I have to admit. I am a Juliet Elliott fan.
Juliet is not a cycling professional, although she makes her living cycling. She is a YouTuber with thousands of followers. She is also an accredited cycling coach. She has raced in all disciplines, and has some down to earth, practical training suggestions. Her latest video outlines what not to do.
I agree with all of her suggestions. Do I follow them. Unfortunately not. My biggest downfall is not resting enough. I just reviewed my “Training Log” on Strava. For the past 12 weeks, I have not taken any days off, or for that matter, a week off. I have included a few days of reduced intensity. I suppose that helps recovery, but my legs feel the consequences of over training. They feel heavy, and tired. Once I get moving, they begin to feel better, but as each days passes, I notice the fatigue building.
Generally, I follow a three week on, one week off training cycle. The week off may not be off completely, but considerably reduced intensity and duration. Shorter rides. Fewer climbs. No weight training. For some reason, I got away from this pattern. I think COVID is partly responsible. With all of the cycling events cancelled, there was nothing specific to train for. Also, despite my age, I seem to recover quickly. I sleep 7-8+ hours nightly, and my resting heart rate is consistently 32-35 bpm. If it is elevated above this, I’ll go easy for a day.
This is not good enough. I know that. Recovery weeks are as important, maybe more important, than the training itself. I have to be more disciplined about this, if I expect to make gains.
So, I’m turning over a new leaf. Beginning in February, I’m going to return to the 3 week on, 1 week off schedule, with the first week of every month as a rest week. Rest will not mean doing nothing. I’ll ride, but not for as long or as hard. I’ll walk, and stretch more. I’ll use the roller, and massage gun every day. I may even take a hot bath. I’ll rest. During the following 3 weeks, I will gradually increase the volume and intensity of the workouts. Longer, more difficult rides. More weight training volume. FulGaz has an FTP training programme lasting 8-12 weeks. In addition to exploring the Spain, Italy, and France on the trainer, I’ll complete 2-3 of these training rides each week. These workouts will provide the structure I have been missing this past year. And, when the weather permits, I’ll get outside on a bike. I haven’t done that for 2 months.
That’s the plan. There may be cycling events this season. If so, I want to be prepared. If not, I’ll arrange one myself.