How do you structure a cycling training plan?

How you structure a cycling training plan can be confusing. You need to consider various factors such as your goals, current fitness level, available time for training and specific areas you want to improve. While the details may vary depending on individual circumstances, here are some general tips to help you structure your training plan:

  • Set your goals: Determine what you want to achieve through your cycling training plan. It could be improving endurance, increasing speed, preparing for a race, or simply maintaining fitness. Clearly defining your goals will guide the structure of your plan.
  • Assess your current fitness level: Evaluate your current cycling fitness by considering factors like endurance, strength, speed, and technical skills. This assessment will help you identify areas that need improvement and inform the focus of your training plan.
  • Plan your training schedule: Consider the time you can dedicate to cycling training each week. Be realistic and ensure that the plan fits into your daily routine. Aim for a mix of different types of training sessions, including endurance rides, interval training, strength training, and rest days for recovery.
  • Base training phase: Start with a base training phase to build your aerobic fitness and endurance. Focus on steady-paced rides at a conversational intensity level. Gradually increase the duration of these rides over several weeks to lay a strong foundation.
  • Interval training: Incorporate interval training sessions to improve speed, power, and anaerobic capacity. This involves alternating between periods of high-intensity efforts and periods of recovery or lower intensity. For example, you could perform intervals such as 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 1 minute of recovery, and repeat for a set number of repetitions.
  • Hill training: If you have access to hilly terrain, include hill training sessions to improve climbing abilities and leg strength. Focus on sustained efforts on inclines, incorporating both seated and standing climbs. Gradually modify the intensity and duration of these sessions over time to suit your goals.
  • Strength training: To enhance overall cycling performance and prevent injuries, incorporate strength training exercises that target key muscle groups used in cycling. Include exercises like squats, lunges, single-leg deadlifts and planks. Focus on little and often.
  • Recovery and rest: Allow time for recovery and rest days in your training plan. Recovery is crucial for adaptation and avoiding overtraining. Listen to your body, and if you feel excessively fatigued or experience persistent muscle soreness, adjust your training schedule accordingly.
  • Progression: Over time your fitness will begin to plateau, so regularly change sessions to give your body a new stimulus. Periodically reassess your goals and adjust your training plan accordingly to continue challenging yourself and making progress.
  • Monitor and track your progress: Keep a record of your training sessions, distances, durations, and any notable observations. This will help you track your progress, identify patterns, and make informed adjustments to your training plan.

If you want more advice on your training, you can book a FREE call-back with inSync Cycling Coach.