Monday, February 28, 2011

Geeking the Numbers: PBP Training Plan

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I'm putting together a highly scientific, NASA-approved training plan to try to get my aging carcass in shape for this summer's attempt at the Charly Miller Society. To be honest, it's not really NASA-approved. No men in short-sleeved white dress shirts in Texas or Florida have even looked at it. Yet. And while it may be scientific, I don't really fully understand the science. I just stole a lot of the ideas from others who I'm hoping understand the scientific part better than I do.

Really, all I've done is read a bunch of what other people have to say about training for ultra cycling events and then I mixed it all together in my osterizer of a brain, and I drew a pretty picture.

The basic idea is that beginning in a couple weeks I'll start doing some interval and hill training in addition to my usual daily commute, and my weekend rides will start getting a bit longer and more intense. The intervals will start off pretty easy but they will slowly ramp up in intensity until late July when I'll be doing things that will literally make my head spin.

What are intervals? Basically they are periods of intense activity alternating with periods of recovery. The idea is that you can train at higher levels for greater lengths of time if you break it into small intervals and allow yourself to recover between the intervals. It obviously works well because intervals have been integral to professional athletes' training plans for many years.

On paper it all looks simple and easy and great fun. Of course if it was really that easy we'd all be like Alberto Contador except that most of us wouldn't test positive for clenbuterol.


  1. This looks like a great plan; well done with the Osterizer. Do you have access to a power meter? This can really help cut out some of the variability that comes with using HR as the only metric.

  2. From what I know about power meters it sounds like it gives much better data with which to work. The problem is I'm generally such a Luddite and retro-grouch that it's a stretch for me to even use a heart rate monitor. But thanks for the suggestion. I'll toss it in the Osterizer with the rest of it.

  3. The most retro-grouchy option in the power meter world is probably a used, wired SRM unit. I got mine through Ebay.