In New England, this is how you know it’s time to start planning for next season.
Lots of people go into the fall thinking “I’m going to ride my bike all winter so I’ll be fit come next spring”, and so often that fails. I can think of two reasons this happens:
The first I’ll call the “Are where there yet?” syndrome. When I was little my parents would load us kids in the car and drive somewhere. The one question that got asked a lot was “Are we there yet?” Sitting on a trainer all winter is a lot like that, without knowing where you are, without seeing the progress, it’s an endless journey.
The second is what I’ll call banging your head against the wall. You rode your bike all season, at some point you stopped getting faster or more fit. What would make you think that more of the same all winter is going to change that?
This is a generic version of what an off-season training plan looks like:
I say “generic” because the program has to be built around the individual, their goals, their strengths and their time table. The basic structure doesn’t change, I’ve been on this type of program for over 20 years, I still start with pedal stroke and core work, then start base mileage, then get into strength training… The size of the blocks and the timing change base on the individual – I’ve left timing off the diagram because it’s the hardest part. When are you starting? What is your first event? When do you need to be fit and fast? Are you going away for some time during the winter?
The first year on the program is a real learning experience. It starts with a whole new way of looking at the pedal stroke, then breaks it down to muscle groups and goes into motor skills to make it all work. It’s not as simple as riding a bicycle… The second year follows the same program, but what took days or weeks to figure out and make work the first year now takes a fraction of that time. Those who have worked with me over the years are now nodding in agreement as they read. I have one simple caution to anybody who gets on my program – don’t skip steps.
————————————————————–the fine print—————————————————————-
This is where I’m torn between making this page a free resource on training, or making this page about my own coaching. I’ll try to do both, but I’ve been coaching riders and teaching pedal stroke long enough to know that my coaching produces results, a training resource is nice to have, but by itself it doesn’t produce results.
Coaching in person gives me the ability to watch the learning process and make corrections when needed. I can’t stress how important that is, practice doesn’t make perfect if you’re not practicing correctly. My version of coaching is about being there when I need to be. It’s just like any other learning process, the teacher teaches until the student gets to a certain point, then they assign homework. I work with my clients on the trainer, teaching pedal stroke. I work with my clients on the road, applying what they learned on the trainer to the real thing. I work with my clients in base mileage, teaching about feeding schedules on the bike so they can reach their endurance goals. I even work with my clients on winter clothing and what it takes to overcome an New England winter. That’s what it takes to produce good riders.
I live in Arlington MA, I am cutting back on my hours (I work at Belmont Wheelworks) so I can work with more clients. I will be putting up a schedule of my coaching time here, along with my contact information. I hope to produce good results for as many people as I can.