Has anyone used the Charmichael Training Systems ?

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Anonymous's picture

As I plan to join the ranks of new (bike)racers in the spring of '07, and would be training through the winter for the first time with this goal in mind, I was thinking of signing on with the Charmichael Training System geared for cycling. Has anyone used their program? And would you think it would work for a new masters or cat 5 racer?

Anonymous's picture
Ja Quanq Etil (not verified)
Masters or cat. 5 racer

Masters are experienced and fast: fuggetaboutit! Cat. 5 is the category for beginners (you need 10 races to upgrade to cat. 4).

Anonymous's picture
Harvey Miller (not verified)
CTS training

"I've used it and have a membership through this winter. Depending on the level you join, you will get increasingly personal service. The ""lowest"" membership, though, at $39/month, is a computer driven and customized program based on your goals and current condition, and capable of further customizing as to intensity, days selected for the various kinds of riding assignments, and total number of days/week and hours/week of riding.

Combined with an excellent Forum, I'd HIGHLY recommend this program as one that actually works, if you follow it.

Harvey Miller"

Anonymous's picture
Rick Sanchez, (not verified)
Feedback on CTS...

"Harvey, Thanks for the feedback...I've heard good things about CTS from a runner's perspective, but never gave it much thought until now....I'm gonna sign on with them...

Ja...thank you as well..you answered part of my second question...I learned I would be risking getting blown away from the guys my age...but I heard the cat 5 guys are mostly young wreckless newbies that don't worry too much about having to get up on Monday mornings (in one piece) to get to work; and that the ""safer"" bet would be to risk getting dropped by the masters who know better...I'm still unsure on this one....

Thanks again,


Anonymous's picture
Fendergal (not verified)

As someone who's been racing for a few years, I would advise you to spend some time with your fellow new racers. There's something to be said for riding with people at your level. If you don't want to crash, stay at the front. You want to get pulled around in a giant draft in the back of a masters' field, that's fine, but you probably won't learn much.

Anonymous's picture
RichFernandez (not verified)

Dont you have to be a category 3 to race in the masters field?To get the best out of CCharnicheal's coaching program you will need a power meter.Rich

Anonymous's picture
J (not verified)

Masters races require cat 4 for men.

Anonymous's picture
Jimmy Legs (not verified)

"""Masters races require cat 4 for men""
Not as a rule - it's up to the event promoter to decide."

Anonymous's picture
Ja Quanq Etil (not verified)

Bear Mountain race,May 14, 2006.
Winner category 4, (56 miles) 2:37:20
Winner category Masters 40+ (56 miles) 2:32:47
(Those were two different races, but it's still significant).
Follow Rich's recommendation (power meter)then Fendergal's (cat.5.) If you race a lot, by the end of April you can be with the cat. 4... and race with the masters at Bear Mountain in May :)

Anonymous's picture
Save some money,buy the book (not verified)

I used carmichael a lot back when you actually had an online coach and not a computer spit out your program. I loved it. I really improved more then that at any other point. When it started to get more expensive to get an actual coach, I stopped using it. I bought Carmichael's book and just work off that. I think it truly is just as good. With the money you save, that's a new pair of Ksyrium's about once a year.

Anonymous's picture
Rick Sanchez (not verified)
CTS & Cat 5 v. Masters

Thanks for the feedback guys.....I think I'll follow Ja's & Fendergirl's advise and get baptised with a cat 5 race in the early spring....And as far as CTS...I think I'll also go with the basic package at least thru the winter, and see how effective it is...

Good training to all of you!!!

Anonymous's picture
Matt (not verified)

Finding a good coach is an investment. If you are nervous about how to race and what tactics to employ in whatever field you race, your money would be well spent hiring a local coach, at least for a few months. Local coaches know more than just fitness. They also know courses, the tactics and even the individual racers. They can offer infinitely more advice than CTS.

I recommend www.citycoach.org. Good luck.

Anonymous's picture
Fendergal (not verified)

Hello? None of these coaches is experienced in road racing.

You should buy a copy of Joe Friel's Training Bible, save your money for race fees.

The best way to learn racing is to do it; there are so many aspects to racing that it's impossible to know where to begin. We all have to make the same mistakes.

To get fit, beginners need to get out there, ride their bikes a lot, figure out how their body respond to training, and what their individual strengths and weaknesses are. After you have more experience, then you should hire a coach. That way, you have a better idea of what you need, and what to ask for. Unless you're loaded, in which case, go ahead and spend it!

Anonymous's picture
ScottD (not verified)
Starting Racing

I agree with Fendergal. You do not need to go overboard to start out (which, unfortunately, is way too easy to get caught up in). Get Friel's Bible, Racing 101 by Wenzel, and Racing Tactics by Phren. Set-up a logical program for yourself with a variety of distance and interval training. A HR monitor is plenty. No matter what you do, you'll be defeated many more times than be successful, but you'll be fine.

One correction: Jon Cane at CityCoach was a road racer before he focused on Tri. Also has a degree in exercise physiology and did graduate research on training with Power.

Anonymous's picture
RFernandez (not verified)

Just understand that any coaching program is most effective over a long period of time,say 6 months at the minimum.In other words they cant do much for you in 3 months because thats isnt a long enough period of time to find the things out that they need to know about your body and the way it responds.This is the reason that getting coaching along with a power meter is more beneficial time wise.Without the power meter it will take longer to determine stuff and isnt as accurate.

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