In the latest series of blogs from the coaching staff at Spokes.fit, coach Pav Bryan looks at the dangers of non-individualised training and how you can improve your performance by breaking free of generic training plans...
Be honest… have you ever downloaded a training plan for free, purchased a generic one from an online store or even simply followed the training advice of your mates? It’s okay, I imagine we all have at some point.
What was your experience of a free or generic training plan?
You might have seen some improvements as a result of the plan, or you may have seen some gains to begin with, but then plateaued off or eventually gone backwards. Were you even able to follow it?
While some may experience improvements from following a training or coached plan that isn’t specifically tailored to the users every needs, you might find that 'getting personal' revolutionises your performance...
Gains, gains, gains!
The biggest problem with non-bespoke training is that it doesn’t know you. You don’t change a light bulb in your lamp without checking to see what type of bulb you need and your body is infinitely more complicated than that bulb!
Do you need to hire a coach to remedy this?
Let’s think about that bulb for a second, would you hire an electrician to change it – likely not!
However, let’s consider something much more complicated than a bulb, maybe rewiring your house, would you hire an electrician then? The scale of the job might dictate how you approach remedying this problem.
Image by Eneida Nieves via StockSnap (copyright free)
What can you do if you can’t work with a coach?
Well, hopefully you have all your old data. You can check previous years of training and make assumptions about the load you are capable of. You can see periods where you slipped into an over-trained (or under-recovered) state, where you got sick or even when you were flying. With this data, and knowing when your event is, you can start to plot the sessions you need to do, backwards on your plan.
“My mate, Dave”
We’ve all got that mate who has an answer for everything (and thinks they’re right!). I had someone tell me that they did their best 25-mile time trial after going out the night before and getting hammered – would you follow this advice?
Let’s face it, there are very few people who want to offer bad advice, but because they're giving you advice based on their own experiences, or even worse, regurgitating a story they’ve been told, the advice has a strong chance of being just that - bad…
A good coach is always there to get advice from and will look at you holistically. They will take all your data, everything you have told them about you and then use their own knowledge, experience and research capabilities to create a coaching plan specifically for you.
Again, what can you do if coaching is just slightly out of your reach right now?
Start by reading up on the latest coaching methodologies. Find stories from people who are similar to you. Look at yourself objectively and honestly. Once you have your plan, test it out and test it as far away from your target events as possible.
Image by Burst via StockSnap (Copyright free)
Following a blind person
If you’ve ever used a generic plan, you might know how much work you usually have to do to fit it into your schedule. Maybe you rest on a certain day, but on the plan it’s set elsewhere. This is a simple fix, just move the session, but what if you can only train five days and the plan has set six; what sessions do you do?
A Spokes coach will take everything you need to see from a plan and place it into achievable actions. Our aim is to ensure that you have zero left to do other than simply train for your event! Don’t waste your money on anything less than a product that is 100% fit for purpose.
That being said, if you’re going alone, you need to identify the sessions that are most important – you get them done every week without fail.
If you have to lose a session per week, you might be best dropping the easiest one. However, you might also need to consider how demanding your life is – if you have a physical job, dropping an easy session from your plan to focus on the harder ones, might be too difficult – especially if your body is under stress most days through other activities.
Be honest about how hard it’ll be for you to reach your goals. If you have any doubt, you might consider consulting a coach.
Working with a coach, regardless of whether they consult with you daily or weekly, is simply the best method to see improvements. Buy a product that’s fit for purpose and don’t compromise.
Worried about the cost?
Consider how much you might spend on your bike, coaching is far less than this and will almost certainly bring you greater improvements. Those improvements and the knowledge you will learn about yourself and your potential, will almost certainly last a lot longer than the bike and stand you in good stead for other challenges off the bike.
You can get a free consultation with a Spokes coach and get 20% off selected products by visiting Spokes.fit. Simply use the codes PH2092019 / PH1192019 before 31st September 2019.
Compared with everyday costs coaching is eminently affordable – Spokes Personalised Training Plans start at just £1.18 per day and working 1:1 with a coach is only £4.67 per day. If money is tight, it’s easy to see what you could give up in order to afford it – sorry Starbucks…