How To Deal With Training Vacuum – Part One

How to deal with training vacuum

Cycling training is about getting small advantages over your opponent. Being just one percent better than him means that you will be the favourite and he will be the underdog.

If you have a one percent higher anaerobic threshold than your opponent, you will very likely beat him time after time in events where a high anaerobic threshold is essential.

More training is needed to make progress

When you have trained seriously for a couple of years, you will experience that more training is needed before you get significant improvements. At this time that many riders get the feeling of a training vacuum. They train more than they have ever done before, but their form does not change at all.

This is a critical moment in every serious riders´ career. The common outcome is that the rider sooner or later realizes that he is not making further progress with the current program. He takes the consequences and start making things different. This could be quitting, switching coach, switching club, different training methods, more training, less training, new bike, new wheels, eating nutritional supplements or getting so desperate that he takes drugs. 

Often he does not realize that the problem is a training vacuum, because he has optimized his cycling performance through proper training, eating and resting.

Instead he victimizes his coach, club or material because his performance has reached a plateau.

Evaluate your current training principles

Experiencing a training vacuum is very frustrating but is worth remembering that this is a natural process. Remember when you started to train on your bike. Any training distance you rode, you became better. Any interval type you chose, you became better. Any post-recovery technique you chose, you became better. Any food you ate, you became better.

Now, when you have optimized all these basic training principles, it is very natural that you will reach some kind of a plateau with only very slightly progress. That is because you have done all the right things, so now it is time to do more sophisticated things to make further progress. Before you make big changes, consider the basic stuff again.

Do you eat, train and rest properly?

Answer this question and give yourself a score from 1-10 on each of these disciplines. If you have a total score of less than 30 points, you now know where your progress is hidden.

Many of you might get inspired by reading posts here on Training4cyclists.com on how to become a better cyclists. If you can’t figure how why you don’t get any better at the moment, don’t worry, I will learn you how to deal with training vacuum and help you reach a higher performance level.

Question to the readers: Can you recognize the rider I describe? Have you ever had similar problems and what did you do? Post your answers here!

6 comments… add one
  • Lisa Haas

    This is me right now. Going to a cycling weekend workshop to get new information and insights, as well as a renewed sense of motivation. Hope that works to break past the plateau.

  • @Lisa – That’s a good tip for other riders. Hope you enjoyed it!

  • Steve

    What works for one person may not work for another. The important thing is to keep training, keep motivated and keep a healthy diet. If you stop training properly because you are in a training vacuum then your form and fitness that you have worked so hard for over the course of several years will definitely suffer. Don’t throw it away. You gotta stick with it. If you really like the sport of cycling don’t let a training vacuum put you of doing the thing that you love.

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