5 Simple Steps for Overcoming a Plateau
We’ll cover the low-hanging fruit you can implement in your training right away which are:
#1 Riding more
#2 Recovering Better
#3 Improving Nutrition and thereby improving body composition
#4 Identifying what’s causing the Plateau and smashing that to bits - that’s what the bulk of our podcast will be about, #4. But seriously don’t go straight to #4 and skip 1, 2 & 3. If you’ve been training 6 - 8 hours a week and very simple HIGHLY effective way to improve almost immediately is to start riding 8-10 hours a week. Throw in a 12-hour week followed by a rest week and I bet you’ll feel like KING KONG out there ripping the cranks off.
Let’s do some announcements and reviews:
#1 The biggest announcement is that Coach Andrew Giniat is in the house with us, welcome! Andrew comes to us from one of my most favorite riding destinations and former state of residence, Asheville, NC. Andrew is a criterium, cyclocross and road coach. And races for the CS Velo @ the professional level on the road and the Pony Shop for cyclocross.
We even have a Cyclocross Coaching Deal going on right now that is six months of cx coaching with yours truly, Andrew, for the price of five - find it on fascatcoaching.com, and don’t delay because space is limited and this deal expires July 15th.
#2 Finally - because I know we have a few multisport listeners, we are excited to announce that Coach Suzie Snyder will be a new multisport coach with us and we’ll have her on the pod real soon. Suzie is going to lend her expertise to our Multisport Training Plans and be available to coach you one-on-one.
#3 Big Congrats are in order to Coach Zach for winning the Elite National Time Trial Championships today and props to Patrick Welch, who Zach Coaches for winning the U23 National Time Trial Championships!
Whatever it is you too had for breakfast and dinner we want some of that! Congratulations - we are very proud of you!
For context go back and listen to Coach Zach’s podcast from February 3rd this year where he shares his TT Advice! The combined wattage was 754 watts!
Our Review of the WEEK comes from Thomas and he gives our Sweet Spot Part 3 Plan 5 stars:
This was the first real cycling training plan I've ever invested in and it was well worth it. The plan was easy to follow and easy to adjust as I needed to based on life demands, and talk about effective...this is the best I've felt, and fastest I've been riding heading into the heart of the summer season. Thanks, FasCat!
Thank you for sweet spotting Thomas and good luck with your summer season!
How to Break Thru a Plateau in Your Performance
Andrew, what the heck do we mean when we talk about a plateau?
Definition: A Plateau can be defined as a prolonged period of stagnating improvements in either physical performance or race performance. This can happen over a few time frames; within a block, over a season/many blocks or most commonly, year to year.
FIVE Ways to Break Thru:
- Identify what specifically is limiting performance. For instance, maybe your FTP is continuing to improve but your results haven’t changed, it could be your sprint or something tactical.
I see this a lot in crits and CX and I call it the “Strong like Bull Syndrome” - when skills, experience, and tactics are limiting performance, not watts.
- Take a break! If you keep training without enough rest, you’ll inevitably plateau.
- Might need to increase the length of the off-season with increasing training years.
- Mid-season break
Periodization! Regular every 3-4 week rest weeks, 1-2 days off per week a la the working person’s training plan design
- Change the stimulus, i.e. what got you from cat 3-2 might not be what gets you from 2-1. Take advantage of different adaptive pathways.
- Doing the same intervals at a higher absolute power but the same relative intensity doesn’t necessarily equal progressive overload.
- Maybe you’ve done lots of tempo work historically but not much work nearer your FTP.
- FTP won’t budge due to fractional utilization, i.e. FTP is at 90% of power at Vo2Max.
If you’ve only been sweet spottin’ - switch from base to race to do some interval work
If you’ve been doing interval work, layer back in some base
- Increase volume. We can be creative on how to fit more volume into a busy life.
- You’ll ‘max out’ on intensity far more quickly than you will with volume.
As mentioned above, think in multiples of 1-2 hours per week with periodization. Also, think in terms of consistency in 6-12-18 week blocks increasing your training load. Taking your CTL from 60 to 70 to 80 will have a MAJOR impact on your endurance and power output.
- If you’re locked into the training volume you’re currently doing, try to improve the following:
- More sleep
- Reduce life stress/manage time better
- Look at nutrition. Many people will get better simply by eating more. Others might need to increase their dietary quality.
Alright, everyone, that’s all we have for you this episode! Let us know about your unique plateau questions in our private Facebook Group, our Coaching Forum, forum.FasCatCoaching.com, or hit us up in the chat @ FasCatCoaching.com
Don’t forget to use 25podcast receive 25% off your first FasCat training plan : all our plans are backed by a 100% money back guarantee and we have close to 1,000 five star reviews https://fascatcoaching.com/pages/reviews-feed
You’ve got nothing to lose but I think you are going to get a lot faster!
And with that, I’ll bid you adieu until next week - have a great week of training and remember to “work hard, ride fast, have fun, and as always FtFP”
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Foundation : 3 Weeks
- Perfect for all cyclists beginning off season training
- Raise your CTL and the all-important muscle tension intervals