Tuesday, November 18

Transition

Periodization. It's a method of training that starts with general training and culminates in specific training. For example, it may begin with a baseline of endurance training and then culminate with, say, sprint training.

This is achieved through a series of peaks and relaxations in training. You might go three weeks of increasing training intensity, then one week of low intensity. This rest week is needed for your body to catch itself up, heal, relax, rest, and get ready for the next three weeks, which will be even more intense than the last three. This goes on throughout the year, building up to the most important cycling events, your "A races".

Periodization is opposed to other paradigms of training, such as racing-in-to-shape or just generally always being fit. Racing in to shape doesn't hand-tailor your training year towards your goals. And keeping a high-performance level of personal fitness for a whole year doesn't allow you to improve very quickly. Furthermore it's basically impossible in New England.

In periodization, the end/beginning of the cycling year is the Transition phase. It is the 'winter' of the training year, though it doesn't necessarily fall in winter. If I had a yearly training plan (which I vaguely had at the start of last year), I would be in it now. That phase is coming to an end though. While it's not even winter yet is New Hampshire, it's late February in my legs. The time is coming to get the training plan together.

Some people have a personal trainer, or use a website or software to generate their training plan. That would drive me insane. I can't stand it when people try to tell me what to do, especially if it's a computer. I listen to my body and I do the best I can. I'm self--reliant and more than capable of finding my own direction when I have my own motivation.

That's why I am using my own training plan from Joe Friel's Cyclist's Training Bible. His guide takes you through the process of making your own yearly training plan. It's very open-ended, and designed for real-life people with jobs and school and kids and that sort of thing. And I like that one of the fundamental ideals of it is to avoid overtraining, and while you should push yourself, listen to your body.

So, I've gotten myself a copy of The Cyclist's Training Bible and The Cyclist's Training Diary, so I can pull together a training plan for 2009. Woot.

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