Stuck In a Training Rut? How a Coach Can Help You Out of a Plateau

by | Sep 17, 2020 | Training

A lot of riders we’ve been talking to lately are feeling a little stuck in their training. With COVID19 cancelling most of race season, a lot of riders missed the traditional ebb-and-flow of a season, and we’ve seen riders get sort of caught up in one of two problems. Here, we’re looking at the two problems and how a cycling coach can help get you out of each!

Problem 1: They’ve been doing all base, all the time

If you’ve been really piling up the miles, maybe even doing some of your biggest training weeks ever, but you don’t really have a rest or recovery week built in, you might be stuck in a base-building loop. If you don’t remember the last interval set that you did, or you’re struggling to get up to speed heading up a hill, you might be starting to hit the pointy end of the base-building stick. Base miles are great, to a point… But you’re not meant to be doing base for nine months, which is what a lot of us have been doing, with no races to provide respite or push us to actually go hard. You’ve maxed out your mileage, and you don’t know where to go from here.

Read more: The Importance of Having a Training Plan—Even If You’re Not Racing


Problem 2: They’ve been skipping workouts + training inconsistently

On the opposite side of the spectrum, a lot of riders have struggled to stay motivated to train without race goals looming, and training has been inconsistent. If you find yourself occasionally (or more often) skipping or changing or shortening workouts, skipping things like mobility and strength, going a little harder on the junk food than you normally would… You might be lacking motivation as well as direction in your training.

Read more: Why You Still Need a Mid-season Reset

How can a cycling coach help get you out of a training rut?

Cycling coaches don’t just provide training plans and walk away — at least, not here at Consummate Athlete! A good cycling coach provides a plan that works with your schedule and your goals, and depending on your coaching level, tweaks it as needed as life happens. But more importantly, a coach can be the person you can talk to about the stumbling blocks you’re hitting, who can cheer for you or kick your butt into gear, or even just serve as a set of eyes you know is going to be checking to see if you completed the day’s workout.

For those who’ve been doing too much base and are starting to feel fatigued or — yes, this can happen — slow, a coach can help start to add more structure back to your weeks and months, focusing on bringing your speed back up without sacrificing that fitness you’ve gained. You might be best served by doing a phone consult and getting a custom three-month training plan (which we have on sale right now!) … Consistency isn’t your struggle, you get out on your rides just fine. Now, you just need a bit more direction to keep making gains in your riding, especially without the race schedule keeping you naturally training-tapering-racing-recovering. This is a great chance to really focus on limiters.

For those who are struggling to stay committed to training consistently right now, you might want to consider a more high-touch coaching situation that keeps you more accountable. Something like weekly coaching, or booking a weekly phone consult on top of getting a custom three month plan may keep you more focused. Having a coach also will help you dial in which workouts best suit your goals, and help you tailor a training plan that feels motivating and exciting, not like the same old, same old everyday.


Read more: Lacking Motivation Versus Burnout

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