No matter what I’ve done nothing seems to get me to a competitive level. I’ve been racing now for about 5-6 years. I’m always pack fodder. The closest I sniffed the podium was 5th a couple years back more due to crashes than anything else. I just can’t seem to dial in my training. Part of this is due to family obligations. The biggest part I think is due to my schedule. I work 24 hour shifts. Each week is different. Some weeks I work 48 hours. Others 96 hours or more. I also travel for work. I can’t seem to nail down a training schedule that will allow me to get better. Usually I’m just trying to fit my workouts in regardless of sleep or exhaustion level. Any suggestions?
My advice is to accept your life as a limiter and enjoy what you’re able to do. I raced while pursuing a very stressful career. I was off work for a period of time due to a non-serious medical condition that didn’t keep me from riding. My volume went up more than double and so did my fitness. Most of the time I was pack fodder, but I still enjoyed the process. Unfortunately we aren’t paid to ride.
What type of racing?
Do you do other exercises besides cycling? When you travel do you fly or drive? What type of work do you do (can you run or do even core Work?).
Is your travel to same or different areas? Wondering if you could find group rides in your travels. Or trainer it at night.
Road races, although the last couple of years I’ve been limited to crits mostly. In my down time at work I do core work (when I can). Travel mostly by car and I will try to get a ride in between days of work.
You have a life limiter. So you either have to accept this cap on your performance or change your limiter. Changing your limiter could mean finding a way to prioritize training AND still satisfy work obligations. If you travel that may mean bringing your bike, a set of travel rollers (or trainer) and getting in your workouts before the day starts.
Do you take a lunch break? You may have to forgo lunch and get your workout in instead. Even if you have to cut workouts short, it’s better than skipping workouts all together. What about splitting longer workouts with 30 mins before work and 60 mins after? Only have 20 mins, how could you optimize that 20 mins of training? Can you do a double day of workouts before you know you’ll travel and not be able to workout for the next 3-4 days? You’re past ideal training conditions, so it’s time to start thinking out of the box.
Only you know your schedule and you’ll have to find a way to make it work. A little trial and error is needed and you’re bound to get it wrong some weeks. However, just listen to your body and ensure the days and times you can workout it’s a 100% effort. If you want it bad enough (to gain fitness) you must make it work, but it won’t be pretty.
Do the best you can where you are with what you got. Easier said than done of course
First off, figure out exactly why you are not performing better. Don’t just blindly assume it is a lack of additional training time. Most racers at all levels leave free speed on the table and some leave tons on the table.
Then, analyse the training you are doing in the time you have available and honestly assess if you’re maximizing what you have available and if you are attacking the weaknesses you identified above. Just working hard means little. Working smart is the key and it becomes more key the less time you have.
If you can do the TR programs, they work great. Once you get off the program, the tools are still there but Chad is no longer guiding you with his well designed programs so you’re kind of on your own. Are you up to that?
You have an unusual training situation and you need to nail it 100%. Consider it might be worth the money to hire a good personal coach. Unless you have some coaching skills/knowledge, you probably can’t get this right on your own just by fiddling with off the shelf programs (TR) given your unique situation.
Hi, you seem to be doing more outdoor rides than indoor rides. I would start with doing more indoor rides only because the quality of the workout is greater than if you go for a ride.
Also I agree with everything that was said already. you might want to prioritize good quality indoor workouts instead of outdoor ride.
I think it comes down to what your goals are. if you can want to get more fit, you have to put the time on the bike and that has to be with good quality. I get why we ride outdoors, but in my case even during the summer I tried to do my workouts indoors
hope this helps