Pro/Elite training

:shushing_face: I want to keep asking stupid questions! (Also not a pro in the strict sense.)


Curious how much time would be left of a typical pro’s volume if you discard everything under 65% HRmax. With most people I know, once a certain level of fitness (and fatigue) is attained, riding at 65% HRmax actually feels like work (not hard, but quite a bit above recovery pace).

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65-87% is a massive range. 65% for most I would assume is almost at recovery ride pace, while 87% could be near LTHR.

In the text endurance is described as 65-80% in several places, only in the overview table 87% is given. Not sure if this is a typo.

However, this does not really matter I’d say. Actual intensity of the Th/Sun endurance rides are a result of the entire weekly work load. He says one could throw in some SST/threshold efforts if feeling good. Once again, this is not a rigid system.

His strategy was to build endurance and lift LT2/FTP/MLSS/VT2 in the prep-phase. The latter with 4x15’ intervals in the beginning, moving towards 10min threshold intervals. Hence, pushing from below. The first macrocyle is not the time for “intensity” according to him. Intensity is work above LFMV.
He does not mention a test for LFMV. He says it somethin you’ll figure out yourself when doing these intervals. It’s somewhere around 85-93% MaxHR. However, accoding to him it is not relevant where exactly. And where exactly you do your intervals.
Some statements are clearly outdated now though. For example his take on lactate. 1987.

On diet: The chapter is quite modern recommending a carb rich balanced diet. He criticises the monotony, it was only pasta or similar, nothing else. French riders asked if they were horses.

Well, technically everything under threshold is endurance. :slight_smile:

I’ve been kind of wanting to read some of those old training books (like Lemond’s or Eddie B’s) but I’ve been debating whether they are worth the time.

Egan Bernal back in the saddle taking the KOM of one of the iconic climbs just outside Bogotá.

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Is there a good example of the weekly hours a pro or elite does for a full year round?

I’ve seen long base periods of 20 to 30 hours, but haven’t seen anything for the full 12 months.

800-1200 (have seen as high as 1400) hours a year.

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What about the distribution? Heavily weighted towards winter or more flat? If we took 1000 hours as an average, over 11 months… still over 20 hours a week, pretty much year round…

Weekly hours (as usual, total hours includes plenty of coasting/descending/“breaking” … 25-30%! … these are not erg-mode-basement-hours)

Thomas De Gendt

Sepp Kuss


Class seeing it like that cheers!

That would make sense with the coasting and easy riding, would really need to see TSS alongside this to understand it better, but seems like even during race season the volume is huge. Was kinda expecting it to drop off with occasional spikes caused by longer events.

Very interesting to see this, what stands out for me is that not as many weeks as expected are above 21 hours… for both de Gendt and Kuss I counted roughly 22/52, and if up to 25 or 30 % are coasting is a lot but not as much as I personally was expecting.

Must be trainer rides in there too. Do pros really train full time on the road these days still?

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Plenty are active on Zwift and would imagine proportion of outdoor:indoor would vary with domestic arrangements, injury, race schedule etc.

I don’t see much indoor riding with the WT pros I check. Some in winter with the Northern based pros but most spend significant time in more comfortable climates. I don’t really see it as a significant training tool for WT pros.


Trainers are good for pre-race warm ups and post-race cool downs.

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I think indoor sessions are likely to be highly specific and maybe not the sort of thing that they’d share.

Not sure of course, but that would be my general intimation.

scan thru this thread at the workouts, and you’ll see a lot of highly specific work as part of an overall outdoor session.

AFAIK a trainer is primarily a backup training tool if you can’t execute an outside workout in a location hand picked for access to great training routes and weather.

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Not surprised as pros are not time crunched :slight_smile: and when someone lives in girona, Monaco etc and your only job is riding a bike and recovering after- why would you do your work on the trainer?:slight_smile:


You can’t beat training outside!

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