When you start your cycling career, central adaptations increase your performance rapidly in the first three months. After one year of training, you will discover that it takes more time to improve. Now you will have to think more about how to train to keep improving. At this time, improvements are often due to peripheral adaptations.
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, you get the feeling of a training vacuum. You train more than you have ever done before, but your form does not change at all.
This is a critical moment in every serious riders´ career. The expected outcome is that you sooner or later realize that you are not making further progress with the current program. So you take the consequences and start 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 you take drugs. But often, you will not realize that the problem is a training vacuum because you have optimized cycling performance through proper training, eating, and resting. Instead, you victimize your coach, club, or material because your routine has reached a plateau.
Cycling efficiency, tactics, and experiences play a more significant role in the final part of your career. You will use your knowledge about race tactics to eliminate better opponents eventually. You can win races without being the strongest rider but make the correct moves at the right moments because of your gut feeling.