Sample Winter Training Plan

  • Take a good break after one season (typically 2weeks minimum off the bike) and plan out your training for next season before diving back in
  • Build back up slowly, increase duration or intensity by no more than 10% per week. Think about having a ‘base’ phase first (perhaps 6-8weeks) where you increase duration gradually keeping intensity relatively low. Follow this with a ‘build’ phase (again maybe 6-8weeks) where you gradually increase intensity. After that it’s race or ‘peak’ phase which you should time to match your racing ambitions!
  • The key is to decide on a sustainable training plan that you can work to consistently (by not missing sessions or overdoing it and getting sick or burnt out)
  • Stretch (all year) & if you can add some strength training during the winter
  • Take rest weeks or easy weeks (3weeks building up duration/intensity, followed by 1week easy is typical), these are essential for your body to adapt to the training and for you to get the benefits from it
  • Think about what you are weak at or what you will get the most benefit from when racing and try to work on it. Ensure you target the different training zones to get the most out of your time on the bike.
  • Know what you plan to do every time you get on the bike, and why you’re doing it! Read up –

http://www.stickybottle.com/coaching/habits-make-better-cyclist/

http://www.stickybottle.com/coaching/most-common-winter-training-mistakes-for-cyclists/

 

So as an example, if you can get on the bike just 3 times per week, make a plan something like this:

 

SundayClub Group Ride:

•        Start at approx 2.5hrs & build to 4hrs

•        Endurance Ride – steady & social

•        Zone 2 (to low zone 3) to improve aerobic endurance… target approx. 70% Max Heart Rate average for the spin

•        Don’t go in a group where you are above the correct zone for the most part, as you will not get the long term fitness benefit & you risk burn out over the course of the winter

•        Slowly add more time/distance to your spins, no more than 10% extra each week

•        Take an easy week once a month – don’t cut out this spin that week but cut back the distance

•        Incorporate some efforts into this spin later in the winter (build phase)

WednesdayClub Spinning:

•        1hr – group class in the new Scoil Padraig at 7pm

•        Early Winter classes will focus on technique and positioning on the bike. Intensity will be kept relatively low initially (base phase)

•        Later in the winter (build phase) classes will increase slowly in intensity and focus on building strength and power

•        This is your chance to learn how to train from very experienced riders in the club, and will improve you greatly as a cyclist, plus it’s social!

•        Don’t cut out club spinning on your easy week, but drop back the intensity if you feel tired

Friday / SaturdayAdditional Road or Turbo Session:

•        These are suggestions for 1hr to 1hr 45min sessions to Increase Your Threshold

•        May be best to do these sessions solo (if on the road) so you can stick to the correct zone

•        ‘Sweet Spot’ is the upper end of zone 3 into the lower end of zone 4, i.e. 88-93% of threshold heart rate, and between 80-85% of maximum heart rate.

•        ‘Threshold’ is zone 4 – harder than Sweet Spot so efforts are shorter.

 

Week 1-3 (base phase): Two ‘Sweet Spot’ efforts, starting at 20minutes each with 5minutes easy in-between, 10mins warm up and 10mins cool down (so just over an hour in total)

Add 5 mins more to each Sweet Spot effort every week so by week 3 it’s 2x30mins

Week 4: Replace with 1hr easy

 

Week 5-7 (base phase): Two ‘Sweet Spot’ efforts, starting at 30minutes each with 5minutes easy in-between, 10mins warm up and 10mins cool down.

Add 5mins more to each Sweet Spot effort every week so by week 7 it’s 2x40mins

Week 8: Replace with 1hr easy

 

Week 9-11 (build phase): Three ‘Threshold’ efforts, starting at 8minutes each with 5minutes easy in-between, 16mins warm up and 10mins cool down (so just 1 hour)

Add 2mins more to each ‘Threshold’ effort every week so by week 11 it’s 3x12mins

Week 12: Replace with 1hr easy

 

Week 13-15 (build phase): Three ‘Threshold’ efforts, starting at 12minutes each with 5minutes easy in-between, 16mins warm up and 10mins cool down.

Add 2mins more to each ‘Threshold’ effort every week so by week 15 it’s 3x16mins

Week 16: Replace with 1hr easy

 

Now you’re ready for the racing season (peak phase)… and to ride PBs in TTs!