If you were a cycling coach....

Bill Gates

Guest
Location
West Sussex
what would you schedule to be your rider's training to be in the week leading up to a 100 km road race this Friday in either one of these 2 real life situations? The schedule to include a 100 km recce of the course last Friday which was ridden in a group at a very fast pace indeed, and include Saturday and Sunday.
One rider (Rider A) a proven winner has won the last road race but was dropped in the recce when climbing the last climb and is off form.
The other rider (Rider B) is on top form and rode away from the group in the training run but is very inexperienced.
The racing season in this case has been going since September and finishes at the end of March.

I have a personal interest in Rider B; have advised him what to do and he is implementing this to the letter. As I said this is a real life situation and this coming Friday I will update everyone as to what happened.

What would you do?
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Use rider A to guide and lead rider B. Trust to luck:okay:
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
Wonder if rider B shot his bolt too early. In terms of load I am always a fan of keep it light in the last 5 days before a race, but keep turning the with only the day off before the race.
 
OP
Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Guest
Location
West Sussex
At the start of the race on Friday morning you want to be mentally and physically refreshed, also to be motivated with a very clear belief that you could win. Most of the riders in a race don't have that belief and accordingly have not prepared properly. First job of a coach is instill the belief that the rider will achieve their (realistic) goals and set out clear objectives. It might be to finish in the top 10 or top 3 (podium) or to actually win.

You want the rider to be bursting to turn the pedals in anger on the start line, confident in their ability to do a great ride.
 

Ming the Merciless

Formerly YukonBoy
Location
Inside my skull
He’s not going to gain any effective fitness in the next five days, but he could lose his form with too high a workload. You say he is inexperienced so my question would be what race specifics could he concentrate on, now he knows the event route? Plus is this his A the important one or just a side race to keep him sharp?

You are asking us to offer advice when we know knowing of how this rider reacts to his training load, how fast he recovers, how much external motivation he needs, what his weaknesses are other than inexperience.

But main thing for me would be if he is “on form” don’t lose it in next few days, and be race “sharp” raring to go.
 
OP
Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Guest
Location
West Sussex
Preparation Rider A

Unquestioned ability and fitness but a dip in form. I would suggest recovery, easy, low intensity rides
Friday - Hard ride with the team
Saturday - very easy or nothing at all
Sunday - easy ride if nothing on Saturday, or nothing at all.
Monday - easy ride
Tuesday - nothing at all
Wednesday - easy ride
Thursday - Easy ride but with 5 minutes flat out, to open the lungs, and to get a taste of the race pace.

Edit: You are not going to lose fitness over 7 days and probably not for anything up to 14 days
 
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Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Guest
Location
West Sussex
Preparation Rider B

Friday - Hard ride with the team
Saturday - Easy recovery
Sunday - HIIT to fatigue 4 x 10 minutes at 105% FTP, 4 x 2 minutes at max effort , 2 x 20 second sprints, resting between sets
Actually completed 4 x 10 minutes at 335 Watts, 2 x 1 minute at 400 watts, then totally spent
Monday - Easy recover ride
Tuesday - 50 km ride with group with the only hard efforts on the climbs
Wednesday and Thursday easy recovery.

I am not coaching Rider A but Rider B is my son.
 
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OP
Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Guest
Location
West Sussex
He’s not going to gain any effective fitness in the next five days, but he could lose his form with too high a workload. You say he is inexperienced so my question would be what race specifics could he concentrate on, now he knows the event route? Plus is this his A the important one or just a side race to keep him sharp?

You are asking us to offer advice when we know knowing of how this rider reacts to his training load, how fast he recovers, how much external motivation he needs, what his weaknesses are other than inexperience.

But main thing for me would be if he is “on form” don’t lose it in next few days, and be race “sharp” raring to go.
Rider B is inexperienced having ridden for no more than 12 months or so. His progress is staggering. Normally I would agree that for most riders the fitness gains would be marginal, but I would recommend it nonetheless if only for confidence. Ahead of him is another 3 years worth of progress. It took me at least as long as that to reach my potential if not longer.
 
OP
Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Guest
Location
West Sussex
He’s not going to gain any effective fitness in the next five days, but he could lose his form with too high a workload. You say he is inexperienced so my question would be what race specifics could he concentrate on, now he knows the event route? Plus is this his A the important one or just a side race to keep him sharp?

You are asking us to offer advice when we know knowing of how this rider reacts to his training load, how fast he recovers, how much external motivation he needs, what his weaknesses are other than inexperience.

But main thing for me would be if he is “on form” don’t lose it in next few days, and be race “sharp” raring to go.
Good point.

I refer to recovery days as get stronger days. I would never recommend training very hard two days consecutively. In a stage race you may well be racing hard on consecutive days but then so are all the other riders in the race.
 
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Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Guest
Location
West Sussex
Rider B Update
55 km this morning plus 2 sprints in a small group completed
Wednesday - recovery ride
Thursday - 15 minute warm up 5 mins ftp 20 minutes warm down
Friday - race
 
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Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Guest
Location
West Sussex
The contributions seem to suggest that they would be taking it easy if they were preparing themselves for the race. Thats interesting as it is all very subjective.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I hope that irrespective of what happens on Friday that no one comes in and says I would have done this or that. Now is the time to say all that not after the event.
 
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Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Guest
Location
West Sussex
Just been talking to my son, Rider B. Here's what happened. Over 70 riders in the race.

We discussed his strategy before the race. There were two substantial climbs of which the 2nd was the toughest and a 20 km or so to the finish line. The team plan was to break on the 1st climb and hammer the descent to create a breakaway group. I said that would be too early in the race for it to work. They indeed did try and executed their plan but they were caught by the main group.

On the 2nd climb my son and I's strategy, (our) strategy was to let the climbers in the group make the initial break, and then give it 100 % effort half way up to narrow the field down. He achieved this and on the descent waited for the only other 2 riders who were close enough to join him, one of which was rider A. Unbeknown to me he had told Rider A that if he was still with him after the 2nd climb that they would work together and on the line he would give it to Rider A for the points in the season long competition, which he is leading.

So the three riders worked very hard together keeping the peloton at bay by a minute or so until the last 80 meters where the gap had closed to 45 seconds. My son shouted at Rider A to sprint for the line but he didn't respond well enough which allowed the younger Omani rider to snatch it on the line with my son in 2nd place and Rider A third. The winner collapsed on the ground at the end with the effort and fair play to him as he had wholeheartedly contributed to the break and they could not have stayed away without him. My son said he could easily have won if he had attacked when I had told him to with a 1 km to go. You can always get beaten in a sprint finish after all.

So the question is was his preparation in the previous 7 days, the right preparation for him for this race. I asked him this very question and he replied with a 100% yes. 2nd place, when he could have, should have won and 1st place in the Masters is not bad for a rider with less than 12 months riding experience and only his 3rd road race. There are some other races ahead including a 3 day stage race culminating in a TT. and a team triathlon for which he taking the bike leg which I think is a 100 km.

Here's one very proud dad.
 
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Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Guest
Location
West Sussex
The next road race is three weeks away. It is 15 laps of a town circuit, no hills or gradients, totally flat and approx 100 km to be confirmed. Totally new experience. Any ideas on how to prepare for this one?
 
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Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Guest
Location
West Sussex
We're planning an easy week this week with a 2 week build up to the next road race starting next week.

Strategy: - The sort of riding I would expect is for the Peloton to get stretched out coming out of the bends and therefore to save energy by getting close to the front rather than having to catch up all the time. I would anticipate some early attempts to get away but better to let them go. Keep the team together more or less and then around the 13th lap form a train with the stronger riders at the back to bring any break back . At this stage all the riders will be tired and this is when the strongest riders can take advantage to form a decisive break.

Training: - After the next (easy) week then as follows
1st week to include at least 2 x sessions of long interval training, 2 x 10 minute 110 % FTP, 2 x 10 minute intervals 105% FTP 5 minute rest between sets on alternate days.
2nd week to include (if possible, depending on group rides) 2 x sessions of sprints consisting of 2 x sets 5 x 30 second sprints 30 seconds rest, 5 minutes rest between sets allowing 2 days between sessions and 2 days of rest immediately before race day.

The longer rides with the group to be set around these sessions on alternate days. Actual schedule to follow.
 
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