Finding a training plan for an event, cycling, running, triathlon or otherwise can be overwhelming. On one extreme, you’ve got the ones with formulas, zones, baseline tests and complicated calculations to measure progress. I personally go catatonic when I see all that data. On the other extreme, training plans can err on the side of too much flexibility and guesswork, allowing riders to fall short of their goals due to lack of accountability or precise objectives. Too much free love is a bad thing. While some people have great luck sitting at either end of this spectrum, most riders want to land comfortably in the middle. They want a program with defined parameters to stay on task, but allowances for life’s disruptions and personal interpretation. As a coach my goal is to present a plan that can be tweaked to fit the individual… radicalized, softened or executed exactly. Before I delve into the specifics of our Moxie Training Plan, let’s make a few assumptions:
- You have between six and twelve weeks to train for an event.
- You know this basic training tenant: The body is a stress and recovery system. Each week your intensity should increase at least a little bit (for more social riders) and at most a lot (for more competitive riders).
- You consistently follow through on the “recovery” part of that equation with some rest.
- Intensity during workouts can increase in a number of ways: speed, distance, terrain, wind, weather. You can measure your intensity by how hard you are working on a scale of 1-10 OR by using a heart rate monitor or power meter if you’re into numbers.
- Use an actual, paper calendar and pencil to design your program. You can plug it into your phone later, but this creative process and being able to see the big picture on paper is super important.
- Page through the calendar and the months leading up to your event. Look for things like travel, work and family commitments that will disrupt your training. Make tactical accommodations NOW so training is a priority around, over, under, in between and in spite of those events.
Now… the training program.
Start with the number 1. Add +1 for every day of your event, not to exceed 7 (ie. if your event duration is 3 days, 1+3=4). This is the number of days per week that you will be doing something to prepare for your event. You do NOT have to execute these in order. However, the workout “themes” are prioritized in order of importance, the interval workout being the most important, then hills and so on.
#1: Intervals (easy effort, hard effort, easy effort, hard effort)
#2: Hills (up, down, up, down, up faster, down, up even faster, down)
#3: Cross Training (NOT cycling… strength, walking, tennis, jogging, swimming, rowing…)
#4: Long Distance (longest ride should be 90% of your longest ride in the event)
#5: Social (ride for fun. with friends. and for beer. or scones. mmmm scones.)
#6: Active Recovery (actively care for your body: massage, chiro, acupunture, hot tub, gentle lap swim, dry sauna, thai massage, foam roller, restorative yoga, mediation, cryosauna, infrared sauna, myofascial release, energy work… whatever trips your trigger)
#7: Sleep In (yep. Its day seven. sleep. sleeeeeeep)
Stay with me, Ladies. We’re almost done.
Now you generally know WHAT to do. Now WHEN to do it?
Grab that calendar I talked about. Go to the date of your event and back up three weeks. That week will be your PEAK where you put training before God, chocolate, significant others, and children. Imagine the most amount of effort you can put into working out for an entire week. That level of intensity if your PEAK week. All the weeks leading up to the PEAK week are a gradual increase in intensity. Your starting point is where you are TODAY. The two weeks after PEAK week are TAPER where you get to chillax. Still do your workouts, but back off on your intensity. And be extra good to yourself for all the hard work. When the start of the event arrives, you ought to be well rested and have a epic reserve of potential energy from your weeks of training! As for the specifics of each workout, that’s simple. Give it a google. “Interval bike ride workouts,” “Hill repeats cycling…” Hunt around until you find a few workout formats that you understand and look like “fun.” You don’t have to come up with new workouts each week. You simply progress the ones you’ve chosen through changes in the distance, speed, repetitions, weather conditions, etc. Now, Moxie gals, if you’ve made it this far, you ought to have a chance to be rewarded. Comment on this post with the name and date of an event that you plan on tackling. We’ll randomly choose one and contact you directly to develop a training plan. We will post it as an example!