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Whats up everyone welcome to another video. My name is dylan and imm a cycling coach at cts and today. Were gonna be talking about whether not strava is helping or hurting your training as with most training questions.
Its not a simple yes or no answer. And it depends a lot on how you use strava in your training. Ill be going over instances where strava can completely undermine your training plan.
But also instances where strava can raise the quality of your workout. Leading to more fitness gains as well as how to use strava for race prep. If youre new to this channel.
I make weekly training racing and year related videos going over tips and tricks that ive learned in my 12 years of racing experience that have gotten me to the top of the ultra endurance mountain bike game in the us and as a cycling coach at cts if you want to learn how to get faster or just more about the science of training in general be sure to subscribe and if you have a training question or a topic that youd like to see me cover in a future video be sure to leave it in the comment section down below. I do my best to get to all the questions in the comments. Lets jump into todays topic.
Which is whether or not strava is good or bad for your training. Now when i talk about using strava. Im talking about using their segment feature to compare your times to others not necessarily using strava as a platform to analyze your ride data.
Yeah obviously what else do people use strava for i just want to see how many k oms. I crushed on my ride. Im well aware that for some people strava racing is the only racing that matters.
But for those of us who still like to do old fashioned races with a starting line racing against other people actually present. Then the question is will going after strava segments hurt your performance and would it be better just to ignore strava altogether in favor of specific structured intervals and training. The answer is that it completely depends on how you use it strava can be an extremely helpful training tool or it can completely ruin your training plan.
Ill explain how to incorporate strava segments into your training. But first lets go over some detriments to overusing strava or using it at the wrong. Times first of all you shouldnt be going after strava segments on every ride or even multiple times a week for that matter you need to have some rides built into your training plan.
Where the end goal is not to kill yourself such as recovery. Ride zone. Two rides and going harder than you should on these days is a recipe for overtraining hey man.
I know were supposed to do a recovery ride today. But im sitting second on that wilson road segment. So its thinking that when we get there we could just blast through that segment as hard as we can and then after that we can bump it back down to zone 1.
Not only are easier days. Important but you may want to have more of these days incorporated into your training plan than you realize a review on the best practices for training intensity and duration distribution in endurance athletes advocated for two or three high intensity or threshold intensity sessions per week. And that additional increases in high intensity frequency.
Do not induce further improvements and tend to induce symptoms of overreaching or overtraining. Many strava segments can be just 2 to 5 minutes in length especially if you live in an area without much elevation. Which means youre basically doing a vo2 max effort to get the segment and these efforts can be a lot more taxing than you realize and a lot of times with these efforts.
Less is more a study done on interval training at vo2 max. Took. 8.
Runners. And have them. Perform vo2 max.
Intervals. Once a week and then over train them by having them perform the intervals three times. A week.
The results showed that surprisingly the subjects did not improve after the overtraining period. And the study concluded that performance did not increase after four weeks of vo2 max intensive training. If youre running down.
Strava segments on a daily basis or even multiple times a week. Then it could very easily be too much and you may not be reaching your full potential also if someones stealing your kom or q. Om causes you to abandon your workout for that day in order to get that strama segment back then strava could very likely be compromising your training an email notification jeremiah bishop stole your kom dethroned oh well just see about that if you add threshold intervals.
Plan and instead. You did a 5 minute. All out effort to try to get your time back on a particular segment.
Then that day wasnt purposeful and may not have been specific to your goal start to do this multiple times a month or multiple times a week and your plan quickly unravels training can start to become pretty random as you just start to seek out strava segments to take over periodized training. And there is evidence to suggest that this sort of random training is less effective in a study on different high intensity periodization models on endurance adaptations. They took 69 subjects and split them into three training groups all training for 12 weeks with two interval sessions each week.
The groups differed in how they ordered the intensity of their intervals. The increasing intensity group did four by sixteen minute intervals during the first four weeks four by eight minute during the next four weeks and then in the final four weeks at four by four minute. They had another group test the reverse of this and the last group mix their intensity throughout the 12 weeks.
They found that performance increase. The most with increasing intensity then decreasing intensity and mixed intensity showed. The least improvement.
However. The results were not significant. So the authors couldnt conclude that increasing intensity was better.
Although increasing intensity. Did show the best response rate out of the three groups deviating from the plan to include strava segments of random and non race specific lengths. Seems to be less effective and this brings me to my next point.
Which is that as you get closer to your race. You want your training to become more rea specific the problem arises when the strava segments that you have available to you arent specific to your goal race for example. If youre racing criteriums.
But youre always going after 30 minute hill climbs strava segments and training that wont get you as prepared for a crib. As it would a specific interval workout on the other hand. Lets say youre training for a race that has really long climbs like 30 minutes to an hour.
But where you live doesnt have long climbs so all the strava segments are just say 2 to 3 minutes in length doing these strava segments wont prepare you for the demands of that race. And what would be better would be just to ignore strava and find an open section of road. Where you can go at race intensity for 30 minutes to an hour.
All of that being said strava can be an extremely useful training tool. When used appropriately in your schedule. This doesnt mean going after strava segments multiple times a week or all year long.
I wouldnt go after strava segments in your offseason and i would make sure that the strava segments that you do go after a race specific so that youre preparing yourself for the demands of that race also stay away from going after random segments just for the purpose of getting that segment. Do i just got the kom on the bike path by 20 seconds. Oh you mean the one on the main drag.
Where everyone does intervals dang man. Thats pretty hard to get nah man. Im talking about the one in town with that mandatory walk your bike section that usually has all those.
Pedestrians i just did it at 3 am last night. So that id have a clear shot at it. If your straw.
Inclined then i would include one day a week. Where you go after race specific strava segments. This isnt just a way to scratch your strava itch.
But may actually make you faster than if you hadnt use straw at all this is mainly because it provides motivation when riding alone. Im sure youve probably noticed that youre able to push yourself harder in the presence of others our competitive nature kicks in and were able to dig a little bit deeper than we would if we were riding by ourselves this is whats known as social facilitation and one of the original experiments done on social facilitation. Was actually done on cyclists in the late 1800s psychologist.
Norman triplett. Found that cyclists perform better in the presence of others. The research on social facilitation.
Is now very strong and it doesnt take a study for you to realize that youre able to push yourself harder. When you have other people to race against just look at your power data from when youre in a hard group ride or a race versus when youre riding by yourself this is beneficial during hard training days. But we dont always have the opportunity to ride with other people or do a hard training ride or race.
So how do we take advantage of this competitive motivation when riding alone. This is of course where strava comes in youre essentially able to race other people while riding by yourself and reap the benefits of the extra motivation of getting a pr or kom or q. Om.
You can use this while doing intervals as well some athletes struggle with doing intervals because riding hard by themselves isnt stimulating enough. If youve got 10 minute intervals. And you can find a ten minute strava segment.
Then you can use that segment for your intervals. I would suggest. However that you dont blow yourself up in the first interval just to get the segment.
So that you can make it through the whole workout. Strava is also a great way of monitoring progress normally. This is what a power meter is used for you might do an ftp test every month or two to see how youre progressing.
However some riders need a segment to go after to put out their best numbers. And having a segment that you go after every month. Like a 20 minute climb for example can be extremely helpful and easily comparable because not only are we comparing power numbers for the climb.
But we can also compare time when measuring time we can see how changes in your weight or even different equipment choices affect your overall speed. Which is ultimately what matters and of course. Not everyone has a power meter.
So in this instance using strava to monitor your progress is a great option just keep in mind that conditions can affect your speed greatly especially on a flat segment with varying wind conditions. Strava can also be a valuable tool for mountain. Bikers mountain bikers.
Not only have to be strong riders. But also has to have good technical skills to carry them through the trail. Faster with strava you can measure both if theres a certain race loop segment that you do then you can set up a workout.
Where you do hot laps on that segment. Obviously if your power increases over that segment thats great. But if you can put out the same power.
But have a faster time then that means that your handling skills are improving this is even more useful on downhill strava segments strava can let you know whether or not your downhill skills are improving and if the downhill doesnt have an excessive amount of pedaling. Then you dont have to wait for a hard day to go after that segment you can do a downhill strava segment in the middle of an endurance ride and see whether or not your time has improved since the last time you did it strava is also a great tool for analyzing race segments. If theres a particular race that youre doing that you know has a tough climb in it then you can easily look.
And see what the time up that climb was and what the power demands were to stay with the front group this gives you an idea of the fitness. Thats required on race day. And how you may want to tailor your training for that specific event.
This works for any sort of segments that you might come across during the race. Including up hills down hills flats technical sections. Etc.
And if you get to pre ride. The course. You may have an idea of where you stand so in conclusion is strava good or bad for training well if you go after strava segments on a daily basis or even multiple times a week and somebody stealing your segments causes you to abandon your workout to get that segment back then strava is likely a detriment to your training.
If however you use strava segments as mode to help get you through a hard workout. And you choose segments that are specific to your goal racer event then it can be an extremely helpful training school and on top of that it can help you evaluate the power and speed demands of a race that you might have coming up thanks for watching. And i hope you guys found this information.
Helpful. If you like this video be sure to give it a like share. It with a friend and be sure to subscribe for more if you want more training and racing content be sure to follow me on instagram twitter and facebook.
And if you want to follow my training this season be sure to check me out on strava finally. If youre looking for a coach. Shoot.
Me an email at d. Johnson. A train ride calm music.
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