Your First Race : Road Race

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

The road 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 Road Race training plan will help you get ready! Let me introduce myself, Hunter Allen, your coach! I have raced in hundreds of road races as an amateur and a pro, even won a few and coached even more athletes to successful road race wins and podium finishes. This plan is for the road cyclist that wants to do a road 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 ready. My 4 week Road race 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. Before you start the plan, I suggest you take a quick look at the attached document “Effort Guidelines,” which describes the different training zones. (To download it, click the paper clip in the upper right corner.) Whichever zones you use, these guidelines will help you easily and quickly understand how hard you should be working during a given session. Also attached here are “Workout Guidelines” to help you grasp key training terms. If you plan on PRINTING this plan, make sure you print it with HIDE "Exercises and Intervals" checked. That way you will just read the description of the workouts. I have attached a screenshot to help you under the paper clip in the upper right hand corner of this box. There is only 1 workout per day, so don't let the 'structured' exercises and intervals confuse you if you see them.As part of this plan I recommend stretching and light yoga as a recovery tool and I would recommend purchasing my cycling specific yoga video from: I know you are going to do awesome!!! Go for it! Hunter

Sample Day 2
Endurance Ride w/ TEMPO

WU (warm up): Start your ride with 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

WU (warm-up): Start your ride with 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 workout is made to help simulate the 'bursty' nature of a bicycle race. You do this one enough, you'll be ready for any race!

WU: 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

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

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