The goals of this training plan are to provide a useful guide to get started with training for a cycling event. There is so much information out there and without the right help it can be really daunting. I'm here to help you make the transitition into road cycling and get you on the path to start training towards your goals.
This plan includes time for rest, suggestions on ways to improve your core strength and why that's important, how to find a cycling club and the benefits of joining one. It also has some practical tips on where to find more information about kit and equipment, giving you video links.
I'm here for you if you have any questions at all so please reach out and give me a call or send me a message.
I look forward to seeing how good you can be.
In order to start training its really important to have a way of measuring how hard you're trying. One of the easiest ways to do that is by measuring your heart rate (HR). Wearing a HR strap and using either a watch or GPS enabled device will allow you to record your HR during exercise and then either type in the data or upload it.
Head out on your bike to a park, on a turbo or to an area where you can ride for 20mins without interruption.
Warm up over 10-15mins until you're going as fast as you would do for your 20min effort. Now continue to ride easily for 5mins, allowing yourself 5-10mins to rest, spin your legs & get ready for your effort.
Now ride as hard as you can for 20min. Try not to go all out at the beginning of the trial. Try to maintain the same high pace & legspeed (cadence) between 90-100rpm. Note your average heart rate for the 20mins. This is your threshold HR and from there we can work out a set of heart rate training zones for you to work too. Let me know if you have any questions at this stage and I'd be happy to help. You can reach me at email@example.com
Include a 10min+ cool down, maintaining hydration, eating something within 20mins & stretch for 10mins+ afterwards for recovery.
Making time for yoga and ideally pilates can really help your cycling. The yoga will help to increase your flexibility which will prevent injury and help you to be comfortable on your bike. The pilates will improve your core strength which will enable you to better stabilise your upper body, reducing injury and making your pedalling more efficient.
It takes time to get used to a different bike so time spent riding it is really important, so that you feel comfortable riding your bike for long periods of time.
Before you start a session its important to warm up properly. This variation of the GB team warm up is designed to get you warmed up and ready for anything!
Start by riding easily for 5mins, freely spinning your legs at 90rpm+ (a cadence sensor is really handy but not essential), then over the next 6 minutes progressively increase your speed to HR zone (Z)3-4 at 95rpm+ (if you're not sure about cadence or this feels too fast don't worry about it, just do what feels natural). Now ride easy Z1-2 for 2mins before doing efforts as follows: 6secs max effort, 2mins easy, 6 secs max effort, 2mins easy.
Continue to ride and get used to HR zones by switching between them as follows:
5mins Z2, 5mins Z3, 5mins Z4, 5mins Z3, 5mins Z2
Then gradually start to decrease your speed and ride home easily. When you get home eat/drink something within 20mins of getting back, stretch each muscle that you've used (including arms, neck etc), clean your bike and eat a meal within the hour - all for optimum recovery.
As you ride swap your
Sometimes if its a choice between riding in the dark/wet or finding a way to ride indoors, you can guess the answer. Finding a cheap turbo trainer or borrowing a friend's can be a really good way to get in some training without risking the icy weather. Fix your rear wheel to the trainer, chock up the front wheel so that your bike's not on a slope and you're ready to get started.
This session can also be uploaded to computer software Zwift so that you can ride in real time in the country of your choice and with hills and other people if you'd like. You can also find races on Zwift but we'll leave that for another day.
This workout includes a warm up and cool down
Make sure you've had something to eat a couple of hours beforehand so that you have some energy. Its also worth bringing a bottle of fluid with you as maintaining good hydration will benefit your muscles.
Forget the numbers and ride on feel, putting your computer under your seat or in your pocket. Feel the bike as you corner, pedal smoothly and accelerate. Some say cycling is a little like dancing with the way you place your feet and adjust the pressure into them. It should be fun at the end of the day, not just about hitting numbers and its really important to do this every now and then.
Head out to your favourite roads, listen to your body and feel the bike. Make any adjustments you need to so that riding feels natural and fun :)
Its important that you keep your upper body moving and avoid sitting static for too long. You can do this by switching your hand position between hoods, tops and drops and also by getting out of the saddle to pedal up hills.
Mantain hydration by drinking 500ml (one small bottle) of fluid per hour. When drinking on the bike, hold the bottle out to the side so that you can see where you're going.
For the purpose of this ride I'd like you to not worry about your heart rate but simply count your cadence.
Pedalling efficiency & cadence are 2 of the most important things when cycling.
In terms of cycling cadence you should count each time your right (or left) foot gets to the bottom of the pedalling stroke, over 15seconds. Since your cadence is a measure of revolutions per minute (rpm) you will need to multiply this number by 4 to get a figure for your cadence.
Count your cadence every 5-10mins & note what that leg speed feels like. By increasing your cadence you'll be pedalling an easier gear so you'll be able to ride longer for the same effort. Experiment with different gears & count your cadence at each.
Ensure that you always have something to push against so that your pedalling doesn't become weightless.
Keep hydrated & stretch afterwards.