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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have two racings seasons behind me and want to do well this year. This winter I have been riding approximately 4 or 5 days out of the week either commuting or snow-biking on the weekends. Total mileage since January is about 650. Knowing barely enough to be dangerous - I have been going easy throughout the winter months as that's what I hear your supposed to do.

I hooked up with some local riders yesterday for a 70 or so mile road ride and towards the end had plenty of juice. Enough that it was suggested I might be hitting my stride too early in the season.

My riding has been entirely RPE based: When I feel good - I gas it - when I feel some fatigue, I go easier. I have been informed at the mid to uppper levels of competition, that won't cut it anymore.

So the question: Are there easy ways to monitor your physical state that don't include watt-meters and VO2 max tests? I don't use a heart rate monitor - but do have a blood pressure tester that I use almost daily that measures pulse.
 

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peaking is a silly concept in my opinion. i think it was a term invented for when someone dopes themselves to the max and wins something big.

sounds like you are on the right track to not burning out. burn out or over use injury are the only things i worry about. in my experience burn out doesn't happen if i am having fun.
 

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Maybe you should rephrase your question again:

Are there ways to avoid having an early peak?? Or a way to have a peak when it matters?? (for a series championship, state championship, etc.).

Then Yes. A well layed-out training plan can have you peak for an event that you want to target. A good plan always trumps any fancy training gizmos. A PM with a bad plan is like having Pirelli's on a Yugo.

So if you don't want an early peak, then it's a matter of having your training structured to achieve that.
 

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Self Motivated said:
Hmm..

Maybe I'll take whybotherme's advice. Wait - what series are you in??! :)
no doping in my house, but i have tried to "peak" using the periodization methods of other cyclists. it seems like a myth. you can be rested, you can be fit, you can be ready to race... but the idea of a "peak" is silly. can you hold top fitness for the whole year? nope. do lots of people burn out? yep. will your training/fitness/mental preparedness ebb and flow? yes.

since a "peak" is some make believe construct, there is no way to measure it.
 

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whybotherme said:
i have tried to "peak" using the periodization methods of other cyclists. it seems like a myth. you can be rested, you can be fit, you can be ready to race... but the idea of a "peak" is silly. can you hold top fitness for the whole year? nope. do lots of people burn out? yep. will your training/fitness/mental preparedness ebb and flow? yes.

since a "peak" is some make believe construct, there is no way to measure it.
I'd have to disagree with you a bit here, peaking is a matter of timing stress, recovery, and top performance. It's the kind of thing you plan out for your big races by tapering a lot more than you could plan for every week or even every race, otherwise you'd be under-training.

As far as the OP goes, it sounds like you've just built a good base, don't worry if you were doing better than the guys that haven't trained much this winter: it doesn't mean you've been training too hard. Frankly, a good endurance fitness is a good thing this time of year, you can soon build on that to get faster. Get a plan, and start using it, if nothing else get a heart rate monitor. Your training probably is just what most people call a base period, and you can fit right into a good plan for the rest of the season.
 

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I've been worried about the same thing myself. Unfortunately I dont know anything about peaking either. I've kept it slow and steady through the winter, but for the past few weeks the weather has turned great, so I've been riding like crazy, and so has everyone else. Unfortunately I've been riding with some groups and giong way too hard for several rides.

Over the past few weeks I've noticed my lactate clearance (recovery from hard efforts) happens much quicker. Also, the hard painful efforts are starting to be not so painful anymore. Just feel stronger for longer.

I'm going to try to ease up a little and follow a somewhat progressive plan, but since there is a big break during summer (fall and spring seasons only), and since I dont know what a peak or burnout feels like, I think I am going to not back off too much, and see how it goes. If nothing else, maybe I'm getting my fix of trail riding (140 miles on the mtb over the last 8 days) and getting back to the training focus will be not such a chore.
 

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I did peaking last year successfully. I planned on 2 races to peak for, and so happens, those were the only 2 races I podiumed. Other races I just didn't have the freshness to get top performance (trained through the races; LT interval session Thursday right into a Saturday race, typically).

But to support whybotherme to a certain extent, I'll agree, that it's something very difficult to get right. I had a coach last season and he made sure he had me in somewhat of a hole all season, until the peak race came up. The first peak race was unreal, it was like I had magic legs. Everything just came together perfectly. It was awesome. Then it was back into the hole again. That part sucks.

But I think most racers are very reluctant to perform the "train through race" methodology on their own, which is the crux of periodization. It really sucks to fry yourself 2 days before a race you pay for.
 

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Poncharelli said:
I did peaking last year successfully. I planned on 2 races to peak for, and so happens, those were the only 2 races I podiumed. Other races I just didn't have the freshness to get top performance (trained through the races; big interval session Thursday right into a Saturday race, typically).

But to support whybotherme to a certain extent, I'll agree, that it's something very difficult to get right. I had a coach last season and he made sure he had me in somewhat of a hole all season, until the peak race came up. The first peak race was unreal, it was like I had magic legs. Everything just came together perfectly. It was awesome. Then it was back into the hole again. That part sucks.

But I think most racers are very reluctant to perform the "train through race" methodology, which is the crux of periodization. It really sucks to fry yourself 2 days before a race you pay for.
That just doesn't sound so great to me. I mean, shouldn't the peak/race duration last for 2-4 weeks? Why not get in at least 2 races per peak, even if the other isn't a major one. I just can't get my head around training so much for only 2 races per year. What if you happen to have a mechanical in one or both of them? The whole year was for nothing.
 

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whybotherme said:
no doping in my house, but i have tried to "peak" using the periodization methods of other cyclists. it seems like a myth. you can be rested, you can be fit, you can be ready to race... but the idea of a "peak" is silly. can you hold top fitness for the whole year? nope. do lots of people burn out? yep. will your training/fitness/mental preparedness ebb and flow? yes.

since a "peak" is some make believe construct, there is no way to measure it.
I too have to disagree.

A peak is the short time of year where you can have all components of your training work together to give optimal form.

Measurement is simple, at what times do you produce your best power numbers.

Everybody has a peak every year, for most the peak isn't planned, it just happens.
 

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rob_co2 said:
That just doesn't sound so great to me. I mean, shouldn't the peak/race duration last for 2-4 weeks? Why not get in at least 2 races per peak, even if the other isn't a major one. I just can't get my head around training so much for only 2 races per year. What if you happen to have a mechanical in one or both of them? The whole year was for nothing.
You're correct. The peak was longer than 1 week, but looking at my training calendar, it was 2 weeks for both peaks (typically a "light" Thursday before a Saturday race). The races that I podiumed just suited me more (punchy hills), which is why I identified those as "A" races.

And there were also some weeks where I saw my training week and just rolled my eyes. It was like wow, gotta do a Thursday night crit, then a Saturday 150 mile RR?? Or a Thursday night MTB race, straight into a weekend 3 stage road race?? Without a coach, there is no way in hell I would do that to myself.

But every once in a while, you'll get a good performance out of one of those. In that stage race, I barely missed the podium on the 3rd stage, and got some good upgrade points.:thumbsup:
 
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