Official club training has now ended for 2016. We hope you enjoyed the ride up until now and are determined to keep on improving. It has been a hugely succesful year for us. We continue to improve and gain more experience as a club and 2017 could well be our most successful to date. We have plenty of new faces that will surely do well on the racing circuit next year and we also have a few returning riders that will lift the quality and experience of our racing bunch. I am really excited to see what we can achieve, but nobody is going to give us a win; we have to go out and earn it…….
Get the most out of the Christmas holidays – although it might be tempting to sit down in front of the tv all day, don’t. View Christmas as an early season training camp. Be consistent in your training – string together multiple long days on the bike. Think about how much you could improve. Mentally you will come out of this period really looking forward to the racing season instead of dreading getting back on the bike after eating and drinking your way through the holidays.
Being mentally ready for the racing season is half the battle – knowing you have a big winter in your legs and knowing you can handle what the race has to throw at you is important. One of the biggest reasons people give up on racing early is not because of being burnt out (one of the most overused words in endurance sport). It is because they turn up to the first few races unfit and take a hammering. Nobody enjoys getting turfed out the back in a race and there is nothing worse for making you question whether racing is worthwhile at all. It is better to turn up at the first race in decent shape (you obviously still won’t be anywhere near peak fitness). Good early results will give you the motivation to keep at it and kick on with more intensive training.
The start of the cycling season is also the toughest time for racing. After the Rás / Nationals / Junior Tour things tend to get easier. However, you should be aiming to take on the best of the best so we as a club will hit the start of the season hard and see where that takes us. There is usually a mid season lull around rás time so you can recharge the batteries then and look to peak again for the latter part of the season.
Have a goal for next year – it is always important to be building towards something. Whether you are a racing or leisure cyclist with our club there should always be a goal in mind
- Hang in on club spins – for newcomers to the club, this simple goal might be perfect for you in 2017. We train hard as a club and it certainly ain’t easy for newbies. On the flip side, the sense of achievement you will feel once you hang on in there with the rest of us will be great. Each week you come out with us you will get a little bit better.
- Start racing – take out a racing license and see how you get on. Try and get comfortable riding at high speeds in an A4 bunch and by the end of the year target getting a few points.
- Gain promotion – everyone that took part in racing for the club last year should be targeting promotion in 2017. It is not that difficult to get promoted if you are consistent in your training and you are prepared to work hard. Be honest with yourself and stop with the excuses. If sprinting was holding you back last year then practice it! If climbing was holding you back then practice it (and lose some weight!). There is no reason why we couldn’t have 5 or 6 A1 riders in the club next year and 5 or 6 A2 riders too.
- Take part in a stage race – racing for multiple days is quite a step up from one day racing. You really get a good idea of where you are with your fitness. There are plenty of easier stage races for you to dip your toes into if you want. There are also plenty of brutal ones to if that takes your fancy.
- France trip – a big crowd from the club are heading to the Alps in July. Why not join us? The cycling will be tough over there but if you needed something to give you motivation then this is ideal. As we get closer to D-Day we will be cycling long distances with plenty of hills so you better start getting out with us now because it will be way harder later in the year.
For training over Christmas – look to Viber and Facebook. There will be almost daily sessions taking place. The more the merrier at these cycles, so don’t over think it – just turn up and do it.
Website updates – we will be taking a well deserved break from updating the website for 2 weeks or so. Everyone at Club HQ would like to wish all our club members a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hopefully Santa brings you plenty of cycling equipment for Christmas.