Saturday, March 04, 2006

Keeping it simple

I got caught up in a discussion about training plans and training methods the other day, probably very much like many of you do as well. I think many of us fall into the trap of making this more difficult than it actually is. If you get too wrapped up into periodizations, which of the 1ooo different interval methods to use, when to train hard, when to train easy... It can drive most lesser mortals crazy and transform an otherwise normal person into a babbling blub.

So, allow me to simplify your life and alleviate you from any further frustration. :) Here follows my humble philosophy:

Organize your week around 2 interval sessions and 1 longer distance workout at "race intensity". Preferably use 1 interval session in zone 3 and the other one in zone 5. For obvious reasons, the distance workout must be in and around zone 3-4. After you have placed these key sessions and planned for adequate recovery before and after them - fill in with long, easy to medium intensity rides. I would also recommend 2-3 strength sessions per week, time permitting. If you are experienced enough to feel when you need to rest and recover, then don't bother scheduling a low week. If not, plan 1 easy week every 4 weeks. Train about half the volume of your normal week.

When / if you need to reduce volume (racing season) - keep the key sessions (intervals and distance workout), just reduce the longer endurance rides.

I also believe in keeping the key sessions all year long, if possible. So, that's it. Simple, yeah? Now all you have to do is get out there and put in the time. Oh, and make sure you focus on quality, quality, quality.

Now I got to get back to watching "Underworld". Ah, mindless violence. Great after a hard day.


Anonymous Jeff said...

I like your philosophy of training. My coach makes simple training schedules for me, and it works. But I think it would be fun to experience training with an SRM and a program with a little more periodization. That's how I imagine the training of a professional ;)

You are a full-time cyclist, has your season started yet? Please write some reports from your races!

Blogger Skibby said...

Mags, you nailed it. That's pretty much the plan I try to follow. Anything more complicated I can't schedule or keep up with, I get behind and frustrated... you da man...

Blogger mags said...

Sometimes the real secret is found in simplicity. Especially when it comes to matters such as these.

Blogger mags said...

Sometimes the real secret is found in simplicity. Especially when it comes to matters such as these.

Anonymous Alex said...

Mags- I am just reading your blog now and think it's great. It's nice to hear some perspective about norway in this years olympics (I hate figure skating...and vowed not to watch it this year...I was up at 3 in the morning to watch biathlon-grrr). I got to your blog through my buddy Josh B.'s. Nice to read all the info and your ideas from across the pond. Thanks! Oh- And try not hate all's the fins you have to watch out for :) Take care.

Blogger mags said...


Thanks for the very kind words! I appreciate it. I'm glad you find some of the material interesting.

And I don't hate ALL Swedes... :) Far from it. Just must of them... No, seriously - I'm VERY happy for their recent success in Italy. It was long overdue and well deserved.

Blogger Caloi-Rider said...

I'm curious, Mags, what kind of strength training do you do? Squats? Or do you mix in the hip flexor stuff too?
By the way, are you racing yet? Or are you still in the aerobic base part of the season?

Blogger mags said...


I run a fairly basic strength training program. 2-4 sessions per week, depending on time of year. A mix between max strength (mobilizing exisiting muscle-mass, making what you have more efficient) and endurance strength.

Squats, leg press etc.

Oh, and yes, the lovely early season races have started. Lots of Belgian elbows and crashes... Fun stuff. Combined with northern continental weather, what more could a guy ask for?



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