The Importance of Increasing Cyclists Training Load Over Time

The Importance of Increasing Cyclists Training Load Over Time

There are many times that cyclists get stuck in a certain fitness level, and they seem to try everything in their book with nothing really working. I have seen athletes do the same training year after year and then they are surprised when they obtain the same results. A big part of improving your fitness is to increase your training stress load over your training career. This means that both volume and intensity will have to be increased to a certain point in order to keep seeing gains in your overall cyclist fitness.

So again, what is my cyclist training load and how can I increase it?

  • Intensity + Volume = Training Load
  • 2x Intensity + Volume = 2x Training Load
  • Intensity + 2x Volume = 2x Training Load
  • 2x Intensity + 2x Volume = 3x Training Load

As an athlete, you have to follow this protocol in your training in order to succeed. Many athletes understand this and take it under consideration for their yearly training plan. However, what many do not take into consideration is that you have trained your body to adapt to that training load already. By doing so, it will return to the same level faster than the previous year. This means that you have to increase your training load faster initially and increase it higher overall by the end of the training cycle.

For example:

  • Year 1 – Finish season at 3x Training Load, start at 1x
  • Year 2 – Finish season at 4x Training Load, start at 2x
  • Year 3 – Finish season at 5x Training Load, start at 3x
  • Year 4 – Finish season at 6x Training Load, start at 4x

Of course, the body is going to have a limit, but for many of us is one that is very far from our reach yet. Make sure to include proper nutrition and recovery as they will as well play a big factor in your improvement and how far you can improve.

So how would you know as a cyclist / athlete that you are stuck in a repetitive cycle? Answer these questions and you will get a pretty good idea.

  1. Do you stop training for over 3 weeks in a row, per year?
  2. Do you do the same number of hours in winter / base training?
  3. Do you complete the same intervals from your list year after year?
  4. Do you race the same calendar every season?

If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, then you might be stuck in a repetitive cycle. One from which you will only get out of by making major changes to your training calendar. Look for alternative high-intensity interval sessions, add an extra hill on your Sunday ride, ride with the fastest group in your town. There is always a way to achieve a more intense and stressful training by optimizing your plan, you just have to find what is your specific limiting factor.

If you need assistance in finding what is that your training needs exactly, do not hesitate to Contact Me Here. I offer Coaching Services that will put your limits to the test and find alternative ways of training you so that you keep adapting year after year. This way we will find that you are really made of and bring the best fitness level you are capable of into a reality.

Thank you for reading!

Gilberto Cortez - USA Cycling & TrainingPeaks Certified Coach

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