Knowledge Level: Beginner
Introduction to the beginners' training plan
Who is it suitable for?
The 25-week beginners’ training plan is ideal for all novice cyclists, riders who want to get back to fitness after some time off the bike or those who have never previously followed a structured training plan. If you’re targeting a 60-mile (100 km) sportive in the spring, a charity ride or just want to improve your cycling fitness, this is the perfect plan to achieve these goals.
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 an optional bonus session that gives you the opportunity to do some cross training. The volume of training is between three hours and seven hours 30 mins per week and days can easily be swapped about to fit the plan around your life.
Download the weeks of the training plans:
Is it all cycling?
No, some cross training workouts, although optional, should become part of your training. 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’re unable to ride and builds all-round injury preventing robustness.
What equipment do I need?
Most importantly, you’ll need a reliable and roadworthy bike. If it’s a mountain bike or hybrid, you should consider fitting slick tyres to make riding on the road more efficient. However, for following the training plan, buying a road bike would be best. 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’ve 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. Find out why objectively monitoring your riding intensity is so important and about information on buying and using a heart rate monitor.
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’re a member of a gym or health club already, you could use a spinning or exercise bike. Here is some advice on buying an indoor trainer.
How will the plan be delivered?
An overview of the first 12 weeks and weeks 13-25 of the plan is available to allow you to see how it progresses and the commitment that you are making. The detailed sessions, on easy to view and printable single page documents, will be delivered in four week training blocks.
What other support will there be?
With each four week block, there will be a supporting introduction that will contain links to key articles relevant to that training block.
You can find numerous other articles on the site covering all aspects of cycling.
You can also always e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries you may have regarding the plan and your training.