Sunday, 18 December 2011

New Season Starts

10 Days of rest off of the bike has gone by and it is into the base phase for my next period that will culminate with the Argus cycle race in the first week of March 2012.

My steed patiently waiting to be let out the door.

Knowing what awaits out there.

Below my Performance Management Chart showing the effect of the 10 days rest. Note dropping fitness (blue), decreased fatigue (pink), and improved form (yellow). As can also be seen from the chart is my following of Joe Friel’s principles of periodization.

I have learnt that consistency is key in any endurance sport, and Rest is one of the 3 fundamentals for successful cycling performance. The rest blocks allow my body to recover and strengthen in its adaptation to the training. Even more noticeable to me over and above the physical advantages are the psychological benefits of the rest block. I most enjoy
• cleansing of the mental fatigue emanating from continuous workouts and races which recreates the motivation and desire to train and race,
• evaluating what is working and what needs to be learned / developed
• redefining of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
• redefining of goals and objectives

When it comes to rest, I have noticed so many of my fellow cyclists neglect this important aspect either because they don't want to lose fitness, or they perceive it as a sign of weakness. Many of them believe that you only rest when you are injured. Needles to say that you will pick up an injury when rest is neglected.

Then there are those that train continuously for a year or 2 without significant rest periods and eventually lose their desire or motivation to train and the bike gets left in the outroom or garage sometimes for months or even years before the flame is reignited, or worse it is sold in the classifieds or given away.

What works for you? How often do you plan in rest periods?

The starting workouts this week were 1hr easy sessions, just to get the legs going again and enjoy being out there on the bike. This morning however, I succumbed to the temptation to go longer and slightly harder on some climbs, and have some fun with the guys of Oasis Cycling Club.

Let's Ride


  1. How long are your training blocks? Ten days complete rest is unusual. Most people schedule a rest week after every three (or two if you are master or female riders) weeks. During the rest week most people; however, would still ride, only the volume and intensity would be greatly reduced. It looks like you are not riding for ten days at all.

  2. My training Blocks are 12-14 weeks. These are followed by 10-14 day rest period when I don't touch the bike.
    I do the rest week as you describe every 3rd week during my training block.