Friday, November 30, 2012
Back to Work
Hopefully, the majority of you haven't lost much FTP over the break. I was going to say "off-season" but there really isn't an "off-season" per se when you're an amateur/weekend warrior racer. If you raced CX this Fall, then yes, by all means..you deserve a break. But a "break" doesn't mean to sit on your a$$, watch TV, drink beer and get fat.
Here's what I recommend for those getting back to work:
Newbies or those just getting back into it- for you, the motto should be "take it easy" at the start. There is no doubt in my mind that your FTP will be lower than its ever been. The key for this group is to build strength back into your legs, and develp your Cardiovascular system. It's going to take months so I wouldn't plan on any early Spring road races. You can do start by visiting the local gym and engaging in both a weight training program and a spinning class. No need to be riding outside in the crappy weather. Besides, your pedaling stroke is probably erratic as hell and a couple sessions of independent leg drills (on the trainer) will do you good. Keep your workouts brief, no longer than an hour. I'm talking 1 hr. total- that includes both weight training and spinning. Yes, I realize that most spinning classes are 1 hr. long, but you don't have to stay the entire hour. Hell, you paid for the class..you can leave whenever you want to. I'd rather you have a brisk (L3/L4) 1/2 hr. spin class than a 1 hr. L2/L3 class.
Those who raced in the Summer and took the Fall off- you are the majority of the cyclists I coach. Those that mainly just road race in the Summer. For you, you WILL have lost some FTP. But, not to worry, it should be minimal- 25-50w. If you train correctly, you should gain all that back by March and be ready to race in April. Like the newbie group, I recommend you get back in the gym and engage in some form of weight training program to re-strengthen the legs. You can also start spin class training, or doing your own workouts at home on the trainer. And yes, get out on the road. There is no substitute for riding on the roads..especially the hills.
Those who have raced Road in the Summer and CX in the Fall- of the three groups, you're most likely in the best shape and FTP loss was kept to a minimum. i.e. no more than 25w FTP loss. Your leg strength is probably still good too. So, instead of a weight training program (for strength) which I recommend for the other two groups..a 1-2x per week maintenance program is all you'll need to keep the legs strong. Also, since you race in the Spring/Summer and Fall..you're no doubt a die hard that is riding all the time..and probably would rather have a root canal done than train on a trainer. That's fine. For you, keep riding. And, when you do ride..target the hills. You just don't need to be going that hard this time of year..nor do the training rides need to be marathon sessions. Keep em brief and keep em semi-intense.
Regardless of what group you're in- it's time to GET BACK TO WORK! Don't wait for the Holidays or the New Year. There is no better time than now.
Power ON! Coach Rob
Posted by Rob Muller at 8:30 AM