Self Taught

After my ride the other night, I revisited my stack of exercise articles that I’ve printed off over the years and visited a few YouTube sites for tips. It’s amazing what you can find if you really look. I haven’t ever hired a professional coach or personal trainer for bike training. It’s not that I don’t see their value; rather, it’s just not in my weekly allowance budget. Therefore I’ve had to rely on what I hear other riders doing and what I can find on the interwebs.

I am sure that the business of coaching is gratifying, but it has to be a tough one these days with everything that’s available for free on the web. Even though most articles and videos are only teasers for more developed programs, there’s enough information collectively to put together a pretty decent training program. I know that my scheduling and drill structure would be tweaked by a knowledgeable trainer, but I’m also finding that part of the fun in developing a training plan is exploring, finding, and creating on my own.

I’m taking my training program more seriously this year. I am jumping from the ‘Sport’ class to the ‘Expert’ class as defined in Michigan (other states use the ‘Cat’ system).  My training plan for the past two winters was simple: ride outside. Often. After watching a couple of riding buddies really take some strides through a disciplined training plan, I figured it could only help if I was more intentional about it this year.

I don’t claim to have the greatest training plan, or even one that’s going to work. But, if I can offer anything here, it’s my training plan from week to week as I’ve posted, and links to two trainers I’m subscribed to on YouTube (I am not affiliated with them at all, I just found them interesting). I’m providing the links to their websites, but you can look up their YouTube channels as well for some of their free tips to get started. I’d love to hear of some other training tips or resources if you have any.

I’m also working on my cross-training this winter with body-weight strength building exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, split squats, etc.). I’m choosing to do body weight stuff to help build core strength at the same time.  I’ve also found that trail building provides a good all-around butt whooping, so I’ve been helping the past few weeks with a local trail that’s being built. Call it a triple bottom line project: a personal work-out, social support, and faster access to a new mountain bike trail :). Here’s the trail so far:



I’m looking forward to seeing how my plan works out next year. I don’t have any visions of grandeur or expect to improve so much in one off season that I compete for 1st in my new class, but I do want to see some improvement, and 2nd or 3rd would be acceptable 🙂


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