The road back
Dear Joe and Dirk,
After taking about two years off the bike (young kids), I spent thiswinter preparing for a return to competitive cycling. Then, in lateJanuary, I had the bad fortune to endure a case of mononucleosis.Admittedly it was only after I had mono for four weeks that I bought theTraining Bible, but now I want to be sure I don’t overdo it as I returnto the preparation phase.While I fear my racing season might be effectively done, especiallyafter two years off, can you offer any recommendations or cautions as Iproceed? I’m 39 and, now that I’ve had mono, am only a couple of poundsover my old racing weight in the low 160s.
Glenn MDear Glenn,
I assume you have clearance from your physician to start your endurancetraining. Please do if you have not gotten the go ahead already.You are smart to mention the preparation period as most athletes skipthis period all together and go right to base and long hard miles. Theprep’ period gets back to the basics which are endurance, force, speedand skills.Slowly build in endurance with one to two gradually longer rides perweek. Do not let these get hard or they will affect the quality of yourforce and speed work. Set aside two-three days a week to build force inthe weight room or on the bike. The amount of force work you do dependson your limiters and how strong your knees and joints are. If you havea history of bad knees or joints seek the advice of a physical therapistor strength specialist to help build an appropriate strength program.Finally be sure to set aside two-three days a week for leg speed andskills work. These will help with your economy and help reduce your overallenergy needs while riding. This includes spin drills, short form sprints,high cadence rides and even cornering drills to become more comfortableand well balanced on the bike.Good luck in your comeback and we hope this helps,
Joe and Dirk Friel
I’ve purchased the second edition of the “Triathlete’s training bible.”I’m quite surprised not to find in the weights section the “Power” and”Endurance” phases, which were in the first edition.What are the reasons for this new trend?? Are these phases not goodanymore?
tri-ing in Switzerland
We have found that the time and energy spent in the weight room forMuscular Endurance work (after Base 1) is better spent on the bike. Butif it works for you to do ME then by all means continue. This may be neededif you live in a colder climate.The Power Endurance routine is potentially dangerous, due tothe speed element. This is another area we feel is more comfortable developingwhile on the bike to produce explosive power.
Joe and Dirk Friel
Joe Friel is the author of “TheCyclist’s Training bible.” Dirk Friel is a co-founder of TrainingBible.comand coaches along with Joe at Ultrafit Associates. For more informationon coaching and training software please visit www.Ultrafit.comand www.TrainingBible.com.If you have questions for this column, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org