Being a cyclist doesn’t exempt you from life’s responsibilities. Your home, your children and your job will be waiting after your ride is done.
Going into a training program built around a tight schedule really requires you to think about training with purpose. Each workout should have a specific objective that you should be aiming at achieving.
When you’re greatly limited on the time you have to train, achieving those objectives can mean the difference between decent fitness and no fitness. When you can ride 15 plus hours a week routinely, you’re almost guaranteed a decent level of fitness no matter what you do in those 15 hours.
However, with a focused and targeted training program for those same 15 hours, you should see an even greater level of fitness. This same concept applies to someone just loosely riding 7 to 12 hours a week versus someone training with purpose for those same hours.
With that said, that doesn’t mean go and throttle yourself every day. You need to find that balance between stressing your body and recovering from that stress which is when you actually rebuild and become stronger. Always allow for at least two to three days in the week to be recovery days. This can be a full day off, a light spin, extra time stretching, or a massage.
Also, you can train to work and back – many cyclists ride to work if possible, and treat themselves to a drive maybe once a week. This allows you to train while you ride to work, and you get to beat the traffic. Ride safe though, it’s a busy time of day to be going full steam ahead. You can even leave clothes at work, so you can ride directly to work after a morning ride, giving you some extra miles in the legs.
Top tips for combining full-time work with full-effort training:
- Reduce training volume by targeting shorter events, such as time trialling or cyclocross
- Be prepared to rise early to put in the hours
- Wattbikes and turbo-trainers are useful for a quick workout
- If you have a physically demanding job, look closely at a recovery strategy
- Consider using your commute as a means of training
- Train smart, maximise the benefit of every session and avoid junk miles