Training – How, what, when, how much?
There are officially 12 weeks until United Energy Around the Bay. That really is a lot of time for many things to be achieved so that this day pans out the way you hoped. By now you have spent some time “goal setting” and have at least a rough plan of how you will be there in the next 12 weeks. Don’t be afraid to get involved and ask questions on the VIPeleton private Facebook page either.
This week it’s all about the doing. Yes that means riding your bike, getting the training in and doing the hard yards to make Sunday 7 October really enjoyable. Training is just that, preparing and practicing your requirements for the challenge you wish to undertake.
When you start a new job, often there is a period of training on processes and procedures with a significant level of ‘hands on’ time. Getting your drivers licence is the same. Hours of driving ‘learner’, then driving lessons and the infamous drivers test that enables you to get your licence. If you fail that test, you can go back and work out what needs to be improved and try again.
Today I want you to consider how you approach your training regime and your mindset towards the processes of practice, grow, learn and implement and how it is serving your cycling goals today and in the future for United Energy Around the Bay.
- Training is just a practice that becomes a daily habit
- Daily habits are formed through consistency
- Consistency comes from being persistent even when faced with road blocks or setbacks
- Persistent application comes from being invested and knowing why you want this work
- Knowing your why comes from spending time developing a plan and purpose
- This is otherwise known as a goal and goals come from our desire to gain pleasure from success and doing what we said we would do
How to get your training done
There are many ways to get the job of “training” done. In week one we spoke about resources, and working out what you have at hand and what you are willing to invest in.
To improve your fitness on the bike you can:
- Increase your ride time that you currently do
- Increase the intensity of some of your rides
- Vary the terrain to add climbs for strength
- Add in ‘spin’ classes especially during winter to get an extra session or two in midweek
- Buy or borrow an indoor trainer, or if you have one, create a set up to make it easy to use
- Follow a specilaised training program
- Hook up with Zwift or TrainerRoad or FulGaz or any of the online apps that allow you to train at home with indoor trainer.
To improve your strength and flexibility on the bike you can:
- Incorporate a daily regime of stretching that hits the spots specific to cyclists
- Attend your local yoga studio 1 or 2 times a week – hot yoga is great in winter too
- Add 1- 2 specific strength/core workouts that compliment your cycling especially your weakness
How much spare time do you have, what time are you willing to invest in this goal? Let’s say you have 1 hour each weekday and 5 hrs on a weekend in total. Giving you 10 hours of training time each week.
As you can see from the table, it’s really easy to work out what time you have and how you want to spend it if you just map it out. Working towards the goal is easy if you know what you have to work with and how you are going to use it.
This may simply be a spreadsheet that you have open and live on your computer at work so it is dynamic and can be altered. Really planning for your 12 program of training is like a budget to save for a holiday at Christmas.
- What time do you have available?
- When is your best time to train?
- How can you spend this time?
- What resources do you have to achieve this?
- Do you need to seek or buy extra help? (eg: indoor trainer, Zwift subs, spin class membership, coach)
- What are your weaknesses and strengths that you need to work on? What do you hope to achieve?
- How much recovery do you need?
- What other factors do you have to consider eg: play indoor soccer on Tuesdays
To get the job done it is not necessarily about how much time you have to invest it is 100% absolutely about the Consistency. The application of doing what you said you were going to do.
Often when presented with the excitement of planning for something big like United Energy Around the Bay, we can get caught up with this and plan big. So big, we cannot fulfill our plan and this leads to disappointment and then a pattern of not getting the plan done so you don’t do it at all, or very little anyway.
Start out by being realistic, still dream big, but plan conservatively. Again if this was a financial budget, you would save some money for your holiday but you would also know that week to week expenses pop up and also a certain lifestyle portion needs to be accounted for. If you told yourself “I will save so hard that there is not even $5 left to spend on a take away coffee.” How long would that last? Have some room for improvement and room for other life things that pop up.
The training concepts are simple:
- Add stress to your current load via duration, intensity & amount of recovery or frequency
- Allow for planned recovery which will be the most important phase – adaptation. This is where your growth occurs. No recovery = reduced results and over training and reduced confidence in ability
- Plan this in a time frame that allows the above concepts to be fully utilised.
- Review, adjust, address. What worked well, what needs improvement in the plan. Did you experience a niggle or injury. Did you run out of time or feel overwhelmed or was it far too easy. Be ready to address and adjust.
Follow these four simple steps and no matter if you are a highly trained cyclist or brand new to the training concept you can feel confident that you are on the right track.
What are you looking for to prove you are improving?
To get results we need them to be measurable. You can do the following:
- Devise tests for yourself that show your HR, distance, KMPH, power etc
- For beginner cyclists often just adding load over a period of time initiates large improvements
- Start with a benchmark – could be a test or a ride you always do, have measurable metrics of this.
- Your weight? Body measurements? Are you looking to lose 5kg over the next 12 weeks as well?
- A success chart – eg: good old fashioned gold star chat on the fridge for every session you achieve you get a star. Create a rewards scheme, at 20 stars = a new set of tyres for bike. 40 stars = a new cycling jersey etc
Some of the Tools used for measuring:
- Power meters to measure watts
- Heart rate monitors
- Garmins or other GPS devices
- Basic cycling computers for speed only
- Fitbits and other movement recording devices
- Success charts with visual representation of achievement
- Strava accounts with your best time on certain segments that you may wish to test on
- Online training diaries such as training peaks or today’s plan – allow for a very extensive measurement of progress.
- Simple training diary and planning / accountability daily/weekly check in with data and your own feedback on sessions and how you felt.
Make it happen
Follow the simple steps.
Create a vision for your goals and all the background work associated with that.
Develop your plan now that you know your resources, you know your goal and now it’s time to map it out with your time available and how you feel you can best commit to this to succeed.
Finally, it’s in the doing. It is about taking action and making it actually happen. We can talk all day about how we are going to make it work, but now we have some doing to get done.
As our old mate Yoda used to tell us…”Do or do not, there is no try”
Recipe for success: Heat up an idea, take action, mix it up with passion and believe, then add a dash of persistence.
Week 3 will cover your mental preparation.
Ways to reframe your challenges. Visualisation and most importantly your mindset. This will include a bit more about the 1 per centers I like to refer to as well. Turning your cycling training into a craft that you practice and perfect over time.
In the meantime crew…
As you may remember from Week 1, one of the best ways I find to start making a commitment to myself is to head out on a bike ride.
A ride that makes me feel happy and allows me to enjoy nature and before I know it I can start to dream about my goals and come up with awesome concepts and instill that passion that I need to take the next step. In the end, riding bikes is fun, coming up with goals and mapping out a plan is exciting work.
Do ask me questions on the private VIP Facebook group. Not everything can be covered for every single person on one blog post.