A cyclist needs to have a strong foundation and a high fitness ceiling before the season even starts. Fundamentals like strength training and skill development take a backseat once race preparation begins in earnest. This is just one of the reasons why Thomas Chapple argues that the success of the upcoming season depends on the extent to which you can build your foundation of aerobic fitness, or your "base," for the road ahead.
Whatever your goals as a cyclist, early season training should focus on broadening the aerobic base and building cycling-specific strength and skills. In effect, this builds a bigger, more efficient engine to help you reach higher intensities later in the season. Chapple's guide for cyclists extends beyond the vital pre-season months, establishing the strong foundation that leads to improved overall fitness and speed. A stronger base makes a stronger, faster, cyclist.
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About the Author
Thomas Chapple is a licensed elite-level USA Cycling and USA Triathlon coach. He has competed at the national level in downhill mountain bike racing, and regionally in road and track. Since he started coaching in 1997, he has enabled competitive athletes to advance from the local ranks to placement at national and world championships.