What is a cycling training plan? How you can understand if your training plan is correct. How to choose a good cycling training plan.
Planning your cycling training
There is no better time than winter for any serious cyclist to plan his training for the season to come.
Engaging in long rides is certainly a good way to keep fit; riding a lot helps achieving a fair level of fitness, yet, this type of training rarely yields the result ones expects and more often than not is counterproductive to cycling performance.
Regardless where you are starting from, it is of paramount importance to define your correct training plan. Only by doing this you will be able to achieve your goals in an efficient manner, maximise your potential and get your peak performance exactly when you want it, when your season’s most special event takes place.
What is a cycling specific training program?
You should visualise a weekly table showing your daily training sessions. Each weekly workload provides a set of workouts tailored to your needs, goals and most importantly to your physical and physiological engine.
Each cycling training session provides a step by step guide to your workout and it can be downloaded for you to carry it out on the platform of choice, whether indoor or outdoor. Workouts are constructed by our world class coaches exclusively based on the athlete’s data.
Each sessions is part of a micro-cycle of 7 to 10 days and each micro-cycle part of a macro-cycle of approximately 6 weeks. The workload of the next macro-cycle is defined on the basis of the progress made in the previous one.
Your goals for the upcoming season - whether races, sport Ives, challenges or just personal betterment, are the starting point for the construction of your personalised training plan.
Having a training plan is a must to maximise your chances of meeting your targets in a time efficient manner and avoid overtraining and injuries, often times associated with a do-it-yourself type of approach.
Every type of cyclist benefits from personalised training sessions:
Racers, including triathletes;
younger racers (Junior and Under-23).
Bike Personal Coach is an App that brings to your smart phone the very shame coaching methodology that best in class coaches apply to World Tour and Olympic level athletes.
Component parts of a customised training plan
- Recovery macro-cycle: it is a transition period between the end of the previous season and the next one. It involves low intensity and longer rides, mostly in Zone 1 (SLOW). It is an offloading period during which the athlete favours rest to Specific workouts;
General macro-cycle: this phase kicks off the preparation for the season to come. Your personalised training sessions start a progressing build up of form and Specific power and metabolic workouts are introduced in addition to low intensity and longer rides. During this period, you can alternate riding sessions to weights workouts in the gym. We target a solid increase in aerobic conditioning but also a relevant power load;
Special macro-cycle: the intensity of Specific sessions increases during this period, with a focus on working out to improve your alactic threshold and alactic endurance. The intensity of our training sessions starts becoming harder, yet doable thanks to the work done in the previous Periods;
Racing macro-cycle: this period is dedicated to consolidating all 6 qualities trained until now. It consisted of an initial Loading Phase followed by an Offloading one. The Off loading phase coincides with the Peak of Form period. Bike Personal Coach works on the basis of a maximum of 2 Peak of Form periods in the season. You can and should select which one of the two will be your primary one so that your Specific training workload is distributed throughout the season accordingly.
How to recognise a valid training plan
Many a cyclist make the common mistake of downloading from the internet their training plans. It is easy to access generic training plans and individual training sessions whether in executable of .pdf formats and even easier to chose the wrong ones.
The correct training plan can only be prepared specifically for your by a competent coach.
Each training session must be designed for you one the basis of your individual physiological characteristics as well as your needs.
It is never easy to manage work and family obligations with your training and riding passion. The right training program is key in order to optimise both your time and the outcome of your training, especially so if your are not a professional rider.
Historic variables that affect your personalised training plan:
Riding experience (how many years of active riding)
Starting level of fitness
Availability for training in terms of days in the week and hours for each day
Season targets (cycling holiday, events or races on the calendar)
Prevailing ride type (Road vs. MTB, climb vs Flat or TT, etc.)
It is important for Bike Personal Coach to consider your riding experience and the mileage of the previous 12 months in order to assess your riding level, generate a season history and so monitor your improvement over time.
Starting level of fitness
Our Self-assessment Test establishes your starting level of fitness and very precisely defines your physiological conditioning: lactic threshold, maximum heart rate frequency, power and consequently builds up your Training Zones. This test is mandatorily repeated at regular intervals - after each macro-cycle - as a necessary way to verify your form and physiological response to the workload.
Availability for training in terms of days in the week and hours for each day
We all ride our bikes to stay fit and healthy and, of course, to also take satisfaction out of those special occasions....
A good training plan should always start your actual availability to tearing during the week. We should never sacrifice family and work engagements to a too heavy and possibly unbalanced training plan.
Each and every cyclist strives to achieve one or more goals, whether openly declared or not and it is extremely satisfying to achieve them; in many instances, they are what keep us cycliong and suffering on our beloved bike(s). It is of the utmost importance that your training plan is built around your key events so that you can arrive at that long dreamt of Gran Fondo or challenging ride with your mates in the best possible form and condition.
Prevailing ride type
Are you a climber or do you prefer fast flat rides? Are you a Time Trialist, a cycle cross or mountain biker?
Your prevailing ride type will define some of the Specific workouts in your training plan in order to train and develop those qualities that are specific to it.
Bike Personal Coach: a training plan that guides you throughout the year, year after year.
Bike Personal Coach is the answer to all your training needs if:
You are looking for a yearly training plan with customised workout tables
You would like to have access to a world class coach that understands your riding background and embeds it into your plan
You wish to monitor your progress over time by means of very reliable yet fun to execute tests
You need a coach that most of foremost adapts your training plan around your work and family engagements and actual availability of time during the week
You have set for yourself one of more goals for the year and you would like to get there in the best possible condition
You would like to access world class professional coaching which can be executed both indoor and outdoor so that you can join your club or friends rides
Bikevo’s Bike Personal Coach App blends state of the art digital technology to priceless know how by world class and Olimpic Gold winning coaches to bring to your smart phone the absolute best in class bespoke training plan that is right for you.
How to set up your Bike Personal Coach plan
Bike Personal Coach is a true virtual coach, well beyond all existing and traditional training platform for cycling.
It helps you improve over time by continuously fine tuning your workout types, length and intensity, with a focus on both your loading and offloading periods. The latter often a neglected but critical part of many a rider’s training plans: rest is not time wasted to training, it is training!
Phase 1: The Self-assessment Test
You cannot access your bespoke Bike Persoanl Coach training plan unless you have carried out the Critical Power Self-assessment Test. This will define your genetic cyclist type, your current form and your training zones.
Phase 2: Setting up the season ahead
Once you have carried out the Self-assessment Test, you will fill out a short questionnaire with personal riding information necessary to proceed with the build out of your bespoke training plan:
Riding experience in years;
Mileage over the preceding 12 months;
Start of your new riding season;
End of your new riding season;
Your weekly availability in hours by day;
Number of events planned and the date of each one;
Your average riding cadence in rpm;
Your prevailing ride / race type (Roasd vs MTB, flat/TT vs climb, etc.),
Bike Personal Coach will calculate your ideal two peak of form periods based on the information provided and will ask you to choose which of the two should be your primary one.
Phase 3: your Bespoke Training Plan
Once you have provided all your personal riding information, the system generates your very first bespoke micro-cycle workload.
Bike Personal Coach brings to every cyclists the professional approach of personalised training volume as opposed to the traditional static training tables available in the market.
A training table provides you with what to do regardless of who you are and what you need; on the contrary a training volume based approach starts from who you are and what you need and consequently blends a workload across the 6 physiological qualities (3 metabolic and 3 strength) you must train to achieve your best possible form instead of a generic one.
Your daily session can also be exported and downloaded to the industry standards:
And then uploaded for execution on training platforms such as Zwift, Garmin IQ Connect, Wahoo, Trainer Road, etc.
Your first 7-day free training plan
All new users can access Bike Personal Coach free of charge for 7 days. Once you have registered your new account, you will gain access to a teaser of the full potential of your new personal coach.
During this first week you will be able to take the Critical Power Self-assessment test and generate your first training plan for the year ahead. The first micro-cycle will also be available free of charge for you to try out.
Training Videos for Beginners
Bikevo’s Training Videos are particularly suitable to those less experienced riders that wish to improve their form and cycling technique.
2008 Road Cycling World Champion and Tour of Flanders winner Alessandro Ballan guides you through each session step by step, riding alongside you on your monitor; you will be able to hear his advice and learn those tricks that can make you a better and more confident cyclist.
Based on your availability for time, you can choose between:
2 session per week for a total of 24 workouts over a 3 month period
3 sessions per week for a total of 36 workouts over a 3 month period
Details of each one of the above static video training plans can be found here:
24 Training Videos
36 Training Videos
These are the minimum hardware requirements for these training videos:
Any home trainer
Heart Rate Monitor
It is advisable to also purchase Bikevo’s Self-Assessment test package so as to identify your level of athletic form ahead of commencing your training with Alessandro.
This article presented what a good cycling training plan looks like and how to recognise one. We presented the risks of a do-it-yourself approach to cycle training.
Bikevo’s Bike Personal Coach presents you with the best possible training plan for you and built around your needs.