Welcome to the Berkeley BiCYCLE Club
Announcement: Registration is now open for the 58th Annual Berkeley Hills Road Race on Saturday May 9th. CLICK HERE to register now!!
2015 membership forms and clothing orders available here.
Check out these killer videos of our Winter Training Camp last weekend in sunny San Luis Obispo! The team logged 230 miles over 3 days and started a new tradition. Hats off to Mate for putting these together. We look forward to a repeat next year so if watching this gives you a twinge of jealousy follow us on Twitter @BerkeleyBike and toss your hat in the ring for next year!!
For Road and MTB Racers
Here is a rough outline of the months to come, assuming that you want
to start racing in February and really hit your stride in late March
or early April. Weight lifting, if you are doing it, gets serious
after mid-November and endurance mileage is really up, reaching annual
peak weekly volume (hours) near the end of November and into December.
December and January are a gradual transition to intensity with tempo
and threshold intervals and finally the racing season starts again in
February. If you will delay racing until March to avoid the colder,
wetter races, continue the base training through December and start
the transitional period in January. Call Meredith (415-516-0409) or
Scott (925-933-7306) (a small amount of consultation is free for all
club members) if you have questions.
November training has two components: endurance and strength. The
first two weeks of November in the gym are a continuation of the
Anatomical Adaptation phase commenced in October. By now you should be
accustomed to endurance training three or four days per week.
Weights: The first few weeks of weight lifting may have made you a
little sore even though the weights were very light. That soreness
should have disappeared after two to three weeks of lifting. Lift two
or three times per week this month, with at least one non-lifting day
in between. For the first two weeks of November continue to lift
moderate weights with which you can finish the sets comfortably and
with only mild burning in the muscle. Continue to do five or six sets
of ten for prime-mover muscles (quads, calves, glutes…) and three
gradually longer sets building up to 20 reps for support muscles
(abdomen, back, arms, chest…).
Increase the set-length gradually from week to week to feel out your
limits without killing yourself. If you are turning red and/or you
have to hold your breath to lift, the weight is too heavy. Great
cyclists are slight of build. If you are overbuilt in the upper body,
do short sets with very light weights for those muscles or skip those
lifts entirely. If you are lean but still heavy for a cyclist and you
want to do well in road races, talk to the club coach about what to
do. (Heavy for a road racer is over 160 at 5’10” for men. Subtract
five pounds per inch shorter or add five pounds per inch taller. For
women heavy is over 145 at 5’7” with the same additions and
If you didn’t start lifting in October, there is still time to get
plenty of benefit if you start now. If you want strength but don’t
want to go to the gym, this is the time to start adding two days per
week of On-Bike Strength work in place of the lifting days. An On-Bike
Strength session consists of an easy spinning warm up for at least 15
minutes and then a series of intervals pushing at about 60 rpm.
Alternate 3 minutes mashing the big gear with 3 minutes of easy
spinning. Alternate standing and seated intervals. During the
intervals and rests keep your heart rate in the Endurance zone (70-80%
of maximum heart rate). Continue with intervals until you are a little
tired or you run out of time.
Riding: By now you should be accustomed to endurance training three or
four days per week. Endurance training means riding, running, swimming
or whatever you choose to do at a pace that is about as hard as you
can go with no acceleration of your breathing and no burning in your
muscles and still feeling good after several hours of training. It is
below 80% of maximum heart rate if you use a monitor.
If you ever have the slightest difficulty maintaining your usual
effort or speed under normal conditions, you are tired and should
recover for the remainder of the day or take a recovery day. A
recovery day is about an hour of gentle spinning. If you use a
heart-rate monitor, Recovery Pace is 60-70% of maximum heart rate. If
you are already out on a ride when you become tired, just make your
way home at Recovery Pace. Never push to see how long you can keep the
heart rate or power in the endurance zone after you are tired.
Continue to add days and hours until you are training as much as you
have time for near the end of November. Don’t add more than 10% to
your training time from one week to the next except following a light
week. Now you should understand why it was so important to start
training in mid-October. One day a week go riding in hills,
maintaining the same effort, not spiking the heart rate. You’ll do
best if you put on a gear that allows you to spin 75 rpm or higher on
the hills you’ll be riding without bumping your heart rate above 80%
of max. That will mean getting a triple or compact crank-set for most
novice racers. Practice keeping the power on but the heart rate in the
endurance zone while standing for up to five minutes at a time.
Climbing ability depends on aerobic fitness and body weight. If you
are usually one of the fast people on the flats, but the slow people
on the hill, you need to be lighter. If you are one of the slow people
on the flats and on the hill, you need to improve your fitness, and
you can worry about weight later. E-mail
ScottSaifer@… for an e-handout of dietary guidelines
For Cyclocross Racers
You are now in the heart of the cross racing season. From now until
the end of cross for the year, racing will provide the majority of the
high-intensity training and you’ll only be doing intervals or other
structured high-intensity training of more than a few minutes duration
in weeks when you don’t have a race coming up.
The Cross season is short, and cross is a very technique-oriented
discipline. If you notice any deficiencies in your technique, work to
correct them quickly, preferably before the next race. How do you know
if you have a technical weakness? Consider where you gain and where
you lose time on nearby competitors in your races. Where you are
moving up, you are strong. Where you are moving back, you need practice.
Here’s the weekly plan for November:
Monday: Core Strength and a short recovery ride (<70% maximum heart
rate if at all tired, or Endurance Spin (<80% maximum heart rate) if
feeling great. This ride should be on flat ground or trainer. If those
aren’t available, take a bike with a triple so you can spin.
Tuesday: If you are at all tired, do another one-hour recovery ride.
If you feel good, after a 45-minute warm up, practice your CX starts
as 3-minute intervals. Stand around for 3 minutes or so before each
interval. Then clip in and go very hard for 20-30 seconds, before
settling in at a pace you can sustain for the length of your races. If
you are gasping and have to recover after the 30 seconds, you are
starting too hard. If you can just barely sustain a constant effort
and then settle in, you are doing it right. Your breathing should be
deep but not fast for the 3-minutes.
Include technical challenges. Work on whatever you find challenging:
dismounts, run ups, off-camber, roots… anything that makes you anxious
in races is worth practicing. Between Starts, roll around your course
at a mellow pace for five minutes before standing for 3 minutes. Keep
doing Starts until you get tired or you’ve done 5. Then cool down with
some easy spinning before you head home.
Wednesday: Go for a long endurance road ride at 90+ rpm if you have a
race coming up that weekend, or do three Moderate Intervals of 15
minutes with five-minute rests in between on a cross course if you
don’t. Moderate Intervals are done 5-10 beats below LT if you are
using a heart-rate monitor, or at an effort where you can talk but not
sing if you are not.
Thursday: Take the day off if you are racing Saturday. If you are
racing Sunday, do an endurance spin for an hour or two. Don’t go far
enough to get tired. Don’t do anything hard.
Friday: If you are racing Saturday, do a Tune Up ride (1 hour, all
easy except a 5-minute race pace interval in the middle. On a cross
course if possible). If you are racing Sunday, take the day off.
Saturday: Race if racing, Tune Up if racing Sunday. If not racing this
weekend, either a hard club ride or a long road ride.
Sunday: Race if racing. If you are fresh, go for a long road ride or
hard group ride. If tired, recovery ride.
For All Club Members
Since road or MTB racing performance next year depends on the base you
develop this winter, this a good time for road and MTB-focused riders
to start on a Wenzel Coaching individualized program. It’s too late to
train up for cross this season, but there is still plenty of time for
us to help you improve your race performance with improved tactics,
skills, nutrition, pacing and so on. We help with all that stuff.
Wenzel Coaching offers power-based as well as heart rate based
Having a program in front of you can really help maintain motivation,
save you from having to think about how to train each day and give you
the confidence of knowing you are following a plan that has worked
well for many racers, including your teammates and your competitors.
Training plans also include an hour or more per month of personal
contact time with your coach, during which you can get answers to your
questions about training, nutrition, tactics… even dressing for cold
weather. Wenzel clients average about 20-30 podium spots per month in
road, MTB and cross season.
What can we do for you? If you think you might ever sign up, now is
better than later. Whatever you learn about good training methods now
you can apply for the rest of your riding career. Call Meredith
(415-516-0409) or Scott (925-933-7306), or e-mail
ScottSaifer@… or MeredithNielsen@…,
Also check out our website at www.WenzelCoaching.com. Individual
programs for sponsored club members cost $67 to $97 per month
depending on which coach you use.
H(415) 641 4813 C(415) 845 0173
My new book:
October: Rest, Endurance and Anatomic Adaptation
For Road and MTB Racers
The following is a generalized training program for October. It is premised on a racing season that runs from the beginning of February to the end of August. If you follow this for the next few months, you will be ready to begin racing in February and have your first period of really good form three to six weeks later. If you want to race earlier or later you could adjust the program up or back. Call Scott (925-933-7306), Ron (925-337-1219) or Meredith (415-516-0409) (a small amount of consultation is free for all club members) if you have questions.
Here is a rough outline of the months to come.
Rest: September through early October is a rest period (see October schedule below).
Weights: Weight lifting starts very gently at the beginning of October.
Riding: Then comes the endurance build-up period. This starts out pretty easy, but by the end of November you should be at your peak volume for the year if you’ll race from February. December and January are a gradual transition to intensity with various intervals and finally the racing season starts again in February. If you’ll delay the start of racing past the first week or two of February, add a similar number of weeks of pure base riding before moving into the “December” ramp up.
After a hard season of racing your body needs three weeks of total, no exercise rest or five weeks of very light training to completely rejuvenate and prepare for another season of training. If you didn’t race yourself tired, you could do a shorter rest period but everyone should start with at least a couple of very light weeks before launching serious training. If you haven’t rested yet, delay the start of training.
The program for October has two components: endurance building and resistance training for anatomic adaptation. The first two weeks of October are a continuation of the September rest period.
Week 1: Ride at least once per week for one-and a half to three hours, about half the length of your longest race day is ideal. Continue cross training also once per week for an hour or two or
substitute another easy ride.
Weights: If possible, go to the gym once the first week of October and just go through the motions of a weight workout with an empty bar or no weight at all. Put together a routine that works your quads, calves, biceps, triceps, pectorals, hamstrings, abdominal muscles and low back. Wenzel Personalized Programs include detailed lifting instructions. Warm up for at least twenty minutes before lifting and stretch afterwards.
Week 2: After the first week of October, add one day per week of endurance training, either on the bike or in some other activity in which you can go steady for over an hour. All the endurance building exercise should be done between 60 and 80% of your maximum heart rate and at least 15 beats below your anaerobic threshold heart rate.
For most racers, this is the most frustrating time of year because you never get to go fast. You may be off the back on group rides and helmetless wheezers may pass you on upright balloon tire bikes on
occasion in the first weeks of October. It is also a very satisfying time of year because if you are religious about maintaining an endurance heart rate you should find that your speed at those low
heart rates increases very rapidly.
Weights: In the second week, lift once with very light weights. Add one lifting session per week until you are lifting three times per week. This is the anatomical adaptation phase of lifting. You are getting used to the form of lifting and strengthening your joints and connective tissues. You should not be challenging your muscles much yet. You may get sore after the first two gym visits. If you are still getting sore after the third visit, you need to lighten your weights.
If gym training is just not in the cards for you, you can do On-Bike Strength training, but don’t start that until you have been riding for a month or so to prepare your knees and muscles for a higher-force workout. You can start a routine of “core strength” with crunches,
planks, push-ups and back extensions right away.
Weeks 3 and 4: By the end of October you should be riding five days per week if possible. Your rides would ideally be about 2/3 as long as the longest rides you’ll be able to do in the winter, but if you can only ride an hour or two on weekdays and need to go longer on weekends, do that. Aim to make each ride easy enough that you feel good the next day.
For Cyclocross Racers
Welcome to the racing season. It’s time to get dirty. From now until the end of cross for the year, racing will provide the majority of the high intensity training and you’ll only be doing intervals or other structured high-intensity training of more than a few minutes duration in weeks when you don’t have a race coming up.
The Cross season is short, and cross is a very technique-oriented discipline. If you notice any deficiencies in your technique, work to correct them quickly, preferably before the next race. How do you know if you have a technical weakness? Consider where you gain and where you lose time on nearby competitors in your races. Where you are moving up, you are strong. Where you are moving back, you need practice.
Here’s the weekly plan for October:
Monday: Core Strength and a short recovery ride (<70% maximum heart rate if at all tired, or Endurance Spin (<80% maximum heart rate) if feeling great. This ride should be on flat ground or trainer. If those aren’t available, take a bike with a triple so you can spin.
Tuesday: If you are at all tired, do another one hour recovery ride. If you feel good, practice your CX skills as 15 second intervals above sustained race pace as if you were trying to pass another rider in the final few minutes of a race. Work on whatever you find challenging: dismounts, run ups, off-camber, roots… anything that makes you anxious in races is worth practicing. Between sprints, roll around your course at a mellow pace for five minutes. Keep doing sprints until you get tired or you’ve done 10. Then cool down with some easy spinning before you head home.
Wednesday: Go for a long endurance ride on which you alternate spinning 90+ rpm with mashing a big gear at 50-60rpm every five minutes between warm up and cool down.
Thursday: Take the day off if you are racing Saturday. If you are racing Sunday, do an endurance spin for an hour or two. Don’t go far enough to get tired. Don’t do anything hard.
Friday: If you are racing Saturday, do a Tune Up ride (1 hour, all easy except a 5-minute race pace interval in the middle. On a cross course if possible). If you are racing Sunday, take the day off.
Saturday: Race if racing, Tune Up if racing Sunday. If not racing this weekend, either a hard club ride or a long road ride.
Sunday: Race if racing. If you are fresh, go for a long road ride or hard group ride. If tired, recovery ride.
For road or MTB racers, this is the ideal time to start on a Wenzel Coaching personalized program. The program has a natural progression that starts in October or November and prepares you to race at your best next year.
For Cross, it’s not too late for a coach to help you adjust your training to get the most out of the training you’ve already done in preparation for this season. Pacing can be almost as important as
fitness in cross, and a coach can help you with that as well. The programs include detailed instructions for all training and scheduled resting, as well as coach contact time for questions, bike fit, LT tests, ride analysis and so on. Call Scott (925-933-7306), Ron (925-337-1219) or Meredith (415-516-0409) or e-mail them at ScottSaifer@…, RonCastia@… or MeredithNielsen@….
Also, check our website at www.WenzelCoaching.com. It’s possible to start a program later, but then you will have to choose between compromising your base and starting to race a month or more later than your club-mates. Programs for club members start at $67/month ($97 if working with Scott).
H(415) 641 4813 C(415) 845 0173
2014-09-01 18:04:14 RACE REPORTS Read more... 0 comments
The following program for September is premised on a racing season that runs from the beginning of February to the end of August or the first week of September with September as a rest month and October to January as the main training period.
If you follow this program for the next few months, you will be ready to begin racing in February and have your first period of really good form about three to six weeks later. If you’ll start racing later, follow this program, but repeat October or November for as many months as you need to delay the start of racing from February, or just delay the rest month and the rest of the program. If you want to start racing sooner, rest early in September and start base training mid-month.
Here is a rough outline of the months to come.
Rest: September is dedicated to recuperation as needed (see September schedule below).
Weights: Weight lifting and endurance riding start very gently at the beginning of October. Renew your gym membership in time.
Riding: Then comes an endurance build-up period. This starts out easy, but by the end of November you should be at your peak volume for the year. In December and January volume stays high as you gradually transition to intensity with various intervals and finally the racing season starts again in February.
There are two possible structures for the rest period. If you’ve raced a long season and raced or hammered on club rides most weekends, either take three weeks totally off from all exercise or take five weeks and do something short and easy every two days.
If you do the five-week version, about once per week do a two to three hour endurance session. One way to handle this is with non-competitive out-of-town rides. You could even revisit the courses of favorite races. Longer is okay, but not necessary. Once a week do a half hour of something very easy like a walk, swim, or roller ride. Finally, once a week do something fun for an hour. Play soccer, tennis, or basketball. Go rafting, skiing, rock-climbing or hiking.
In September don’t worry too much about precise times, heart rates or power zones. Just stay active three or four days per week, ride the bike at least once per week, stay well below your lactate threshold and don’t get fat.
If you haven’t raced much this season, take one week off the bike or two weeks easy as described above, and then add a day per week of 2-3 hour rides until you are doing 3-4 per week.
September is the ideal time to take care of physical, social or psychological problems that you couldn’t face during the racing season. This is really important. Talk to your spouse. Get a blood test. Visit the dentist. Pad your savings account. Call your non-cycling friends and see if they remember your name. Figure out how old you are (not racing age but real age.). Replace worn-out bike parts, shoes and clothing.
Later in September, after you’ve relaxed for a few weeks, review this past year and decide what you want to do better next year. Vow not to make the same mistakes again. Then figure out what you are going to do about it. Repeat after me: “I will not lead out the sprint from the 1 K marker, I will not wait for the final lap to move up, I will not pull the entire pack for the first half of the race, I will not blow myself up getting to the single track, I will check to be sure my brakes aren’t rubbing, I will tighten my aero-bars, I won’t chase my team-mates, I’ll arrange feeds for all road races where they are allowed, I will be consistent in my training, I will sleep 8-9 hours every night (or one more hour than last year if 8 is just not possible), I won’t sprint out of every corner in crits…”
The off-season is the ideal time to deal with special issues. You can lose weight during the endurance base period because the training is light enough that you don’t have to eat for recovery. (Low carb diets are okay during the rest period but need to be modified when you start to train again). You can practice cornering or smooth pedaling because you don’t have to worry about how fast you go on the bike. You could dial in your time-trial position, start a stretching program, or learn to ride a wheelie on your mountain-bike. You can also take time off to let a nagging injury finally heal.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but probably the single best thing most riders could do to improve their riding, other than start working with a coach, is lose weight. Here’s a link to a great chart that shows weight vs height for successful climbers and sprinters.http://www.wenzelcoaching.com/blog/cycling-body-weight-chart/. If you do need to lose or gain weight, or are just wondering what to eat to keep your energy up for training, here’s a great handout on eating for endurance sports:http://www.wenzelcoaching.com/blog/four-fueling-plans-for-endurance-athletes/.
If you want to keep up on mountain climbs, you need to be close to the weights given for climbers in the chart, probably more in the middle than pushing the top. In our district we have very few truly mountainous races and a lot of hilly ones, so being anywhere in the climber range is okay for road racers generally. If you’ll specialize in flatter road races, you can be in the sprinter range and still be competitive. If you’ll do only truly flat crits and TTs, you can weigh as much as you want.
For Cyclocross Racers
Racing cross seriously means being less serious about road racing since you’ll be training and racing cross just when a road racer would be maximizing base miles, but, assuming you just can’t resist the feeling of mud in your chamois, here’s a plan for September to get you ready for a Cross season that really gets moving in October:
Mondays: Go for a run of up to ½ hour (adding no more than 5 minutes to your longest previous run). If you’ve been doing ½ hour runs for a few weeks, add some stairs, trails with rocks or roots, muddy slopes and other technical challenges. Also do a core strength routine of sit-ups, back extensions, planks and similar stuff. If you are not already great at dismounts and hopping barriers, do some concentrated practice.
Tuesdays: Warm up and then do up to six Threshold or FTP Intervals on the road. Mix up flatter and hillier intervals. Include some downhill within your ability to maintain the effort. These are 5-10 minute intervals within a few beats either side of LT or a few watts either side of FTP (breathing is accelerated a but controlled). Allow 8 minutes rest between intervals.
Wednesdays: Same as Monday but follow the run with a core strength workout plus 10 lifts of the bike onto your shoulder on each side. Many racers always lift on the same side and that works okay, but once in a while in a crowd or a corner it’s helpful to be able to lift on the other side, so mix it up.
Thursday: Do a Push Ride to fill whatever time you have. This is a ride where you warm up, then shift to a gear that allows you to pedal 70-75 rpm in your endurance zone (70-80% of max heart rate or 80-90% of FTP) for the rest of the ride.
Friday: Go for a Run of up to one half hour and add technical challenges as described for Monday.
Saturday: Do intervals of the same length and intensity as Tuesday, but on a cyclocross course including barriers, run ups, creek crossings, off-camber turns on hills and whatever other challenges might realistically show up in a cross race. Mix up rolling and standing start intervals so you are practicing starting hard without blowing up.
Sunday: Go for a long spinning ride in your endurance zone.
This is a great time to get signed up for a Wenzel Coaching training plan. Individual training plans for club riders preparing for the next road or MTB season or the upcoming cyclocross season start at $97 working with Scott or as little as $67 working with the other Wenzel Coaches. For more information about Wenzel Coaching individualized programs for road, criterium, MTB, cyclocross, century riding and other activities, call Scott Saifer at 925-933-7306 or Paul Page-Hanson at 415-641-4813 or check out the web site atwww.WenzelCoaching.com. Good luck with your racing.