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How to fit training for race season into your life

  • By Jeff Vicario
  • Published Mar. 26, 2013
Set goals to kick start your motivation and keep yourself focused. Photo: Mark Johnson | VeloNews.com

Generate motivation

Find motivation to minimize the temptation to skip workouts. One effective way to do this is to start a training journal (a web-based example being TrainingPeaks) and set aside time each week to plan the details of the coming week. Once you establish a routine, this will only take a few minutes each day, and it’s very worthwhile for motivation. When you can see the workouts you’ve hit and the workouts you’ve missed, you are more likely to hold yourself accountable — after all, as athletes we are high achievers and don’t like to do things halfway.

A training journal can provide a wake-up call about how much time you’re really training. If you start analyzing your workout data, your log also becomes an invaluable tool to replicate performance trends you want to repeat, and avoid those that failed in the past.

Plan ahead

It’s important to plan ahead for the bigger picture of your training if you’re going to make the most of a time-limited schedule. Just as it’s important to plan the critical workouts you’ll be doing, be sure to plan ahead for blocks of rest too. This is when your body can recover from the training overload and come back stronger. If possible, try to coincide your lighter training weeks with the times you know that your training opportunities might otherwise be limited. Doing so will keep you on track and progressing towards your goals.

It can be hard to plan a season on your own, so consider investing in a training plan or hiring a coach to keep you on track, create structure, and provide direction. If you decide to forgo coaching, ensure you are working with purpose with your upcoming key events in mind. Rides should go from highly general to highly specific as you get closer to your event, with a periodized approach to intensity and volume. Periodization allows for increased training loads to be applied over time while forcing the desired adaptations.

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