All of the 2020/21 British Cycling Digital Training Plans are now fully built and hosted on TrainingPeaks. What are the advantages though of following a structured training plan, especially a digital one?
Following a structured training plan will ensure that your training is progressive and that you won’t get stuck in a rut of doing the same training each week. This means that you’ll be providing your body with novel stimuli to adapt to and, in doing so, ensuring that it gets stronger.
You can’t just keep adding more miles or upping the intensity. It’s by backing off that your body is able to recover, adapt and make gains. It’s when you’re resting and recovering that you become fitter. A well designed structured training plan will ensure you get enough recovery time between workouts and schedule in regular lower volume recovery weeks. Many riders who don’t follow a structured training plan fail to do this and either end up hitting a plateau or slipping into non-functional overreaching or overtraining and slipping backwards.
A structured training plan will ensure that you taper down and are fresh for your target events. Digital training plans allow you to simply enter the date of your event and then your plan will be automatically loaded to lead up to it.
Once a plan is loaded on TrainingPeaks, if you need to swap workout days around, it’s simply a case of drag and drop. You can also access you plan on your computer, tablet or phone so, no matter where you are, you can always check what you’re supposed to be doing in the upcoming days
The fully built workouts on TrainingPeaks mean that they are fully compatible with smart trainers. This means, if using Erg Mode, you can just get on, ride and your trainer will ensure you hit the exact zones you’re supposed to.
If your TrainingPeaks and Zwift accounts are linked then your workout for that day on TrainingPeaks will appear as a Custom Workout option on Zwift.
For outdoor rides, the workout will appear on your Garmin or Wahoo head unit and you’ll get prompts for the efforts you should be doing.
Once loaded, you can see, by looking at your Performance Management Chart (PMC) on your TrainingPeaks Dashboard how the plan will impact on your cycling fitness and carry you towards your target event.
For each workout there are Training Stress Score (TSS) targets to hit and, if you do, the workout turns green. There’s something amazingly satisfying about nailing a full week of green workouts!