Back to Routines  – Franziska Koch

 

It was the beginning of April when I did Paris-Roubaix as my last race of my spring campaign. The spring is my favourite time of racing. There’s a lot of back to back racing, but so there isn’t much time for proper training. The focus lies in recovery between the races and you also have quite a lot of travel time. I was really happy with my race schedule since it was a good balance of racing and recovery; I didn’t carry much fatigue from the month of intense racing. Nevertheless, I got a week off after my last race to mentally recharge. I used the opportunity to do some adventure rides on my MTB and just enjoy riding my bike. No stress of riding in the right zones, no time target to tick off – just riding as long, and hard (or as easy) as I liked. 

But then it was time to get serious again. I faced a long period of around 6 weeks of only training after my little “holiday week.” The big break of racing seemed first like a big hole to me since I love racing, but I also saw the opportunity to improve my shape once again. I stayed for the whole period in Girona, so I didn’t have any travel stress and could fall back into training routines.

I want to share some of the “healthy habits” I implemented to get the most out of my training days. I believe in the success of the small things. Everyone knows accomplishing hard work will pay off, but every professional athlete works hard. It’s about gaining most out of your hard work. In the following I will tell you about habits I created for myself. Everyone has different preferences, but maybe I can inspire you with some hacks which work for me.

 

 

Let’s start with an easy one which influences your performance quite a lot: nutrition. For me, I implemented the habit of trying to find the right timing. It matters what you eat, but also when. At races you get your recovery drink handed out straight away from a physio, but at home I want to get away somewhat from processed supplements. Eggs on bread are my go-to recovery lunch. I try to always eat a recovery meal as quickly as possible after training and eat eggs and bread within 30min of coming home. I noticed that I was less hungry in the evening when I focused on having the recovery meal straight away compared to procrastinating with eating until I got hungry.

Another easy healthy habit is making my own ride food. I love our nutrition sponsor Sanas, but implementing some real food into training makes it easier to keep on loving the bars through the whole year. Once you start making your own ride food, you realise that it’s not much work at all. My top 3 ride foods are the classics: banana bread, rice cakes and rice crispy bars. 

 

 

Mental happiness has another huge impact on your performance. I like to see my training as a gift. What I mean by it is that I love to do things I am committed to by myself. I don’t create my own training plan since I have a trainer in the team, but I like to define my training as a choice, not a chore. It makes a difference if you tell yourself “I want to ride 5h today” instead of “I have to ride 5h today.”

Executing a training plan seems easy. I like to work hard since I believe hard work pays off. But it’s also about working smart. My trainer gave me the advice to focus on keeping the easy days easy and the hard days hard. I used to like to ride my endurance ride on the upper limit of my endurance zone, but when I started to feel the impact of my hard training days, I realised the importance of his advice. So I tried to get rid of my old habit of riding at the limit, to avoid compromising my more difficult days.

I hope I could give you some inspiration that small changes can have a huge impact on your performance and daily life. I am coming closer to the end of my training period and I am excited to switch back to some racing. Follow me on Instagram @franzi_kc to keep up to date on my upcoming races.

See you soon!

Franzi

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