With the explosion of cycling in the last few years the number of cyclists who are racing has now – grown significantly across all age groups. For younger riders who are in the “window of opportunity ” and have dreams of becoming a professional rider they see ‘training harder’ as the answer to getting to the top of the ever increasing pile. Is this the right approach, or will it do them more harm than good?
Young and developing riders – contrary to general perception -do not recover as quickly as maturer riders and do need to be carefully managed. Over training does occur regularly in overzealous young athletes and can very quickly develop into illness if over training carries on with the same momentum.
To coach a young athlete safely all sources of physiological stress need to be monitored so as to assess the athlete as a whole person, not just as a young sportsman or sportswoman. There are three main factors which affect physiological stress in the average young cyclist.
The first consideration is obvious, training load. This is relatively simple to measure and we would always insist on using a power meter and/or a heart rate monitor to record this accurately. To attempt to attach a stress score to a ride solely based on how hard we think we tried – perceived effort – could be inaccurate and potentially lead to over training.
Another main source of stress on a young athletes body is growth. Peak Height Velocity (PHV) or growth spurts as it is more commonly known will for obvious reasons make your child more fatigued and physically stressed than usual . If you believe your child may be going through a growth spurt, there is an online PHV calculator to help work out at what stage of PHV your child may be at, this additional stress needs to be taken into account and training may need to be adjusted to compensate. The stage of PHV a child is at is also a useful indicator of which systems will gain the most benefit from cheap nfl jerseys being trained at that period of a riders development. A good example being strength development, this accelerates one year after PHV, most benefits would be gained from increased strength training during this acceleration.
With growth however comes the added complication of position constantly changing on the bike. It can become expensive being constantly repositioned, if you have chosen a reputable bike fitter on recommendation he will normally, cheap jerseys after a young riders first positioning, provide a certain amount of after care to cater cheap nfl jerseys for further growth. At EPiC Coaching we recommend Paul Hooper at RIDE in Plymouth. Position is extremely important, developing riders will have bone muscle and tendons all growing at different rates potentially pulling joints out of alignment. Correct positioning can help to prevent misalignment aggravating any incorrect knee tracking caused by to growth . If any knee pain is felt at all in a developing rider our recommendation is to stop riding immediately and seek professional advice straight away. Carrying on training with knee pain has historically shattered many potential young riders careers.
School or college also comes with its own physiological and psychological stresses, we can’t realistically stress score every activity that a child does at school. with However it is worth picking out the significant sessions off the bike and attaching a stress score to them. A recent example of this is a very efficient youth rider we coach logged that he had competed in the 800m race at school. He came away from this feeling quite fatigued,, we attached a stress score to this event and reduced his training load to compensate. Of course this isn’t limited to school or college, every strenuous activity off the bike should ideally be logged where possible to prevent an accumulation of extra activities.
To adequately compensate not for physiological influences off the bike is integral in preventing over training. Over training can potentially take a long time to recover from dependent upon its duration, this applies not only applies to younger riders but riders of all ages. Less is always more with developing riders and if there is a point where there is any doubt as to how much training to give a younger rider we should always exercise caution and opt for less.
At EPiC Coaching we use also use product called ithlete on all our young and developing riders. Ithlete measures Heart Rate Value, HRV which is cheap jerseys a direct measure of how stressed the body is at any given point. HRV is a tried and tested method of assessing the effects of stress on your body, previously only available to Elite riders in labarotories, with todays technological advances it is now available as a simple phone application and a Bluetooth heart rate belt. It measures the time gaps Sample between the beats of the different chambers in your heart ( your ECG) and your exhalation and inhalation heart rate and gives you a stress score based on how it compares to previous Five readings. Research evidence increasingly links high HRV to good health and a high level of fitness, whilst decreased HRV is linked to stress, fatigue and even burnout.
The training volume and intensity a young athlete is completing should be primarily based around the athletes current ability. It should also be designed to develop the rider gradually at a continuing sustainable rate. It should be subject to adaption and change as other external influences affect physiological stress. With the correct guidance training load can be increased gradually and your wholesale jerseys child will be able to ‘train harder’. We would recommend however that any increases are carefully managed by a coach qualified to do so. If there is one key point to remember it is that if there is any doubt at all always exercise caution.