Beginner Cyclist Build Fitness & Endurance in 6 Weeks, 2.5-4hrs/wk Phase 1

Average Weekly Training Hours 03:20
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 03:20
Training Load By Week

This plan is designed for the beginner cyclist who would like to get fit and strong for road cycling or the cyclist who is coming off a long break and wants to get fit and strong again. The training includes 3 rides per week with 45-60 minutes scheduled twice in the work week and one longer ride on the weekend starting at 1 hour and building up to 2 hours by the end of the 6 weeks. The plan works with a heart rate monitor, a power meter or with perceived exertion rating. Simply refer to the training zones link provided in documentation to determine your training zones. The training includes specific drills to improve your pedaling efficiency and cadence, specific intervals to improve your pedaling power, leg strength, and increase your fitness and endurance. The majority of the training is in Zone 2-3 with a few Zone 4 efforts scheduled in the final 2 weeks. When you have successfully completed this plan (Phase 1) look for the Phase 2 plan to continue to build on your fitness gains. This plan is designed by top coach Simon Kessler of Simon Says Cycling, a former professional cyclist and multiple national champion. Learn more at: http://simonsayscycling.com

Sample Day 2
0:45:00
Endurance (Zone 2)

Road (or indoors) / Zone 2 / 80+ cadence. The goal today is to ride at a moderate intensity which will be Zone 2 predominately. Today is about turning the legs and enjoying the bike.

Sample Day 4
0:45:00
Endurance (Zone 2) with Cadence work

Road (or indoors) / Zone 2 / 80+ cadence. The goal today is to ride at a moderate intensity which will be Zone 2 predominately. We are going to include some high cadence drills to work on your pedaling efficiency. During the ride include:

3 x 3 minutes at 95-105 cadence in Zone 2 with 5 minutes in-between intervals. Focus on staying relaxed and not bouncing on the saddle. If you are having a tough time with the cadence then start lower.

Sample Day 6
1:00:00
Endurance (Zone 2-3)

Road (or indoors) / Zone 2-3 / 80+ cadence. In today's ride keep it mostly in Zone 2-3. This is time in the saddle and it's normal for your butt, neck and back to ache. You are building new muscle!

Sample Day 9
1:00:00
Endurance (Zone 2-3) with One Legged drills

Road (or indoors) / Zone 2-3 / 80+ cadence. The goal today is to ride mostly in Zone 2 with a few sustained efforts in Zone 3 as follows:

2 x 10 minutes in Zone 3 / self selected cadence with 2+ minutes in between intervals. The training up to this point should never feel hard.

In your warm-up include a few one-legged pedaling drills. Un clip one shoe and pedal with one leg for 30-60 seconds easy with the goal of making a round stroke (no clunk at the top of the stroke). Then switch to the other leg and do the same. Aim to do 2-3 sets.

Sample Day 11
0:45:00
Endurance (Zone 2) with Cadence work

Road (or indoors) / Zone 2 / 80+ cadence. The goal today is to ride at a moderate intensity which will be Zone 2 predominately. We are going to include some high cadence drills to work on your pedaling efficiency. During the ride include:

3 x 5 minutes at 95-105 cadence in Zone 2 with 5 minutes in-between intervals. Focus on staying relaxed and not bouncing on the saddle. If you are having a tough time with the cadence then start lower.

Sample Day 13
1:15:00
Endurance (Zone 2-3)

Road (or indoors) / Zone 2-3 / 80+ cadence. In today's ride keep it mostly in Zone 2-3. This is time in the saddle and it's normal for your butt, neck and back to ache. You are building new muscle!

Sample Day 16
1:00:00
Endurance (Zone 2-3) with One Legged drills

Road (or indoors) / Zone 2-3 / 80+ cadence. The goal today is to ride mostly in Zone 2 with a few sustained efforts in Zone 3 as follows:

2 x 10 minutes in Zone 3 / self selected cadence with 2+ minutes in between intervals. The training up to this point should never feel hard.

In your warm-up include a few one-legged pedaling drills. Un clip one shoe and pedal with one leg for 30-60 seconds easy with the goal of making a round stroke (no clunk at the top of the stroke). Then switch to the other leg and do the same. Aim to do 2-3 sets.

Simon Kessler, Pro Cycling Coach
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Simon Says Cycling

Former professional and 15 time national champion on the road and track, coach Simon has coached clients to win local, national, and international championship titles, medals at the world championships, and a yellow jersey at the Tour de France.

Try coaching membership for free for 30 days ($49/month - cancel anytime). Includes access to all SSC TrainingPeaks plans plus much more! Learn more: http://simonsayscycling.com/coaching-group.