I am on a mission to help you and your fellow club members avoid these three fatal training errors which I see ruining riders seasons and to address this I’m going on a National Tour giving away FREE clubs talks.
Most athletes I see who are attempting to guide their own training schedules or who are being given poor advice exhibit at least one of three problems:
- Unexpected weight gain
- Performances falling below expectations
- Loss of Form
Unexpected Weight Gain
Each offseason I see athletes charging into the winter with fresh enthusiasm. Their diet is strict and training is on point. As the season approaches, they view the season opener as a finishing line of sorts. They think the hard work has been done when in fact it is only just starting. A diet plan should be periodized the exact same way a training plan is. As a general rule, as you get closer to your event you should start to become a little stricter on diet. You can’t live like a monk all year round but as you approach a target event it is vital to tighten up your diet so all your hard work is rewarded.
Also, be careful during race season to time your macronutrient intake. Carbohydrates will be vital fuel during competition but excess consumption during the week can easily result in an unexpected weight gain.
As discussed below training stress score can often be lower during the season meaning your daily caloric needs won’t be the same as during the winter.
Performances Falling Below Expectations
This is the time of year I see the most disillusionment among athletes. You have put in a big winter of training, you were convinced this was the year for you and you haven’t hit the season with the legs you’ve hoped for. It’s likely that you’ve made huge sacrifices with work and family to allow you to train over the winter and now you are wondering why.
A performance below your own expectation in the opening weekend of the season isn’t a disaster. An effective training plan will be built of macro & micro cycles. It’s very unlikely that your first race of the season was an intended target. As you approach your intended target you’ll need to taper. An effective taper should give you an extra 10% (pop me an email if you’re not sure how to structure a taper) improvement so don’t throw the head just yet.
Loss of Form
A failure to properly identify your primary & secondary goals during the race season will have disastrous effects. If you go into every race hoping for good performance you’ll end up losing form in no time. During the winter you are training hard 4 or 5 days per week. A typical week might be: Monday: Off, Tuesday – Thursday 90 minutes per evening, Friday: Off and longer rides at the weekend. With a schedule like this you are building considerable Training Stress but when the season starts you are often adding in another easy day, Saturday. Saturday becomes an easy pre-race day. It only takes a few easy races, mechanicals or similar on Sundays to give you a considerably lower weekend training stress score during the race season.
After a couple of months of “easier weeks” you’ll begin to wonder where your form has gone but the answer is in the data – you’ve just backed off your workload.
If you effectively plan your season around primary & secondary goals some races will become training races with big rides on Saturdays and mileage before or after the Sunday race.
I’m seeing so many poor coaching practices and so many athletes wasting precious time training but getting no results so I am making it my mission to get to as many cycling clubs in Ireland as possible to address these problems.
This is a message that needs to get out so I am accepting No FEE for these speaking engagements.
Anthony Walsh Director – A1 Coaching