Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Are you training effectively?

Here's a quote out of Chris Carmichael's book- The Time Crunched Cyclist that pretty much sums up training in a nutshell, as far as I'm concerned: "Effective training comes down to applying a workload to an athlete that is both specific to his/her activity and goal appropriate for that person's current levels of fitness and fatigue". 

Much too often, I see riders train with a workload that is either too hard or too easy.  For most, the training rides are too slow and too long- not to mention too easy.  There's only one or two athletes that I've coached in the past that are just the opposite.  They want to go balls to the wall 24/7- on every training ride/workout.  (However, having said that, the guys/gals that ride hard are doing MUCH better during competition- and during group rides than their slow counterparts.)  Chris continues to say, " The load has to be great enough to stimulate a training response from the body, but not so great that it creates more fatigue than the body can cope with."  That's my only concern with guys/gals that want to go HARD all the time.  I don't want them fatigued and overtraining.

The other thing I see (or hear of) are riders that train with a different bike.  Their training rides are performed on a different bike than what they compete on.  i.e. I've seen many a road bike rider riding a Mountain Bike thinking that the MB training will make them a stronger roadie.  Or, how about this one..the Time Trial (TT) Specialist that trains with/on their road bike instead of TT bike.   Not only are these riders training with a different bike (in a different riding position), they aren't training for their specific activity. i.e. why would a Criterium Racer ride 2-3 hr tempo/endurance training rides?  Likewise, why would a century rider spend a couple hours per week doing Sprint workouts?  Just doesn't make sense.  That's what Chris is referring to when he says, "...specific to his/her activity.." 

So, let me ask again, are you training effectively?  Is the training specific to your event?  How much time are you training? Is it enough time?  Is it too much time?  Are the workouts too easy/hard?  Are you recovering properly after HARD workouts?  Think about it.  Hopefully, you've made all the correct training decisions.  If not, change your plan.

BTW, Triathletes, Chris Carmichael wrote a book for the Time Crunched Triathlete.  Check it out!

Power ON! Coach Rob

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