Monday, August 14, 2006

Bonsai

Winners are not created overnight. In fact, in endurance sports such as cycling, it takes years, even decades. Expecting that changes should happen any faster usually leads to either mental burnout and giving up, or the so-called "overtraining" scenario.

It is crucial that you stay goal oriented and measure progress in relation to yourself and not your competitors. Any energy spent on measuring yourself with other riders is a waste of time and is energy that could have been spent developing your own skills.

Create a list over your work tasks; items that you need to accomplish during training and competing. The items need to be things that you control, not your finishing time in a TT or a placing in a mass start. Every time you train and race, rate your execution of these tasks on a scale. 1 - all the tasks where executed 100%, 2 - 75% execution, 3 - 50% execution.

Use this scale on competitions and quality training sessions (intervals / distance training). As preparation for a season, I can fairly accurately determine how well my season prep as been by counting the number of sessions rated 1. If most of the quality sessions have been assigned 1, I know my preparations have been good. If I look back and see lots of 2s and 3s, I've got a problem that needs attention. This provides a great evaluation tool.

Keep in mind that not only is it important to have quality during training and racing, it is even more important to ensure proper quality of your recovery. Without adequate recovery, that training you are putting in is only making you weaker. Consider your total training load, including work, school, personal life etc. These factors all influence your recovery rate, which in turn decides how much training you can put it.

The challenge for a full-time athlete is to reduce all "unnecessary" loads, in order to maximize training loads and proper recovery. If you are working / in school you cannot train as much, but the principal still applies.

6 Comments:

Blogger Tom Stormcrowe said...

Well, results from Saturday: 25 miles in 60:47.5 and avg 23.89 mph approx. I guess I did all right for a middle aged fat man! ::GRIN::

I know it's certainly a major improvement on my capabilities of a year ago!

16:41  
Blogger Tom Stormcrowe said...

Sorry, typo, 62:47.5

16:42  
Blogger ashwinearl said...

Very well said!

12:28  
Blogger mags said...

Tom,

Excellent job! How did you like the event?

Ashwin - thanks for the comment. :)

Mags

12:43  
Blogger Tom Stormcrowe said...

I am hooked onn road racing! Next race is Sept 9! Open course and sanctioned! I found out I love the banging and bumping in a pack! Feels kind of like NASCAR with pedals!

14:07  
Blogger mags said...

Tom,

It's addictive. A race is almost like a big biological entity, which evolves every minute.

Mags

14:41  

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