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Melinda K

Hi Joe,
I am attempting to implement crash training, as described in the Training Bible, in order to prepare for the 5 day Cascade Classic (I'm a Cat 1 female in my 3rd season of racing). I increased my weekly hours from 12ish to 18ish for 2 2 week build blocks, and now I'm in recovery week after Build 2. The race begins July 20. Crash training calls for 1 peak week, but I have 3 weeks (including this week) until the race. Should I skip recovery week and make it 3 peak weeks, or include another build week into Build 2, then 1 recovery week, 1 peak week, and race week? Without WKO, it's difficult to really know if I'm over-training - I just want to hit Cascade as prepared as possible! Also, if I do a full recovery week, what should that look like?
Thanks, Melinda.



Great articles! Its really fascinating to watch the race and then read your analysis. Really gives me a new level of understanding.

Joe Friel

Melinda K--Good questions but I'm a bit lost in all of the details. Not really sure I understand the timing of when the crash was and when build 2 was relative to them and how long it was. But even knowing all of that I'm not sure I could tell you the best route to take. I'd need to know a lot more. Let me just say this... You must recover after a crash for a half to full day for every day of hard training. After that you can return to normal training fo a short time which would be best as a peak period probably (if I understand a bit of your timing). The peak period should generally last 1-2 weeks followed by race week in which you just stay sharp with very short, race intensity intervals. I hope you can figure it out from there. If you'd like to consult with one of my cycling coaches ($100/hr) please let me know. Good luck!


Mr. Friel,
I was a little disappointed to read your sales pitch to Melinda's question.
I had in the past asked a question about training and got a similar response.
In response to Melinda, I fell behind in the beginning of the year due to work commitments and had to implement a crash training week.
I did the following block: 2 weeks of crash training followed by a week of reduced hours/mileage but still included interval training and then repeated the cycle again. Took a recovery week and was back to my racing fitness. After that I have been following the regular periodization process.
The one tool that I used which you do not have is the WKO Power Management tool. There are 5 basic principles that you need to take into consideration if you are using that tool. I found a link to an article that describes what those 5 rules are. I do not remember all of them at the top of my head, your TSB below negative 20 should be spaced out by a week to ten days, the CTL should not increase by more than 5 TSS/day, your CTL should not drop for two continuous weeks.
It is ok to have a negative TSB throughout the training block and even in recovery week, as long as the TSB creeps towards a lower negative value or zero. Foe example if your TSB goes from -15 to -5 over a 5 day or a week period then it is considered a recovery.
Ideally you would want to go to Cascade classic with a positive value for TSB or atleast zero.
So you should plan out in reverse from the start of Cascade classic. The week leading to the race, no intensity, a day (Mon) before or two days before (Sun) (depending on travel schedule) do some 1 to 2 min VO2max efforts. During that week do a long ride on Wednesday, Thursday do some anaerobic efforts, Saturday do a ride with a 15 to 20 minutes at tempo power. The rest of the rides should be recovery pace and limited to an hour. The week before the race implement a high volume and high intensity week, make that last weekend hard. Add some motorpacing sessions between now and the end of crash training week.
Hope this helps. Good luck. I will be keeping an eye on the results sheet :)


hey there Joe_
how large of an increase in weekly TSS is advisable for a crash block?

Joe Friel

Matthew--This is an issue determined largely by the individual's starting point and previous training experience. If well-trained, probably double what you normally do for the same period of time is safe. Just be sure to rest & recover after for a few days.

Joe Friel

FG--I certainly wish I could have helped her as I try to help everyone who asks me a question. It was simply too complex of a question requiring way too much guesswork on my part forthe missing pieces. You did a good job of writing a small book chapter to help her hoping that you offered enough data to incude an answer to her dilemma. I simply don't have the time to do that. The consultation would help her a lot more than if I just guessed.

Melinda K

Thanks to both FG and Joe - I appreciate both of your insights. Melinda

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