Spring Crash Training

article crossposted from www.xtri.com... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Last month I wrote an article outlining a fairly simplistic, moderate workout schedule for indoor cycling. It was motivated by the sight of snow falling outside my window and the realization that my training was fairly limited. Since then, the daylight hours have increased, daylight savings has added an hour of afternoon daylight in North America, and Boulder (and much of the U.S.) has been experiencing exceptionally warm temperatures. It appears as if it’s time to ride again.

March is a popular time for cycling/triathlon training camps. Folks are headed all over the country (and even world) in search of opportunities to grind out some miles and get the feeling of being fit again. However, in reality, you do not need a fancy location to ride lots; all you need is time. If you have time, you can put in the big miles right out of your front door.

Here are some tips to help you successfully insert a cycling overload into your plan.

First of all, don’t get overly concerned with the actual structure of each day aside from making a decision on what days are designed for recovery. If you are using one seven-day cycle (commonly referred to as a ‘week’) then I like to do: two days on, one day off; three days on, one day off. If you have more time to train I suggest using the 2/1 approach throughout the cycle. It might be tempting to do more, but you will keep the quality of your riding up by allowing periodic rest days.

Here in Boulder we have a nice mixture of flat terrain to the east and mountains to the west. When I do 2/1 cycles, I start with a flat steady-state ride on day one and follow it up with long extended climbs on day two. This allows the terrain to challenge me on day two (when I’m starting get tired) without having to think too much about it. However, you do not need to live near the mountains to have similar challenges. It just means that you will have to focus your efforts on day two so that you do not fall into aimlessly spinning out miles (what I call “touring” as opposed to “training”).

What about swimming and running?

I personally believe that you should maintain your normal frequency with both sports, but allow your volume and intensity to be focused on the bike. I tend to almost always swim and run before I do any riding so that I avoid skipping sessions because of late-day fatigue. I finish my easy frequency sessions first, then ride to my heart’s content for the rest of the day.

How much recovery do I need afterwards?

That is going to vary depending on what awaits you when you finish your training camp. If you have a lot of obligations following the training camp (particularly with work) then I would be very flexible for the entire week that follows. If you can be proactive with your recovery needs, then allowing 3-5 days should be sufficient. One of the reasons I suggest using the 2/1 cycle is to avoid extended recovery following the camp. You want this cycling overload to build you up; not break you down.

Now get out the door and ride.