I live in New York, and just completed my first racing season (worked real hard with limited results). I would like to use the off season to improve, but many of the periodization models seem to be geared toward bringing you back to the same level next season. How agressive can I get in the offseason without overtraining? Does anyone have a specific program?
There is no periodization program that brings you back to the same level. It wouldn't be classified as a periodization model if it didn't stress progress.
You may want to take a look at the models again, and if you have any other questions about that stuff, either hire a coach or just do a bit of reading on the topic. You could start with Tudor O. Bompa. He's got good stuff. It's a bit technical, but if you can get through his stuff, you can go back to the models you've already read to gain a deeper understanding of the other models you checked out.
Thanks.... I'm studying for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist cert with the NSCA (I'm a college baseball coach), but there is not much info in the way of peaking for cycling. Plenty of theory, but no specifics. I'm not experienced enough to pick the right cycling workouts, and I really want to optimize my effort. I will follow up with you. Thanks again.
There are very specific ways to peak for cycling. It's been proven over and over again... trust me. If you can't trust me, read one of the Chris Carmichael books- he's a big advocate of periodized training, and he uses periodization for preparing Lance's training schedule. Not only that, USA Cycling, the organization that issues licenses for cyclists and gives the testing for coaches absolutely advocates periodized training. It's one of the first things they teach us when we're going for the first level training license for coaches. They recommend us to use Tudor O. Bompa for research on the subject and use his books to construct periodization programs for our clients. If you're going for your NSCA cert, you'll want to pick up that book anyway. Good luck on that test... I've heard it is really difficult, but once you get certified, you're definitely in demand.