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ASK GCN: BREAK THE FITNESS PLATEAU

on November 05, 2018

Question: I have been riding for about 4 years and improved a lot in the first 2-3 but I seem to be plateauing around 2-2.6 w/Kg. I want to keep improving as I’m only 26, but overwhelmed at trying to find a long-term focus for my rides.

This question is quite common among cyclists. When we start training, we initially experience rapid progress in fitness. Massive gains are made, then that rate slows down. The stress placed on our body that training creates enables us to better cope with the same level of stress next time. So, as our fitness increases, so does the training stress needed to continue this positive adaptation. There’s no silver bullet here, and we need to consider different ways to achieve this.

VOLUME, INTENSITY, AND FREQUENCY

The most athletes initial improvement in fitness simply comes from the volume achieved. But for most athletes who have other commitments in life such as work and family, increasing the volume is not always possible. Once we reach our sustainable volume we need to look at other ways of placing out body under training stress.

CHANGING UP YOUR TRAINING PATTERN

  1. Rest Day: Analyze the training schedule and see it allows for adequate periods of recovery. Including a set day of recovery, each week will provide the body with the much-needed rest to improve. Rest days builds muscle.
  2. Intensity Training: Include some interval work that targets higher w/kg for short durations. A Zwift session we recommend is ‘Under Ones.’ It consists of a series of hard efforts all under 1 min where you’ll push yourself above threshold.
  3. Planned training: To avoid a fitness plateau, we need to be consistently completing the planned training successfully. The planned training stress needs to be hard but achievable. The balance of hard days and easy days is the key point.

DOWNLOAD AND IMPORT THE WORKOUT

You can download the recommended workout here. Next, you'll want to import the workout into Zwift and get training. This article explains how to import.

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