decent.

I am moving into the first build period now. Are all you you first-timers (first season training) skipping Anaerobic Endurance work like Friel says? I am planning on it, but I am not sure what to fill the workout time with. I may add another cruise interval per week, but that is only like 20 minutes. Maybe keep a couple speed workouts once a week?

Any non-Anaerobic suggestions (that fall into the Friel plan)?
I would say try them, but very low on the duration/intensity scale.

A2 and A4 (and probaly A1 as well) are good the trainer. You can shorten the sets or duration to make sure you can still do an E2 ride the next day.

I actually did my first A4 of the season tonight.

The important thing to remember is knowing that most weeks, you'll be doing intervals on Tuesday, long ride on Wed and another type of interval on Thursday. So you need to make sure you don't just "crush it" starting Tuesday, you'll be dead by Thursday and won't get any benefit from the workout. For me personally, when I'm looking forward to an easy spin Friday, I know it's been a good week. :D

I did fail to mention in my earlier post the only thing I don't like, is how closely spaced our races are. I have nothing else to compare too, but we only have 8 races between the end of Jan and June. The first three races occur over a 5 week span, the middle race was only a C race (my least favorite course), and it was on a Saturday of a build week, with a tough interval session on Thursday. I wasn't able to fully recover before the race, and blew up halfway through. Mostly poor race strategy, but overall I just didn't have the legs.
 

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cru_jones said:
I would say try them, but very low on the duration/intensity scale.

A2 and A4 (and probaly A1 as well) are good the trainer. You can shorten the sets or duration to make sure you can still do an E2 ride the next day.

I actually did my first A4 of the season tonight.

The important thing to remember is knowing that most weeks, you'll be doing intervals on Tuesday, long ride on Wed and another type of interval on Thursday. So you need to make sure you don't just "crush it" starting Tuesday, you'll be dead by Thursday and won't get any benefit from the workout. For me personally, when I'm looking forward to an easy spin Friday, I know it's been a good week. :D

I did fail to mention in my earlier post the only thing I don't like, is how closely spaced our races are. I have nothing else to compare too, but we only have 8 races between the end of Jan and June. The first three races occur over a 5 week span, the middle race was only a C race (my least favorite course), and it was on a Saturday of a build week, with a tough interval session on Thursday. I wasn't able to fully recover before the race, and blew up halfway through. Mostly poor race strategy, but overall I just didn't have the legs.
Thanks, maybe I will give them a shot. I already didn't heed his advice of working on in AA in the gym.

I am doing his suggested plan of:
M: Gym
T: Rest
W: Muscular Endurance
R: Gym
F: Rest
Sa: Ride (Was speed and power)
Su: E2

So I would be safe to move some AnE to Saturday and see how it goes. I only have 2 weeks left of Thursday at the gym, so that will become another bike day, may move AnE there instead. I do see he specifically recommends skipping A4 and A5 the first TWO years of training. However, I did/do race SS, so maybe I am prepared for more anaerobic work! ;)

Will: Yes, I will be riding Yankee. That was my first MTB race last year as well. I am doing Barry-Roubaix however. Check it out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
spec4life said:
well iv finally heard about this book enough on here that I picked one up on ebay...hopefully I can use it to formulate a more structured plan for next year...
I think you'll see results if you try and implement at least some of it right away? I got the book at a trainer about 1/3rd of the way into last race season, and started implementing the interval workouts right away.

We all know that intervals are the necessary evil, and his book takes most of the guesswork out of them. Everyone has their own opinions on what types to do, how long, etc; I figured I would at least choose someone who's reputable. His workouts are understandable, and so far have shown results, even if he didn't invent them. :thumbsup:
 

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I won his book years ago in a MTB race, read it and used some of it back then with some success. Than I got out of MTB racing and did other things. Just got back into MTB racing again 2 years ago, re-read his book again this past fall. I am using more of his information this season to train, although I have read several others, so my training is a mix of everything. We will see how it goes this May when I start racing.

I think the main points I learned from his book is: 1.Train with a plan, 2.Listen to your body, 3. You need rest - a lot of rest!

Glad to here it is working for you.
 

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NIce job at White Tanks! I have the Training Bible too, but decided pretty late in the game to do the MBAA series (as you know from my results in the other thread). I think if I start in Base 2 and keep the training timeframes on the short side, I might be able to be more competitive in the races toward the end of the season.

Glad you are having success! Keep up the good work!
 

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His book is really a perfect training book. Been following it since 2003, and every subsequent year I follow it a bit better.

When I've had coaches, and when I look back on their plans, I realize, it's just the Friel Plan. Really, there's not many ways around it. Just with a coach there's more accountability and you actually do the hours.

My thoughts of the Friel book are:
-The annual hours. When you commit to a 500 hour year (for example), Wow, it's a lot of hours. But you really have to do the Zone 2 hours to get full benefit. It's just tough to get all those hours in. 500 hours is 6 days a week according to his plan, for the whole season, even during the rest weeks.
-Intervals. If you're new to training, stay on the lower side of the intervals he recommends. Once intervals are over, complete the rest of the ride time in Zone 2. Don't just go home as soon as intervals are over.
-Masters racing. In one chapter he said if you're over 40, then you should do a 2-1 pattern rather than a 3-1 (weeks) pattern. This is a very good idea.
-Weightlifting. When performing the weightlifting, you should still be riding the same day. During the base period, if you have a 2 hour day, then it should be 1 hour weightlifting, then 1 hour bike. His plan integrates weightlifting and it's an important component. If you're not lifting, then you are not completely doing his plan. But I really don't care for his ME phase of lifting. It seems like too many reps.

But it really is the bible. Just open it up to a random page, and you learn something new again.
 

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Poncharelli said:
His book is really a perfect training book. Been following it since 2003, and every subsequent year I follow it a bit better.

When I've had coaches, and when I look back on their plans, I realize, it's just the Friel Plan. Really, there's not many ways around it. Just with a coach there's more accountability and you actually do the hours.

My thoughts of the Friel book are:
-The annual hours. When you commit to a 500 hour year (for example), Wow, it's a lot of hours. But you really have to do the Zone 2 hours to get full benefit. It's just tough to get all those hours in. 500 hours is 6 days a week according to his plan, for the whole season, even during the rest weeks.
-Intervals. If you're new to training, stay on the lower side of the intervals he recommends. Once intervals are over, complete the rest of the ride time in Zone 2. Don't just go home as soon as intervals are over.
-Masters racing. In one chapter he said if you're over 40, then you should do a 2-1 pattern rather than a 3-1 (weeks) pattern. This is a very good idea.
-Weightlifting. When performing the weightlifting, you should still be riding the same day. During the base period, if you have a 2 hour day, then it should be 1 hour weightlifting, then 1 hour bike. His plan integrates weightlifting and it's an important component. If you're not lifting, then you are not completely doing his plan. But I really don't care for his ME phase of lifting. It seems like too many reps.

But it really is the bible. Just open it up to a random page, and you learn something new again.
How well do you do with your 500 hours at the end of the season?

Right now I am ~3.5 hours behind on my goal. I am NOT really making an attempt to catch up, especially during the rest weeks. Should I be concerned? This is essentially 1% of my annual goal.

I am doing the wight work, but I am doing only weights on those days, making Monday (for example) as 1 hour weights. Does riding the same day add to the weight lifting benefit, or would that hour be just as useful on Wednesday?
 
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