Training has come a long way for cycling since the first race in May 31, 1868 at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, Paris. The primary training method for years was based on volume and intensity.
Volume riding is the amount of riding you would do. Intensity is a term to explain how hard you ride or train; think about high rates of perceived efforts. Typically high volume riding involved long rides without major wattage output on the off season, or on days you were not racing. As your training continues, volume starts to decrease, and intensity increases. Trading off from volume and intensity has been the staple of almost any kind of endurance sport.
Later, starting at a time when I cannot pinpoint a certain date, a type of interval training became the norm. The different types of cycling training were broken down and performed one by one on a seperate day. Ex:
- Monday – Rest
- Tuesday – Long Rides
- Wednesday – Climbing
- Thursday – Race Training
- Friday – Relax Ride
- Saturday – Race
- Sunday – Rest
These days cyclometers, heart rate monitors, power meters and other types of training measurement are available.We know know that rest is just as important as the racing and training itself. The usefulness of modern training has made professional racing more efficient. Less grueling training has to be done, and we are not seeing as many riders racing to train during the spring classics. Racers are recovering better (drugs or not) throughout the year, and are not all wasted by the time that off-season starts.
I do believe these new training methods work, but I also believe the old training methods work. They may take longer and involve more time, but may even possibly burn more calories and build endurance. The great 5-time Tour de France winners used traditional cycling, and many of the modern teams still use it.
Chris Carmichael and Mike Ross M.D. and many others believe that while this type of training works for many that one can just do intensity and recovery together and get the same results. With this kind of training, one would start with low intensity and low recovery, and ramp both of those two variables more and more.
Apparently intensity training still starts with endurance, sustained power, and maximum power output, but I don’t understand how different it would be than with traditional training. Technology has changed a lot throughout the years, and racers have increased the average tour speed by 10% from 1979 to 2009. 10% in thirty years does not seem like that much, but we have been on the edge of racing science for a while now.
I’d love to do one type of training all winter next year, then a different type the year after and see if there are any single subject significance in difference between the two methods.
What training methods do you use?