CYCLING PERFORMANCE TIPS - training logs
CYCLING PERFORMANCE TIPS
Training logs (cycling diaries) are essential if you want to improve your personal
cycling performance and reach your personal best. A well-kept diary captures everything
that goes right and wrong with your training, health and equipment. It's the only way
you'll remember details of great rides you think (at the time) you'll never forget.
You can review how you trained, what you ate and how much you weighed before a successful
race or fast century. You can also trace mistakes that caused a period of poor
performances and identify how you may have over trained. these entries should only take a
few minutes a day and can be invaluable.
You will use two:
As you use these logs, remember:
Personal Performance Measures Log (PPML)
- No two people improve at the same rate. 5-10% will be low responders to a
training program, 5-10% will improve very quickly, and the remainder will be spread
in the middle. So be patient.
- Set realistic goals that give you the satisfaction of achievement rather
than the disappointment of flailing at the impossible.
- Don't over train. There is not only the risk of an acute injury such as
bursitis or a pulled muscle, but also the physiologic changes
that come with too much for too long.
Individual measures such as AT and VO2 max.
measure your physiologic performance and can indicate when certain "body systems",
such as the cardiovascular system, have plateaued. But it will be the combination of
several measures that will give you the best measure of when you've finally reached
your own personal plateau.
The personal performance measures need not be done daily. You can pick your own preference
as to frequency, but several times a week is adequate. The measures to be tracked include:
Daily Mileage Log (DML)
- Resting heart rate - your heart rate on awakening
in the morning (take it before you get out of bed and begin to exercise), is a simple but
effective indicator of your level of training. It will fall as you train, but then begin
to rise again with overtraining
- Weight - weigh yourself the same time every day. Before breakfast and before you've
dressed for work is probably the most convenient.
- % Body Fat - along with weight, % body fat can give you some idea of your overall
fitness (Commonly accepted optimums are 7% for men and 15% for women.) If you are below
these numbers, you may find yourself fatiguing early in a ride and risk developing the
symptoms of overtraining. Measuring % body fat can be done very infrequently and is not
essential for your training log. However, if you are considering losing weight, it is a
nice way to decide if you may be overdoing things a bit.
- Time Trial - Pick a reasonable distance based on your average rides - if you ride for
an hour or two twice a week, do intervals several days of the week, and then do a long
ride on weekends, pick 1/3 to 1/2 the distance of your non interval, shorter rides. This
is not to be a sprint ride, but a pace you can sustain. Warm up for 5 or 10 minutes, then
do the ride. Record your total time for the interval - as well as your maximal heart rate
near the end (a measure of overtraining if it starts to fall). This measure can be done
every few weeks.
- Individual measures are optional, but can give
you additional information on your physiologic status. If you'd like to track one or two,
there are two blank lines on the PPML.
This log is self explanatory and tracks your mileage. Tips on where to start and how
quickly to increase mileage will be covered as we go along.
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