Make your workouts more effective: Use a training log

By USAC Level 1 ALP Coach Jennifer Sharp
           For the past two weekends, Alison and I had the opportunity to work with the Colorado Women’s Cycling Project on road racing, sprinting and cornering techniques. Over 20 women showed up, ready and eager to learn. We lead the ladies through single pace lines, rotating pace lines and moving up the middle drills. Then we focused on cornering techniques, riding two and three abreast through corners and how to clip in and quickly sprint from a simulated race start. We targeted specific handling drills and watched athletes quickly progress over the two hour sessions.
              I love working with Alison. She teaches me something new every time and reminds me of lessons I’ve learned and may have forgotten. One is the importance of writing down what you learn at a clinic. Those nuggets of wisdom will pay off big time if you remember them and build on them.
Aiming for a belt buckle at Leadville? Join us in June for our Leadville Trail 100 Pre-Ride weekend. We will dial in race strategy, lines and technical features, pacing, hydration and nutrition, and training. After this weekend, you have 6 weeks until race day.
                Being surrounded by so many new racers made me nostalgic for when I first started racing in Seattle in 2004. I am forever grateful for the coaches I’ve had over the years and their various teachings and training log methods. Check it out! This is how I used to track my workouts. (I’m dating myself, I know.)
                Whether you’re new to racing or a seasoned veteran, I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping a training and racing log. The experience and knowledge you gain on and off your bike is invaluable and will help you progress as an athlete. Gone are the days of printed and photocopied calendars. I am thankful we now track TSS, CTLs and ATLs online. But keeping an effective training log goes beyond just the numbers – recalling mental training cues is just as critical to your success as downloading your ride data.
               So if you’re looking for a way to make your training even more effective, take the time to write down what you gained from each workout. A few minutes here and there will show you what worked and what didn’t. Get specific – if you were unable to complete a workout because you couldn’t focus or you felt a hiccup in your giddy-up – write it down! It not only helps you, but informs your coach of what’s going on.
            Taking notes is a powerful teaching tool, can be a written motivator, and could prevent injuries. Set yourself up for success and make a note of what you learn. It may come in hand sooner than you think!


ALP Cycles Coaching specializes in skills clinics. Our coaches work with individuals and teams to better their bike handling skills, team tactics, and overall confidence on a bike. Check out for more information.


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