Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Racing..the best training there is!

For me, the end of May is also the time of year I start winding down my coaching for the season;  at least for the majority of the athletes I coach.  I still coach a few athletes but for the most part I'm done.  Why?  For a few reasons: 1) Because once the roadies start racing regularly in May/June..there really isn't much time to fit any kind of formal training in during the work week..especially if you enter a training crit/race during the week.   Lets look at a normal racers week: if you race both Saturday and Sunday and do a training race mid-week:
Monday- Day OFF/Recovery Ride if you raced on Sunday
Tuesday- Group Ride
Wednesday- Solo Ride
Thursday- Training Race/Criterium
Friday- Pre-Race Ride
Sat/Sunday- Race

So, you can see from the weekly schedule above..there is really only one open day to go hard and that is on Tuesday where I have a "Group Ride" penciled in.  (And, you SHOULD go hard on a group ride.  Also make sure you're one of the weaker riders in the group/ride.  If not, find a faster group/ride).  You might be thinking, wait a minute, I see "Solo Ride" on Wednesday.  Yes, there is a "Solo Ride" penciled in.  But, if you go hard on your Group Ride on Tuesday there is no way you're going to be able to go HARD on Wednesday.  And, there is no reason to go HARD on Wednesday..especially when you have a HARD Training Race/Crit on Thursday.   By doing a fast group ride, a traning race, and weekend race per week..that's all the training you'll have time for..or need.

2) the whole purpose of your Annual Training Plan (that most of you started in December) was to get you in shape for the racing season.  That is, it will improve both Functional Threshold Power and Power at VO2max.  Therefore, once May/June rolls around..the goal/objective has been least I hope it has.  I'd say the average athlete I coach increases his/her FTP a minimum of 50w over the Winter.  I had one athlete increase it as much as 75w.  My FTP increases 50w from December to May..granted, I lose most of that increase when the cycling racing season is over.  Once May/June rolls around the emphasis is moved from "general" training to "specific" training.  That is, if you're a sprinter we'll spend a lot of time on L6/L7 Anaerobic Capacity work in June.  If you're an endurance's time to work on muscular endurance and skills/tactics.

3) June is the time of the year that I'm normally racing myself- or officiating.  However, this year I'm having a home built in the Pocono Mtns of PA so there is NO racing.  To be honest with you, I don't miss it.  I'm having more fun fishing, boating, mountain biking, officiating, etc. this year.

So, if you race, continue racing.  If you want to continue to train (get stronger)..enter a real race or a training race.  After all, racing is the best training.  Power ON! Coach Rob

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