After conducting a basic performance test the next step in cycling with a power meter is to determine where you want to go. What are you goals and objectives as a cyclist? Are you hoping to excel in a local group ride, criterium, time trial, flat road race, hilly road race, or double century? Determining exactly where you want to go is the first step in constructing an actionable plan that puts you on the right track for success. If you’re wanting to improve while maximizing the amount of training time you have, you need to have some clear objectives.
The Real Work
Once you’ve got some clear targets identified, the real work of constructing a training plan begins. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer you’ll likely spend some quality time researching different training methodologies online. If designing and creating your own training plan seems daunting, hiring a coach to do the heavy lifting might be a good option for you. Whatever choice you make, to self-coach or hire a professional, the process of constructing a training plan is likely to follow these basic steps.
- Carve out exactly how much time you have to train during the week
- Identify the specific demands of your target event and develop a progressive plan to replicate those demands in training
- Focus on improving your aerobic fitness and your ability to produce power at your lactate threshold
- Establish benchmark criteria to assess progress
Skinning The Cat
How exactly you go about addressing the above steps is really what defines different training strategies and coaching methodologies. There are hundreds of opinions about how to get stronger and faster. Between online forums, teammates, training books, and coaches there exists a lot of training noise that can be distracting if you’re trying to go it alone. Thankfully your power meter can help you keep things really simple.
If you’re self coached or working with a professional cycling coach, a power meter will give you an objective look at whether or not your training is effectively preparing you for success in your target event. Be consistent, stick to your plan, and continue to measure your progress by coming back to your testing protocol every 4-6 weeks. Your power meter helps to keep things simple; you’re either getting stronger or you’re not.
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