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2013-14 Beginners' training plan introduction

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Article posted: 03/10/2013

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If you’ve set yourself the challenge of a spring sportive in 2014 but are relatively new to cycling, have never followed a structured training plan or its been a few years since you last turned your pedals, then the British Cycling Sportive Training Plan is ideal for you. A spring sportive of 60 miles (100 kilometers) is an attainable goal, even if you’re a complete novice and this plan, supporting documents and Insight Zone Advice, will ensure you roll across the start line perfectly prepared and ready to ride.

Click here to access the 2013-14 beginners training plan.

Beginners Training Plans

What does the plan entail?

The structure of the plan, although requiring a reasonable level of commitment, typically between 3-7 hours per week, is designed to allow you to fit your training around work, family and a life outside of cycling.

  • Training weeks will typically have 3 main essential sessions and 1 bonus session (it is up to you whether you complete the bonus session)
  • Some weeks will require you to ride two days back-to-back.
  • Rest days are scheduled and are an essential part of building cycling fitness. If you want to improve, you can’t miss them, more is not always more.
  • Recovery weeks are included, when the training volume and intensity is significantly reduced. These are essential for your body to adapt to the training and get stronger.
  • The plan will be delivered in easy to digest 4-week blocks.

What will I need to get started?

At the very least you’ll need a reliable and roadworthy bike. You can find some great advice on buying a bike suitable for training for and riding a sportive is this 1, 2, 3 step guide. If you’ve already got a bike but it’s been sat unloved in the shed for a while, book it into your local bike shop for a check over and service.

Remember, you’ll be training through the winter, so you might need to invest in some appropriate cycling clothing.

One of the weekly sessions gives you the option to use an indoor trainer. This isn’t just to keep you sheltered from the British winter but it provides a highly effective, controllable and time efficient way to train. Find advice on buying an indoor trainer here.

Finally, a heart rate monitor and cadence sensor allow you to accurately gauge the intensity of your training and maximise the gains from the time you’re putting in. Full guidelines for using these devices are provided in the plan and, if you’re already starting to get worried about being overwhelmed by cycling tech speak and jargon, we’ve also provided a jargon buster to accompany the plan.

Click here to access the 2013-14 beginners training plan.

Beginners Training Plans

Anything else to think about or do?

If you haven’t already, fully commit and sign up for your spring sportive. You can use the British Cycling Events Calendar to find one. Rope in some friends to train with. Getting out on a cold or wet day is always easier if you’re meeting up with some mates and you’ll be able to practice group riding skills. Another option is to join a club. Most will welcome beginners with open arms and the skills and tips you’ll pick up from more experienced riders will be invaluable. There’s a bonus cross training session scheduled each week so have a think about an activity you might want to do to compliment your cycling. Hit the gym with these cycling specific strength and flexibility routines from Insight Zone Experts Phil Burt, Lead Physiotherapist at British Cycling and Consultant Physiotherapist to the Sky Pro Cycling Team, and Martin Evans, head of Strength and Conditioning with British Cycling, read up on other cross training options or sign up for a fitness class at your local health club. Finally, spend some time researching possible training routes following this advice and then just get out on your bike and have some fun.

Intermediate/Advanced Training Plans (From November 11)
If you’re an experienced sportive rider, looking to take your cycling to the next level and maybe start hitting some gold standards, the British Cycling Sportive intermediate and advanced training plans are for you. You'll complete three months of foundation training, before sessions become more flexible and user-driven, allowing you to tailor your training to your specific goals. Whether you train using heart rate or power, you can guarantee every pedal stroke will be propelling you effectively towards your cycling goals.

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