We are all looking for greater speed and longer endurance on the bike, so in physiological terms, we are looking for adaption of the cardiopulmonary and musculoskeletal systems. In previous blog posts, we have looked at the separate metrics you can achieve with your Power Meter. The Daddy, being your FTP; as in fitness terms ‘we need to know where we are, in order to know where we are going’.
So, check out ‘The Beginners Guide to Power’ article, as you’re going to need a recent FTP to keep a gauge on your progress over the coming weeks.
Periodized training simply put, is dividing your annual training plan into sections so you can peak at race time, and work hard throughout the year to improve. This is the time of year when we are deciding which races/events we want to enter, so why not identify which event you want to reach ‘peak’ for, and facilitate long-range training? Here’s how it’s done.
- Get the calendar out, we are going to work out your Macrocycle.
Simply identify the races/events you are going to enter in the year and mark them A, B and C. Now decide which is the most important, these are A’s, for your A-Game! So for example, the National Championships. B’s and C’s are reduced in importance.
- Now let’s split this further with Mesocycles
Mesocycles are designed to accomplish a particular goal. So for example, if you struggle with Time-trialing, you might consider Sweet spot and Steady state training programmes. Defining how long to spend on these elements depends on your age and existing fitness. For example, a youngster who is experienced at competing might do a 23/5 training pattern; hence, a 28 day Mesocycle. An older, less experienced cyclist might need a 21 day Mesocycle with 5 days recovery, which is a 16/5.
- And finally, Microcycles
Put simply, it’s the shortest focused block of training, typically one week. Here you can focus on improving specific areas such as your VO2 max. Remember this will need different recovery depending on what you choose to do. So refer back to your Training Stress Score (TSS), as mentioned in a previous blog in ‘Train hard with Power, to improve not burn out’.
It’s obvious really, when you build-up to a race, using periodization you shouldn’t plateau, as you can plan different training from week to week in your Mesocycles. And you can also add in higher levels of intensity, as Microcycles, to target specific needs.
Using your Power Meter will open up a new level of training. Your Power Management Chart updates progressively, so after the initial six weeks of using a Power Meter, you can check your Chronic Stress Score against your FTP, and hopefully see improvement. Our blog post ‘Achieve race fitness and be well-rested’, explains all on this aspect.
We wish you all the best for the year ahead! 🙂