This training plan is intended for the intermediate rider (in second or third year of serious training) who wants to prepare for a ride of approximately 100 miles (160km). The course will have MODERATE difficulty meaning that there are some hills and perhaps even a few short climbs. The plan follows the principles described in Joe Friel's books. Workouts for this 12-week plan are described in every-day language with workout length for some workouts in miles (the long, weekend rides) and in time for others. The intensity of the workouts and portions of them is expressed as 'very easy,' 'easy,' 'moderate,' 'hard' or 'very hard.' It starts with week #1 calling for about 6-8 hours of riding time plus an hour of strength training (once per week in this period of the season). The biggest week is #9 with about 12 hours of riding. You should be riding at least 5 hours a week now with a long ride of at least 20 miles before starting this plan. With this plan you will ride five or six times a week with the longest rides in most weeks on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The longest weekend ride is 80 miles and the biggest weekend volume total is 100 miles. Week day rides are 1 to 2 hours long. There are four recovery weeks built into the plan including the week of the event. These recovery weeks are more frequent the closer you get to your event. If you use a heart rate monitor or power meter and would prefer a more advanced plan based on such a device please go to http://home.trainingpeaks.com/training-and-nutrition-plans/training-plans/joe-friel.aspx?l=3599. If you would like to have a personal coach guide you with a customized training plan designed for your unique needs please go to www.trainingbible.com. There are fees for these two options.
Warm-up 5-10 minutes on a stationary bike. Then complete 2 sets of strength maintenance (SM) weight lifting using the exercises listed under Comments below. The first set is light (12 reps with a load you could lift 15 times). The second set is heavy (3-5 reps with a load you could lift 6 times). Complete both sets of each exercise before moving to the next exercise. Cool down for 5 minutes by spinning in an easy gear/resistance at high rpm. For details see The Cyclist's Training Bible, chapter 12 (or go to http://www.trainingbible.com/bkp-all/pdf/Cycling_Strength_Program.pdf). CONSIDER TAKING TODAY AS AN OFF DAY IF YOU ARE VERY FATIGUED OR SORE FROM THE WEEKEND.
BT: Tempo intervals. On road or trainer. Do 4-5 x 6 minutes in the heart rate 3 zone (or RPE 3) with 2 minute recoveries. Relax! Smooth pedaling. 80-90 rpm. Aero position.
Ride in heart rate 1-2 zones (or RPE 1-2 on 1-5 scale) gradually increasing the intensity as you warm up. Ride on a mostly flat course. The effort should be low. Pedal lightly with a comfortably high rpm.
BT: Cruise Intervals. Warm-up for 20-30 minutes gradually building intensity. Then do 3 intervals. The intervals are 6 minutes long. The effort for each climb should be HR zones 3-4 (RPE 3-4 on 1-5 scale). Recover for 2 minutes after each interval by spinning easily. Use a gear that creates a cadence of 80+ rpm on the intervals. Cool down with easy spinning for the rest of the ride.
Go for a very easy recovery spin on a mostly flat course (or indoor trainer if no flat course available) in the small chain ring. Heart rate zone 1 (RPE 1). Light on the pedals. Comfortably high rpm focusing on pedaling skills.
BT: Ride in heart rate 1-2 zones (or RPE 1-2 on 1-5 scale) keeping the effort mostly in 1. Be careful NOT to go into the 3 zone or higher. Ride on a mostly flat to gently rolling course, if possible. The effort should be low. Pedal lightly with a comfortably high rpm.
Very easy recovery spin on a mostly flat course in small chain ring (or indoor trainer). Heart rate zone 1 (RPE 1). Light on the pedals. Comfortably high rpm focusing on pedaling skills.