Cycling Training Plan for Beginners

Cycling for Beginners Training Plan – Let’s get Training!

So why would you want to use our Cycling for Beginners Training Plan?

Well, Cycling is a wonderful sport that you can take part in with friends or solo. Allowing you to see wonderful sights on your adventures, enjoy the fresh air and have a fantastic day out (or holiday) with your friends!

If that’s not enough, then here are some other great benefits of cycling.

  • It is fantastic for your health. Looking after your heart and muscles.
  • Exercise can give a real boost to your mental health.
  • It’s a good way to make friends (join a cycling club!)
  • It could be a cheaper way to commute.
  • It’s better for the environment.

Sounds great, but how do you start?

Our Cycling for Beginners Training Plan is the perfect guide to help you build yourself to become a good cyclist in only 10 weeks. By then you’ll be cycling at a consistent pace for up to three hours!

The Cycling Training Plan for Beginners 2020

Cycling for beginners training plan

For this Cycling for Beginners Training plan you will need to already be fairly active, exercising once or twice a week for a couple of months. If not, I recommend just doing the first weeks aerobic training 2-3 times a week for a month. This will build up your stamina and muscles so you’re not overwhelmed at the start!

The plan is designed to be consistent, frequent and give the user noticeable improvement over the weeks. The workout days and types are pretty consistent to make sure that this training becomes a habit.

The beauty of this plan is that if you don’t think you are ready to progress to the next week, you can just repeat the week you completed.

If you’re an experienced cyclist and are getting back into it, maybe start at a later week such as week 4!

How it works

The Cycling for Beginners Training Plan 2020 is split into two. The first 5 weeks is designed to improve your aerobic fitness, improve confidence and get some consistency with your training. During this time you will find your Sunday long distance ride greatly improve, with a 45 minute increase in cycling time!

The second part of the plan is where the cycling for beginners training plan all comes together.

This is where you see some massive gains.

The second part of the Cycling for Beginners Training Plan adds in HIIT work outs (High intensity interval training). A popular training method that Elite endurance athletes use to help develop their endurance. Rest days and lighter alternative sessions at your choice of the gym, yoga and walking will keep you from burning out and reduce the risk of injury.

During this period your long distance cycle will increase even further. Week 1 you will cycle for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Week 10 you will cycle for 3 HOURS.

The Zones

In the Cycling for Beginners Training Plan 2020 you will notice the different zones (such as Z1, Z2 and the Sweetspot). This is how much effort you are putting into the workout.

I have used Andrew Coggan’s high rated training zones for the plan, with a table below explaining what it all means! (You will need a HR monitor for this.

ZoneNameAverage HR (% FTP HR)Average Power (% of FTP)ExertionDescription
1Active Recovery<68%<55%EasyLight cycling, slow jog/walking level of exercise. Breathing is easy.
2Endurance69-83%56-75%ModerateComfortable pace, for long slow distance. Muscles will feel slightly tired. Breathing slightly heavier than Zone 1.
3Tempo84-94%76-90%HardAt this pace you should find it very difficult to talk. Your legs will feel some fatigue and breathing will be deeper.
Sweet SpotSweetspot88-100%84-97%Very HardBetween Zone 3 and 4 this is below a 25 mile race pace but faster than a tempo workout. You will not be able to speak more than a couple of words at this pace.
4Lactate Threshold95-105%91-105%Extremely hardThis is race pace. You’ll be able to speak no more than a word or two, and you will regret doing so. Your legs will feel the burn. At first you will find this pace hard to keep up.
5VO2 Max106%106-120%Please make it stopThis is almost your sprint speed. You’ll be lucky to keep at this pace for more than 5 minutes. This will increase your VO2 max. You will not be able to speak. Breathing will be very hard.
6Anaerobic Capacity100/10 on the discomfort scale.This is your Usain Bolt sprint. This is everything you have in the tank. You will only be able to keep this pace for 30 seconds max.

To find your HR and power percentages for your training zones you should do the following.

Get a HR monitor, such as a Garmin, Apple Watch etc.

Find a quiet road and warm up. Make sure it’s very easy, we just want the muscles ready for the task ahead!

Go all out for 20 minutes and record your average heart rate and power number. For power do your average power multiplied by 0.95, (200W x 0.95 = 190W FTP)

For your heart rate, simply use the average as your 100% HR threshold. These are what you will use to base your zones on.

What will I need?

  • A Bicycle (well duh!)
  • Safety Equipment (injuries from a banged knee to a cracked skull can all be negated with good equipment)
  • Sports watch (allows you to calculate your zones and get the most out of training sessions)
  • Comfortable cycling clothes (will stop chafing, sore bums and help with aerodynamics)
  • Consistency. Do your best to stick with the plan. Life might get in the way and derail the odd session – do not let this bother you. The important thing is you train when you can. If missing a few sessions means the plan takes 11 or 12 weeks, then so be it.

I hope this Cycling for Beginners Training Plan 2021 has proved useful.

Welcome to the cycling club, we hope you enjoy every minute of it!

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