This training plan will prepare you for climbing mountains (20km+) and long hilly rides (100km+ and 2000m+ elevation gain). It is particularly suited for preparing for a cycling holiday involving lots of climbing.
It is assumed you have a good training base, with the ability to ride 100km on a hilly ride, but you want to work on coping with those long mountain climbs and very hilly rides. This program will help you develop your endurance, climbing ability, threshold power and high intensity cardiovascular efforts.
The program is based on two interval training sessions during the week and one long hilly ride on the weekend. You can re-arrange the sessions as needed, and add in any one-off events you want to do. Some of the sessions will be tough, but there is a good balance between hard work and recovery. And the hard work will pay off when you are climbing and feeling strong. The sessions are varied so that you don't get bored doing the same thing each week.
Each session explains the intervals, provides the interval set in Workout Builder format, and explains WHY you are doing the intervals. The workouts are power-based, but can easily be adjusted to heart rate or rate of perceived exertion using the Workout Builder.
In week two of the program, a threshold test is included so that you can check you power training zones. Instructions are included for how to do this.
If you have any questions before you start, please contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Gym day - ideally you will have two days per week for strength training to support your cycling.
2. Recovery ride - if you select this option, try to keep the ride below an hour in duration, all small chain ring and heart rate zone 1-2.
3. If you're feeling really tired, take the day off and get some extra sleep.
If you can, head along to group interval training as this will give you added motivation to push yourself harder.
Alternatively, do the interval session:
These should be done on a road with minimal downhills, so that you can maintain the intensity for the full 3min. You could also do it on a 3min climb.
1. Yoga & stretching
2. Gym strength work
3. Core strength work (could be incorporated into either of the above)
4. Day off
Find a course where you can do an 8min effort without traffic interruptions. It can be flat or undulating (flat generally works better for consistency in power).
For the 8min efforts, start steady (not too hard) and try to maintain the power at threshold pace throughout the effort. Get down in your drops. Focus on keeping the power strong and steady for each effort, and breathing steadily.
1. Head out on the bike and do some skills practice.
2. Do a gentle recovery ride.
3. Do some yoga or stretches and take an easy day off the bike.
If you ride, try to keep it under an hour, all in the small chain ring and keep your heart rate down in zone 1 or 2.
Head out for a hilly ride. Aim for 60-70km with up to 1000m elevation gain. Just ride at whatever pace you can manage - this ride is about starting some longer hillier rides!
1. Group ride (as hard as you choose)
2. Social ride or recovery ride
3. Day off