Post-Peak Performance Plan
Many riders struggle to prepare for a second major goal in the same year.
the season is in your hometown and you want to make a good showing.
Don?t be afraid to try something different. There is nothing to lose; you?ve already achieved a significant peak in performance, so it?s time to push the envelope, have some fun, and learn for next year. If appropriate, discuss your goal with your coach. Working together, the two of you can come up with a plan to achieve the best performance. This is where a coach who has experience with many types of riders will be able to help you create an alternative plan of attack.
Thinking outside the Block
Figures 2 and 3 are examples of alternative eight-week blocks. Notice that in both examples, weeks one and two are designed to recharge the aerobic system. Going back to the beginning and incorporating low intensity mileage gives your aerobic engine a much-needed booster shot. Workouts during week one should be well below your lactate threshold (LT), and in week two you should spend a small portion of your riding time closer to, but not above your LT.
Note: For maximum aerobic system re-charge, it would be best to avoid races or fast group rides during these two weeks. Trust me, the long-term benefits of reinforcing your aerobic conditioning for two weeks will be worth much more than one or two group rides.
Fig. #2-Pyramid 8-week Block
Week #1- Recharge aerobic system: Low intensity miles (all well below LT).
Week #2- Add to Aerobic base: Low intensity miles (some time spent closer to LT).
Week #3- Maintain volume: Increase intensity
Week #4- Maintain volume: Increase intensity. Add one fast group ride.
Week #5- Maintain volume: Increase intensity. Add two fast group rides.
Week #6- Decrease volume 20%: Add one Race Day.
Week #7- Decrease volume 20%: Add one Race Day.
Week #8- Taper to final race of the season!
In my experience, a Pyramid Block (fig. 2) seems to work best for riders with less than three years experience. Developing riders often feel that ?more is better? and may have a strong desire to continually explore their own limits throughout the season. If this is you, a Pyramid Block provides incentive to by offering high volume and increasing intensity until week six. This creates a huge sense of accomplishment during the first five weeks of the block and, when the end is in sight at week six, you?ll be more willing to ?taper-down? to the final event of the season, which usually results in better performance.
Fig.#3-Reverse 8-week Block
Week #1- Recharge aerobic system
Week #2- Add to Aerobic base
Week #3- Volume and intensity high
Week #4- Volume and intensity moderate
Week #5- Volume and intensity low
Week #6- Volume and intensity high
Week #7- Volume and intensity low to moderate
Week #8- Taper to final race of the season
I often use the Reverse Block (fig. 3) for riders that have three or more years of experience, with very positive results. Riders who have been training using a