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How To Train On A Budget | Training For Cycling Without Power Or Heart Rate

How To Train On A Budget | Training For Cycling Without Power Or Heart Rate

(music) – So, in 2018, surely
we’re all training to some sort of quantitative
measuring device, either strapped to our
bike, or to ourselves. – Well, you know what,
sometimes I just wish I could ride my bike, and get rid of all of these tracking devices. Sync to this, sync to that. I just want to get fitter,
faster and stronger without of all of this extra hassle. So to get the best out
of Training on Feel, as ever , its well worth
thinking way ahead. So get yourself a pen and paper or an online planner and that’s really helpful to start off with. – Yeah, the main reason
reason for doing this is to create a plan that you can stick to, follow, and progress with. It’s easy to lose direction, so make sure you keep on track. – And be sure to put in
some interval sessions, but don’t use two similar
sessions in quick succession. – You need to keep it interesting. Because doing that will help you motivate yourself much more than
if all your sessions were really bland, and quite similar. You should by now have at
least a week’s worth of training on paper, with
types of rides, durations, and intervals that you plan to complete. From here you will want
to translate those planned intensities, or training zones, into on the bike sensations. And that is where we will
use Perceived Exertion. And, for certain efforts,
Max Duration to Failure. This is particularly
useful for maximal efforts. – So, with Max Duration to Failure, we are referring to pushing yourself to an intensity that will
see you want to stop. So in other words, doing
a two minute effort, but as soon as that time starts to finish that’s when you want to stop, and either sit in the gutter, or sit back in the saddle, and free wheel. – Yeah, and a similar
philosophy will apply to your 20 minute efforts. You want to push yourself
as hard as you can maintain, for that entire duration, failing
on the final pedal stroke. This is definitely one
way that you can guarantee you’ll be pushing yourself, hard enough. – So, the only place this
doesn’t necessarily ring true is when completing efforts
at a lower intensity. So what I mean by that, is
if you were doing a 14 minute interval at, say 80
percent, you’d much prefer to go on perceived exertion
instead of max to failure. – Yeah, and this is a really
good system, actually. By using a scoring system from 1 to 10 With 10 being the absolute, hardest, most excruciating effort, and
1 being the sort of intensity, well you could pretty
much do forever really. – Your endurance sessions should start out at around 4 on a perceived exertion scale. With the 20 minute
efforts I described before around an 8 and a half to 9. An effort of 30 to 60
minutes, would be 7 to 8. With your three to six minute efforts, around 9 to 9 and a half. For much of the effort squeezing
towards a 10 at the end. Anything under three, is most likely to be a 9 and a half to a 10 in
reality, as these efforts are so short and explosive. – Training with Max Duration to Failure, is an easier an easier way
to gauge your training, than Perceived Exertion,
however, when done over a period of months, it can be particularly mentally draining. But if you can cope with this, then I think it’s a great tool. – Yes, but I would use a
combination of the two. And this will give you the best results, out of your training. (light music) – So even though we’ve
said good-bye to all those cutting edge training
tools that make keeping track of your fitness a lot easier, it’s still actually really
beneficial, to keep tabs on what it is you’re actually doing. So, by filling out
something like an online training diary, or even a notepad, would be a really ideal thing to do. – Yeah, so start off with
recording the duration ideally to the nearest minute, then comment on any intervals, or efforts, and then
sensations that went with them. You will then start to build a picture, of how each session went. And then you’ll be able to track how your perceived feeling
has changed, as you went on. – And if its a visual guide you’re after, you may even find by keeping a bar chart for each day of the week, and the duration you’ve completed, quite a good way of really quickly seeing, what you’ve actually done on the bike. (light music) – Just like completing the the efforts, you have to pay attention
to the sensations you feel. It’s okay if your muscles to
burn and feel uncomfortable, but you still have to be
able to complete the efforts. – And you also need to be able to judge between the two types of fatigue. The beneficial fatigue,
legs that feel tired and a little bit sore, but you’re still able to push through and
really complete the efforts. You need this to overload your system, and actually progress. Or, fatigue that’s deeply
rooted and your body just does not want to know. This, it’s not going to help you, so, if you feel like that, it’s best to take the day off. – So learning the
difference between the two is key to the success of Training on Feel. So use the diary we mentioned before and this will aid it, in effectively monitoring your training. – Yeah, a simple scoring system can work really well. Use 1 as feeling fresh
and I’m ready to go, and 10 as I’m on my knees
and I’m absolutely broken. A bit like us right now. Anything above a 6 or a 7 and, I would class that as really quite tired. Anything under 5 and, well,
you’re good to go really and get back on the bike. How do you feel? – Fatigued. – Yeah.
– 5. – Five, five more minutes for you? – Yeah! (laughs) (light music) – So even though you’re not using tech to monitor or even detect your training, be warned, it could still be having an influence over your rides. And that comes via your riding buddies. You never know if they’re a striver, and maybe they’re just aiming to rip up the local KOM, and this
could be changing the sorts of rides that you’re doing. So keep and eye out for that. – Yes, don’t be tempted
to tag along or copy them. A well balanced training
program will give you the best results, in your
quest for greater fitness. – Joining in with your riding pals, is still absolutely fine and could even be a great form of motivation. Just don’t continually allow them to influence the style of riding, that you need to be doing. Training on Feel still very
much has a place, even in 2018. It’s great way to get to know
yourself a little bit better, and can be really effective. Especially if your power meter’s gone bad, or you just don’t want to buy one. – Yeah, I’m actually a
really big believer of Training on Feel, and well, let us know if you are
too in the comments below. And be sure, to give us thumbs up, if you’ve enjoyed this video. – Yeah, and if you’d like to check out some sort of intervals to include within your training sessions,
why not click, down here.

78 comments on “How To Train On A Budget | Training For Cycling Without Power Or Heart Rate

  1. For me it is the only way. I am a traveller, so I am not thinking minutes and seconds, but days and weeks. I have to know how my body holds up after several days, how it responds to different circumstances, wheather types etc. I have no clue how to use metrics like power and HR for this. So I just do long rides on tracks I know, and try to feel how my body responds.

  2. Training on feel… I'll be with loydy in the bar. Training on power? That's when I put in the suffering required to make gains.

  3. I've trained on feel for a good while then HR, and in the last 2yrs (yeh that long) a PM.. Training on feel isnt soo bad and taking the HR – just by the finger on the neck vein in the am is pretty effective… All together, they goto get a good effective training system. PM's are well over hyper ime…

    Just put it all together 😉

  4. To all of the GCN followers,subscribers,members,fans and staff who see this,

    The other day I had an idea, and I hope that it interests you.

    On the 12th December 2018 GCN will be six years old, and to celebrate I would like to make a suggestion.

    My idea is that we host the "Tour of GCN" on Zwift, held from the 10th-12th December 2018. Each day at a certain time, I suggest 19:00 GMT, the competitors will all compete over a chosen route on Zwift. Obviously, the route can't be announced until we know the active world for those dates, but my plan is for each stage to be around 20km, with a mix of mainly flat and mountainous routes.

    Competitors would Sign-Up into teams of 6, and each would run a different kit.The 3 day event would see various competitions, with General,Points and KOM classifications.

    Obviously, if I were to run this for the community alone, I could only accept around 60 entries, and that would require some help.However, if their is a backing, and I can form a Zwift "team" the entry size could be increased to larger than this, perhaps 20 teams.

    The finer details still need working out of course, but I think that this could be a great event. Of course, if it is successful, we could establish our own "Zwift World Tour" in the future.

    If GCN were to give their full backing to this, ideally it would be streamed and the general,points,KOM and team classification winners would all earn a small prize(perhaps a discount from the GCN store)

    The event would be free to enter, of course, as I don't believe that events such as these should be run for profit. Of course, some entries may be placed on a "reserve list" if their are more Sign-Ups then we can handle. Potentially reserves could be allowed to compete in the later stages if riders have to miss them or are time cut.Teams could also maybe choose their reserves.

    Thank you to all of you for reading this, and I hope it is something that you would consider participating in.

    If you are interested, please like this comment so I can gauge interest.
    If you think you can, or want to, help me run this, please contact me on Twitter(AORSmokingPuppy841)

    Thanks again,
    Ewan Wane

  5. I find that training to time is really useful when doing hillrepeats, where the speed is low and therefore variables like wind will play much less of an effect. For example riding up the same hill 4 times, and completeling the rep in around 8 minutes, +- 15 seconds.


  7. This has been really helpful to me since I have neither a power meter nor a hr monitor. I was never sure how hard was too hard in intervall sessions so I didn't go as far as I could have (when doing short intervalls) and this video helped a lot. Planning to do the 2020 Haute Route Alps so it's about time I start training.

  8. I think that train on feel has one serious short-coming if you are training hard, trying to improve as much as possible. It cannot alert you to overtraining until the symptoms are strong and you're forced to take a long rest. So the one metric that it would be wise to measure is HRV (heart rate variability) and, if you have a smart phone with a good camera, you can get an app (like HRV4Training) that will measure your HRV using the camera as an optical pulse monitor. You measure HRV once per day when you first wake and use your HRV score to assess how well recovered your body is before undertaking your next training session. If you don't train hard and do not push yourself, then no metric may be necessary and you can stay with train on feel — unless you have health problems that need to be monitored.

    As for what I do, I train daily with a power meter, heart rate monitor, cadence meter, speed meter, temperature sensor and GPS. And I have plans to add an aerodynamic drag meter in the future because I deal with a lot of wind. I keep a log that includes information about the weather (wind direction and speed, humidity, precipitation, etc). After using sensors for years, I would never willingly go back to a purely train on feel system. Why? Because I like the choices that the data offers. If I want to ride by "feel", I can — but my ride will be recorded so I can use the data later, if desired. Having the data yields the greatest freedom. I decide what to do with it and how and when to use it. If I only trained by feel and never collected the data, then I would have fewer choices. And I learned a long time ago that feeling, by itself, can be very subjective and sometimes steer me in the wrong direction.

  9. Thank you for helping those that do not have the money to buy a powermeter or heart rate monitor, like me 🙂

  10. True story. I was seeing my doctor (also a serious cyclist) for a regular checkup and mentioned that I had increased the number of miles I was riding per week, and that I had begun to keep track of my miles. He said, "Can I follow you on Strava?" I replied, "I don't think so, I'm using a paper calendar my insurance company sent me and a #2 pencil!"

  11. Great info for folks new to cycling or returning after a long hiatus such as myself. I've only ever trained on feel, but have a Wahoo Bolt with speed, HR, and cadence sensors in the mail. Would appreciate a similarly excellent GCN video on HR based training for those of us that are taking the first steps down the cycling tech rabbit hole…

    *nvm, just searched "gcn hr training" and found an amazing GCN video, How To Train With A Heart Rate Monitor, by the legendary Matt Stephens to boot! GCN has made my return to cycling 1000% better than my last uninformed foray into the sport. Thank you all so much!!!

  12. Been using pm for couple of years so I know how 300 or 200 watts feel. But I feel I’m lost without a power meter. Best bike upgrade.

  13. All of these videos are awesome, however they always depicts these awesome car and intersection free roads, where you can go max effort for 20 min. in a straight line. Most people in western society live in big cities, where such possibilities are not, well possible. So can you make a video on how to train in a big City? I personally live in Toronto (Canada) and find it very difficult to go for more then 5-10 min. before having to stop (granted I recently moved here, so perhaps I just haven't found the optimal routes yet).

  14. the one training device is my brain , i have a garmin , but no power meter, alot is by feel , i love climbing and do flats for maintaining speed, which i combine during a week , it all comes down to the miles one can ride and the time , i do go after kom s from time to time , age is also important it plays a part in how you do, basically work to what you can do and have fun ,

  15. PS its fun to have the younger ones look at you and wonder, had one ask me if i was taking anything during a climb , i answered oxygen , it all by feel for me and fun never dull ,

  16. Very much a personal choice. I prefer to have a more quantifiable outcome to baseline how my training feels, whether I'm monitoring the data as I'm riding or reviewing the data afterward. There have been times when I had technical issues and just went for a ride blind of the data rather than lose out on the opportunity to enjoy the day or fret about not getting credit on some training application. Like all things in life, it comes down to what you're trying to accomplish and moderating your use of any given device or substance to achieve your expectations.

  17. The problem i get with riding on feel is that i can't pinpoint my limit and i always cut short due to feeling i'm reaching the point where i have less Control and accidents may happen. Since it's on a feel basis, i never really know if i could have pushed it a little bit further.

  18. Once upon a time training on feel was the only way you could train. It worked well for decades. Then heart rate monitors and power meters came a long and folks flocked to them. I have wondered why and think maybe the electronic gadgets help satisfy some inner need to quantify perceptions or maybe they really help coaches understand what is going on with their athletes. I think any good cyclist will naturally train on feel and use the electronics to confirm their own feelings.

  19. Riding by feel is under rated in this age of data crunching. As you said, it makes you learn about what your body is telling you.

  20. Matt and Dan were much better, I can't get used to these newbs. I find myself watching less and less and have unsubscribed. "tell use what you think in the comment section" ….to generate $. The content has gotten flushed down the loo.

  21. I don’t race, but love riding so I don’t call it training. I have a Garmin that’s it. I go by feel, if I feel good fresh legs I’ll go hard if a bit sluggish take it easy a bit and see what happens. Ps does anyone else feel different on their bike after you press “stop” on your Garmin. Where you feel you can just cruise…🤔👍

  22. As a social rider all I do is train on feel. I burn the calories, enjoy myself and feel my fitness levels improve when taking on those climbs and just how I feel in my own skin.
    In terms of quantifying effort on the occasions I want to see how hard im pushing myself I find a HR monitor perfect. A HR monitor is literally a direct link to your internal engine. This isn't vital though as for me getting the KMs down is simply what it's all about and nothing to do with intensity.

  23. On some of the local climbs I ride up, I ride until exhaustion. It’s probably because there’s always a downhill on the other side.

  24. I just want it to quit raining so I can get out on my bike. This has been the wettest summer I have ever seen. On top of that work has been on the rise limiting the good days we have had. I don't even feel like a cyclist anymore.

  25. #torqueback: Hi GCN, loving the content keep it up guys. I have tried training on feel and with power recently but find it very difficult to keep within a prescribed zone. With power, out on the road I often either hit numbers way above my efforts and blow too early or find I back off too much and end up below my zones. On the turbo I don’t have any issue with this and I am able to keep roughly within the power zones. Are there any tips on how to translate this to on road training given the undulating terrain and wind which often seems to play a part. Thanks guys!

  26. I`m a fly in fly out worker. This makes any sort of training plan problematic at best, so I just ride my bike when I feel like it, stop for coffee when I feel like it. Definitely not the fastest bloke on a bike but I love the time I do get on it. It is just about the fun for me.

  27. As someone that doesn’t care about technology I only train by feel. I do record with strava and about twice a month I look at my awarded segments to see which ones I’ve gotten PR’s on and then look back at previous rides with those segments to see how I’ve improved. I also mentally note how I feel on certain segments I ride often, like weekly rides, to compare rides.

  28. Check out the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) which is a way of measuring physical activity intensity level. Perceived exertion is how hard you feel like your body is working.

  29. I started training with perceived exertion in 1975. Used a heart rate monitor in the early 2000s, then threw it away and went back to feel.

  30. I'm a Luddite (still have a flip phone) and have never used bike technology of any kind — though I'm sure I will one day, and have always trained on feel. My personal scale of exertion goes from MAWBSOTC (might as well be sitting on the couch) to TUALBIMM (throwing up a little bit in my mouth) to FOCIATPOMOV (falling over comatose into a tepid pool of my own vomit) — though, I don't recommend this level.

  31. From a personal, historical standpoint through the years, my fitness is always dependent on how many miles I've got in the legs, regardless of intensity. Now getting the specialized fitness needed for an event, it's easiest to use some type of quantitative measuring device.

  32. A big point I think you guys missed is motivating yourself to be able to push past your fatigue level by taking on a longer route. Use the advantage of cycling… that you have to bike back the distance you took on, unlike a treadmill where you can just step off when you get tired.

  33. I used to ride with technology, however I've found that im actually improving more riding without. Using strava tempted me to ride hard when im not supposed to, put pressure on me to ride for average speeds and not do any interval training etc.. Riding on feel helped me realise why i love cycling again!

  34. I enjoy watching all your videos, and use your turbo training videos for fitness when I'm not out on the road, but nobody seems to make training videos for people like me who are older. I'm 68 next week and pretty fit, none of your videos cater for someone who isn't aiming to improve, just trying not to decline too fast !! Just a thought.

  35. See, in Australia during spring, all you need is a magpie sitting on the corner of the block and that's all the HIIT you need. Or a kangaroo

  36. I ride with a cadence sensor and a heart rate monitor to better pace myself. I understand the benefits of a power meter, but I decided I do not need one to enjoy the ride. When I give it my best effort, I switch the screen on my garmin so I cannot see my heart rate. One needs to know how to listen to his body, not the numbers.
    And I don't really like riding with people that are constantly keeping track of their power output. It kills the joy of the ride for everyone else.

  37. I training with feels. It's been 3 years. Once I got my first 20 mnt FTP test, I was quite surprised that my avg HR is 193 at the age of 29.
    But mostly because of the power meter price is too much for poor a guy like me

  38. keep up the good work could you do a piece on geometry please cause every time i go out I come back aching in the wrong places and don't have the budget for a pro bike fitter

  39. I have a ten year old specialized and its my excuse to not invest in tech….all my training on the bike and in the gym (I don't have a turbo trainer either so I use Wattbikes)is done on feel and following some of your training sessions on youtube which I have to interpret to 'feel'…..

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