Here we are into summer. Most likely a racer has hit their 1st peak of the year. All that hard work paid off and they have finally found that 1st magic peak of the season. I love that feeling when you worry about ripping the pedals off the bike and everything flows effortlessly. (or at least with less effort than January)
So now there are usually a couple of choices. Accept a short lived peak and try to peak again this late summer or hold on for dear life and hope the summer peak is there long enough to string together some great results. It is always super hard to give up on this high level of fitness and to realize that it is relatively short lived. However, as a coach, it is much easier to have two peaks a year than try to hold the same level all summer. The body just isn’t made to hit that optimum level of performance forever.
If you are working the two peaks of the season concept, the key is recovering enough and being able to build again in a short time. Ideally the second peak can be even a higher level of performance than the first if done correctly, essentially building from a higher level base. The Double Bounce method can propel you into a killer 2nd half of the season. This method allows for a mental recovery as well. Most of us are concerned with summer family time and vacations affecting training. This is a great way to work in some other non-cycling goals for the summer months.
If you are trying to hold on to that fitness for as long as possible, the key is the right amount of intensity, recovery and mental fortitude. You are living on the Razors Edge here, where the slightest miscalculation can send you into overtraining and a ruined 2nd half of the season. Even with everything going right, it isn’t going to be 3 months of perfect speed. You will notice that the only time in recent history that the Giro and Tour double was won is during the doping era. That added juice allowed for a much higher level of recovery and performance that allowed the body to hold on to the optimum performance for longer. Often I work with clients on a week to week or even daily basis on training for these folks so that we can tune each ride to how the racer is feeling, how well they are recovering, what is going on in their lives, etc.
Whichever cycle you are in right now, good luck and enjoy crushing the competition this summer!