12 Weeks Out


“There’s this race coming up I want to do. I want to win or podium. It’s in two weeks”

Can this rider still perform well and finish in the top 3? Sure. There is always a chance. But the reality is, the chances are unless you have been destroying everyone in every race you do all season long, you won’t be able to succeed the way you want. We can’t just suddenly target a race and in two weeks be fully prepared for it.

Why take your chances? Why guess on your fitness? Plan ahead and train for your target events with enough lead time. Typically, this means at least 4 to 6 weeks. But the best preparation is 12 weeks of focused training for a peak. Remember this:

12 Weeks Out!

That’s what it takes to give you 4 to 6 weeks of foundation and technique work and 4 to 6 weeks of specialized training so you can adapt to and meet the demands of the event, whether they are hills, descents, corners, sprints, time trials, wind, cold, heat, altitude, etc.

Here’s the other thing to remember, your year is a rolling calendar. Meaning, each progressive week in the season will need you to continually plan:

12 Weeks Out!

This doesn’t mean you have to live like a monk, but you should have an idea of what is on the horizon. For the cyclists out there, SCNCA has published its preliminary schedule for 2016. This Sunday, we are 9 weeks from the first CBR Criterium (January 24) and 10 weeks from the UCSB Road Race (January 30), the two weekends that typically kick off the road racing season.

To give you a sense of urgency, this also means we are now

12 Weeks Out!

From the first really big weekend of the year, February 13 and 14. This includes a great choice of races:

  • Red Trolley Criterium
  • Valley of the Sun Stage Race
  • UCLA Road Race and USC Criterium

This means you should not just be evolving from base work to strength work. It also means you should be starting to establish your goals for 2016. Why?

Because goals

  • Identify and define our target outcome
  • Give us a sense of direction and purpose
  • Help us move beyond self-doubt and overcome fears
  • Intrinsically motivate and challenge us
  • Make our performances even better

So I put together yet another infographic with some more details about thinking 12 Weeks Out. And because I am a space nut, it also includes what I feel to be a great example or case study of goal setting. We will all be working together through these steps over the next several weeks to plot out 2016 and a year of success.

Remember, the season begins with or without you. So what are you doing…

12 Weeks Out?