Last month we discussed the idea of front-loading periodization, where we overloaded the hard efforts of a four-week training block into Week 1. I promised to test the concept on myself, plus I convinced a couple of others to join me. How did things work out?
With January giving way to February, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about final phases of building aerobic fitness before moving on to more intensive work in the spring. This is a good and timely topic.
Winter is a drag! Cold and wet, dark and generally no fun. Winter is glorious! Crisp mornings, bright sunshine warming through the cold, and hot coffee! Given this dichotomy what is an athlete to do? Mixing and matching your training in winter weather is essential and can be hugely beneficial.
Every year my training remains fairly similar in terms of types of training and also how it is periodized. Not this year. This winter, I am resolving to try something quite different for me, namely altering my training blocks by concentrating the bulk of the hard efforts at the start of each block.
What is base building? In the 1960s, legendary New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard famously prescribed high mileage for all of his runners and effectively founded the idea of base training for endurance athletes. His system was based on a simple pacing strategy and a weekly pattern of high mileage runs focused on building aerobic strength.
Toolbox: The first of our 'Best of 2016' articles is a Do It Yourself Training Camp Toolbox by Matt McNamara, one of our most popular reads in 2016. Lucky are the few who get to venture south to bask in the sun, ride the fresh new kits and explore the unexplored roads on offer at camp. Why don’t you plan a camp for you and your team? Here are some suggestions.
Power training and indoor trainers simply belong together. The pure efficiency and controlled environment of training indoors partners amazingly well with precise training based on specific targeted power numbers. The combination of accurate power measurement and controlled smart trainers has taken this to new levels.
What is the hardest part of a training session? The first step out of the door. In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is drawing in, the temperature is dropping and many cyclists are summoning the willpower to hit the roads or face the drudgery of the home-trainer.
As the 2016 event season is winding down (or has become a distant memory), a natural and necessary transition begins to happen toward 2017. This time of transition provides cyclists (from enthusiasts to experienced racers, from development riders to masters) the opportunity to review, establish, and/or reinvent the process to having a successful 2017 campaign.
It’s a razor-thin line that we as athletes walk between being extremely lean and fit on the one edge, and the precipice of overtraining and increased risk of infections and illness on the other. With flu season upon us, what should we be considering about maintaining our off-season health?
I’m 50 years old, and I wanna go faster! There, I said it. This happens to me every fall; it’s something about the cool night air, changing colors, and Sunday night football. I start thinking about next year and planning ways to get faster. I love it.
An annual season review process builds consistency in identifying performance limiters and reveals areas of improvement needed in an annual training plan. The first step is to analyze your racing data. The second step is to go through your overall training data. Here are examples of some things to look for to improve for 2017.
A season review is a vital learning tool for athletes who want to consistently improve their performance. Why? When you know and can access the strengths and weaknesses of your annual racing performance and the training that supported it, you can use the knowledge gained from them to improve your plan for next year.
Hard day, easy day, repeat. Most athletes are familiar with the core tenant of periodized training. The concept is often lost when it comes time to apply it to the bigger training picture. The need for a recovery phase following the 'hard ' part of the season is often over looked, undervalued and misunderstood.
Road racers rejoice! The season is coming to a well earned finale for most of the World and it’s time for a tasty beverage, a big couch, and a slice or two of pizza! Or is it? Should you take a break or keep your foot on the gas? Let’s weigh the arguments...
Face it: cross hurts! Not only does it require strong mental and physical toughness, it also requires a rider to be able to implement both skills and tactics while going full gas. This means we need some highly specific training with lots of time spent focused in the high intensity range.
TOOLBOX: It’s hot, it’s humid, and you’re getting tired. Each August I'm reminded that my athletes have been training for eight to nine months now, and August is usually the final, challenging phase. We all face the challenges of heat, humidity, fatigue, and lower motivation, forcing us to reach deep and finish the season with style.