Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | October 5, 2009

Developing Your Annual Training Plan

Well, it’s that time of year.  The cycling season is coming to a close and hopefully, you are getting some rest in preparation for your off-season training regimen.  Now is the time for you to develop an annual training plan that will consist of 4 phases: endurance, intensity, competition and recovery.  The endurance phase will last from 12 to 16 weeks and is designed to enhance your aerobic and muscular endurance.  The intensity phase, which also lasts from 12 to 16 weeks, is just what it sounds like, intense!  The purpose of this phase is to enhance your lactate threshold and aerobic capacity (VO2max) in advance of the competitive season, which constitutes the third stage in this process.  Whatever your cycling goals may be, you want to be ready to achieve them during the competition phase, which will last for months.  The final stage, recovery is your chance to rest and recuperate after all the hard work you have done during the first three phases.  The recovery phase lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.  To develop your training plan, you need to take two basic steps:

  1. Develop SMART Goals – These are your objectives for the upcoming season that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound
  2. Create a Periodized Training Program – The training program describes the specific steps you will take to achieve your SMART goals.

In my next few posts, I will describe how you can successfully implement these two steps.  I will outline the SMART goal process, and describe the 3 cycles of a periodized training program: macrocycle, mesocycle and microcycle.  I will also offer several examples of training program mesocycles (a block of training, usually 21 to 28 days long, designed to achieve a specific objective).  In addition, I will post my 2010 goals and annual training plan as an example of how this process should work.  Now for the exciting news!  Starting with the week of October 12 (my annual training program starts on this date with the launch of my endurance phase), I will provide a weekly training journal which describes the results of each of my workouts.  This will provide you with a first-hand look at how a training program progresses week-after-week and month-after-month.  You’ll get to experience the highs and the lows along with me and see if I am able to achieve my goals.  Hopefully, this will provide you with both inspiration and insight for achieving your cycling goals!

NEXT POST – October 8, 2009

Developing Your SMART Goals

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