With 16yrs of racing experience, and another 7 as a cycling coach, I've witnessed the transformative impact of strength training on cyclists, propelling them towards peak performance during the race season. In this article, we'll explore the significance of incorporating strength training into a cyclist's build-up to race season, shedding light on how to seamlessly integrate these workouts, what aspects to focus on, and the most compelling reasons for their inclusion.
Understanding the Role of Strength Training for Cyclists:
While the essence of cycling lies in endurance and aerobic capacity, overlooking the benefits of strength training would be a disservice to the ambitious cyclist. Strength training serves as the secret weapon in the arsenal, offering a myriad of advantages that directly translate to improved performance on the bike.
Why Strength Training Matters:
The incorporation of strength training into a cyclist's build-up to race season is not merely a supplement; it's a strategic investment in enhanced performance and overall well-being. By understanding the profound impact on power output, endurance, injury prevention, core stability, and energy transfer, cyclists can embrace strength training as an integral component of their training regimen. Balancing periodization, consistency, and personalized programming is the key to unlocking the full potential of strength training for cyclists and paving the way to success on the racecourse.
Whether in bringing my athletes National Championship titles or PRs, or just in my own training, I understand the critical role that a well-structured base training program plays in a cyclist's overall performance. The base phase is the cornerstone of any training regimen, laying the foundation for strength, endurance, and resilience that will be crucial during the competitive season. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of a base training program, outlining what athletes should focus on, why it's essential, and offering tips for optimizing success during your base build.
Understanding the Base Training Phase:
The base training phase typically marks the beginning of an annual training cycle, lasting several weeks - or even months. Its primary objective is to build an aerobic foundation, enhancing an athlete's endurance capacity and overall fitness. This phase is characterized by longer, lower-intensity rides that form the base upon which more specific and intense training can be later added.
What Athletes Should Focus On:
Tips for Success During the Base Training Phase:
Base training phase is the cornerstone of a successful cycling training program. By focusing on endurance, aerobic capacity, strength, and mental toughness, athletes can lay a robust foundation for the competitive season. Understanding the importance of this phase and implementing smart training practices will contribute significantly to long-term success on the bike. Navigating this foundational period with a well-crafted and individualized plan is key to unlocking an athlete's full potential.
Luke Vrouwenvelder - Head coach at lukeVcoaching and pro cyclist based in Charlottesville, VA