5 reasons to consider a structured cycling training plan.
Cycling clubs are great when it comes to having a reason to get out on your bike. The social aspect adds to the experience and you will learn plenty about group ride etiquette and from the experience of the best riders in the club. But when it comes to discovering your own potential, ‘just getting on your bike’ doesn’t always cut it.
So, why is structured training important if you want to achieve your personal best?
- Expert input
When learning anything new, or aiming to improve your skills or knowledge, common sense tells us to seek out those who know more than we do. You may find these in your cycling club, but if you’re simply riding alone, you’re unlikely to learn what to do or not do with your time in the saddle.
A simple internet search will yield a wealth of guides on creating your own structured training plan if you want to go it alone and you’ll need to add in some research to ensure you are able to self-diagnose the aspects of your performance to focus on.
1-2-1 coaching can seem expensive, but the benefit of working with an expert is likely to prove invaluable with a focus on quickly identifying how your training program should be structured. Or, if you don’t want ongoing coaching, but you need initial expert input, you could opt for a V02 Max / CPE test and consultation to identify the areas that you need to focus on.
Having a structured cycling training plan will set the discipline you need to see improvements in your performance. The adaptations that you need your body to make will only come with the right consistency, quantity and quality of riding. Knowing how many sessions you need each week and what those sessions consist of will help you plan your time effectively.
Having a structure to your riding doesn’t necessarily preclude your social rides, but it will give you a better guide as to how to fit them into your schedule.
Perhaps the most important reason to stop ‘just riding’ and start training is because what’s sauce for the goose isn’t necessarily sauce for the gander. What we mean by that is that there may well be cyclists on your social rides who benefit from the type of rides that you’re doing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are.
A structured training program is tailored specifically to you – to your current physiology, to your goals and to your availability and ride / life balance. It means that you will optimise your time and energy focusing on the very specific aspects of your performance that you need to improve.
Any structured training plan worth its salt will be oriented towards the goals you want to achieve. And goal setting is an important part of training effectiveness. Research shows that those people who set themselves a goal are more likely to see improvements in their performance than those who don’t.
If you’ve done your homework or you’ve partnered with the right expert, having a structured training plan will reward you with confidence. The confidence in knowing that you’re using your time and energy effectively, that your efforts will yield results and that every minute spent in the saddle is helping you to achieve your goal.
A structured cycling training plan doesn’t have to mean the end of your social rides. It may even help you to relax more and enjoy them knowing that you’re putting in the ‘right’ miles elsewhere to achieve your goals.
And whilst some people embarking on training instead of ‘just riding’ may incur the ridicule of their fellow club riders, just remember – they are the very people who already have their own secret plan in place. We know who they are!
If you’re ready to take the next step and start your own structured training program, here’s how the Vitfor team can help:
- Train online with Vitfor’s personalised training program. You’ll get the structure and focus you need whilst having the flexibility to fit your training around your lifestyle. This is no ‘Couch to 5k’ fixed plan – Vitfor’s online system adapts as you train, responding to your training feedback and daily metrics. To start your free, no obligation 30-day trial or to find out more, click here.
- Invest in a VO2 Max / CPE test and full consultation. During the test, we analyse your current fitness level and measure your performance in a ramp test. The results and consultation will identify how to focus and structure your training. To book now or find out more, click here and scroll down.
- Or, simply contact us for a training review. You’ll speak to one of our expert coaches who will help you identify what you need from your training program, whether you choose to train with Vitfor or not. To book now or find out more, click here.