Training Blocks – the key for you to get better!

I am a big believe of training blocks for criterium training because these better match how your body reacts to training.  If you try to follow the old training block based upon the 7 day week, you are not going to achieve your optimum performance because you will either go too hard without getting the proper amount of rest or will not be going hard enough on your hard days and not easy enough on your easy days.  If you want your body to improve, hard needs to be pucking hard, and easy needs to be either off the bike or riding with your wife or kids.  The key is to follow a training block that pushes your body, and then lets your body recover. 

In the chart below, I have listed the 5 training block that I typically will use.  Each of the training blocks are slightly different but each achieve the goal of stressing the body.  I like 3on/2off and the 4on/1off the most because I believe that these blocks lead to achieve optimum performance.  But coach….I want to do the Tuesday night WORLD championships or practice crit or the hammer fest group ride every Wednesday, etc…  When this special group ride is more important for the athlete than for them to get better, I prescribe the 5/4/3/2/1 or Weekend Hard #1 or #2 .   These schedules can be followed to hit the Tuesday or any other day if stated on the right day.  Most end up doing the Weekend Hard which is okay but these don’t stress the body hard enough.

Below is the 3on/2 off training block.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, this is what I personally follow.

The 4 on/1 off is a very stressful training block, but can provide great jump in performance.  The key in this block is to really rest after the 3 cycles of hard.  The body will reward the athlete if they can handle resting (most can’t rest this long).

I sometimes will use this training block, but it is hard to get into a good rhythm with it.

The next two are the same, but just moving around the midweek efforts.  This training block works well when an athlete MUST race every weekend.  Typically this athlete wants to move up or is focused on winning a season long points competition. 

Hopefully, this will give you some ideas on how to structure your training.

Ride Hard,

Steve