Heart rate variability may be useful as a guide to your recovery and readiness for training, and that it may improve fitness compared to a traditional periodization plan. How does it compare to a block periodization approach?
November brings early sunsets, cold nights, lots of leaf blowing, and, for most cyclists in the northern hemisphere, the time to focus on their annual plan. Planning is excellent and critical to success, but make sure you avoid these common training plan mistakes.
TOOLBOX: Training masters cyclists is different from riders of other ages, but can be no less effective. It does require some different strategies and approaches, which Tim Cusick - as coach to women's masters elite racer & former World Champion Amber Neben (and others) - is perfectly positioned to answer. Here's his best advice for masters cyclists.
“Train easy in order to train hard” along with “Ride your easy rides easy and your hard rides hard” epitomizes the idea of polarized training. Let’s look at the evolution of speedskating over the past four decades to see how changes in a sport led to changes in how training occurred.
There are numerous debates over different cycling training philosophies, mainly the “big three” of sweet spot, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and polarized (80/20). While proponents of each method tend to choose the “side” they like and defend it, my experience has been that each one plays a valuable role in training over time and in specific situations. We can use them all.
“Periodization” of your training calendar is the common approach to planning your season. Similarly, the concept of “carb loading” is also a commonly understood concept to maximize performance potential. In the continual quest for gains, coaches and athletes are now looking at “carbohydrate periodization” as an avenue to performance gains, so let’s learn a bit more about this concept…
Toolbox: Sweet spot training is almost a mantra within cycling, with its proponents highlighting the ability to do a lot of work closely under threshold, raising threshold power in a time effective manner. An alternative approach is polarized training, and the world leader in studying this approach is the Texan-turned Norwegian scientist Stephen Seiler.