Making It Work: Training Tips for Self-Coached Athletes

I’m dedicated to providing tailored coaching for athletes at every stage of their journey. However, if a personalized coaching isn’t feasible for you this season, whether due to your budget…...
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I’m dedicated to providing tailored coaching for athletes at every stage of their journey. However, if a personalized coaching isn’t feasible for you this season, whether due to your budget constraints or other priorities, I still want to see you succeed.

Here are some training tips to assist you in planning your own season. Portions of this Portions of this are from a blog I wrote for my friends over at Chasing Epic.

CONSIDER A READY TO GO PLAN

Just because you aren’t working 1:1 with a coach doesn’t mean you can’t find a training plan that works for your goals. I offer off the shelf training plans on Training Peaks that allow athletes to access a budget-friendly option that will set them up with a 12-24 week training plan that is based on my nearly 20 years of coaching experience. These plans start at $75 and provide a great guide for your DIY season.

CONSISTENCY

This is the most important piece of training: as much as you can, be consistent. Be consistent with getting on the bike 3-5 days/week for most people. Be consistent with riding hard. Be consistent with sleep and taking time to recover. Be consistent eating, recovering and hydrating.

Besides forming the basis for building your fitness and skills, being consistent with training also helps you communicate to your family about expectations. The easiest way to build consistency- in my professional experience- is to put everything on the calendar (on your phone, at home, or wherever). Then when you block off time, share it and stick to it.

SIMPLIFY

If you happen to be building your own training, simplify. The world’s best, most experienced coaches have maybe 4 or 5 different types of intervals that they use. Additionally they only use those high intensity workouts TWO days per week, max. The remaining days of a week are relatively easy and one or two of them should be longer rides.  They will run this cycle for 3 weeks and then give athletes a week of short easy rides to allow for recovery. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just simple and consistent.

FUELING AND HYDRATION

You can’t be your best and get the most out of your trip if you’re under-fueled or under-hydrated. During training, you can do perform workouts up to 60 min without specific fueling. Over that (especially on higher intensity rides) you’ll want to start taking in some fuel (100 – 200 calories of primarily carbohydrates) every 30 min. And don’t stop taking in calories just because you’re almost done with a ride; you don’t want to fade at the end, and these calories will help towards recovery and the following day’s effort.

For hydration, you’ll want to hydrate well on just about every ride. In moderate temperatures a good starting point is 1 small bike water bottle an hour with some electrolytes. When the temperature or elevation increases, your intake should also increase to 1.5 – 2 bottles an hour.  If you are a bigger rider, you may find that your intake for both calories and fluids trend toward the upper end of the suggestions. Fueling and hydrating well also helps you make good post ride food choices.

You can view all of the training plans I offer on TrainingPeaks.com If you are interested in learning more about my custom approach to highly personalized training, schedule a chat for a free consultation to learn more about Durner Performance.

Mike Durner