You are probably getting close to deciding what touring experience you want this year.
Maybe a week in Colorado at high altitude? Maybe a few weeks climbing the famous Cols of the Tour de France with gradients of 8% and more? Maybe a weekend tour to a nearby town you’ve never visited?
What ever tour you choose you’ll be motivated to have excellent fitness for your adventure so that you’ll be able to enjoy it the maximum.
Recently, we read a post by Chris Carmichael where he said “The secret to supporting endurance athletes is realizing that sometimes they are the worst judges of what they actually need. In the midst of competition, athletes are very good at describing how they are feeling or what is happening. They’re like NASCAR drivers who can tell the crew chief how the car is handling on the track. But then the driver trusts the crew chief to make adjustments
based on that feedback. That’s what an endurance athlete’s support crew does; we listen to and observe you as you arrive and use a mix of science and experience to get you back out on track with the tools and fuel to perform as well or better than when you came in.”
We believe in the value of coaching but also acknowledge that most of the touring, endurance athletes we know would not invest in a one-on-one coaching program offered by someone like Carmichael.
So what to do to make sure you’ll feel fit and the best you can for your next tour?
- Invest some time in planning your training. There are many reputable, inexpensive sources online. e.g. www.trainingpeaks.com
- Start well in advance, about 4-6 months, and set realistic goals and targets.
- Follow your training plan as well as you can.
- Let go of being “overly dedicated” to the plan and do what you are able to do given your health, family and work circumstances.
- Plan for, and accept, a few disruptions here and there.
- Enjoy your training rides and search out the benefits of those “intervals.”
- Once you’re within 2-3 weeks of your event, stick to the balance of your plan. Trying to fit in more or harder sessions could take you over the edge and imperil your fitness.
- Remember “EVERY RIDE IS A TRAINING RIDE”. This year’s tour is yet another session in preparation for next year’s tour. And another opportunity to refine your training, maybe with a coach, next time.