We all set off into 2020 with so many goals. Most of us had winter cycling training in those goals but now that it’s nearly Spring are you starting to realise that the training didn’t quite get off the ground? Not to worry if your training isn’t quite where it should be because Spring is the time where it gets so much easier to make the time with longer days and slightly warmer weather. Don’t forget that the summer season lasts until the end of September so you will still have plenty of races, events and long riding to look forward to.
Don’t be afraid to move your goal posts around a bit. If you set your goals at the start of the year and suddenly you realise you haven’t really got anywhere with them and you have a massive ride to do next week then it might be worth moving the goal back a little bit. Set yourself a new goal of a similar distance for later in the year so that you have plenty of time to get that training in. Make sure you replace the original challenge with something new though to keep yourself motivated otherwise you might find that your still in the same position training wise a couple months down the line.
If you have found that your training isn’t quite where you wanted it to be and you are planning on moving the challenge goal post then definitely don’t panic train. Ramping up your training intensity too quickly can cause injury and it’s so common at this time of year that it actually has its very own name- Spring Knee. These injuries can set you back a lot longer than simply moving the goal post would so take it easy and don’t feel guilty about missing those training sessions over the past couple of months. Just find the motivation and keep going with it.
If you are reading the above and thinking that you have your mileage sorted and that you don’t need to worry about it then that’s great but it doesn’t mean you can stop there. Now that you have the mileage sorted you are going to want to build on your speed. It might be a great idea for you to include some High Intensity Interval Training into your rides by doing more sprints or hill intervals. These workouts should be a lot shorted and have a much higher intensity so you should find them difficult.
When you are looking at how far you have come only look at your own past training. Your cycling mate might suddenly be able to get up that challenging hill twice as fast but that’s probably completely down to whatever they have been doing over the Winter period and it’s not because you have got worse. Congratulate them and then ask them what their secret weapon is. They might actually share it with you! Strava segments is great for comparing where you are now with where you used to be but don’t forget that the weather has a huge role to play in your training too so don’t beat yourself up if your ride today was slower than last weeks because this weeks was ridden in a rain storm.
Spring days are notorious for ever changing weather conditions so don’t be caught out without the right clothing. Thankfully we have the Jerseys, Windcheeta Lites and Gilets to keep you warm, dry and looking seriously cool whilst out on the road but it might be a good idea to also get a good base layer and over socks for those cold and rainy mornings.
Remember why you got on the bike in the first place and why you continue to get on the bike. It’s probably because you love it first and foremost and any successful training sessions or races come second. Putting yourself under too much pressure to perform can ruin the enjoyment of the sport so take it easy, strip it back and remember how much you love your bike.