Half 2 — Excessive North Efficiency


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We’ve beforehand written a step-by-step information to constructing a biking coaching plan. 

Nonetheless, even when following these tips, we discover that many individuals (very understandably!) nonetheless battle with the annual planning course of, and might generally discover it arduous to see the wooden for the bushes. Annual planning is definitely one of many high areas we're requested about in our session service. 

On this two-part article, we offer some extra higher-level steering to assist hold you on monitor by the planning course of and keep away from getting slowed down within the particulars.

In our earlier article (Half 1) we reviewed the important thing issues that you ought to be making an attempt to realize by the annual planning course of. We discover it’s actually useful to have these objectives in thoughts when planning, as a way to keep away from getting side-tracked by particulars that shouldn’t actually be thought-about within the annual plan. 

On this article, we observe on to take a look at some widespread pitfalls that many individuals encounter, and provides some recommendations on methods to keep away from these.  

Pitfall 1: Planning the entire 12 months intimately

A quite common pitfall is making an attempt to plan the entire 12 months intimately. Examples embrace making an attempt to plan weekly coaching load or specifics of how interval periods will progress many months into the long run.

Nonetheless, it’s unattainable to know precisely what the appropriate kind of coaching might be for you a lot months prematurely. There'll nearly definitely be modifications to the plan as you assess progress and iterate the plan primarily based on this new info. There will even be surprising issues that crop up, similar to a spate of dangerous climate that impacts your plans for a high-volume coaching week, or an sickness or harm requiring surprising break day the bike. 

Planning in any nice element past the following 6-8 weeks is, in our view, a waste of time. 

That’s to not say that you simply shouldn’t have a tough plan for what you’ll be doing past that time-point.

Having an thought for the place you may need to embrace some key high-volume coaching (e.g. a couple of weeks out from a key occasion), or the place you may need to plan a low-volume restoration week (e.g. throughout a interval the place you understand you’ll be busy with work), is helpful.

However you don’t have to plan each single week, or know precisely what TSS or quantity you ought to be hitting in these weeks, as this can very a lot depend upon what you’ve managed to realize over the months and weeks earlier than.

Pitfall 2: Making use of a one-size-fits-all strategy

A second mistake is making an attempt to suit your annual plan to a normal periodisation paradigm or mannequin with out contemplating how this mannequin suits along with your coaching wants and objectives.  

Some widespread coaching fashions are ‘linear periodisation’ and ‘reverse periodisation’. 

There are numerous subtly totally different ways in which these fashions could be outlined, however in a linear mannequin coaching quantity is normally very excessive early on within the coaching 12 months, with minimal depth. Then by the coaching 12 months, coaching quantity is normally decreased step by step, and interval periods turn into more and more high-intensity (e.g. transferring from Zone 4 to five and onto 6 in a basic Coggan zoning system). 

A reverse periodisation mannequin is the alternative of this, the place quantity begins low, and coaching could be very high-intensity, after which quantity step by step will increase by the 12 months, whereas depth decreases (for a complete chapter discussing these totally different coaching fashions, take a look at our Biking Physiology and Coaching Science Information).

Whereas it’s good to concentrate on these fashions, and you'll draw some helpful rules from them, it’s vital to know that these periodisation approaches might or might not be just right for you as a person. 

For instance, in case your coaching quantity is constrained by work and household commitments, then a conventional linear periodisation mannequin, the place quantity is excessive at first of the 12 months, and is step by step lowered as you strategy your goal occasion won't work nicely for you. As a substitute, you may profit from having a extra constant coaching quantity by the 12 months, with a view to maximise the period of time you’re coaching general.

Equally, when you have an space that you understand is a key efficiency limiter, then it's possible you'll need to dedicate extra time to engaged on this limiter than you'd do inside a generic periodisation strategy. 

In the end, we imagine that to get probably the most out of your coaching, you could plan your coaching primarily based by yourself coaching aims, physiological profile, and capability to coach, paying shut consideration to any markers of progress alongside the best way. 

Pitfall 3: Sticking rigidly to the plan

A ultimate widespread mistake we see fairly often is sticking rigidly to a plan. As talked about above, it’s unattainable to know the way you’re going to reply to a selected coaching stimulus, so it’s vital to guage progress and adapt your plan accordingly with a view to hold your self progressing in direction of your coaching objectives. 

It’s widespread to assume that coaching goes nicely while you’re sticking carefully to the plan, and that it’s going badly if you happen to’re having to make a number of modifications. Nonetheless, the most effective outcomes are available while you’re in a position to be versatile along with your plan; adapting this primarily based on how your previous coaching has gone, how you're feeling on a given day, and the way you look like responding to several types of coaching. 

In different phrases, a change of plan is usually a constructive, and is definitely not an indication of failure or a poorly-executed coaching plan! 

A observe on auto-generated coaching plans

It’s value noting that platforms similar to TrainingPeaks embrace performance to mechanically generate a high-level Annual Coaching Plan. 

In our view, these are finest prevented, as they encourage every of the three pitfalls above.

Particularly, these techniques mechanically plan numerous weekly coaching parameters (e.g. weekly quantity/TSS, and session focus) many months prematurely. These plans are additionally not tailored primarily based on how coaching is progressing. Furthermore, these plans apply a one-size-fits-all periodisation strategy that doesn’t contemplate particular person wants. 

We’d strongly suggest placing collectively your individual annual plan from scratch. This doesn’t have to be fancy. We discover a fundamental spreadsheet is a superb software for mapping issues out, and it’s tremendous simple to make changes when wanted.


In the event you take one factor from this text, we hope it’s an appreciation that annual planning is an iterative course of, and that it’s completely wonderful to maintain the plan pretty unfastened when planning greater than 6-8 weeks prematurely. You need to be open to modifications of plan, and may attempt to concentrate to the way you’re responding to coaching, incorporating some formal testing with a view to ensure issues are progressing in the appropriate course. 


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