It is essential to review your cycle season if you want to become faster on the bike the following year. Once your season comes to an end it is a good opportunity to have a break from training and reflect on the year. It is important to look back and analyse not only what worked well but what needs improving.
What to review?
I generally break this down into 3 elements which include many sub categories. This is just a general overview and gets you thinking about the year.
- Training – How much did I do? Intensity, too hard or too many easy sessions? What was my FTP? Peak Power? Race performances? Junk miles?
- Nutrition – How was my diet overall? Alcohol intake? Did I get to race weight? Power to weight? eating enough fruit/veg? Hydration?
- Off the bike – How much strength & conditioning did I do? What is my mobility like? Injuries? Stress? Sleep?
The PMC Chart
If you are logging your training through Training Peaks then there is a great chart called the PMC chart which is a summery of your training. This is a great “bird’s eye view” of your fitness and allows you to see how consistent you have been over the year with your training. You can also overlay this with peak performances to see whether you need to complete more or less training. This will although you to see what fitness you started the season with and what you peaked at.
How to plan for next year?
Once you have completed the review of your cycle season it is time to look towards next year. In basic terms, this normally means riding more however you can try to ride smarter if you had completed a large amount of “junk” miles. Whether this involves working with a coach or downloading a training plan you need to find what works for you.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”Albert Einstein
You want to increase your fitness through training so one of the first things to try to achieve is to start from a higher level than last year. Look back on your PMC chart to see what your fitness level was at the start of last year and try to start higher this year. Next, calculate the average hours per week over the whole year and look to increase that amount. How much you can do obviously depends on personal circumstances but even a 30min increase will benefit you. This will also help iron out any peaks/troughs with your training and help promote constancy.
Obviously, this is a very basic and simplified version however from experience even this is not completed by many. Often with self-coached athletes they don’t reflect/review their training enough. This is one of the reasons why having a coach gets results, they ask questions and force you to reflect.
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