Cycling training is about getting small advantages over your opponent. Being just one per cent better than him means that you will be the favourite, and he will be the underdog.
If you have a one per cent 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, 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 expected outcome is that the rider sooner or later realizes that he is not making further progress with the current program. So he takes the consequences and starts making things different. This could be quitting, switching coach, switching club, other 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 natural to reach some plateau with only very slight 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. However, before you make significant 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 fewer than 30 points, you now know where your progress is hidden.
Many of you might get inspired by reading posts on Training4cyclists.com on becoming a better cyclist. But, if you can’t figure out why you don’t get any better now, don’t worry. I will teach you how to deal with the 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!
5 thoughts on “How To Deal With Training Vacuum – Part One”
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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!