DIY training plan

DIY training plan

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Although we would strongly recommend all riders to follow one of our structured Training Plans, we recognise that not everyone has the time to commit to these plans or require more flexibility. By following the guidelines below and using our Indoor and Outdoor workouts, you can fit your cycling training around your life.

Who is it suitable for?

The majority of the workouts and rides below are fairly demanding and are more suited to intermediate and advanced riders. If you are a less experienced cyclist, who is unaccustomed to training methods such as intervals, we strongly recommend that you look at the Beginners Training Plan and try to adapt it to suit your lifestyle.

What equipment will I need?

A heart rate monitor or a power meter and a cadence monitor are essential for successfully following these sessions. These tools will allow you to accurately monitor your intensity and ensure you are achieving the goals of the specific workouts. An indoor trainer is also useful during the winter months. Although most of the workouts can be performed on the road, for safety, convenience and consistency of efforts, many are more suited to an indoor trainer.

Setting training zones

One of the first priorities of all of the British Cycling Training Plans is to conduct a Functional Threshold Test which will give you your Functional Threshold Heart Rate (FTHR) or Functional Threshold Power (FTP). From these figures you can then determine accurate and personalised training zones. All of the sessions below are based around these training zones, making performing a Functional Threshold Test a priority. You should aim to re-test your Functional Threshold every 8-12 weeks.

Weekly sessions and structure

A good starting point for a typical week’s structure is two midweek sessions and a longer ride at the weekend. The midweek sessions tend to be fairly intense and should be preceded and followed by a recovery day. You can ride on these recovery days but should choose recovery friendly Anytime Sessions (see below). Try to factor in at least one day of complete rest though.

If you are able to ride twice over the weekend, try to get any harder efforts done during the first ride and make the second ride more endurance focused and lower intensity.

Which sessions when

The tables below make suggestions when to include the various workouts in your training. As a general rule, as you work towards the spring, intensity increases. Be careful to adjust your overall volume accordingly, reducing it as the workouts become more intense.

Midweek sessions

Early Off-Season

November - December

Mid Off-Season

January - February

Late Off-Season / Season

March onwards


Longer rides

Early Off-Season

November - December

Mid Off-Season

January - February

Late Off-Season / Season

March onwards

Anytime sessions

The Pre Event Ride, Recovery Ride, Spin Out Session and Leg Speed workout can be done at any time of year to facilitate recovery on rest days or as workouts during recovery weeks.

Don’t forget recovery

We have already mentioned the importance of scheduling recovery days in during the week but you should also dedicate regular weekly blocks to recovery. Simply building volume, intensity or both week on week will result in you hitting a training plateau, staleness, overtraining and potentially illness or injury. It is only by allowing your body to recover from hard training that it adapts and becomes stronger.

All of the British Cycling Training Plans follow a pattern of three weeks of build followed by a recovery week. You should aim to follow this pattern also. Both volume and intensity should be significantly reduced during a recovery week. Look at our Modular Plan examples of both an Intermediate and Advanced recovery weeks. Don’t forget that the Anytime sessions are ideal to use during a recovery week.