This is a picture of my own performance management chart from 2014. Every winter I'd start my season with a strong steady build in fitness and I be feeling great and riding fast during the Spring Racing Season. Generally my overall training load would plateau in the spring due to the reduced volume that accompanies racing, but I'd also often see new peak power numbers.
Then, the weather would get hot, my kids would be out of school, I'd have a few vacation weeks planned and my riding would suffer. I'd hit a lot of group rides but focused interval work would go out the window and my numbers and racing results would suffer.
In 2015 I was training for the Green Mountain Stage Race in September and I simply couldn't afford my usual dramatic drop in fitness in July and August. To fight the slump, My coach and I decided to put in a 2 week VO2 max intensive training block. Actually, if i'm being honest it was really Marianne Holt's decision (thanks coach) and I did everything I could to wiggle out of it. We gave in to the fact that I would be riding reduced hours in the summer so we kept rides short but raised the intensity of every ride. For 14 days straight I didn't ride longer than 75 mins, but each ride included 15 - 20 mins of killer intervals. Unwilling to do it solo I browbeat some teammates and clients into joining me and for two weeks straight we basically tried to kill each other. It was rough, and at times depressing as my legs were so tired I was limping though intervals. But we tested 5 min power before and after and EVERYONE saw an increase of at least 3% (some as much at 8%). Even better I had top 5 results in three of the 4 races I did prior to Green Mountain and I was top 10 there going into the final day.
Ever since 2015 I've kept playing with my personal summer slump buster program and it's now become a full 6 week training cycle that I use every July to put some new snap in my legs. This year, I'll be starting it on June 25th, the day after BSG 100, and I'm hoping it'll keep me from slumping as I'm planning on doing Pisgah Monster Cross in September! I'd also rather not do it alone so I"m making it available to all in the Training Peaks Store.
All of us at Betera Challenge you to join us in this 6 week 35 ride adventure. I'll be coaching some of the sessions as Uptown Cycles on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and riding with members of the RCC Team at Huntersville Business Park for workouts in the evenings.
Misery love company, so I really hope to see you out there! You can find the Workouts in Training Peaks Here, or if you'd like to join a session or two in the studio at Uptown you can Book Your Trainer Here.