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12 week - Pre Season Base and Build - Intermediate/Advanced


Drew Christopher

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12 Weeks

Plan Specs

cycling intermediate advanced power based hr based tss based base period

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Plan Description

Welcome and thanks for choosing this 12 week training plan. This plan is designed to provide the structure and guidance necessary to build your aerobic capacity and endurance, muscular endurance and strength, and overall pedaling proficiency, as well as incorporating some good intensity. The language of the workouts are written in clear and common terminology centered around your individual Heart Rate (HR) and Power zones (PW). The 12 weeks are structured around a few full blocks of training which are then followed by a recovery week so that your body can recuperate and adapt to the workloads. Each week also includes 2 days of core strengthening and stretching yoga as cross training. This plan would best be applied at the beginning of a training phase or as structure for post racing season training. A large portion of the riding is concentrated on Zone 2 or Aerobic Endurance Training Zone. These types of workouts are specifically designed to build the bloodflow capacity and train the buffering of metabolic waste products.
For a more detailed look at this:

With that said, one of the most important things is to train yourself to ride easy. A successful day out on an easy or "Active Recovery Ride" will see your average watts at roughly half of what your current threshold power is set at. Similarly, a long Zone 2 ride should have your average wattage around 60-65% of your threshold. Some tips and techniques for keeping your intensity lower are as follows;
1) Anticipate your gearing when the terrain and gradient changes. As a hill pitches up, shift before you are forced to ride hard just to turn over the larger gear.
2) Do not accelerate hard from stops or lights. Often you will naturally sprint a little to get back up to cruising speed, try and avoid this. These rides are about the correct intensity rather than speed, so take your time accelerating.
3) Leave your ego at home. It is easier said than done sometimes but do not get caught up feeling like you have something to prove against other riders out there. Let elderly people on cruiser bikes pass you on your easy days and you will be the better for it.
4) Go slow to go fast. If you ever get a chance to ride with a high level competitor on one of their easy or chill days, do it! You will find almost categorically that the people who are the fastest on race day are the ones that know how to go the slowest on recovery days.

Thanks again for choosing this plan and happy riding to you!


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
11:50 hrs 5:00 hrs
1:15 hrs 0:45 hrs
—— ——
0:15 hrs 0:45 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
11:50 hrs 5:00 hrs
1:15 hrs 0:45 hrs
—— ——
0:15 hrs 0:45 hrs

Training Load By Week

Drew Christopher

Inspired Training Center

Thanks for being here!

I am a cycling coach focused on working with athletes in all Road (Road Race, TT, & Criteriums), Track, Cyclocross, and Gravel disciplines of the sport. My priorities are outside the realm of just building training plans. More importantly, the riding skills, racing tactics, bike handling, and balance with other aspects of life on a whole are what produce effective and skilled bike riders. It's about building towards what is sustainable, not just what is attainable.

Sample Day 1

Zone 2 Ride. Spin Legs out.

2 hour ride focusing on staying in Zone 2. Ride the first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes in zone 1. Keep this Aerobic for the whole ride. Do not go above Zone 2 if possible.

Sample Day 2

Descending Time Intervals w/ Equal Recovery

Descending time intervals. 
Warm-up well and then 
Do 2-1.5-1-0.5 minutes in zone 4-5 with the same amount of recovery time between reps (2:00 on, 2:00 recovery, 1:30 on, 1:30 recovery, etc.). 
Do 3 sets of these total. Recover 5 minutes between sets or long enough so that your HR drops into Zone 1-2. 100+ rpm. 
Cool down well.

Sample Day 3


Stretching, balance, coordination, core strength. Enjoy.

Sample Day 4

The Artists Approach

Today's ride is all about feel and percieved effort not about specific HR, power, speed, cadence, or intensity. Tune into how your legs and your body feels and just enjoy the ride. Wear your HR monitor but put your garmin in your pocket and don't look at it. It is important to be able to listen to your body as well as use the metrics.

Sample Day 5

Spinnervals-Openers 3 x 3 x 2 min

Nice warm up at comfortable cadence and speed for Z1-Z2. Then do 3 reps of 2 minutes 110+ RPM with 1 minute regular cadence in between.
Ride in Z1-Z2 for 10-15 minutes.
Repeat 3 sets of the 3 reps at 2 minutes high cadence 1 minute rest.
Cool Down with nice easy pedaling home.

Sample Day 5

Restorative/Stretching Yoga

You can go to yoga or stretch at home while watching TV. Core, balance, breathing, relaxation, stretching Spend some time working on basic stretching. Lower body IT band, Low back, hamstrings, quads, torso. Upper body Lats , pectoral's, triceps, neck stretch. Please let me know if you have any questions on this. Here is a good find.

Sample Day 6

Threshold Setter

Easy warm up.
During the first hour:
5 x 1 min high cadence (110+ rpm), 1 minute Rest in Between.
Then do 3 x 3 min at Power Zone 4 with 5 min rest in between.
Then do 2 x 30 seconds all out pace, Power Zone 5/6
And finally one more set of 5 x 1 min high cadence (110+ rpm) with 1 minute rest.
Then, roll to a steady climb to start a 20 minute all out effort. Pace yourself well by not going too hard in the first few minutes of the effort and trying to empty the tank by the end of the 20 minutes. You can gauge power and heart rate based off your current zone 4s but most importantly you should be gauging your perceived effort as all out for that timeframe.
Finish your ride with a nice easy spin down and remember to drink well and eat throughout the whole ride.

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