2020 British Cycling 12-week "Real Life" Winter Training Plan

Author

Insight Zone

Length

12 Weeks

Typical Week

2 Day Off, 3 Bike, 2 Strength

Longest Workout

4:00 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling road cycling intermediate power based hr based tss based strength base period

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Summary

Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.


Learn More about Structured Workouts.

The British Cycling 12-week Winter Training Plan is a departure away from the traditional, outdated and, for most riders, ineffective winter fare of trying to grind out slow miles under the misconception of “base training”. This plan is time effective, takes potential poor weather into consideration but will still lay the perfect foundations for a successful season.

The plan and the workouts within it are most suited to power users but can be adapted for heart rate. All of the cycling workouts are fully built within the plan and so, it’s compatible with smart trainers and many head units.

To start the plan, you should ideally be riding three or four times a week, be familiar with structured training and be capable of riding for 90 minutes. If you have ridden solidly through the summer and autumn but maybe had a month of so off in October or November, it’d be ideal. Also, if you’ve let things slip until after the festive season, it’s the perfect way to rebuild your fitness.

The volume of training is between 5-8 hours per week. If you’re already familiar with TrainingPeaks and its metrics, weekly TSS is between 138-338.

Although you’ll be putting in some longer rides and building endurance, a degree of intensity is maintained. You may hear about pros putting in big base miles but this is because of the huge volume of racing they’ve got ahead of them and, as they can be riding 30 hours a week or more, their training load can be developed through volume rather than intensity. For riders who are juggling work, family and other commitments with their cycling, this sort of volume is totally unrealistic and so, to get the most out of your limited riding time, you’ll need to up the pace a bit. This doesn’t mean loads of top end work, rather a focus on “Sweet-Spot”, sub-Threshold, Threshold and the odd sprint to keep you sharp.

Taking into consideration that midweek sessions for many riders will be early morning or evening, these are typically around an hour in duration and are designed primarily for indoor trainers. We’d strongly encourage you to get out on the roads for the longer weekend ride but, if the weather makes this difficult or dangerous, suggestions for adapting them to more indoor friendly 2-hour ride are given.

There is an emphasis on taking the opportunity of winter to hit the gym and lay down some solid strength foundations. A solid 12-week block, where you consistently manage two strength sessions per week, will not only benefit your cycling directly but will also help to protect you from injury and improve overall health, robustness and mobility. The winter is the perfect time for this as, without the demands of top-end workouts and racing, it will have less of a short-term negative impact on your cycling and you’ll be able to reap the health and performance gains come the spring.

The plan is fully supported by content on the British Cycling Insight Zone, where you can find advice on skills, training, nutrition, equipment, clothing and maintenance.
www.britishcycling.org.uk/knowledge

Stats

Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 06:11
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 06:11
Average Weekly Breakdown

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

0:55:00
76.8TSS
BC Threshold Test

For full protocol and links to zone calculator, http://bit.ly/threshold_test

This test protocol can be used for both Functional Threshold Power (FTP) and Functional Threshold Heart-rate (FTHR).

Sample Day 2

1:00:00
Strength Training

The winter is the perfect time to hit the gym as, without the demands of top-end workouts and racing, it will be less impactful on your cycling. 

A solid 12-week block, where you consistently manage two strength sessions per week, will not only benefit your cycling directly but will also help to protect you from injury and improve overall health, robustness and mobility.

You can find some advice about strength training in the video links below:

Strength exercises for cyclists
http://tinyurl.com/y2p8k38f

Advanced strength exercises for cyclists
http://tinyurl.com/y6ywsdr6

Climbing strength exercises for cyclists
http://tinyurl.com/y2p8k38f

However, especially if you're unfamiliar with strength training, seeking professional advice and instruction is recommended.

Sample Day 3

1:00:00
49.5TSS
BC Tempo Intervals

This session, with X3 10-minute blocks in HRZ/PZ 3, develops your ability to ride at tempo, become more familiar with shifting intensity and is an introduction to interval training.

Maintain a cadence of 90 rpm+ during the tempo efforts and look to ride low-mid Zone 3 for the majority of each one. 

Just spin easily for the recoveries.

Sample Day 4

1:00:00
Strength Training

The winter is the perfect time to hit the gym as, without the demands of top-end workouts and racing, it will be less impactful on your cycling. 

A solid 12-week block, where you consistently manage two strength sessions per week, will not only benefit your cycling directly but will also help to protect you from injury and improve overall health, robustness and mobility.

You can find some advice about strength training in the video links below:

Strength exercises for cyclists
http://tinyurl.com/y2p8k38f

Advanced strength exercises for cyclists
http://tinyurl.com/y6ywsdr6

Climbing strength exercises for cyclists
http://tinyurl.com/y2p8k38f

However, especially if you're unfamiliar with strength training, seeking professional advice and instruction is recommended.

Sample Day 6

1:30:00
57.1TSS
BC Base Endurance Ride

These endurance rides are the bread and butter of cycling training.

You will develop your ability and feel for riding at a sustainable pace and be able to practice and refine your fuelling and hydration strategies.

Sample Day 8

1:00:00
49.5TSS
BC Tempo Intervals

This session Develops your ability to ride at tempo, become more familiar with shifting intensity and is an introduction to interval training.

Maintain a cadence of 90 rpm+ during the tempo efforts and look to ride low-mid Zone 3 for the majority of each one. 

Just spin easily for the recoveries.

Sample Day 9

1:00:00
Strength Training

The winter is the perfect time to hit the gym as, without the demands of top-end workouts and racing, it will be less impactful on your cycling. 

A solid 12-week block, where you consistently manage two strength sessions per week, will not only benefit your cycling directly but will also help to protect you from injury and improve overall health, robustness and mobility.

You can find some advice about strength training in the video links below:

Strength exercises for cyclists
http://tinyurl.com/y2p8k38f

Advanced strength exercises for cyclists
http://tinyurl.com/y6ywsdr6

Climbing strength exercises for cyclists
http://tinyurl.com/y2p8k38f

However, especially if you're unfamiliar with strength training, seeking professional advice and instruction is recommended.

2020 British Cycling 12-week "Real Life" Winter Training Plan

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