INSIGHT INTO TRAINING – The STUF you need to know about training for 2016
Content by: White Inc.
In the build up to some of your favorite events in the calendar, it is time to get training and committed so that you can reach your goals that you set out for yourself.
White Inc. have come up with some insight into what you may need to understand to better commit to achieving your goals. To be Stuf, you have to do Stuf!
How should I go about setting my training goals?
Once you’ve picked your one BIG event it is important to be realistic and practical when setting training expectations to reach your goal event. Considerations should include such things as time available to train – days and hours/week, work and family commitments, previous training levels, timing of possible ‘training’ races and of course, amount of time to the BIG event. A coach can help you figure out the answers to these questions so as to ensure that you make optimal use of your training time to get your to your BIG event in the best shape realistically possible.
After an initial assessment with a professional you can determine a starting point and decide on a plan of action. Smaller training goals can be set out as mini milestones to assist in the motivation to continue working correctly to reach the desired level.
What do I need to know about selecting certain training programs based on my goals?
Selecting a training program involves knowing your starting point and end goal and then how you’d like to structure your training time in between these two points. Doing some kind of assessment to understand your initial fitness levels will determine how your program is periodized so as not to cause over-training, injury or illness.
How can I ensure that I stick to my training program?
This is where some discipline needs to come in, and perhaps a mentor / coach / buddy to oversee and assist in your responsibility of achieving your goals. If you have someone to answer to, it helps to get you through the difficult times when you may not feel like doing the work. Outside pressure!
Logging your training data against planned sessions also helps you to keep track of what has been achieved and where you may be falling short…. and if you are falling short this is where a coach/mentor can help in assessing where the problem lies and how it could be rectified
What does “Watt” mean?
There are a few parameters with which work can be measured. Heart rate has been one of these, and more recently, with added technology, the power output of a cyclist’s effort can be measured. The units of measurement are called watts.
In essence, the force applied to the pedals. This force measured over certain distances can give riders a benchmark of their capabilities, which when divided by their weight gives them a watts per kilogram figure. This basically benchmarks them at a certain fitness level and gives them an idea of where they would like to get. This number can change quite quickly with hard and constructive training, with improvements easily seen and quantified.
How can I peak my performance?
Through a structured and periodised plan that works to stress the body through training cycles, interspersed with necessary and adequate recovery periods. Each cycle produces certain adaptations that build on the previous ones, thereby allowing improvements in fitness levels, and after a planned taper period, results in a peak to occur for the required goals.
How do I transition from “hibernation” to “flatboxing”?
It will not happen overnight, but an increase in activity levels and a structured plan will gear an athlete towards a peak period. Flatboxing could either mean riding at peak performance near a goal event, or riding beyond your capability, which is more likely to be unsustainable and result in ‘blowing up’.
Best avoided by knowing and understanding your limits, but if you are well prepared it is always possible to extend your boundaries!