How a cycling training program would have helped me
A Couple of years ago, I got myself an wahoo kickr indoor trainer and started ‘training’. I had no structured plan and was doing high intensity sessions every time I trained. This had it’s benefits, my fitness improved drastically and very quickly I was doing my first sub 3 race. But little did I know this was not going to last long and I was going to hit a plateau and be brought back to earth very quickly
After my 2nd sub 3 race, I decided to licence myself and go race in the racing categories. Needless to say, that race did not go very well and I lost the bunch very quickly. I was nowhere near ready for this level and if I had the tools I have now, I would be able to see I was not ready and that my numbers needs to improve a lot before I take on the big leagues
So how would a training program have helped me? Firstly, I would have gone through the correct processes to build myself up. Secondly, I would’ve known when I would be ready to even consider entering the racing categories and lastly I would not have hit plateaus and lose motivation so quickly
Let’s look at the first thing, the correct process. As I said, I was doing a lot of high intensity sessions at the time. Was doing that for about a year and my FTP (functional threshold power) increased by only 20 watts. This is where I would have been able to see my numbers are way to low to keep up with the racing snakes. With all the high intensity training and not going through the correct process, I hit plateaus and was never able to keep improving my numbers.
Now following a set program and going through the correct processes, I have improved my FTP by 50 watts. And I keep improving gradually and this in turn keeps my motivation up to eventually get back to the racing groups and be able to keep up and hopefully compete at that level
Benefits of having a training program
A training program creates stability and paves the way for your success, helps you to get to where you want to be. Training programs should be long term to allow for monitoring and adjusting the program to make gradual gains and not lose motivation or getting injured. You need to re-test and adjust your program to continue making these gains. Whether your goal is to win a race, or just to lose a few kilograms, a training plan can help you get there
The coaching software we use (Trainingpeaks) gives me the tools to create scientifically based programs based on your needs and goals. It gives me tons of data to ensure you train hard enough to make gains, but at the same time not to do too much to hit plateaus and lose motivation. The software also gives me the tools to ensure you are at peak performance for a race you want to target, whether it is to win it or to do your personal best.
Training plans are so much more than just a piece of paper. It shows you where you are, where you can be in a few months time, or even in a year’s time, and it shows you how to get there in a safe and healthy manner.