Here are five mistakes that I see cyclists often make when they start to ramp up there training for L’Étape Australia, and easy solutions to help you keep on track and have a successful lead in to the event.
Going hard and big right from the start
Enthusiasm is great especially when the weather starts improving, but sometimes it gets the better of cyclists as they start heading out. The memory of what training volume you’re capable of when you’re really fit can sometime colour what you’re capable of right now. Be mindful of your current fitness level and listen to your body when ramping up your training. It’s much better to work on your consistency and do more shorter and lower intensity rides a week rather than one or two hard longer rides as you build up your base fitness again.
Not getting your stakeholder buy-in sorted out early
Sometimes cyclists set unrealistic training schedules for themselves and when they ramp up their training volume, there is a negative impact on their family and work commitments. Getting the time to train is something that needs to be discussed with your partner, family and perhaps even your manager if it impacts on your workhours. Discussing and sorting out your training commitments upfront will help alleviate tension that may arise with family and work.
Chasing previous personal bests
There is a tendency to compare ourselves with our previous times on courses, segments, or power numbers. This can create anxiety if too much time is spent needlessly dwelling on “what was” rather than “what needs to be”. Be mindful of where your current fitness level is and understand that it will take a little time to get back up there again. Having a good training plan will help you keep focused on what you need to be doing right now and manage your build towards the event. And it will help you get back to pulling good numbers much sooner that you think.
Too much unstructured and distracted riding
One of the biggest issues I see is the disconnect between the riding and training some cyclists do and the goals that they have. They can be training hard, but if the training they are doing is not supporting them in moving towards their goal, in this case L’Étape Australia, then it becomes unproductive for them. There are plenty of opportunities to be led astray with local bunch rides, online racing sessions and intervals sessions that play no relevance to helping them build towards L’Étape Australia. I’m not saying to take all the fun out of riding and be purely focused on training exclusively towards L’Étape Australia, what I am saying is that you should incorporate these activities into your training plan in such a way that they support your build towards the event rather than detract from it.
Too much training on indoor trainers
I’m a big fan of indoor training. It’s an efficient use of your time and you can specifically target your training to address and work on your weaknesses. Once the weather starts getting better it’s the ideal time to start heading outdoors more often. There is merit to spending time riding outdoors especially when training for L’Étape Australia because it helps you hone the riding skills that you’ll need for the event. Skills like being able to ride efficiently in bunches, keeping it safe while riding through different weather like cold, rain and wind and finally, cornering and descending skills.
Where to go from here. To help you with this we have produced a 12-week training program exclusively for L’Étape Australia which is available here.