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12 Week Base / Maintenance Training for the Off Season, Heart Rate & Power, 7-11 hrs/wk


Simon Kessler

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4.5 Rating (3)


12 Weeks

Plan Specs

cycling road cycling intermediate masters power based hr based base period

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Plan Description

This training plan will lay the foundation for your future personal bests! The specific training is designed to help you make big improvements in: leg strength, pedaling efficiency, sprinting, endurance and sub threshold power.

This 12 week Training Plan is designed for cyclists who while leading a busy life can fit in 5 days/week of training, with typically 1-2 hours available Monday to Friday and 2-4 hours available on Saturdays and Sundays, for an average of 7-11 hours/week. You may be a regular A or B group rider and/or participate in road racing. This plan works great for category racers: 3-5 or Masters (Vets) 40+ and Masters (Vets) 50+.

The plan builds with 3-week training blocks followed by an easier week of 6-7 hours before starting the next 3-week block. The goal of this training plan is for you to build a solid base of fitness and possibly maintain your fitness gains over the last few months, if your season has recently ended. You may be coming off a short break or reduction in training and now want to resume and start building for the coming months and next season.

Many cyclists perform strength training during the off season. Mondays (rest day) and Wednesdays (shorter trainer day) have been designed to accommodate your preferred strength training (gym, yoga, pilates etc).

Before starting the plan you should have a good level of fitness and be accustomed to training 8+ hours/week.

This plan is the result of 20 years of professional racing and coaching experience combined with the latest training methods. You will find the training plan highly descriptive and precise, guaranteeing you get the most out of each workout.


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
8:46 hrs 4:30 hrs
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Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
8:46 hrs 4:30 hrs
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Simon Kessler

Simon Says Cycling

Do you want to make real improvements but are often left frustrated with your progress?

Coach Simon Kessler's proven track record (since 2001) has helped everyday cyclists and professionals achieve their goals and attain new levels of satisfaction and fulfillment in their cycling.

Our training plans combine real-world experience with sports science and years of experience coaching cyclists from beginner to professional.

Learn more about our services at

Sample Day 1

Power Test: 20 min (Optional)

*See PDF doc included (attached here) for information on how to determine your Heart Rate zones.
Power Test day: On waking record your body weight. Record your power on 1 second. Warm-up for 30-40 minutes. Warm-up example: start with 10-15 minutes in Zone 1-2 then do 5 minutes in Zone 3, 3 minutes in Zone 4, and finish off with 30 seconds in Zone 5. Cadence 90 rpm+ throughout.
Form Test: Perform 1 x 20 minute time trial effort at race pace. *Use the average power achieved to calculate your training zones (input the power value in the Training Zones spreadsheet provided:

Sample Day 2

Trainer High Cadence drills

Trainer. Warm-up 10 min in Zone 1-3 / 90rpm+. After warm-up include 1-legged pedaling drills alternating each leg for 30 seconds+, for a total of 6-10 minutes. Keep the intensity low and focus on good form. Stop if you have any knee pain.

Then do 4 x 5 minutes in Zone 3 at the following cadences:
1) 80-90rpm
2) 90-100rpm
3) 100-110rpm
4) 110-120rpm

Ride in Zone 2 for 3 minutes between intervals / SS rpm. Warm-down for 5 minutes in Zone 1 / SS rpm.

Sample Day 3

Big Gear 45-60 min

Ride in Zone 2 / 85 rpm+. After a good warm-up perform 45-60 minutes of continuous big gear riding in your Big Gear zone / 65-75 rpm. Focus on smooth pedaling and stay seated as much as possible. Relax your grip and upper body. Alternate: holding in the drops / brake hoods. After Big Gear spin for 5 minutes in Zone 1 at 110 rpm+. Stop the Big Gear interval and spin easy if you have any knee or other abnormal pain.

Sample Day 5

Endurance - Steady to Hard

Ride in Zone 2-3 with some efforts in Zone 4. Keep your cadence over 85 rpm on the flats. You can ride with a group if you can stay under Zone 5.

Sample Day 6

Tempo ride

Road or MTB / After a good warm-up ride continuously in your Tempo zone / Self Selected cadence. Warm-down 5-10 minutes in Zone 1 / 90rpm+.

Sample Day 8

Tempo ride - High Cadence Riding

After a good warm-up ride continuously in your Tempo zone / 90 rpm+. Warm-down 5-10 minutes in Zone 1 / 90rpm+.

Sample Day 9

Trainer Strength

Trainer. Warm-up 10-15 min in Zone 1-2 / 90-100 rpm and include 2 x 10 sec accelerations. Then do 3 x 8 min in Zone 3 / 50-60 rpm (big gear). Change position every 2 minutes as follows: 1) holding on top of bars, 2) riding no hands, 3) riding in the drops, aero position 4) out-the-saddle. Spin for 2 min in Zone 1-2 / 100 rpm+ between intervals. Warm-down 3-5 min in Zone 1-2 / 100 rpm+. Elevate front end of trainer to simulate climbs (optional). *Stop if any knee pain.

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