Seven week panic plan

Seven week panic plan

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Knowledge Level: Intermediate

The British Cycling seven week panic plan is ideal for already active non cyclists or cyclists who have recently neglected their training. In seven weeks it will have you ready to tackle a 60-mile (100 km) sportive.

Download the seven week panic plan here:


Download the Panic Plan here

View the panic plan on TrainingPeaks

Who is it suitable for?

If you are a gym member, runner, team or racket sports players, you might have signed up for a cycling challenge but are unsure how to train for it. It might seem daunting but, with your existing fitness base and some hard work, it is an attainable goal.

Constructed by the same experts as all of the British Cycling training plans, the seven week panic plan is a structured and progressive schedule that will deliver you to the start line of a 100 km sportive or charity challenge ride cycling fit in seven weeks.

It is not a shortcut plan that promises fast results in quick time with minimal effort. It requires a certain existing fitness level and a commitment to consistent training for the entire seven weeks.

How much training is involved?

The training weeks are typically broken down in three rides, one midweek and two at the weekend. There is also a cross training session, an optional bonus session and two rest days. The volume of training is between 4-8 hours per week and training days can easily be swapped to fit the plan around your life.

Throughout this plan, you will typically find a ride scheduled for both days over the weekend. We’re aware that for many riders, with family and other commitments, getting out for two long rides isn’t possible. If this applies to you, there are guidelines available on your options for restructuring the plan.

Is it all cycling?

No, cross training workouts are an important part of the plan. Don’t worry if you can’t manage dedicated sessions, even doing regular flexibility work or using a foam roller daily at home will benefit your riding. Cross training helps to prevent boredom, provides options if you are unable to ride, builds all-round injury preventing robustness and allows you to carry on participating in non-cycling activities.

What equipment do I need?

Most importantly, you will need a reliable and roadworthy bike. If it is a mountain bike or hybrid, you should consider fitting slick tyres to make riding on the road more efficient. However, for a sportive, a dedicated road bike would be best. Here is some bike buying advice.  Don’t forget to include accessories, such as a helmet, shoes and the essential spares and tools you should carry when riding, in your budget. If you have already got a bike but it has been sat unloved in the shed for a while, book it into your local bike shop for a check over and service.

All sessions in the plan specify heart rate zones and target cadences so you will need a cycling computer/heart rate monitor that displays this information. Use these guides to find out why objectively monitoring your riding intensity is so important and advice about buying and using a heart rate monitor.

You will be riding through the winter but, with modern kit and clothing, you can stay warm, dry and comfortable. 

The midweek sessions give 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. Don’t forget if you are a member of a gym or health club already, you could use a spinning or exercise bike there. Here is some advice on indoor trainers.

How will the plan be delivered?

The overview of the entire seven week plan and detailed weekly plans are all available on the site to allow you to see how it progresses and the commitment that you are making.

What other support will there be?

Within the weekly plans, there are links to key articles but you should also browse the site for information, video guides and expert advice on all areas of cycling.

You can also e-mail us at with any queries you may have regarding the plan and your training.