Fitness in cycling is a tough task master, for you can’t procrastinate. If you want to perform well in the late spring and summer, then now is when you have to lay in long tough hours on the bike. Living in a place where the weather doesn’t … uhm … cooperate that means lots of hours in a basement and not outside on the endless road. If you don’t prepare, there is little you can do even a month or two ahead of the date. If you’re fitness isn’t there, it isn’t there. You can try to cheat, pump up your VO2 max with some hard interval sets in the days before an event, but if your endurance isn’t there … lot’s of groveling at the back (or off the back) of the pack will be your fate. Fitness and strength are things you can’t “cheat” at, but need to be slowly worked up.
Training cycles (periodization or varying the workload in a regular periodic fashion to ratchet yourselves into top condition), rest days, hard days, BT (break-through) workouts, interval sets, and lots of other training esoterica figure prominently in the weeks and months of training. Fitness is never static it’s either improving or the reverse. Via Training Peaks, I set up a list of my weaknesses, strengths, hours I intend to spend training, my “A”, “B” and “C” races which determine when I hope to peak in the year. From that a plan to best reach my goals, work on my weaknesses as well as keeping those things I’m good at tuned.
Why do we so often suspect that is not the case for our intellectual and spiritual life as well. In the next week, between Christmas and New Year, I have some time off from work. I’m going to try to lay out my “Training Plan”, set goals and try to set a plan and how that goes, eh?