17. July 2012 08:30
In the last post, I talked about the importance of achieving overload if you want to keep improvement, and talked about “spikiness” in workouts. You can get spikiness in different ways. The first thing that springs to mind is to segment our workouts into hard days and easy days. Will this help?
Well, it will let you get some overload when you start, but my guess is that over time, you will get used to the hard days, and you will plateau again.
The answer is “specificity”, which just means that you are going to focus a specific workout on a specific area. By focusing on that area – and getting sufficient recovery between workouts in that area – you can continue to generate overload, and continue to improve. There are literally hundreds of different kind of specific workouts you can do; here are a few:
- 20 minute time trials (threshold repeats)
- Hill repeats
- Over/under intervals
- Muscle tension
- Single-leg drills
- Cadence drills
Now, we have a different problem – the problem of figuring out what areas you need to work out, what workouts are most appropriate for those areas, and how to fit them all together along with appropriate recovery so that the program is just the right intensity – not too easy, and not too hard.
The best answer to this problem is “find a coach”, but I’ll share some ideas in future posts.
Next time, I think I’ll talk about macrocycles, mesocycles, and microcycles.
3. July 2012 08:36
The first in a series of posts on cycling training.
Humans are quite adaptable, and we take advantage of that adaptability when we work out. Or, we *try* to take advantage of it, but we often don’t do a very good job of it, because we misunderstand how things work. It’s really quite simple:
Overload + Recovery = Improvement
Overload means applying training stress that exceeds what your body is already accustomed to.
Recovery is the time after the workout when you get better.
Improvement is when you get better.
When you first start riding, this is easy to do; you aren’t used to riding at all, so pretty much anything that you do overloads your system, and you improve. Over time, your body adapts to the way that you are working out, and your improvement plateaus. If you keep training the same way you were training in the past, you won’t see the improvements that you are looking for, since you are no longer generating any training stress.
In future posts I’ll explore ways to get more overload, and how to improve recovery.