Off-season base builder, 8 weeks

Average Weekly Training Hours 06:30
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 06:30
Training Load By Week

The aims of this plan are to:

1) Build your work capacity so that you can handle more training in the future. You can think of this as 'training to train'

2) Improve your endurance so that you are comfortable completing long training rides without excessive fatigue

3) Include a small amount of speed work and high intensity training to maintain your top end fitness and avoid the sluggish feeling that can often accompany extensive endurance training

This plan is written to start on day one of your off-season training period. As such the plan will typically be preceded by 1-2 weeks of time off the bike, or unstructured cross-training. You can read the rationale behind this plan in the PBscience fact sheet series. Of particular interest should be:

http://www.pbscience.com/index.php/training-articles/factsheets/17-the-importance-of-base-training

http://www.pbscience.com/index.php/training-articles/factsheets/9-training-in-zone-2

http://www.pbscience.com/index.php/training-articles/factsheets/12-training-in-zone-3

http://www.pbscience.com/index.php/training-articles/factsheets/21-pushing-and-pulling

The plan is based around 3 training blocks, each with a slightly different aim. The time commitment is no greater than 8 hours per week, typically with a longer ride on the weekend and 2 or 3 shorter midweek rides. There is also an optional ride included where appropriate, so that you can tailor the routine if you have more/less time available than expected. This optional session is scheduled for a Saturday but can be completed on any day, provided the extra fatigue does not detract from the other sessions.

The first two weeks are dedicated to simply establishing a regular training routine with primarily easy riding. There is minimal progression in this first block, the idea is to finish this first block ready to start increasing the load in block 2. Workouts are primarily guided on feel, you should rarely if ever feel physically taxed at this stage.

Weeks 3-5 are entitled 'Basic Endurance'. The aim is to increase your training volume and accumulate as much time in the upper half of training zone 2. No individual workout is overly hard, but the accumulation of consecutive workouts is the first challenge.

Weeks 6-8 are entitled 'Quality Endurance'. Progression in this block comes from beginning to incorporate blocks of riding in zone 3. The focus remains on accumulating steady riding but some extra intensity will help to increase you power at lactate threshold and futher develop your work capacity. The end of this block should see you with the condition to think about an event specific training plan, or ready to include some more intense training.

The plan contains instruction for using power, heart rate and/or feel to guide the training. Using a power meter will undoubtedly give you an edge when completing the plan but if this is not an option then heart rate and feel (rating of perceived exertion or RPE) are perfectly adequate. Many of the workouts also benefit from use of a home trainer but all can be done on the road if necessary.

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
50TSS
FAST PEDALS/SPIN UPS

Fast pedals
MS: Zone 2 ride with 6 x 30s blocks, bringing cadence up to as fast as possible without bouncing in the saddle. Take a minute of normal pedalling between efforts

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
50TSS
BASE ENDURANCE RIDE

The aim of this ride is self evident from the title! Aim to spend as much of the ride at the top end of training zone 2 as possible. In reality the effort will be spread in zones 1-3 on all but the flattest of routes but back off on climbs and push on (where safe) on descents to get the most out of this ride.
A general rule of thumb is to consume 50-60g of carbohydrate (CHO) per hour on rides >90 minutes in length. Water is sufficient for shorter rides. More experienced riders may use less CHO on occasion to promote fat adaptation and increased training stimulus, or more CHO can be used with the addition of fructose to practise optimal fuelling for longer races or events.

Sample Day 6
1:00:00
50TSS
OPTIONAL: LOW CADENCE BLOCKS

Within an otherwise steady ride (zones 1-3) at freely chosen cadence, perform specified blocks at a cadence of 50-70rpm. Aim to keep upper body still and relaxed and keep pressure on the pedals all the way around the pedal stroke. These can be performed on flat roads or preferably a steady climb(s). Recovery between each rep should be at 'normal' freely chosen cadence (generally 85-100rpm)

Progression comes from lower cadences within the above range, increase in power output, or in the typical way with intervals - longer reps/more reps/less recovery.

Sample Day 7
1:30:00
75TSS
BASE ENDURANCE RIDE

The aim of this ride is self evident from the title! Aim to spend as much of the ride at the top end of training zone 2 as possible. In reality the effort will be spread in zones 1-3 on all but the flattest of routes but back off on climbs and push on (where safe) on descents to get the most out of this ride.
A general rule of thumb is to consume 50-60g of carbohydrate (CHO) per hour on rides >90 minutes in length. Water is sufficient for shorter rides. More experienced riders may use less CHO on occasion to promote fat adaptation and increased training stimulus, or more CHO can be used with the addition of fructose to practise optimal fuelling for longer races or events.

Sample Day 9
1:00:00
50TSS
CADENCE BLOCKS

Essentially a base conditioning ride but with the addition of specified blocks of lower and higher cadence than you would normally choose. This will help as we begin to think about torque development and higher intensity training.

This session can be done very precisely on the indoor trainer/rollers, or if done outside then remember that the aim is to accumulate some steady intensity riding at a range of cadences - you don't have to be spot on with the timings and rpm as long as you get the 'gist' of the session.

Sample Day 11
1:00:00
50TSS
BASE ENDURANCE RIDE

The aim of this ride is self evident from the title! Aim to spend as much of the ride at the top end of training zone 2 as possible. In reality the effort will be spread in zones 1-3 on all but the flattest of routes but back off on climbs and push on (where safe) on descents to get the most out of this ride.
A general rule of thumb is to consume 50-60g of carbohydrate (CHO) per hour on rides >90 minutes in length. Water is sufficient for shorter rides. More experienced riders may use less CHO on occasion to promote fat adaptation and increased training stimulus, or more CHO can be used with the addition of fructose to practise optimal fuelling for longer races or events.

Sample Day 13
1:00:00
50TSS
OPTIONAL: FAST PEDALS/SPIN UPS

OPTIONAL: Fast pedals
MS: Zone 2 ride with 6 x 30s blocks, bringing cadence up to as fast as possible without bouncing in the saddle. Take a minute of normal pedalling between efforts

Dan Henchy
|
PBscience

I'm currently working with the GB para cycling team so unable to take on any 1-2-1 coaching clients. Please do check out the training plans!