When training does not result in the desired and expected results, riders start to explain why they have stopped improving.
As I explained in the first part of How to deal with training vacuum, the rider is looking for someone or something to blame.
But often, it is not someone’s or something’s fault. Instead, the rider has reached a plateau for his talent with the current amount of training. And that is a very natural progression when you are good at something, and it takes longer to improve to a higher level.
Recognize when you are in a training vacuum
If you do regular tests, you will notice when you have done a couple of tests with no progression. That sign tells you that it is time to reconsider your training situation.
Back to basics – Proper training, nutrition and recovery
This is old news, but still three very essential topics. These are the basics of good cycling training and should never be forgotten.
Write a training diary
Write down every training session you do. This is a handy tool when done correctly and thoughtfully. In addition, it makes it easier for you (or your coach) to discover problems.
Do you train intervals too often, is your amount of training as you thought it should be, and when was the last time you felt that you had good legs?
These questions are easy to answer if you have a training diary.
Read your training diary
Surprisingly, many riders write a training diary because they are told to by their coach, but they do not read it.
I can only recommend that you spend some time reading your old diaries. You will learn how consistent your training is. As I have mentioned before, it is a handy tool to evaluate performance.
Discuss performance with a coach
Four eyes see more than only two. It is good to have a coach who can develop an objective view of your situation. Again, start with the basic principles and ask your coach if you can improve something in the basic principles. That might open up your eyes if you believe you do things as well as possible. Maybe there is room for improvements – even in the basic stuff!