Knowledge Level: Beginner
If you’ve resolved to improve your cycling performance in 2021, a structured training plan, no matter what your level, is the most effective way to get the most out of every pedal stroke. With plans suitable for complete cycling novices and competitive riders alike, British Cycling have a training plan suitable for you.
Just starting out?
If you’re fairly new to cycling, haven’t followed a structured training plan before and want a no-nonsense, simple and easy to follow plan, our free 8-week Sofa to 50km plan is the perfect place to start. Based around three rides each week and using self perceived effort to monitor intensity, it’s an easy and accessible way to build-up your cycling fitness.
Looking to improve your cycling performance?
If you’re a more experienced cyclist and have sportive, racing or other cycling goals for 2021, our Digital Training Plans hosted on TrainingPeak are for you. Costing less then a cup a coffee a week and accessible with a free TrainingPeaks Basic account, the plans and the workouts in them are fully compatible with smart trainers and most head units. The workouts are also fully scripted for use on Zwift and other platforms.
What sort of training should be I doing at this time of year?
The outdated concept of just piling on steady “base miles” over the winter has thankfully largely been consigned to training history. Especially for time constrained riders who are having to juggle their training with work and family commitments, maintaining a degree of intensity over the winter is essential.
Equally, it’s only January and, with current COVID restrictions and little or no racing foreseeably likely until the spring, there’s no real need to be really sharpening yourself up and getting event ready.
The British Cycling 12-week Winter Training Plan is a departure away from the traditional, outdated and, for most riders, ineffective winter fare of trying to grind out slow miles under the misconception of “base training”. This plan is time effective, takes potential poor weather into consideration but will still lay the perfect foundations for a successful season.
There is an emphasis on taking the opportunity of winter to hit the gym and lay down some solid strength foundations. A solid 12-week block, where you consistently manage two strength sessions per week, will not only benefit your cycling directly but will also help to protect you from injury and improve overall health, robustness and mobility. The winter is the perfect time for this as, without the demands of top-end workouts and racing, it will have less of a short-term negative impact on your cycling and you’ll be able to reap the health and performance gains come the spring.
The British Cycling 8-week Indoor Time Efficient Training Plan is a plan designed for intermediate and advanced riders who, due to work, family, the weather or other reasons, are time poor and are limited to indoor training. There is a real emphasis on workout quality and recovery.
The training weeks are typically broken down into three rides; two mid-week and one at the weekend. The first mid-week ride tends to focus on longer intervals whereas the second ride has more of a sprint emphasis. All mid-week rides come in at under an hour including warm-up and cool down. The weekend ride is longer, usually two hours, but includes specified efforts to break up the workout and add intensity.