Training Plan 101

Season 2017 starts now!
If you want to perform at your best over the year, you have to build a strong base over the winter month. That’s why the new season always starts in the late winter month. Plus: To stay motivated, you have to have a good training plan.

The first step:

So I went through the internet yesterday and seeked for events, where I could participate. In my case, a brevet series, a half marathon, a marathon, and three triathlons from sprint to olympic. 

The second step:

Classify this races from A to C. Wheras “A” means “best performance race”, “B” means “training race” and “C” means “just for fun”. 

Third step:

Now I build 4-week-cycles from the event date backwards. Means one week before an A-race is an easy week, whereas the three preceeding weeks are a build phase. Then again an easy week, plus three build, then again an easy … you get the idea. A minimum of 12 weeks for an A-race. 

Fourth step:

Plan your “Build-weeks”. What you train is highly dependent on your race targets. If it’s a hilly race, you have to do climb training, for a time trial you train Threshold, for a criterium you train sprints and for a brevet or marathon you train muscle resistance. 

But, as a guideline for beginners, you usually have three “Key-workouts”. An “Endurance Session”, a “Sprint Interval Session” and a “Threshold Interval Session”. 

As an Example:

Endurance Session: 2 hours easy riding. Heart rate in Zone 1 and 2. Note: Your longest endurance Session should last at least 75% of the time of your targeted event. 

Sprint Session: 40 minute easy ride. 10 minute warm up / then every 5 minutes you go all out 15 seconds for a total of 4 sprints / then 10 minute cool down. 

Threshold Session: 50 minute ride. 10 minute warm up in heart rate zone 1 and 2 / 10 minute in zone 4 (threshold) / 10 rest in zone 1 and 2 / again 10 in zone 4 / then 10 minutes cool down in zone 1. 

You can also do a B-Race as a Threshold or Sprint Session. Or even a C-Race as an endurance ride. When you train more than this, you train muscle resistance and therefore should stay in heart rate zone 1 and 2.

As the build weeks progress, you should up the intensity or volume for about 10 percent. Don’t go up with both at the same time, as this dramatically increases the risk of injury. 

And don’t forget your recovery after the A-races. The longer the race, the longer your recovery. Plan at least one week 😉

So why should you start training in the winter month? Now is the time to increase the volume. When summer arrives, you hold that volume, increase the intensity and stay (hopefully) injury free. 🙂

Did I miss some basics? How do you plan your training?


10 responses to “Training Plan 101

  1. Very sensible advice, I am just mulling over whether to go all out and get a power meter to really focus my training or stick to HR. I like your ABC categorisation, I had never thought of it that way.

    My background the current cyclocross race series lasts till January and the first “A” is late April so I only have Feb and March without events, though to be honest the December and January events could be dropped to C.

    The next problem, I am looking to do two day events, 26Km Time Trial followed by @ 130 to 160Km road races. Are my targets too broad, the plan is to get the UCI Amateur World championships in both the TT and Road Race events. One is flat out 40min, the other is @ 4 to 5 hour road race so closer to endurance.

    And my approach, I also follow the 4 week cycle, with at least 1 endurance ride over the weekend, and at least 2 interval based sessions during the week. Managing the step up in intensity is difficult and I find it is easy to tip into overtraining, and you need to remember that you need recovery from the tough sessions for your body to build/repair. With age sometimes I have to stretch the recovery longer, it involves listening to your body and recognising the difference between feeling lazy and getting worn out.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Here in Canada, you have to plan your training based on the weather. Winter means cycling indoors or swimming which limits the nature of your workouts. Winter also means there are absolutely no races around. So it’s mostly volume

    It’s only in spring/summer that you can have quality training.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In Delhi India, Winter season is full of smoke, fog and high level of pollution. Delhi is not recommend for cycling or any outdoor activities in the winter. I hope to escape from Delhi for few days to mountain area which is not much far from here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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