March has arrived and with it a host of new opportunities to get out on the bike and kick start your 2020 season proper. As the lighter nights begin to approach and some sun shines through a blanket of cloud, it’s time to really kick things on and focus in on your goals, good and proper. What are the key areas to focus on and what pitfalls can trip you up? How can you hit the nail on the head after a strong winter.
Get Specific… so you have limped through winter, put the miles in, worked hour after hour and got yourself a decent base fitness. That’s great! But, take it from me; it isn’t going to win you that race, you’re not going to PB your local TT and you’re not going to knock the 20 min off that sportive you have been craving with that alone. Sit down, grab a brew and analyse the first quarter of your coming season. What type of events are there coming up? What will you need to be good at to perform in them? What did you do last year? And where might your form be lacking? This is it, this is the last period where you can put that right, so refocus and make sure every mile on the bike is event specific from here on.
Sort Your Kit Out… you have done all of the hard-work, you’re all set for event number one and then you find your bike doesn’t work, your chain is worn or your cleats are hanging on by a thread! Seriously, nothing annoys me more as a coach than being unprepared like this. Make March the time to put this right, have everything ready to make your winter’s training count, don’t wait sort it. Be sure to also stock up on chamois cream and soothing gel!
Start Double Sessions… Ever wondered why those that commute are so fit? Alongside the fact a trip to Leeds and back is often akin to an interval session in itself as you dash from one set of lights to the other, there are other benefits including increased metabolism rate and training under fatigue to promote strength; so why not join in the fun? If you're lucky enough to be a full time rider, that doesn’t mean you can only ride once, think of the training benefits and if you’re not sure ask someone about it, ask me if you want and if you work then use the lighter nights to really bring on your fitness. My tip; make your morning your aerobic controlled ride, it doesn’t need to be to specific, it should be held back if anything, but get the most out of it you can, whether it’s 1, 2 or 3 hours. Then you can head out again later in the day to work on something more specific, a ride shorter in length but higher in intensity pushing into anaerobic levels. Following on from my first point, the efforts you make in this session should be event specific not just made up.
Shave your legs… If you’re lucky enough to have escaped for some winter sun, then you should really have ticked this box, if you haven’t, here is your first warning! If like me, you’re braving the British winter then let’s be honest, it’s time we all crossed our fingers that the legs may be able to make an appearance sometime throughout this month. For me, it’s about getting in the right frame of mind to take on your first event and it is all part of the new season ritual and something I’m used to as former professional; it’s just part of the job. I will be putting Veloskin’s shaving range to the test once the kids decide they will let me hog the bathroom long enough to shear it off and making sure that my legs alone will be enough to beat the opposition come the first start line, never mind the form.
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