ANNUAL CYCLING TRAINING PLAN

The cycling season is rather long and our performance should improve month by month. Eventually, we should be able to ride longer and need less time to recover, while our overall physical condition should improve. So how do we train to make this happen?

To take full advantage of modern training methods and avoid getting overworked, it is necessary to take the lactate test and learn our current physiological values. We mostly use a heart-rate monitor or a power meter to measure training intensity.

The basic idea is simple – we need to train systematically and regularly throughout the year, and gradually teach our body to cope with an intense race load.

PRELIMINARY PERIOD

At the start of the cycling season, our body should gradually adapt to a regular training mode. The training should be volume-focused and include a range of exercises focusing on all the muscle groups. Cyclists usually like running, fitness workouts, and swimming, which strengthens our respiratory system and teaches us to efficiently process oxygen.

In winter, cyclists gradually spend more time on their bikes and the volume training is spiced up with strength training, which helps us develop strength endurance. Cross-country skiing is another good additional activity. As spring approaches, we gradually add more training hours and more intense elements.

Preliminary period summary:

  • mild to moderate training intensity
  • full-body fitness training
  • adding strength training
  • starting to develop higher-intensity dynamic performance
  • exercising all parts of the body

PRE-RACE PERIOD

The training volume should be reduced in the pre-race period. We can also add some short races to our training routine. The training load depends on the type of race we want to compete in. The terrain types, and the length and intensity of the training should be specified according to the character of the planed race. If we are preparing for short intense races on flat terrain, we should train using several intense intervals on flat or slightly undulating terrain.

Pre-race period summary:

  • volume-focused training on a bike
  • adding more elements developing strength
  • mild to moderate intensity
  • developing dynamic performance on the bike
  • more undulating terrain

RACE PERIOD

In the race season, we should train with a great deal of caution. The training should mainly focus on intensity with intervals of various other forms. If we feel tired, we should use compensatory training. The selection and composition of our training should be set by a professional trainer according to our current physical condition.  Be aware that after a demanding race it can take a whole week for the body to fully recover. We have succeeded if we manage to maintain a balance between repeated exhaustion and rest.

Race period summary:

  • the aim is to be successful in a race
  • the type of training matches the type of race
  • alternate between climbs and flats
  • alternate length and intensity
  • focus on the right training load and recovery
  • take your training easy when tired

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