Christmas Stars

"Most are in a hurry to get into muscular endurance, anaerobic endurance and power training. In fact, those who burned out last July or so have been training these abilities since September when they started to get their enthusiasm for training back. They are flying now. That’s why I call them “Christmas Stars.” By about May motivation will start to wane again and will be totally gone by June or July when, in most parts of the northern hemisphere, racing is still going strong and has a few months to go.

Patience is the key to success in endurance sport. I’ve also written about that idea many times. One must be patient with training. When passed by a group of Christmas Stars on the road now you’ve got to have the patience to hold back and stick with your planned base fitness training. It helps to have a coach, someone who will hold you accountable for what you do in workouts. I seldom have to remind the athletes I train that they need to stick with the plan while avoiding Christmas Star group rides. Down deep we each understand the benefit of building deep levels of fitness in these three key abilities before starting to do the high intensity stuff later on. We realize that if we are patient now and just grind out the miles as planned, the reward later on will be much greater.

There are three simple ideas I build into the workouts of the riders I coach to help them get benefit from every workout this time of year. Here’s the gist of what I have them do in the form of training suggestions for you. There’s more to it than this. You can read one of my books to get all of the details. But it can all be boiled down to three basic elements of training for early base training…"

by Friel

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