If you haven’t seen my blog on the Overcompensation Model please have a read first as it might help to understanding how the Ideal Training & Recovery Model works.
The infographic above shows that once you have achieved one period of Overcompensation (or Super-Compensation) you can keep this going in order to continually improve over a much longer period of time. If you are able to time each peak with a key event then you should be able to keep improving throughout the season while performing well at the events.
Of course this takes years of experience to get right, you also need to have lots of ways to benchmark your fitness in order to ensure you are heading in the right direction. This can be easy if you have a power meter, but even without you can use time trials, Strava segments or visit a professional to get your performance assessed.
The positives are that if you know what you’re doing you can keep on improving until the end of the season. The danger in this model is not monitoring your performance (or fatigue). The red line heading down shows that with too little training or not enough recovery your fitness levels will actually decline.
It’s worth noting that in order to sustain this growth over a season you will need to have a good level of base endurance. Without this you might struggle to maintain growth and fatigue or burn out.
Don’t have a lot of time to build your base in winter? Well the good news is that you can get similar adaptations from higher intensity, yet still aerobic, endurance workouts. Want to ensure you get this right? Check out our Coaching Packages. If you are only riding short distance events in the summer there is a big argument that shorter winter workouts are better for you anyway!
It’s also worth noting that at the end of the season you should take rest even if some reversibility occurs. Professionals take breaks in order to time peaks in fitness better for their key targets during the next season, you might not need three weeks or more, a week minimum should do it. Training straight through is almost always unsustainable and might result in early fatigue at which point rest will be the only thing to stop you from entering Over Training Syndrome (OTS) which in extreme cases is irreversible. Can you imagine feeling fatigued for the rest of your life? Not worth the risk, rest is best!
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