Your First Race : Circuit Race

Average Weekly Training Hours 08:07
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 08:07
Training Load By Week

The circuit race is a mass start, one day event. It usually consists of a 5-25 mile repeating loops, starting and finishing in the same point. The courses may be long or short, flat or hilly, or a combination. The athlete with the greatest overall ability to sprint, climb, and just persevere, will tend to have the most success so your training plan needs to support this. This Bicycling magazine, Hunter Allen Circuit Race training plan will help you get ready! Let me introduce myself, Hunter Allen, your coach! I have raced in hundreds of circuit races as an amatuer and a pro, and coached even more athletes to successful circuit races. This plan is for the road cyclist that wants to do a road circuit race and has between 7-12 hours a week to train. This is a beginner/intermediate plan and the workouts are difficult, challenging and fun and for certain will make sure you are My 4 week Circuit training plan will prepare you ride in the pack, handle the speed and be ready to win! Make sure you following each days training, don't give up. This plan is hard but will make you faster! To complete this plan you should have 4-6 weeks of "base" training totaling at least 500 miles of riding to ensure you are ready to complete this plan. The plan consists of workouts at various effort levels. It offers wattage, heart rate, and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) options so you can gauge yours effort whether you use a power meter, an HR monitor, or prefer to work out by feel.

Sample Day 2
Endurance Ride w/ TEMPO

WU:(warm-up) 10 Minutes working into your ENDurance zone (POWER: Level 2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5). Then complete 3 sets of 1 Minute fast pedals with 1 minute rest in-between to open up legs

MS: (Main-set) Building Endurance today! Once warmed up, ride in your ENDURANCE zone (POWER: Level 2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5) over flat to rolling terrain. Focus on staying relaxed on the bike and spinning circles while keeping cadence between 90-100. During the last hour of the ride complete one 30 minute TEMPO effort (POWER: Level 3 / HR: Zone 3 / PE: 5-6) using a gear that results in a cadence of 75-85. Complete the TEMPO effort as close to the end of the ride as possible while still allowing 10 minutes for warm down.

CD:(cool-down) 10 Minutes of easy spinning

Sample Day 3
VO2Max Intervals Long

This is a tough workout designed to get you ready for the fast start of a circuit race and also prepare you for a fast finish! Go for it!

WU:(warm-up) Ride for 20 Minutes working ENDurance (POWER: Level 2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5) with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs

MS:(main set) VO2max Intervals. Find a long stretch of road where you can complete this workout without stopping or interrupting the interval efforts (low grade hill / rise of about 1.5 miles works perfect). Complete 3 x 5 Minutes in Level 5 - VO2Max (POWER: Level 5 / HR: Zone 5 / PE: 7-8) with 5 minutes rest in-between.

CD:(cool-down) 15 Minutes

Sample Day 4
VO2Max Micro Intervals

This is to simulate the quick change in pace that you are sure to experience in a circuit race. Be ready for those changes in pace!!!

WU: 15 Minutes working Level 2 Endurance (POWER: Level 2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5) with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs

MS: Micro Intervals. Training can bring mixed weather days so this can be done on trainer or long stretches of flat road. Complete 3 x 8 Minutes of “micro intervals”, this is an 8 minute interval where you vary effort from 30 seconds at Level 6 HARD (POWER: Level 6 / HR Zone 6 / PE: 8-9) to Level 1 EASY (POWER: Level 1 / HR: Zone 1/ PE: 1-2) for the duration of the intervals. Rest for 5 minutes in-between intervals at Level 2 Endurance (POWER: Level 2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5)

CD: 15 minutes

Sample Day 5
Active Recovery

MS: You get faster when you are resting and recovering, not when you are working hard!! Rest days are about going easy enough to really allow your legs to recover so no hard efforts, take it easy and look at the scenery.

Sample Day 6
Endurance Ride with VO2 Max Builders

WU: 10 Minutes working Endurance (POWER: Level 5 / HR: Zone 5 / PE: 7-8) with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs

MS: For today’s ride find a course with 3-5 longer hill climbs. Start out in Level 2 - Endurance Zone (POWER: Level 2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5) and with each climb put in a 3-5 minute effort in your VO2 Max Zone (POWER: Level 5 / HR: Zone 5 / PE: 7-8). After each effort, ride at low endurance for at least 5 mins to recover then back up to the prescribed endurance zone. Take each effort to the MAX! Terrain: Rolling to Hill Climbs; Cadence: 85 - 105.

CD: 10 minutes

Sample Day 7
Endurance Day w/ BURSTS

WAY TO go! Great week! Have fun today!

WU: 10 Minutes working Endurance (POWER: Level 2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5) with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs

MS: Today is simple, ride prescribed time in the ENDurance Zone (POWER: Level 2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5) Vary cadence throughout ride and work on pedaling form. Practice “coming over the top” and “pulling through the bottom” of the pedal (pretend there is glass in shoes). Enjoy the day!! Terrain: Flat to Rolling; Cadence: 85 - 105.

Sample Day 9
AC - 1x1 "Sets" Maximal

Oh, these are tough! But, you can do it! Give it your best shot!

WU: 15-20 Minutes working into the Endurance Zone (L2). Add 3 x 1 minute fast spins to open up fast twitch muscles.

MS1: Once warmed up complete 1 x (5 x 1 Min w/ 2 minutes rest in-between efforts) intervals. Go as hard as you can for the 1 minute on as these are maximal intervals. Rest for 5 – 8 minutes in-between sets.

CD: 10 minute easy spin