Our good cycling season in most of Canada is only about 4 months.
However, the enthusiasm we share can carry on throughout the entire year.
With the improvements to indoor training mechanisms and systems riders are becoming “fit” all year-round.
With these thought in mind, when we embark our training we need to establish some goals.
Over the years, I have noticed a trending pattern.
By mid-July through August, riding and racing participation dwindles.
This is due in part, I believe to several things.
First and foremost, most of us have family obligations that can take priority.
At other times work commitments may take precedence over our riding wishes.
However, the biggest reason we lose riders at this point is physiological.
The human body can manage about 220-250 days of high level training per year according to Joe Friel in The Cyclist’s Training Bible.
Furthermore, after 12 weeks of similar training improvement ceases.
Most coaching techniques today use a periodization training plan ranging from 20-40 weeks.
With cycling, it is not uncommon to plan for a peak 2-3 times per season.
Over the next little while, take some time to evaluate your training goals.
Take a moment to look longer term and begin to plan backwards to achieve those goals.
Winter training can be lots of fun and cross training through the autumn months renews our cycling passion.
As you get into winter though, focus your indoor training time to complete solid base training with controlled stress levels.
When the weather starts to turn for the better by March Break, then start to modify your stress load.
Remember that peaking is important for fitness improvements no matter what level you ride.
So set some attainable goals.
If all you do is Long Slow Duration (LSD) training, that is what you will be by mid-July.
Unfortunately, by mid-season, if that is all your focus has been, your fitness will actually recede.
Riding and racing requires more than LSD riding even for the average club rider.
Incorporate some short, quick hill work and flat ground speed work in the spring and early summer.
These should be shorter workouts with higher intensity.
This type of effort opens up your schedule a bit too.
That means more time doing “life”.
Keep the rubber on the road.