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What to do if you miss a session on your cycle training plan?

Don’t panic if you miss a training session on your cycle training plan. This guide will show you how to get back on track so you complete the plan and become a faster cyclist.

Having a training plan is essential to improving as a cyclist however this can put extra pressure and stress on you depending on your personality. Life doesn’t always go according to plan, we all have busy life’s juggling work and family life, and throw in sickness there a numerous reasons why athletes end up missing a session.  In this blog post I will try and share some practical knowledge that will assist you both physically and just as important mentally!

How many sessions have you missed on your cycle training plan?

  • Single session

If you miss a training session on your cycle training plan it will not derail your training plan so don’t panic. If you missed the session due to motivation then just remember missing one session is fine however it is very important not to let this spread as it will spiral. There is only a problem if this increases to multiple session and if it does I would try and get to the root of the cause and nip this in the bud sooner than later. Everybody is individual and you need to figure out what you need whether that is a coach, laying your kit out the day before or meeting training partners. There is no need to adjust the training plan is this case and just forget it and move 0n.

  • 2-3 sessions 

If this is down to injury or sickness it is crucial to make sure you are fully fit before you recommence training otherwise it could set you further back and thus missing more sessions. There is no real need to re write the whole training plan although you might want to shift sessions slightly to make the first one back a slightly easier session but don’t chase missed sessions as moving them all forward in the plan can lead to over training/fatigue and thus further time off the bike.  This is a problem if it is down to motivation as this is the first sign and needs to be addressed immediately, the more time off the bike the harder it will be to get back on!

  • 1-2 weeks of training

There can be a number of reason for this reason from sickness, motivation or holiday and at the 2 week mark this does have an impact on your fitness so I would look to pick up the plan from your last workout and move the whole plan forward by the period you have been off the bike. If you have a plan that targets a specific race this will not be possible and you should then just move the key workouts instead. It is important not to miss the taper that would have been built towards the goal race.

  • Over a month

Depending on your level of base fitness will affect your planning when you have had over a month off the bike. If you have a high level of base fitness then you will soon get the fitness back and be able to pick up where you left off however if you are new to structured training then it take you much longer. Either way there will need be signifiant changes to the training plan or even having to alter your goal or pick another event.

Hopefully this has given you some guidance on what to do however every athlete and circumstance is individual. Generic training plans serve a purpose and work well if you are motivated and things don’t go wrong however will never replace the job of a good coach.

Key takeaways

  • First of don’t panic! Missing one session will not ruin your season and come race day your body will not remember that one “missed session”. Providing you have completed the majority of the plan you will be fine.
  • Don’t chase missed sessions. I see many athletes who miss one or multiple sessions and then just move them all forward in the training plan and end up with a big bunch of workouts back to back days which can lead to over training/fatigue and thus a longer period off the bike.
James Walsgrove

My cycling career started in 2005 when I purchased my first road bike and I was immediately hooked. Since then I have completed numerous cycling challenges including Ironman, Lands’ End to John O Groats, Mt Ventoux (all 3 ascents), London to Paris, the BBAR challenge which included a 12hour TimeTrial and more recently the Mallorca 312.

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