Michael Hanslip Coaching

If you want to go faster, you have to pedal harder

July 2022

Consistent training

While there may be other ways to characterise training approaches, from what I've seen as a coach and rider there are two main groups going on in this space. Consistent training is the description I give to those people who are out almost every day doing something on their bike. Intermittent training is what I'll call those people who, regularly or irregularly, get out and hammer themselves silly whenever they get out (which is irregular by definition).
Let me make an analogy. Consistent training is like a long period of gentle rain. It doesn't wash away the dirt. It doesn't damage the flowers. It isn't instantly wetting if you go out in it. But the ground gets wet. Very wet. Deeply wet. This rain soaks down to deep roots. This rain keeps the ground wet for ages after it stops.
Intermittent training is like a big storm. A lot of rain falls in a short period of time. It washes dirt off farmers' fields, it washes dirt out of my front yard; the runoff is high and the effects are obvious and immediate. These big storms knocks leaves out of trees, flowers off of stalks and so on. If you go outside, you get soaked quickly. And, with loads of rain in a short period of time, it does a poor job of actually wetting the soil. It can be dry and dusty only hours later if the sun comes out.
Training effects are like the wet soil. We want a deep and lasting effect. To get the best result requires gentle and continuous training. The hammer-fest once a week leaves muscles sore and a feeling of accomplishment, but not much in the way of long-term benefits.
Be like the rain; be gentle and regular rather than episodic and overly vigorous.