8-week Pre-Season Training Plan

8-week Pre-Season Training Plan

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The 8-week British Cycling Pre-Season plan is ideal for intermediate and advanced riders and is designed to follow on from the 12-week British Cycling Off-Season Base Builder plan.

Overview Pre-Season Plan 

Download 8 week Pre-Season training plan

Who is it suitable for?

The 8-week British Cycling Pre-Season plan is ideal for intermediate and advanced riders and is designed to follow on from the 12-week British Cycling Off-Season Base Builder plan. By increasing intensity it prepares you for the season to come whether your goals are sportives, road/circuit races or time trials.

If you haven’t followed our Off-Season Base Builder plan but have trained consistently over the last few 2-3 months, typically logging 6 hours plus of riding each week and are capable of 4-5 hours or 160 km (100-mile) rides, this plan is also suitable for you.

If you haven’t managed to train consistently during the off-season or aren’t at the levels suggested, don’t follow this plan. There is little point in increasing intensity without solid fitness foundations. You would be better off taking the time to establish those foundations by following our 12-week Off-Season Base Builder or, if you’re not capable of a 100 km (60-mile) ride, consider our Improver Plan.

How much training is involved?

The training weeks are typically broken down into three rides, two mid-week and one at the weekend. You’ve got four days when you’re not riding. One of these will always be a rest day and the others can be used for cross-training, extra rest or can be swapped with riding days to fit the plan around your life.

There is also the option of a Bonus Session at the weekend for fitter or more advanced riders. However, your priority should always be the quality of the three main sessions and, if doing the Bonus Session impacts on this, don’t try and force it.

Total ride volume each week varies from just under 4 hours for the recovery weeks to a peak of just under 8 hours including Bonus Sessions. If you have followed the Off-Season Base Builder plan, you will notice that this is a drop in overall volume. The reason for this is the increase in intensity so, don’t be tempted to do extra. More isn’t always more and, with this training plan, quality definitely beats quantity.

Is it all cycling?

No, you have options to fit in cross training sessions. Many riders choose to include some strength training as part of their off-season plan. Make sure that your cross training complements your riding and doesn’t cause too much fatigue, meaning you are unable to complete the rides at the required intensities. Our mobility routine, yoga or Pilates can be good restorative options.

What equipment do I need?

As an experienced rider you should already have a suitable road bike and cycling clothing.

To follow the plan, if you don’t already possess them, you will need a bike computer that displays cadence and a heart rate monitor and/or a power meter.

The two mid-week sessions are designed to be performed on an indoor trainer, however there is no reason, if you can find suitable road, that they can’t be performed outdoors.

How will the plan be delivered?

This overview of the entire 8-week plan allows you to see how it progresses and the commitment that you’re making. The detailed sessions are delivered on easy to view, downloadable single page documents.