It’s been a few weeks since my last race report. Having started the year with a bang with 2nd in the Eddie Soens RR and a couple of time trial wins I was hit with a virus and tonsillitis. I’ve taken a few weeks out to recover and started to build back into structured training. This has been really frustrating and it’s very rare I get ill but at least it is early season.
Writing this I’m just on my way to France for the team training camp at Les stables, a dedicated triathlon training camp that we've organised. We have 2 weeks of training and working with our athletes. Week one is cycling specific then week two we have our triathletes coming out, this includes Ironman World Record Holder Tim Don. It’s going to be a great training week and I can’t wait to get some miles in.
I’ve decide that once I get back I’m going to do a few more road races, just to mix everything up and also pass on all the advice I have with our young road team. Other goals will be the National 50, Tour of Cambridge and finally the UCI Grand Fondo World TT and road race in Varese.
Coaching itself has been mental with so many race wins so far this season. The whole process of cycling coaching is just something I love, not just the day to day planning and feedback but looking for every marginal gain possible from the athlete to rider set up.
So, I thought I'd share my top tips when set back occurs:
1: When illness or injury occurs it can mentally be a real set back. But it’s also a good time to reevaluate on areas you can make improvements. E.g if it’s injury could you look at including more Strength and Conditioning to find more strength and prevent injuries.
2: Catch up on sleep! It’s a great way of aiding recovery. Sleep is also one of the key areas most of us neglect so something worth tracking.
3: Mentally recharge and just take a step back. Try and switch the mind off and enjoy the down time when you're not training.
4: Reevaluate how to build back. Still have your goals set but also look at making small stepping stones so that you can start seeing progression.
5: Don’t rush back too soon! I always say it’s going to take you two days to build back for every day you take off. Always start with 3 -4 easy days of L1-L2 to get the body working again.
6: After a small set back like head colds you will start to see a boost in form two to three weeks later. So try not to stress.
7: Go back to basics. Don't start straight away with top end training to chase your form, this will cause more fatigue and potentially set you back further.
8: Don't worry about your rivals. Following your rivals results too badly will eat you mentally while you're not able to train and race yourself.
9: Have confidence in where you were at before you suffered the set back. Be confident in the fact that once you're recovered you will be able to build back to above and beyond where you were.
10: Stay fuelled and use a healthy diet and supplements where necessary to keep on top of what your body needs. Staying healthy will always help recovery, no matter what the set back is!