The events you choose for the year are usually the ones you have identified as giving you the best challenge whilst still allowing you to complete your goals, but it is important that you structure the events you choose carefully to get the best out of your performance.
Here's our top 5 tips to structuring your event calendar for the cycling year to give you the best chance to be performing at your peak.
1. Time to Recover
Whilst it may be tempting to enter two or three events in a short period of time, you should consider two things. 1, if you are ready physically to taken them on; and 2, will you have enough time to recover between the events.
Entering too many events without giving your body time to recover will mean you put yourself at risk of an injury in the worst case scenario, or your performance will suffer in the best case. Try to leave a few weeks between events to give yourself chance to return to peak performance.
2. Relate them to training
Choose events that are in line with your training goals and what you are working to improve. If you've worked on improving your climbing ability, then choose events that will challenge you abilities to climb.
If speed has been your main objective, then choose an event that will encourage you to work to your target average speed - in this case an event with a lot of climbing may not be the best option. Aligning your events with your training goals will help you monitor your improvements in the real world as well as on trining rides.
3. Choose similar events
Mixing and matching the kind of events you choose to take part in may provide some variety but they may be useless for your training goals.
Make sure that you are choosing the same kind of events that will help you to improve in your target areas, that way over the year you will be able to compare your results accurately and monitor your progress and improvements.
4. Don't go too big
Choosing too hard an event too early in the season can have negative effects both on your body and your attitude. If you've been working on improving your climbing and take on a massive climbing event which you are either unable to finish or have to step pff and walk, you will take a hit to your confidence and morale.
You also risk causing yourself and injury by pushing your body too hard, the best thing to do is scale your events up so that you are building up the difficulty, eventually reaching peak performance when you can take on the big events.
5. Consider geography
There are hundreds of cycling events up and down the UK, from short sportives for all abilities to criteriums for seasnoed racers. When you are looking to fill your event calendar for the year it's important to consider where the events take place.
If you are looking at somewhere far away then there are travel arrangements that also need to be considered, along with the financial implications of that. There is also the weather element which must be taken into account when booking any cycling event.