Turbo training help - distance or pace?

When drugs don't work: training and health tips!
dynamicbrick
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Turbo training help - distance or pace?

Postby dynamicbrick » Sun Dec 30, 2012 21:21 pm

Having reading The Graham Obree way, I was inspired to change the way I'd been using the trainer. Rather than just get on and pedal for an unspecified time at an unspecified speed I followed his lead; removed the flywheel & cable, sacrificed one of the bikes to live permanently on the thing, 120psi and wound the tension up as hard as I could. No power meter, but requires a pedal stand start to get over the initial resistance, and is roughly equal effort to the 11% hill I've got near here.

Gearing is 39/15

Regime target is 10 minutes at 75rpm, then 20minutes at 100rpm, then 5minutes at flat out = approx 150rpm - without break between.

Must stress this is the target I'm working up towards. However, I've plateaued over the last few weeks - I can maintain the pace but not the time intervals.

Looking at my spreadsheet tracking this, I'm typically bonking at 60%-75% timing on the second sector, which prompts me into the sprint sector where - frankly - I can only manage no more than 30 seconds sustained at 150rpm before collapsing off the thing.

Would it be an idea to wind down the RPM to achieve the timing, let off some of the resistance, or just keep at it until I do improve?

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Herbsman
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Re: Turbo training help - distance or pace?

Postby Herbsman » Sun Dec 30, 2012 21:41 pm

One of the main objectives of training is to actually complete the training. So you need to reduce the resistance. You would probably have been better off leaving the resistance control intact (assuming that that's what the cable you mentioned is for) so you can change it more easily to suit your ability. But loosening the tension on the roller will help.

Reducing your cadence will help, but only if you reduce it to a rate that you're comfortable with. Low cadence + high resistance ---> bad knees...

Why does he remove the flywheel? Obviously this removes most of the mass from the roller, so when riding there's very little inertia to keep it moving when you stop pedaling.... but realistically, what would this achieve other than making it feel more like riding up a hill? :?




BTW bonking is running out of energy... you become hypoglycemic due to lack of energy intake and running low on glycogen. It takes a few hours for this to happen. It's not the same as being fatigued through working too hard for a short period of time!

dynamicbrick
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Re: Turbo training help - distance or pace?

Postby dynamicbrick » Sun Dec 30, 2012 21:51 pm

Ah okay. Running out of energy then.

That's the whole point of the flywheel removal - it makes the effort constant. The resistance control is a variable element. Obree's methodology is have the TT as constant as possible.

The training has had a remarkable effect on my overall stamina when it comes to concentrated sustained effort (such as hills). Indeed, I'm capable of mashing away at the various speeds and times individually - just when strung together I hit keep hitting a wall at around the 15 minute mark on the 100rpm slot. The legs feel like lead, the vision starts to tunnel, and the body screams at me to pack it in.

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Alex_Simmons/RST
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Re: Turbo training help - distance or pace?

Postby Alex_Simmons/RST » Sun Dec 30, 2012 22:11 pm

dynamicbrick wrote:Would it be an idea to wind down the RPM to achieve the timing, let off some of the resistance, or just keep at it until I do improve?

If you are unable to complete a desired workout, then the resistance is set too high. Reduce the resistance until you can do it. Once you are able to complete it with reasonable "comfort", then perhaps increase the resistance.

dynamicbrick
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Re: Turbo training help - distance or pace?

Postby dynamicbrick » Sun Dec 30, 2012 22:34 pm

Thanks for the steer, Alex.

Feels a bit like admitting defeat though

Would you recommend a powermeter to compliment this sort of work I'm doing here?

Edit: scrap that idea... just seen the price of the things. :shock:

twotyred
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Re: Turbo training help - distance or pace?

Postby twotyred » Mon Dec 31, 2012 00:01 am

Having reading The Graham Obree way


First of all you are not Graham Obree so what works for a somewhat unconventional elite athlete may well not work for you.

Your resistance is obviously too high for you to complete the prescribed time. How did you arrive at the resistance-time combination you have? Do you know what the objective of the workout is? Is it to increase strength? If it is then not completing it is probably not a problem. If its to increase aerobic performance then not completing the time might lose you some benefit.

Also if the resistance is fixed how do you warm up? I wouldn't want to tackle a super intense workout like that without a warm up.

I doubt removing the flywheel is making it any harder. On every turbo I've used the flywheel doesn't allow much spin down.

A fifteen minute balls out workout is probably doing you some good but you'd porobably get more benefit by mixing things up with some longer threshold and shorter sprint sessions.

dynamicbrick
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Re: Turbo training help - distance or pace?

Postby dynamicbrick » Mon Dec 31, 2012 01:11 am

twotyred wrote:
Having reading The Graham Obree way


First of all you are not Graham Obree so what works for a somewhat unconventional elite athlete may well not work for you.

Your resistance is obviously too high for you to complete the prescribed time. How did you arrive at the resistance-time combination you have? Do you know what the objective of the workout is? Is it to increase strength? If it is then not completing it is probably not a problem. If its to increase aerobic performance then not completing the time might lose you some benefit.

Also if the resistance is fixed how do you warm up? I wouldn't want to tackle a super intense workout like that without a warm up.

I doubt removing the flywheel is making it any harder. On every turbo I've used the flywheel doesn't allow much spin down.

A fifteen minute balls out workout is probably doing you some good but you'd porobably get more benefit by mixing things up with some longer threshold and shorter sprint sessions.


Thanks for taking the time twotyred. In order;

I know I'm not, and having read the book there's no doubt he's rather unconventional. However, I share his cold engineering logic to things, so the trainer setup bit made sense to me. The resistance was a bit of trial and error - wound it up as far as I dared, backed it off a touch, tried it and left it at that. I've sort of got used to it now.

Intent is threefold - strength and aerobic, with the intention of getting in with the chain gang at the local velodrome. They run 20 minutes at 39/15 @100rpm with a 1.5km sprint at the end. The trainer setup in essence crudely replicates that. This is fairly arbitrary, and not really as intense an exercise as I'd face on the track - but set the goal above the level that I need to be at is the thinking.

I have noticed a marked increase in my strength and aerobic performance since starting this, but I think I might have hit the point of diminishing returns. Oddly, I don't regard it as intense session - more I'm just not fit enough to complete the goal I've set myself.

Warm up is a session of stretching and then either a few laps of the block on another bike or 10-15 minutes on free weights in the garage if the weather sucks.

I found removing the flywheel made a difference - on mine at least - it basically makes everything feel like a climb rather than being on the flat. It is fairly subtle, but there's noticeably less momentum at the top of the stroke to carry the pedal over. My own view is that Obree recommends this in order to encourage power from the 10/11 o'clock position, rather than the 2-3 o'clock you might normally end up with on high cadence with a flywheel. Whilst it doesn't seem to make any difference on the turbo, I've noticed it on the road.

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Alex_Simmons/RST
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Re: Turbo training help - distance or pace?

Postby Alex_Simmons/RST » Mon Dec 31, 2012 04:58 am

I'm not so sure removing the flywheel is a good idea. What you do need to do though is learn to "keep the strain on the chain" - IOW don't lose mental focus on the effort of keeping the drive going - which is what happens with high inertia flywheels and flatter roads - people don't realise how much they tend to have mini rests on flatter terrain, and soft pedal whenever the gradient is ever so slightly negative.

Hill climbs tend to force one to keep pressing on as a mini rest = stopping and falling over. But that won't fix the tendency to relax more on flatter terrain.

Removing a flywheel on a trainer can have the effect of reducing the power one is capable of producing though, and ultimately reduce the quality of the session.

And training should be what's right for you, both physiologically and psychologically. You may have Obree's character, just not his legs (yet).

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Herbsman
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Re: Turbo training help - distance or pace?

Postby Herbsman » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:46 am

dynamicbrick wrote:That's the whole point of the flywheel removal - it makes the effort constant. The resistance control is a variable element. Obree's methodology is have the TT as constant as possible.

If you keep the resistance control on the same number though, that keeps it constant.... e.g. I keep mine on 4 all the time for 2 x 20 rides and in 52 x 14 this always gives me about 300w at 90rpm.

dynamicbrick wrote:....Feels a bit like admitting defeat though ...

I felt like I was admitting defeat when I first started racing and realised I was incapable of finishing 2/3/4 road races, and instead decided on focusing on 3/4 and 4 only races. I succeeded in winning a 4 only and got a few top ten finishes in 3/4s.

Look at it this way: you are only defeated if you fail to complete your task. With the resistance set too high you will not be able to complete your task, thus you will always be defeated. Lowering the resistance allows you to succeed, and not become defeated. Redefine your definitions of success and defeat, and you will progress better.


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