The shape of my season

So, the clocks have changed and I have my stash of Easter eggs to work through / avoid. The evenings are getting lighter, the weather is hopefully going to start brightening, and the pro tour season is in full swing. It feels like the season for me is also starting to take hold.

I’m having a bit of an enforced rest weekend over Easter as my recurring foot issue has reared its ugly head, so I’m trying to take stock a little and think about the months to come.

So this is just a quick one about  the shape of my season, how I am trying to plan it, and how I’m hoping to track progress.

These are the key features of my season, from start to finish (with links to more detailed posts that I’ve written on the subject).:

  • April – two Haute Route training rides that I am organising as part of my work as an event ambassador. One in the North Downs, one in the Chilterns. These aren’t going to be rides to get worried about being in super-shape for, but are definite events that are in the diary and that I want to be fresh and healthy to ride in.
  • Various trips out to the Ariege in the Pyrenees to work on Expedition Ariege (the training camp I’m involved in – and of course, to get out and trail on some local cols.
  • Late May – The Tour of Wessex. A three day sufferfest in South West England, amassing over 330miles and around 8000m ascent
  • Late June – Ariegeoise XXL. A relatively unknown Gran Fondo in the Pyrenees that deserves more recognition.  168km, 4,400m ascent
  • Early July – La Marmotte and Grimpee De L’Alpe. La Marmotte surely needs no introduction. Back to its classic route over the Glandon, Galibier and Alpe D’Huez. 174km, 5,180m ascent.The Grimpee is a time trial up Alpe D’Huez the day after la Marmotte. That will be, umm… interesting.
  • Mid August – Haute RoutePyrenees for me this year. 7 days, 800km, over 20,000m ascent. Nuff said. I’m tentatively looking into getting onto a couple of early stages of the Alps event too, but not sure this will happen.

For me to be at my best through these events, I’ve found it useful to have it all marked up on a calendar, so I can see how many weeks out from something I am, to get a feel for when I need to start peaking or tapering, and to mark out the goals I’ve set myself through the year for target threshold power numbers and watts per kilo. I’m going to also use this to track my actual numbers and to see if it looks like I’m going to hit these (hopefuly realistic) goals.

I’ve currently got a paper calendar on a big A3 sheet stuck on my wall with all this on it where I can scribble my notes and updates. However, I’ve recently converted it to excel too as I’m a geek, but also so i can keep a dynamic version that I can tinker with. It currently looks like this.



It’s more than likely that i’m going to update this soon and add in training cycles, or ‘mesocycles’.

For those of you that don’t know, these are three or four week blocks where intensity builds and builds, then, at the last week, you have an easy week. The next block then starts at an intensity somewhere in the middle of that of the last block; thus giving you a progressive build up to your peak event. I may wait til i’m sufficiently bored and at a lose end in my next rest day to do this though!

I’m not intending my blog to be educational, but I’ve found having a calendar of my goals and events pretty useful so far this year, and am hoping that it will focus my training in the key periods to come. If you’ve got big events in summer that you want to train for, you may find one useful too.



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