This time of year it is always easy to over do your training, but going too hard too soon or doing too many miles without a real goal or plan can be really detrimental. Building your fitness while you're super motivated and eager to get back to fitness might seem like a great idea. But it is the time of year to assess your previous season and review where your strengths and weaknesses are, based around this you can establish what you aim to target in the next season.
This is the process we're going through right now with all our cycling coaching athletes, its how we can make progression in the season ahead, but also renews motivation for the riders to know they're working on specific goals and phases for set periods. I love this time of year when you can review and reassess where you want to be.
For me 2018 was very frustrating, I had to deal with a lot in 2017 after the loss of my mum. I went into the winter with so much buried emotions and used this to bury myself in the winter. I was on a massive mission to get myself to the form I had in previous years and the numbers and how I was building everything was suggesting I could be even stronger than before. I was dealt a massive blow with being knocked off my bike, despite the pain I carried on because I wanted to race and show my mum I was going to come back and win for her. When I started the season it was all looking good but I was in so much pain with my lower back. I came 2nd in the Eddie Soens and won three time trials but then I just started to get worse with loads of back pain and my left leg would go numb. So I got to the point where I could just take no more.
I had to take the smart decision to take some time out and rehabilitate. It was hard when inside you know that you have a lot of buried and overdue grieving but I also needed to allow my emotions to come out. I'm the world worst when it comes to having tunnel vision and sometimes I just need a kick up the ass to get me back on track. I almost feel this was my mums way of telling me to have some time out.
So the process started with a new professional bike fit looking at my physiology of what was going off in my body and a strength and conditioning programme to keep me rehabilitated and strong and I've been on that process since. I've enjoyed riding my bike a lot more since then, and it was on a training camp in Boulder with Tim Don when I realised how much I do enjoy riding but also how I just love the process of training and seeing my body get stronger. The training and racing process has also allowed me to be the world class cycling coach which I feel I'm achieving. So my first phase is to build into a stronger athlete, try and make 10 watts in the next 6 weeks, complete 2 strength and condition programmes and keep on top of my rehabilitation exercises.
Big thanks to Bob Tobin ( Coach), Jamie Pringle, Barney Wainwright, Bianca Broadbent, John Dennis & George Fox (Bike fitting and physiology), David Clarke (Strength and conditioning) , Palo Lorio ( Osteopath) Emily Gabb (Response physio) And David Lloyd Leicester Meridian
Here is an example week that I have been completing this summer:
Monday- Gym - Piller prep activation set working on imbalances and dynamic stretching.
1000 meter swim
Tuesday- Glute activation set with pyramids of varying intensity. 1hr total. Lots of small drills of 10-20 secs in blocks of 15mins with a real focus on engaging the core and glutes- Time trail bike
Weds- 2hrs easy- This was a group ride L2 with cadence focus
Thurs- Gym, Pillar Prep, strength set working on imbalnces
Friday- 2hrs easy- Like weds but with 4x10 secs maximal sprints
Sat- 1hrs set on the road bike - pre activation set for FTP. 4X30 Seconds maximal efforts and 2x3 mins Threshold efforts. All with 4mins recovery
Sun- 1hrs 20mins, Warm up with 2x1 mins L5 efforts into 20mins FTP effort. To set Zones for the first phase of training.