As athletes first getting into a sport, there is a lot of room for improvement. With each workout or activity, we become faster, stronger and more fit. PRs are set, breakthrough workouts occur and fitness continues to grow. Eventually, we all reach a point where we either run out of knowledge on how to improve or the methods being utilized begin to show less and less in regards to the gains that are seen.
Training is much like an exponential growth curve. Gains come easy early in our training experiences. Our bodies are amazing at adapting to stress. VO2 max increases, more mitochondria form to provide energy for the muscles, increases in red blood cell count can increase to compensate for the increased demand in oxygen to the tissue, muscles become larger and/or stronger and even our heart adapts. As we begin to increase fitness and these adaptations occur, there is a point where the same training doesn’t have the same results. When this happens, an athlete must become better educated and learn how to modify a training plan to become a better athlete.
Often times, our coaches find that athletes do not realize this. The subsequent result is a plateau. You might be doing the same ol’ two group workouts a week, one gray zone workout and that killer gym workout. They might still leave you wobbly legged. Yet, no improvement on a Strava KOM or you end up getting shelled from the group ride at the exact same spot.
A change must be made! A change to improve, to hunt for those marginal gains, no matter how unachievable they may seem and to improve your fitness with new levels of thinking. Break outside of your current box and let your fitness expand with one of these three changes!
Increase Intensity – It is easy to fall into a rut of what is comfortable and convenient. Unfortunately this often means that we are not pushing our body to a point of adaptation. Try adding intervals into your training. This doesn’t mean it has to be a structure interval workout, you can simply increases your pulls at the front of your group ride, or push yourself more on hills or into headwinds. The ultimate goal is to increase your time at intensity.
Increase Volume – If the time is available you can always add on more volume in riding. Remember that because you simply add on distance you still need to maintain a reasonable pace and not simply lollygag.
Increase Frequency – Add another day of exercising into your routine. The added mileage will place additional stress on the body and will help elicit a physiologic response resulting in better performance.
Have you tried some of these on your own and are still seeing the same results? Consult with a Science of Speed Coach today to lead you to your greatest results yet!