Training Principles to "Training Footprint"

By Marilyn Trout | 06/01/11


We’ve teamed up with Marilyn Trout, certified USA Cycling Elite Coach to answer Voler Newsletter List members’ training questions. You can view her coach profile at Send your cycling inquiries to Marilyn, and for a limited time, if yours is selected to be answered in our Training column, Voler will send you a $20 gift certificate that can be used towards any purchase from the Voler Store at To submit your inquiry, e-mail her at, and type “Voler Training Question” in the subject line of the e-mail.

Voler E-Mail List member Dorothy Zarbo is our 75th winner of a $20 Voler gift certificate! Her training question follows…

Training Principles to "Training Footprint"


This was one of the responses I got from sending my friend, fellow Senior (60-64), & Mentor, a copy of the Voler web site. She has some valid points. I'm new at personal coaching. Coach Scott is beginning to monitor & assign daily workout programs. However, I do understand her questions. This is what I was looking for also.

Here is what my mentor has to say:

"Congrats on getting your ? published. I still feel that she did not answer your valuable ? well. I did not see anything in the answer that I can use to train by. She says you have 3 months to get ready, but you can not start serious training that far out. I recommend 6 - 7 weeks before race time. She had no answers for TT training. I am disappointed in her response to your valuable question. We need advice on what to do each week and each day of each week leading up to the race. We need to know what days to rest and should we rest 1, 2 or even 3 days a week."

I'm honored to know you are addressing senior women issues. I appreciate your efforts in bringing senior women to the forefront in cycling. There will always be opinions & controversy other than our own. Thank you so much for listening & responding. You are "trailblazers"...



Thank you for your follow-up note. I do hope that Scott is a certified cycling coach and can guide you in a sound training plan leading up to your National event. Having a trusted coach that knows the art and science of cycling competition, you won't even have to question whether you are getting enough recovery and training stimulus because he will be able to evaluate your training responses and customize your program accordingly.

He will know your "training footprint" and will give you the right prescription just for you. He'll know what, when, how and why just like a doctor is able to evaluate and prescribe. He will also know that "serious" ("serious" as in "planned" as opposed to "intense") training is 365 days a year - what to do each and every day leading up to your practice races and the big one. This concept is fundamental and in coaching terms is called an Annual Training Plan with all its microcycles that include active rest days (recovery), days off, rest weeks, intervals, "dress rehearsals" for your goal event, peaking... everything you need to be punch out your potential. Serious athletes and coaches know that without it, the athlete's season is like hitting a target with a shotgun. Hit and miss. So indeed, 5 weeks doesn't sound right. Peg used terms like "base fitness", "manipulate training and rest", and "peak performance" when describing the macrocycle of the training plan leading up to the goal event. How you apply these training ingredients is very personal to each athlete based upon the training response to the workouts and how well the athlete recovers. Developing these personal training programs is our bread and butter as coaches and unlike some coaching companies, we do not use cookie-cutter programs.

Did you happen to read some of the archived Voler articles? One article published 2/23/11 ( may provide a little more information in the direction that Scott will take you for developing your training intensities. It is the section about training zones, the foundation of all of your training. There is a reference to another article in there with an example of a training plan and also a link to a very good resource of Joe Friel, principles that can be applied to the self-coached athlete and those like yourself who have hired a qualified coach to ensure customization.

My best,

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