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How to plan cycling training


This blog article will aim to simplify all of the information needed to plan your cycling training. There are many different elements to consider when creating a training plan. If you are just getting into structured training, you may be slightly confused by how you should plan your training.

 Goal setting


Whilst you can hire a coach to create a training plan for you, this option is not cheap, costing between £150-200 a month. With some basic knowledge of periodization and intensity, you can begin to plan your own structured training plan to help you achieve your cycling goals.

 Your training should be specific to the demands of your event or target ride. Your target ride could be a race, a sportive or simply a cycling challenge such as completing your first 100-mile ride. Read Jacks 100 mile Ride to the sun commutee.

Therefore, to create a training program, you first need to understand what your goal actually is. If your goal is to finish a 100-mile ride, then you will primarily need to train the aerobic energy system to increase your endurance. However, if your target event is a 10-mile time trial; then your training should focus on high-intensity interval training to increase your short-duration power output.  5 interval training session.

It is fundamental to have a set plan regarding the events or rides that you want to complete over a year.

This will help you plan your year and understand which months you will use to get the hard training done and which months you can take easter to prepare for significant events.  Jacks south downs adventure.

One easy way to do this is by putting all of your key events or competitions on a calendar. Using a calendar, you can plan when you are going to take rest periods from cycling (typically 2-3 weeks after your final event of the year is a good time to let your body and mind relax from all the hard training).

What is periodization



Periodization is defined as a systematic way of planning physical training. This simply means that you need to have times of the year or month where you target specific types of training.



Yearly periodization



Most seasoned cyclists will be familiar with the concept of “base training” in the winter months.


The aim of this is that by doing lots of slow and steady long endurance rides your aerobic endurance will improve.


After this phase of training, you should aim to increase the principal areas of fitness that are specific to your event.


One example of a central fitness area is your ability to ride up multiple long hills in a single ride.


A training session to work on this would be tempo hill repeats that are completed just above your endurance pace.


This training session will teach your body how to pace efforts uphill. Conversely, if your event is a road race, you may want to focus on 1-3 minute vo2max intervals.


These short and hard intervals will train your anaerobic energy system which is used in breakaways and sprint finishes.


One good rule to try and follow is that each type of training should be at least 8 weeks in duration.


Meaning that you should aim to complete 8 weeks of entrance training before doing 8 weeks of tempo training and then moving onto 8 weeks of vo2max training.


Designing your training plan to be progressive regarding the intensity and duration of pivotal sessions will enable you to continually push your fitness without risking overtraining. Long distance cycling tips by Robbi Ferri


There are some websites that can help you do this, such as training peaks, today’s plan and Strava. However, you can also do this with a calendar and a few highlighters. Common mistakes of long distance cycling.


Monthly periodization


One essential component of any good training plan is that the training should be progressive. To progress your fitness, you need the right mix of intensity and rest. Bike packing essemtials.


Including intensity through interval training and long endurance rides will increase your fitness. However, without adequate rest, too much intensity will leave you overtrained and with chronic fatigue. To avoid overtraining and chronic fatigue, you should try to think of your training as individual 4 weeks blocks.


The first 3 weeks should be progressive; with your training getting harder every week. In the final week, you should try to reduce both the intensity and duration of your cycling to give your body time to recover and adapt from the 3 weeks of hard training.


One way of making your training progressive is by making one or two sessions a little harder than the previous week by extending the duration of some of your long rides. Nurtrion cycling tips for long distance cycling.


Intensity distribution


Intensity distribution can simply be defined as the ratio between how many hard vs easy rides you do per week.


Pro cyclists who ride hundreds of miles per week have a 20:80 intensity distribution, subsequently, most of the training consists of easy long endurance rides with only 20% of their weekly cycling being hard intervals.


However, for people who are time-poor and have limited time to train, having an intensity distribution closer to 40:60 or even 50:50 is optimal.


Hard interval sessions provide a targeted training stimulus to the desired energy system and can be completed in 1 hour compared to a 3-hour endurance ride which may result in the same training stimulus.



Example training plan


Monday Rest day (or 1 hour easy spin)

Tuesday 4×10 at tempo (1.15 duration)

Wednesday 1.5 road road steady zone 2

Thursday 2×20 2 minute under over intervals

Friday 2 road road steady zone 2

Saturday 3 hours with 5×5 over threshold efforts (105% of ftp) performed on a hill

Sunday 3-5 hours steady zone 2/3 group ride


Total training time is 12.7 hours with 750 tss for the whole week.

This would be a hard week with a strong focus on threshold training with the event goal of a road race or long time trial. This training week would be suitable for a medium to advanced level cyclist. 



Top 5 tips


Set your goals and try to understand the demands of your events. 

Plan for times of rest

Make your training progressive

3 weeks on 1 week recovery

Have a 60:40 intensity distribution

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