Tales From the Tarmac

Consistency: The Big Secret of Endurance Performance

training Dec 03, 2023
Peter Georgi and Cure Leukaemia on Tour21. Mont Blanc, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

Greetings aspiring cyclists

If you're here, you've likely experienced the wind on your face, the sun on your back, and the hum of wheels on a quiet road. You’ve probably envisioned conquering infamous but beautiful mountain passes just to sit sipping an espresso at the top. Welcome to the realm of road cycling, where the journey is just as important as the destination.

But how do you turn those desires into reality? How do you build the fitness to live your cycling dream?

There are many aspects to getting fit on a bike, and today, we’re going to explore just one: the power of consistency in training.


The Endurance Conundrum: Consistency vs Intensity

No matter what stage of fitness you are at, getting to the next level takes time.

When chasing goals, it's tempting to get caught up in pushing limits, attacking your riding mates, or setting new personal records. And no matter what the adverts tell you, there is no one Super Session that will turn you into a Tour de France winner. Studies consistently show that highly variable, sporadic training is not the most effective approach. Instead, the single most significant factor in endurance fitness is consistency. 

Endurance isn't built overnight, and it certainly doesn't come from one long ride or a hard week. It results from a gradual, consistent, and purposeful training approach. Consider consistency as the silent architect laying the foundation of your cycling prowess.


No ride matters, but every ride does: My philosophy of training

I have coached many riders over the years and no matter what level they get to (and some have been very high) there always comes a time when we must discuss the philosophy of training.

My go to mantra is simple: "No ride matters, but every ride does."

Allow me to expand.

If you are consistent in your training, missing an occasional ride won't derail your progress. This doesn't mean skipping rides is encouraged, but rather that a well-established routine cushions the impact of occasional days off. Fitness comes from the pattern, the rhythm, and the habit of consistent training. No ride matters….

On the flip side, if your training lacks that consistent heartbeat, every ride becomes crucial. Your total riding won’t be enough to give you progression and so inconsistent efforts heighten the significance of each session.

The ride you are doing becomes essential to your progress because without a supportive routine, it stands out. But every ride does…..

Consistency then, is your secret weapon. It's the gradual accumulation of miles (although I set my Garmin to kms), the incremental increase in intensity, and the commitment to a routine that brings about lasting improvements. If you are training consistently and growing your volume over the months, then missing one ride won’t hurt:

No ride matters, but every ride does...


But what about the physiology?

So if that’s the philosophy or psychology, what about the physiology? 

Adaptation Takes Time: Your body is an incredible tool that actually gets stronger when you make it work. Give it a load, allow it to rest and it comes back better. However, these adaptations require consistent stimulus. Regular, planned endurance-based training improves energy efficiency, enhances cardiovascular function, and increases muscle strength.

Injury Prevention: Consistency forces you to train smart. A consistent routine allows for gradual progression, reducing the risk of overtraining and injury. Remember, it's the cumulative effect of many rides that strengthens your body, not a single heroic effort.

Efficiency and Economy: Your body thrives on regular movement. Consistent training hones your biomechanics, making your movements more fluid and efficient. This improved economy translates to less wasted energy and, ultimately, enhanced endurance. The pros call it souplesse, difficult to describe but you know it when you see it.

Mental Resilience: Endurance isn’t just physical; it's a mental game as well. Consistency builds mental resilience by instilling a sense of routine and discipline. On days when motivation wavers, the habit of consistent training can be the anchor that keeps you on course.


How to Achieve Consistency?

 There are a few tricks you can use to build consistent riding into your life:

Weekly Planning: If you are setting your own schedule, sit down on a Sunday afternoon and plan your rides for the week ahead, and then put them into your diary. Even if it’s 45 minutes on a Zwift like platform, put it in. If it’s an outdoor ride, put it in. Then when your diary says it’s time to ride, just ride. This helps so much when you are not feeling up for it. Just starting the ride is key.

Get Your Kit Ready: If you are riding in the morning, get your kit out the night before, and if you are starting early, put it in the bathroom so you don’t wake anyone else up. Also, make sure your bike is working the day before, there is nothing more frustrating than going to start a session and your bike needing attention, especially if you are cramming rides into a busy schedule.

Sort Your Food: Often, when we don’t feel like riding it is because we haven’t eaten and drank enough leading up to it. If you have a ride planned for after work, make sure you snack and more importantly drink water through the afternoon. That way, when you get home you won’t be suffering a sugar and hydration low. It is amazing the difference it makes. If you are training in the morning, go to bed hydrated and not hungry. You will need full energy stores in a few hours.

Ride With Friends: One super way to achieve consistent rides is to start going out with a group or a few friends. Just knowing you are meeting other people will often be the catalyst you need to get yourself out the door. Simple but effective!


Conclusion: Your journey starts with consistency

The secret's yours now. On every level the key to building fitness is to be consistent in your training. As you embark on your cycling journey, remember that it's the small, consistent actions that lead to enduring success. Embrace the philosophy of week in, week out commitment, and you will transform your fitness. 


And here's the exciting part.

All this knowledge, the secret to progressing from a novice to a confident rider, is not hidden. It comes from The Cent-Soulor, a purpose-built, progressive, and consistent training program designed to take you from 0 to 100km in just 16 weeks.

Created by Peter Georgi, the Cent-Soulor is breaking new ground in cycle coaching. Video and written instructions guide you through each week and every ride. You're told not only what rides to do but how to do them. Background videos reveal the context of why, helping you build fitness, confidence and skill.

The Cent-Soulor: 0 to 100km in 16 weeks.




Want to discover more?

Download the 5 Key Principles of Cycling Fitness guide to learn the 5 ideas I use in all my coaching and that I have built into the Cent-Soulor. Include them in your training and you will get fitter.

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