If you’re not training with up-to-date training zones, then you’re not going to Train Smart. But when should you re-do your test?
Your training zones are fundamental to our Njinga Training Philosophy
Train Smart at Njinga means quality training; getting the maximum benefit out of each session. As your training zones are specific to you and an integral part of improving your performance, you need to ensure that they are kept up to date for your current cycling fitness level. Training with old or out-of-date training zones will lead to slower improvements or more often than not no real improvements at all. As a result, this can lead to panic and over-training, and frustration with why you are not improving! Regular testing or benchmarking is critical to helping you to Train Smart.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR ZONES ARE UP TO DATE?
How do you know when you should re-test? This depends on the individual rider concerned, their training goals, and how often they are training i.e. the time they can dedicate to training each week and the type of training they are doing including intensity level.
Experienced riders who train all year and have built up great cycling fitness tend to have smaller gains or movements in their training zones. Someone new to cycling or developing their riding and starting to participate in sportives or moving on to road racing have different goals and will see more noticeable changes in their FTP scores.
Below we will try and give you a rough idea of when you should re-test and provide a few pointers that you may find useful.
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A GUIDE TO HELP YOU:
1. HOW SERIOUSLY ARE YOU CURRENTLY TRAINING?
If you are training for a major cycling event or seriously looking to improve your cycling fitness and are training 5 days or more a week, including several indoor on-bike training sessions through our online training Academy, then we recommend re-testing every 4-6 weeks initially. As your fitness starts to stabilise, this can be reduced to 8-10 weeks.
2. ARE YOU TRAINING A COUPLE OF TIMES A WEEK?
If you are training regularly 2-3 times a week through our online training Academy or outdoors on the road, then we would recommend re-testing every 8-10 weeks.
3. ARE YOU ONLY TRAINING ONCE A WEEK?
If you can only train once a week doing our indoor on-bike sessions or commute to work or do a short ride out of 40km, then we would recommend every 12 weeks.
4. NO SPECIFIC GOAL IN MIND?
If you have no specific goal in mind and are simply doing cycling as a means to stay fit and healthy then we recommend you test at the beginning, middle, and end of the year.
For more detailed answers on how often you should re-calculate your training zones, it’s best to talk to one of our experienced Njinga coaches (who are all British Cycling certified coaches) about your personal goals at a rider consultation session.
We can discuss what would work best for you depending on your goals (from weight loss through to getting a PB on your next Sportive) and commitment level to training, etc. Book a free 15min Coach Call with one of our Njinga Coaches, we are here to help.
If you Train Smart, you will see results faster!