Thomas Endurance Coaching | 5 Benefits of Structured Workouts
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5 Benefits of Structured Workouts

Cyclists realize the benefits of adhering to a training approach that’s specific to them, as well as the importance of tracking their progress over time. The tools of the modern cyclist include power meters, smart trainers, and advanced cycling computers just to name a few. All of the tools available make it easier to provide structure to what was once a guessing game for many riders. A structured approach to training delivers workouts and results that are more efficient, effective, and individualized no matter the level of rider.  

Make the Most of Your Training Time

For most serious cyclists, gone are the days of “just riding”. Riders need to make the most of their time by utilizing advancements in training metrics, as well as the devices and software that help deliver and make sense of those metrics. They understand the value in a focused approach to training, and that by doing so they get the most ‘bang’ out of their training buck. Following structured workouts built around power or heart rate ensures that there are no wasted efforts when it’s time to ride.

Pinpoint Key Areas

Presumably, cyclists that are going to spend some of their limited free time training would like for that training to be as impactful and productive as possible. By utilizing a structured approach to workouts it practically forces athletes to identify critical areas by setting up those workouts based on either individualized power or heart rate training zones. Thinking through individual strengths and weaknesses becomes a daily aspect of training. No matter the discipline one is training for, or the area of focus, structured workouts mean they’re honing in on exactly the effort that needs to be put forth to help them reach their goals.

Confidence in Your Workouts

Before the time when most every rider had access to world class technology and training tools, cyclists would guess as to what type of workout they should be performing on a given day. Now, cyclists have the ability to know for sure that they are performing the appropriate workout on the right day, and that their effort aligns with their goals. Whether the goal is to increase FTP, sprint power, or VO2Max, executing workouts that are structured around key metrics allows riders to know with 100% confidence that each pedal stroke is getting them closer to their goal of being a better, stronger, and smarter rider.

Tracking Key Metrics

With all of the advanced equipment available to cyclists these days it’s becoming easier to understand the physiological demands of training. One of the ways riders can track things like intensity, training stress, and fitness is by understanding and taking advantage of power and/or heart rate based performance metrics. There are a host of highly individualized metrics included in platforms like TrainingPeaks that paint a clear picture of performance on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis making it easier to plan at the workout and training plan level. Using tools such as TrainingPeaks’ Workout Builder enables athletes to quickly build workouts based on individual metrics as well as visualize the intensity, training stress, and fatigue of a session. Structured workouts provide a greater amount of transparency into what the physiological “cost” of a session will be, and thus enables athletes to plan and track their training with greater accuracy.

Individualization

One of the primary goals of any training plan is for the workouts that make up that plan to be tailored to the athlete. The tools that we have at our disposal today allow for a greater level of individualization than ever before. Custom workouts can be built specifically to a rider’s needs, level of fitness, and goals and then easily loaded into a head unit to be taken to the road or the trainer. These workouts are built around a rider’s individual metrics and are designed to maximize the potential of that athlete during every workout.

For those riders looking to get the most out of their available training time and to ensure that each and every workout moves them closer to their goals, structure is the answer. Not only do structured workouts pinpoint the exact areas where focus is needed, but they also provide individualized data driven metrics that riders can rely on to help inform their subsequent training. Whether the goal is to increase FTP, or win the next town line sprint, structured workouts will ensure that every rider is doing what it takes to get there.

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