Winter Training: Have I Screwed it Up?

Honestly, this sounds a bit more like decision paralysis to me and I’m not sure debating the relevant benefits of each detail is particularly helpful.
What are your priorities- are they joining in on your club rides for experience/enjoyment, nailing a training plan, or incorporating strength training? As much as we would all like to, you can’t ‘optimize’ for all of them at the same time, especially if you’re newer and still adjusting to one and/or all of those stimuli. You can’t do everything at once, it takes time.
Pick one thing, get a handle on that, start the next thing. Don’t overthink it. You’ll learn what balance works for you as you go. At the end of the day that’s sort of what training boils down to :slight_smile:

To be fair I have to say I think you’re being a bit harsh on someone new to structured training, and of those four “rest” days they are looking to put in two days strength and potentially two club rides…if anything there’s a risk of too much

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Well, his original post was 3 days of riding, 4 days of rest. It was only as the thread unfolded that things like the groups rides were coming into it.

But I think my overall point remains…as someone who is new to the sport, his time will be better spent on adding volume vs. strength training. With three days of riding, there is a LOT of low hanging fruit he can harvest and see significant gains in his riding, much more than by lifting.

So if he does that by doing the group rides on the weekend, great. And depending on the intensity of those rides, he may want to adjust some of his weekday workouts. But getting more volume is going to be THE key component for his improvement.

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Thanks for everyone’s responses. The consensus appears to be that, while strength training can reap benefits, the main focus should be on riding more and building up that aerobic base.

I’m going to add more riding to my week, especially as I am now signed up to this 100-mile sportive. I’m going to have a look at my schedule and see what works.

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Others may disagree but just because the best gains will be from more riding that doesn’t mean to completely cut out the strength. You will still see benefits from 2x45 minutes of a very simple strength program. Some split squats, deadlift, push ups, pull ups, and some core would go a long way to comfort on the bike and general health stuff.

Edit: Also, remember you’re not a pro so general life strength is important. As well as a variety in training. It probably doesn’t help me in crits to deadlift over 250 (not even that much in the scheme of things) but when November hits, and the last thing I want to do is an interval >FTP, it’s fun to get back to heavy lifting to mix things up.

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Not going to go near the strength training, but what I do is follow mid volume, and then sub the “moderate” sweet spot* for my club spin on a Saturday. With Sunday and Thursday as the off days (although I normally do something on a Thursday).

*I have it flagged as an outdoor ride - wouldn’t be compliant with the outdoor workout, but is normally 100km plus so in and around 4 hours.

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When, or where, do you add in strength training if you’re riding 5 days/week?

last week for me:

Only 4 days cycling because:

  • it was a rest week with reduced volume and intensity
  • following a hard 4 week block coming back after 5 week off-season

In a perfect world it’s probably in the evening, before your rest day(s). In reality, it’s wherever it’s feasible in your schedule, ideally separated by some time with your next workout.

For me that’s usually early in the morning, then go to work, then do a TR sweet spot session in the afternoon. I try to avoid doing strength training on the same day as vo2 max, because it’s a little too taxing on the legs, but before z2/tempo/sweet spot work, it’s manageable.

I think it’s entirely possible to train 5-6 days a week on the bike, do your 2-3 days of TR intensity, do a long z2 ride and strength train 1-2x…especially when you’re 26.

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I’m more than twice that age and doing it (not using TR plan).

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