The road to success…
For many of us, the uncertainty of COVID-19 has meant limited riding outdoors, postponed events and wavering motivation.
With the arrival of Spring and the announcement that Peaks Challenge Falls Creek is in the calendar for March 2022, it’s time to get back in the saddle. We know it’s not always easy to get back into the routine after some time off the bike, so, Team Bicycle Network’s Stephen Lane has put together some helpful tips to get your training back on track.
1. Set a goal – big or small … long or short
A big event like Peaks Challenge is often just what we need for motivation. The best way is to sign up early and use that commitment as a motivator to get on the bike regularly.
This type of long-term goal gives you a focus and a reason to commit to start training. Short term goals like setting a target amount of hours each week is a great way to chip away at that bigger goal. Start by committing to one hour of riding each day. After a few weeks, increase that number and aim for 10 hours a week and so on.
2. Consistency is key
If you can exercise every day, adaptation occurs and fitness increases. I say to my athletes there is a three week turn over. What you do today you will see in three weeks time. Or more to the point, you will see measurable increases in fitness and performance.
As road cyclists wanting to complete long events like Peaks Challenge, we want to focus on endurance. When building fitness, aerobic endurance is typically the best starting point. Ride consistently every day and increase the amount you ride over several weeks and months. Start out at an easy intensity and build how much intensity you do each week as you progress over weeks and months. That way your body will slowly adapt and the increased workload won’t be such a shock to the system. Going too long and hard without appropriately building up the volume and intensity is the primary reason for injury, illness and fatigue.
3. Be prepared. Have a plan.
Being prepared is key to getting your training done. You don’t necessarily need a training plan, but a short-term idea of what your training will look like does help. This may be as simple as a plan for the week. I like to use the weekly weather to guide my training. Sunny Wednesday and Thursday but wet on Tuesday. OK, I’ll get out for long ride on Wednesday and Thursday but will plan to do an indoor trainer session on Tuesday.
There are a variety of indoor training options these days and I’m sure most people are aware of virtual platforms like Zwift. Usually people either love or hate this type of training platform. My advice is, if you haven’t tried it give it a go. It provides an added element to indoor training that really does make the time pass a little faster and allows for some great training sessions once you get familiar with how it works.
If you still need some more motivation to get training consistently then maybe consider finding a coach. Not only will they provide a structured training plan to help optimise your training, but it also adds an element of accountability. Knowing that someone is going to be looking over your training session to see how you went really does make you want to get it done and make sure you complete it to the best of your ability.
You’ve got this!
If you have had a bit of an off season or you are wanting to challenge yourself and target a big event like Peaks Challenge then don’t worry. You have plenty of time to get to March with confidence that you have what it takes to get around the 235km course. But the sooner you start the better prepared you will be! Take it day by day. It is ok to miss a day here and there, but remember consistency is key and increasing fitness takes time.
Stephen Lane is back this year to help you with your training and preparation for Peaks Challenge Falls Creek. Stay tuned for monthly training videos, live Q&As and 16 week training programs to help keep your training on track. Plus, he’ll be joining our training camp in the build up to Peaks Challenge Falls Creek 2022.
Get those wheels rolling and clock up some kilometres. This is the beginning of an epic journey! This is your time. #ThisisPeaks