Are you racing too much?
Are you racing too much?
We are often spoiled for choice with races in South Africa, but how much racing is too much? Devlin gives some great insight and advice on how to structure your races into your training plan.
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Racing too much?
Brad Brown: Welcome onto this edition of Ride with Coach Parry, my name is Brad Brown; we’ve got our cycling coach, Devlin Eyden with us once again, Dev, welcome back, nice to catch up again.
Devlin Eyden: Hello Brad, glad to be here.
BB: Dev, today’s question is quite an interesting one, it also popped up in our forums once again on coachparry.com, it’s about racing and choosing races and trying not to race too much. I think particularly where we live here in SA, we are so blessed with the racing calendar we’ve got, but it’s often easy to get carried away, it’s like this buffet and you get in front of it and you just want to eat everything.
How do you go about making sure that you don’t go and race… Is there a danger, first of all, in racing too much and how do you go about selecting the races you want to race?
DE: The first thing, personally for me, racing is the best form of training. You’re getting a lot of exposure to the kind of environment that you’re going to be racing in, the nerves that are always happening on the start line before you get going as well, riding with other people, other competitors. Yes, that’s why I say I do like the idea of racing as training.
I think especially now in the first half of the year, there are quite a lot of events that come up. We are really spoilt for choice and whether it’s stage races, single day races, road, mountain, whatever, there is a lot happening.
We need to just take a step back and you need to first identify a primary goal. What is your main goal event, your big event that you want to achieve for the year? Make sure that goal is also set within a realistic… If you’re only setting goals now for instance, you need to make sure you’re setting a realistic goal that you’ve got enough time to train accordingly for that.
Then pick one or two other races as smaller races that we can then use to gauge where you are, over your preparation towards your main race. Those races, the smaller races you’ll still do a sufficient taper leading up to the race.
Make sure you’re nice and fresh and then you can give everything at that race to kind of see where you are and to see what also needs to change in the last block or two going into the goal event.
Any other race outside of those three main goals becomes training events. I’m happy for them to happen. I’m happy for them to start fitting into your training calendar, however, you need to understand that if you’ve got a race on Saturday and it doesn’t fit into one of your goal events, that’s going to be a training event and you might actually go into that event tired.
You might not do well in the event. You might actually feel a little bit flat.
The emphasis needs to be taken off the result of that race itself. Those races, the problem with racing too often is when we’re structuring a training plan and you’re racing week in and week out, the problem is, we’re never really getting a sufficient build happening because you’re always trying to taper, you’re always trying to maintain some level of, let’s call it fitness, before each of those races
You’re always resting a little bit too much and not really getting a good build in. That’s why I say, rather pick two gauging races and then your big race so that every other race you do, you can be building and pushing through. You actually might get to a race and your training programme might even say you need to do a three hour hard ride whatever it might be and you can then use that race as that training ride.
Then you’ll take the emphasis off the position you might come in the race, how you felt, how the legs felt. That race is solely a training ride and you need to see it that way.
You’re still gaining the experience of the nerves on the start line, being with other people and that whole environment of racing. I think let’s step back, set a few goals, make sure we set fewer goals and then use the rest as good training, solid training and build accordingly to the one primary goal.
BB: I love that Dev, that’s such great advice as always. Don’t forget, if you’re needing some help with your cycling, be sure to check out what we are doing over at coachparry.com. We’ve got a phenomenal training platform with tons of training programmes; you get access to Devlin and the rest of our coaches as well, all through our very easy to use IOS and Android app.
All you need to do is head over to coachparry.com/cycling if you’d like to find out more. Dev, as always, thanks for your time and we look forward to catching up next week.
DE: Chat soon Brad.