The Clocks Have Gone Back But Training Must Move Forward



Welcome to a new cycling training section here at The Essential Cyclist. If you're looking for tips and tricks on how to train and have your best year to date then keep an eye on this section of the site to get the most out of your training.

The clocks went back recently, and as we all know what that means shorter days, less sun and for many a sense of decreased motivation. It's a difficult time for training because it can become hard to be motivated when pretty much all of our training will take place in the dark during the week.

Therefore, if you are keen on making improvements in the off-season, it is critical to stick to a training plan as this is the time that you need to really increase your base fitness. For many the countdown to Christmas can mean taking our eye off the goal, which is understandable with an increase in social functions, but it's important to keep putting the hard work in as it will pay dividends come the New Year.

Christmas will no doubt create disruptions in your training plan, but if you have a solid six or seven weeks of training beforehand then you can allow yourself a week off at Christmas to recover without worrying too much. 

To stick to a plan you obviously need to be disciplined and determined to achieve your goals, but on top of that I find you can make things easier with the following simple, yet effective tips.

- Be accountable to someone so that you don't let them and yourself down. In my personal opinion a personal trainer or coach is the best way to do this, as not only will they help you with the training but they can also help by taking away the admin allowing you to focus on your training. But, if that isn;t an option involve friends and family members with your goals. These verbal contracts with others will help you stay on track and stay accountable.

- Write everything down. Have your plans in full view somewhere that you will see them on a regular basis. I like to pin mine on my fridge (because I am always in it!), but also because my family and friends can see them too. I have a section that has 'target goal' and 'achieved goal' for every session I do so that everyone can see how much training I have and haven't done. This helps me be accountable not only to myself but, to them as well.

I hope this will help you kick-off your training and I look forward to helping you over the coming months. If you have any specific questions please forward them on to

The Secret Cyclist is a British Cycling Level 2 coach who specialises in road and time trial. Based on the south coast he has a facility that incorporates personal training, cycle coaching and bike fitting. His weaknesses are hills and a love of cake. When off the bike he has a love of food and can often be found eating his way around Manchester.

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