Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | October 3, 2008

Periodization Tips for Cyclists

    In my last three posts, I introduced the concept of periodization and described the 3 basic principles of periodized training programs:

1.  The primary goal of periodization is to prepare the body for peak performance at a designated time of the year.

2.  Training should progress from the general to the specific through a series of stages.

3.  The key to successful periodization is to develop specific aspects of fitness during a given phase, while maintaining others developed in earlier phases.

In reality, it is not easy to create a successful, periodized training program.  It requires a fair amount of work and a significant amount of expertise.  In fact, unless you have a great deal of experience or education in this area, I suggest you consult with a coach to assist with plan development.  However, there are three steps you can take that will provide you with some of the benefits of a periodized training program without the creation of a formal plan:

1.  Vary the DISTANCES of your weekly rides.  For example, if you ride 80 miles over 4 days each week, don’t ride 20 miles each ride.  Try one longer ride of 35 miles, moderate distance rides of 20 and 15 miles, and a short recovery ride of 10 miles.  

2.  Vary the INTENSITY of your weekly rides.  Intensity, which is how hard you are working on the bike (often measured by heart rate), should be varied from ride to ride.  In the example above, you might ride the 35 mile distance at a moderate pace (i.e., can maintain a conversation while riding), the 20 and 15 mile rides at a vigorous pace (i.e., talking is difficult), and the 10 miler at a very easy pace.

3.  Follow the 75% Rule.  To maximize your cycling performance, you should ride 75% of your weekly mileage at an easy or moderate intensity (if you are familiar with Heart Rate Training Zones, this would be Zones 1 & 2 – talking is easy).  On the other hand, 10% of your weekly mileage should be at a very high intensity.  At this intensity it is hard to think about talking, much less talk!  We’re talking nausea-inducing hard.  The other 15% should be at a fairly vigorous pace where talking is difficult, but possible (or easier if you are tired and need more time to recover).

NEXT POST – October 7, 2008

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Responses

  1. Good articale
    keep writing


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