Call it New Year’s enthusiasm, but January was a banner training month. I didn’t sign up to be a university test rat like Ken, (I’m pretty envious of the physical data he’ll have now and I’m looking into finding something similar in Edmonton) but I made a concerted effort to ‘make’ time to train more, specifically with saddle time. This month I not only upped my average ride time, but frequency as well, adding one new ride per week, taking me up to 4.
I’ve read in a few training resources that you really shouldn’t increase your ride volumes by much more than 10% per month. Needless to say I disregarded that, thinking this was just a ‘very’ general rule of thumb meant for someone else.
In January, I did the math and I increased my volumes by 50%…
Yes, this might have been too much.
Although I felt strong all month, by week three, I started to feel worn just a little thin. I was reluctant to admit it. The training sessions had become euphoric, and I was craving them. Coming home and not getting on the trainer felt like I was missing an opportunity.
- My short rides had gone from 45 mins to 60 mins
- My mid-range rides went from 60, to 90 mins
- My long rides went from 90 mins to 120, or 150mins.
Now despite the larger-than-wise volume increase, I don’t think I necessarily over-trained though, because I was also staying disciplined with my sleep pattern (8-9 hours/night) and with my diet. It wasn’t until the very end of the month that I started to feel fatigued, and my knees started to get a little sore. And, at that point I took a break. I tried to listen to my body all month. I rode hard when I felt like it, and then when I didn’t feel like it, I got some rest – 3 glorious days off. I feel great going into February.
- Set a new benchmark for riding targets – 4 days a week,16 sessions total
- Increased intensity of trainer sessions – riding longer, and harder
- Kept up with my cross-training, getting into the dojo 7 times this month
- Hit my gym target bang on – 8 times, and I’m lifting consistently heavier in everything (My strength training coach Tyler is changing it up though with an entirely new set of exercises going forward)
- Slept well
- Ate well
- Dropped back from 164lbs to 159lbs (ideal)
- Missed my target in the dojo by one session. This isn’t a big deal, but this is where I get the majority of stretching done so I need to stay consistent.
- Might have increased my riding volumes a little too quickly. I won’t look to make any increases this month, unless my body tells me I can. I’ll need to listen closely to my body through Feb and be sure I stay focused, maintaining my goal of getting stronger, faster, better, while still getting all the recovery time I need.