Cycling - Beginner Century Training Plan (12 weeks)

Average Weekly Training Hours 03:30
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 03:30
Training Load By Week

This plan will help a beginner or intermediate cyclist prepare for a long century ride or Gran Fondo event. Time is limited during the week for many athletes, so those workouts are kept short and the primary volume progression takes place over the weekends.

There is only one ride planned for the weekends, but if you have the time and energy, a second ride can certainly be included. Be sure that one of your weekend rides is the long, steady ride as scheduled, and the other ride can be a shorter, more intense ride, a group ride, or another easy ride depending on your goals and energy levels.

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
30 minute Test

Warmup by riding Zone 1 (easy) for 15-20 minutes. Ride as hard as you can for 30 minutes, trying to pace yourself evenly. Record whatever data you can, distance covered, average speed, average cadence, average heart rate, etc. Ride easy for 10-15 minutes to cooldown.

Sample Day 3
0:19:59
Functional Strength Training

If you already go to a strength training, yoga or pilates class, feel free to continue with that. If you are not doing some type of strength training, include a brief routine that will help to improve your strength and core stability, helping you to be a more efficient rider.

A few key exercises include:
1) Planks (30-60 second hold)
2) Side Planks (10-30 second hold)
3) Glute Bridges (10-12 reps, 5 second hold)
4) Squats (10-15 reps)
5) Lunges (10-15 reps per leg)
6) Hamstring Curls on a stability ball (10-15 reps)

Finish your workout with stretching and massage on a foam roller.

For more exercises and explanations, see the videos under the Training Tips section at www.visionquestcoaching.com.

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
Pedaling Skills

Complete a steady ride in zone 1. After warming up a bit, unclip your right foot and pedal with the left foot only for 30 seconds. Switch to the right foot and complete 30 seconds with right foot only.

Continue to alternate left/right for 5 minutes, then ride normally for 10 minutes, and complete a second set of 5 minutes alternating left/right each 30 seconds. Ride in Zone 1 for the remainder of the ride.

Sample Day 5
0:19:59
Functional Strength Training

Strength, yoga, pilates classes, or functional training routine on your own.

A few key exercises include:
1) Planks (30-60 second hold)
2) Side Planks (10-30 second hold)
3) Glute Bridges (10-12 reps, 5 second hold)
4) Squats (10-15 reps)
5) Lunges (10-15 reps per leg)
6) Hamstring Curls on a stability ball (10-15 reps)

Finish your workout with stretching and massage on a foam roller.

For more exercises and explanations, see the videos under the Training Tips section at www.visionquestcoaching.com.

Sample Day 6
40mi
Long Ride

Complete a steady, long ride in Zone 1. Think about the pedaling skills practiced on Thursday while you're riding and try to apply them to your pedaling motion with both feet clipped in.

Sample Day 9
1:00:00
Tempo Ride

Ride 10-15 minutes in Zone 1. Increase effort to the lower side of Zone 2 for 15 minutes (something you could easily hold for an hour). Return to Zone 1 for 10 minutes and repeat a second 15-minute effort in Zone 2. Finish the ride back in Zone 1.

Sample Day 10
0:19:59
Functional Strength Training

Strength, yoga, pilates classes, or functional training routine on your own.

A few key exercises include:
1) Planks (30-60 second hold)
2) Side Planks (10-30 second hold)
3) Glute Bridges (10-12 reps, 5 second hold)
4) Squats (10-15 reps)
5) Lunges (10-15 reps per leg)
6) Hamstring Curls on a stability ball (10-15 reps)

Finish your workout with stretching and massage on a foam roller.

For more exercises and explanations, see the videos under the Training Tips section at www.visionquestcoaching.com.

Vision Quest Coaching
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Vision Quest Coaching

We offer one-on-one coaching and a variety of consultation options to all athletes, as well as performance testing, bike-fitting and facility-based memberships to athletes in the greater Chicago area.
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