November 26, 2013

Basic Training Primer Part 1

wintercyclingNo matter what sort of cycling your into.  No matter whether you race or just ride for fun.  Any improvement in your fitness will making cycling more enjoyable.

Now is the time to start think about training for next season, so by the time we hit springtime you’ll have a great base fitness.  The long dark months may not be all that inspiring when it comes to getting out on your bike, but if you can find the motivation then you will definitely reap the rewards in the spring.

Keep it simple…

If you start trying to research how to devise your own winter training plan, its easy to be become bewildered by the mountains of information out there, different opinions and often contradictory advice.  My advice is keep it simple. Before we get into a bare bones winter training program, let’s have a look at what exactly we’re trying to achieve.

Aerobic Fitness

In order to get a good level of base fitness so you can ride for more than a couple of hours without getting tired or cope with long rides on consecutive weekends through the summer, you need to work on your body’s aerobic endurance.  Your aerobic endurance is your body’s ability to do work for a long period of time at the sort of intensity where your hearts beating reasonably fast but you’re not out of breath.  Your body is still able to take in enough oxygen to feed your muscles and you main source of energy comes from body fat.

Periodization

the_training_yearPeridozation is a method of training developed by sports scientists back in the 1950s and has been refined and developed ever since.  The basic idea is to divide your season up based on your goals.  For a cyclist this would usually mean dividing your season into three phases, called macrocycles.  The preparatory phase is what we’ll be concentrating on, which we’ll come back to in a moment.  The next phase is the competitive phase, which is when you’ll doing your races or sportives or whatever else your goal is.  Finally comes the transition phase which is when you basically take a break from your training at the end of the season.

The Preparatory Phase

The preparatory phase should make up about 2/3rd to 3/4s of the training year which is then split again into a general preparation, which should last over half the preparatory phase and specific preparation for the remainder.  General preparation is when you will work on your aerobic fitness and its this period we’ll be concentrating on in the next weeks article.

In fact next week we’ll have a look at an example of an average rider, with a young family and a fulltime job and start design his training program…