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End of the Beginners Training Plan: What next?

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Knowledge level: Beginner

Training

Article posted: 01/04/2015

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Congratulations on making it through the British Cycling Training Plan. You should now have the fitness, skills and knowledge to tackle a 100 km sportive with confidence and relative comfort. With the plan drawing to an end now though, how can you carry on developing your riding? Fortunately, alongside the expert content covering all aspects of cycling available here on the site, there are the training plans to take you to the next level.

Have you found your sportive?

Before discussing your next training block, have you entered your goal sportive? If not, spend some time looking through the events calendar and find one that inspires you. You have put in some really hard work over the last few months and deserve to crown all your efforts with a genuinely stunning ride. Visit an area of the country you have never been to before or even consider an event abroad. Here is some great advice on logistics in the final build-up to an event and even tips on flying with your bike if you decide to head for the sun.

Take a break

It is quite possible that, having got to the end of the plan and reached your sportive goal, you want a bit of a break from structured training. This is perfectly normal, and even professional cyclists will take some non-cycling down time at the end of their season. Spend some more time with your friends and family, try some non-cycling activities, different types of cycling, such as mountain biking and just ride your bike for enjoyment. You will know when you want to start structured training again but don’t feel you have to get straight back into the saddle.

Maintenance

You might decide that maintenance of your cycling fitness, rather than continual progress, is your goal and that you want to spend the spring and summer enjoying your riding and maybe entering a few more sportives. If this is the case you can use the final 6-weeks of the plan in a rolling structure to keep you ticking over and to accommodate any events you have got planned.

Use Weeks 21, 22 and 23 as your standard three-week build block. If you haven’t got an event planned, this should always be followed by a recovery week and, for this, use week 20. If you have got an event, follow on through to Week 24 for your taper and then Week 25 as your event week. Use Week 20 as your post-event recovery week before returning to Week 21. If you have got events close to each other you may only be able to fit in two or even one week of build but try to not schedule in events within two weeks of each other. Put your event dates into a calendar and work the training weeks around them using these guidelines.

An example of a 12-week period using this rolling system might look like this:

Date

Plan Week

Aim

Event

13th April

25

Event

Oakman Cycle Sportive 19/04/15

20th April

20

Recovery

 

27th April

21

Build

 

4th May

22

Build

 

11th May

23

Build

 

18th May

20

Recovery

 

25th May

24

Taper

 

1st June

25

Event

Cheshire Cobbled Classic 07/06/15

15th June

20

Recovery

 

22nd June

21

Build

 

29th June

22

Build

 

6th July

23

Build

 

Moving on
If you decide that you want to keep developing your cycling, you can move onto the British Cycling Foundation Training Plan. This 12-week plan is an ideal progression from a successful completion of the Beginner’s Plan, and it targets 100-mile (160 km) events. Once you have completed this plan, there is another 12-week block available where the plan splits into an Intermediate (which you should follow) and an Advanced stream.

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