Have an ideal training plan?
COMPONENTS OF YOUR IDEAL TRAINING PLAN
Your ideal training plan, which will be scientific, structured, and progressive, will balance all of the following components of your life:
- Your cycling goal(s)
- Your current level of fitness
- Your current gear (and budget for new items)
- Your available time to train daily, weekly, and yearly
- Your lifestyle challenges and stressors
Once you have identified these five components of your “experiment of one,” you will be able to construct your personalized training plan. And, it will be as unique as your fingerprints.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL RACE-SPECIFIC TRAINING PLAN LOOK LIKE?
An example of a 12-week race-specific training plan for a short distance 5 kilometer (3.1 miles) to 10 kilometer (6.2 miles) time trial might be the following:
Weeks 1 to 4:
- Monday: a short recovery ride or day off.
- Tuesday: a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) cycling session with short sprints and long recovery (starting with 10 second sprint and 2 minutes easy), building to longer hard flat out efforts of 30 seconds with 4 minutes’ recovery.
- Wednesday: a Recovery cycling session of 1 hour and a strength session of 30 to 40 minutes.
- Thursday: a second HIIT cycling session with longer intervals (up to 4 minutes initially below threshold but by the fourth week above threshold in zone 5, with 3 minutes’ rest between intervals). Good warm up and cool down are essential. The number of intervals can build from 3 or 4 to 7 or 8.
- Friday: a Recovery cycling session of 1 hour and a strength session of 30 to 40 minutes.
- Saturday: a shorter endurance road ride in zone 2, but including sections at tempo level, building to two 20 minute elements at the top of zone 3 (after 8 weeks).
- Sunday: a base endurance road ride in zone 2 for around 2+ hours.
Weeks 5 to 8: The same timetable approach would be maintained, but the HIIT cycling sessions may be varied to maintain interest. In these weeks, the time and intensity of the road rides will be progressively increased and the intensity of the HIIT cycling sessions should push the rider very hard.
Weeks 9 to 12: The same timetable approach would be maintained, but the road rides do not need to be increased in distance/duration. The HIIT cycling sessions will include more very short hard efforts, but start to reduce the repeats/time to taper to the end of week 12, leading up to race day.
WHAT KIND OF STRENGTH TRAINING WILL YOU NEED TO DO?
The following suggested strength training plan addresses all areas of your body, not just your legs. It can be performed in your home or at a neighborhood fitness center. For example, I have a simple weight bench located in my front door hallway for the one-leg lunge squats and high bench step-ups. In the past, I’ve used a simple step stool just as effectively.
For the Stage 2 lower body exercises, I use two 5-pound hand weights. For the Stage 2 upper body exercises, I attached two 2.5-pound weights to a 10-pound barbell. In Stage 3, I increase the two hand weights to 10-pounds and replace the two 2.5-pound weights on the barbell with two 5-pound weights. The key is to find the weight that will let you complete the required number of repetitions and sets without straining.
Adding a 10-minute warmup and cooldown on the bike, the Stage 1 routine takes roughly 70 minutes, the Stage 2 routine takes roughly 80 minutes, and the Stage 3 routine takes roughly 90 minutes.
Have questions about your training?
Not sure if you’re training effectively. Have questions or concerns about any aspect of your training and its impact on your competitive goals. Chances are pretty good that I’ve faced the same challenges during the last 20+ years of training and racing.