training for LeTape and need some help

Bennoz
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:57 am

training for LeTape and need some help

Postby Bennoz » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:58 am

Hi All

A story you might be familiar with - newbie signs up for LeTape and now thinks he's bitten off more than he can chew :D

Had some mates do LeTape last year, love it, and convinced me to sign up for it this year.
Im 36, and purchased my first road bike in Feb. Ive had been following the awesome advice already posted up on this forum
here (found this really interesting): viewtopic.php?f=12&t=91287
and here: viewtopic.php?f=43&t=97530

training was going really well. Joined the local riding club (SSCC). was managing to fit in 200+km a week.
my 1st long group ride (80km) i bonked. the next week i did it i was more prepared and manged to get through okay. hardest thing id ever done but i was hooked. How did i not get into cycling before ???

when i say training "WAS" going well... i had a bit of an accident. Got clipped by a truck one morning, came off hard but managed to walk away without breaking anything. can read the story here in your interested: viewtopic.php?f=53&t=98419

Whilst recovering and getting my head right, the LeTape jersey turned up in the mail. I decided that would be my motivation to get back into riding.

Got a new bike, and have had a few sessions to ease back into it. Looked at my calendar this week and worked out between family, holidays etc i have 14 weeks to train, with only 12 weekends free. It hit home that i really need to ramp up or im going to struggle.

my plan is to do the following, whilst following the advice in the other threads
mon-fri - 3 rides. 1hr. about 30km (i can only get out in the mornings and need to be home by 645am so im not late for work / take kids to child care)
sat - bit longer ride 30-50km
sun - attempt the sunday club ride (its about 70km but they go at a fair pace)

g-boaf
Posts: 9654
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: training for LeTape and need some help

Postby g-boaf » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:23 pm

Follow the topic from the previous years:

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=91287&hilit=letape


Plenty of good advice there.

Bennoz
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:57 am

Re: training for LeTape and need some help

Postby Bennoz » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:52 pm

1st week down and everything seems to be going well. have done 150km in 5x1hr sessions. Havent been able to do a long ride yet due to family commitments but am planning on heading out sunday morning

i had a question on Pacing im hoping someone can give me some tips on, as ive always been horrible when it comes to this.
i read somewhere make sure your easy days are easy and your hard days are hard... i had my 1st hard day this morning and was surprised at the results

for my easy days ive been spinning around 90-100 cadence in the granny gear. Feels like around 70% effort. Still get puffed on hills but its a fairly comfortable ride, no need to get out of the saddle and plenty left in the tank at the end

this morning was the hard ride and did the same route with the mindset of getting from point A to point B in the fastest time possible. Pushing the whole way with the legs giving out on the hills. i was spent by the end but i was only marginally faster overall.

There was a headwind this morning, and ive been off the bike for a while so im not concerned or anything like that. Im just wanting to know that im approaching the pacing in the right way

any tips would be much appreciated :D

BugsBunny
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:06 pm

Re: training for LeTape and need some help

Postby BugsBunny » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:13 pm

Good work mate.

There are whole host of variables and I don't know much about the Le Tape route/difficulty - so hard to be entirely specific. And moreover, I'm just someone who has a few years of cycling/training so be warned :-).

But my general thoughts are:

Hill reps are the best bang for the buck training. Riding flats is good, and riding long distances is good. But if you want cardio conditioning, hill reps is almost a sure bet. The reason is there is no let up, no free wheeling, no drafting. It covers most bases in the training repertoire.

Find a hill or two that's say a 5-20 min climb entirely uphill. And just go up and down and vary the intensity and the amount of reps. Mix things up with shorter climbs (5 min) with higher intensity and fewer reps (say 3), to longer climbs (up to 12-20min) with lower intensity and more reps (say 5).

Slap on one long endurance ride a week to this and you have a pretty good program.

Riding flats (can) give you a false sense of fitness because the speeds are much faster and you can move along fairly quickly but not really be exerting much effort - ie not inducing much training stimulus.

I followed TrainerRoad training program and its more or less similar to the above but done indoors on an ergo.

g-boaf
Posts: 9654
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: training for LeTape and need some help

Postby g-boaf » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:10 pm

Bennoz wrote:1st week down and everything seems to be going well. have done 150km in 5x1hr sessions. Havent been able to do a long ride yet due to family commitments but am planning on heading out sunday morning

i had a question on Pacing im hoping someone can give me some tips on, as ive always been horrible when it comes to this.
i read somewhere make sure your easy days are easy and your hard days are hard... i had my 1st hard day this morning and was surprised at the results

for my easy days ive been spinning around 90-100 cadence in the granny gear. Feels like around 70% effort. Still get puffed on hills but its a fairly comfortable ride, no need to get out of the saddle and plenty left in the tank at the end

this morning was the hard ride and did the same route with the mindset of getting from point A to point B in the fastest time possible. Pushing the whole way with the legs giving out on the hills. i was spent by the end but i was only marginally faster overall.

There was a headwind this morning, and ive been off the bike for a while so im not concerned or anything like that. Im just wanting to know that im approaching the pacing in the right way

any tips would be much appreciated :D



That easy spinning at 90-100rpm on your easy days is a good idea. What you read about easy days being very easy is exactly right. That's how the recovery happens. Otherwise you just ride around feeling fatigued all the time.

Pacing is something you learn. The trick on those big hills is to be in an easy gear to start with so that you won't be suffering half way up the climb. If that means fitting your bike out with a dinner plate cassette, so be it. If that lets you spin comfortably up the big climbs, that's better than being stuck having to grind your way up a mountain at 60rpm, and let's face it, that's pretty awful.

Times from point A to point B are never really a reliable way of judging your effort, because they are influenced by so many outside factors. One day you'll get every red traffic light and a monster headwind. Another day it'll be smooth sailing the whole way, or you get a blasting big gale pushing you along.

Being faster overall is also about being clever, like not smashing yourself completely before you get to a hill, otherwise you are just going to lose a stack of time going up the hill.

Riding hills as much as possible helps a lot. You can do them on a smart trainer simulated if you wish. If it is 40 minute climbs you are aiming at, then 4x10min is 40min. As you get better at them you can increase the power or reduce the recovery time between them. There are many different ways and there are loads of fancy names for many exotic sounding intervals, but keeping it simple, repeatable and accountable (by tracking everything) is all you need to do. By keeping to the plan you can compare how you are going versus the previous week or fortnight.

Another common thing is not just the easier rides or days, but easier weeks. You'll have a few weeks with gradually higher training loads or hours, then you'll back off to have an easier week. That easier week is there for a reason, that's where you get the recovery and the benefits.
Last edited by g-boaf on Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

macca33
Posts: 1494
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:05 pm
Location: West Gippy

Re: training for LeTape and need some help

Postby macca33 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:57 pm

You need to start with some 3-4 hour rides now - at least one a week. If not, you won't get there on the day. The ride is at elevation, the weather is unpredictable and it is a long way, with plenty of climbing. 30-40km rides a few days a week won't cut it.

If you bonked on a local 80km ride, it is telling you that more miles and longer rides are required, as well as a decent fuel / re-fuel strategy.

Cheers
CAAD10 Berzerker & Focus Mares CX & Ridley Noah-R Team

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BugsBunny
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:06 pm

Re: training for LeTape and need some help

Postby BugsBunny » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:56 am

Regarding pacing - that's very important to both your training rides as well as preparation before the race day, and then during the race.

I would start by looking at the Letape course route - particularly the elevation gains - ie. the big climbs. Write these down and at what km they start in the race. For example, at 26km mark, there will be a 300m elevation gain climb over 5km. Later on, prior the race, stick this on your top tube. The course terrain forms part of your pre race pacing strategy. If it finishes on a big climb for example, you will need to pace yourself by saving your energy for that last climb for example. How long do you estimate each of the climbs take? Marry up your hill reps training to the race terrain as best you can.

I would set your Garmin head unit to have lap time, lap distance and elevation showing. This way at the start of each climb you hit the lap button you can gauge how long you have to climb/go before reaching the top. This marries up with your cheat sheet mentioned above. The time elapsed and elevation to go and how hard if feels as you ride is your pacing barometer.

Lastly, during the race, you have to learn to note your physical condition. I break up each climb into 3 logical chunks. For example, that 300m I would break it up into 100m elevation gains (again using your Garmin head unit). Ride at a level that by the time you hit the first 100m (first third) you are feeling tired by no where near overly exhausted/struggling. This mental note is how you know you are not pushing too hard. Do the same for the second third. Make sure you are still feeling ok and not anywhere exhausted. If you are, you are going too hard. If you are feeling really really good, go a bit harder on the last third. And then recover on the downhill. Repeat this on each climb and again noting your cheat sheet and how many km/climbs to go.

If you put a link the route here, I can take a guesstimate of the climb times for you.

Bugs

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