by Eric Kenney, EK Endurance Coaching
Being consistent is so important. It is better to do 6 x 45-minute trainer rides before you do 1 x 5-hour ride and nothing else all week. Think of your weekly training as a set of intervals. You rarely go out to do a threshold workout as 1-hour, all-out effort. You break it up into 10- or 20-minute intervals. Same thing here. Plan ahead and “pay it forward” a bit by saving some energy (both physical and mental) on Wednesday so you can get in another session on Thursday or Friday. It’s not the training you do this week; rather it’s what you do for this 3-4 months.
Here, EK Endurance Coaching training pyramid
shows you consistency is the foundation for EVERYTHING. This is not to say you have to train as long or as often as you might in spring or summer but you do need to find a manageable workload you can consistently complete.
STRUCTURED ENDURANCE TRAINING
Something many people don’t realize is that if you are working at your lactate threshold or below, you are getting the same adaptations as you do from doing long slow distance (LSD) training. What’s the catch? Well of course, the harder you ride the less time you can hold that effort for. But it’s winter and you are reading this because you don’t want to spend three hours on your trainer on Tuesday morning. So the old adage of “if you only have a short amount of time go hammer!” is sort of true in this case. However, do it with purpose and structure. Our Hour Of Power cycling workout library is designed for just this. Quality training that keeps you focused (distracted) while still having fun and getting your workout in.
I have been talking about and practicing this in my coaching since I began working with athletes over a decade ago. If you want to improve, you must discover your weak areas and bring them up to par for your goals.
FLEXIBILITY AND REST
Rest is very important—maybe the most important part of your training. Just because you are not logging 3-hour rides doesn’t mean you don’t need off days, recovery rides and stretching. Often I see more tightness and injuries in winter than in summer. Why? I feel it’s because athletes don’t take the time to cool down as much and stretch/recover properly. When their last interval is done, all they can think is, “Please get me off this thing!”. They grab some water and food and then are off to wherever. Stretch! Cool down after hard sessions! That extra five minutes now will pay you back the next time you throw your leg over the bike.
Be flexible. If the weather turns nice, bag the structured trainer workout and get outside! Not feeling the mojo today? Save it for tomorrow’s session. Be dynamic and flexible this winter. Think long-term. It’s not the training you get in this week, it’s about the all the training you get in these 3-4 months.
The fact is that riding the trainer can be like getting out of bed. It’s rough! But the act of starting is often the worst part. Get on, warm up, just spin, and after a few minutes images of racing, working hard for teammates and making the winning break will soon fill your head. Do this over and over again, and you will be on your way to having the best season ever.
Read Coach Eric’s full bog here
Want to learn more about winter training? Join Coach Eric at CMS this Thursday for more.