Here are our top 10 tips on how to find the correct training plan for you.
1) What’s your goal?
It is always better for motivation to work towards a goal. It could be a sportive, charity ride, to complete a certain distance or just to lose some weight.
2) How much time do you have to reach your goal?
If you are working towards a specific event, work out how many weeks you’ve got to train for it. Try to give yourself a couple of “buffer weeks” if possible.
3) How much riding are you currently doing?
Look back over the last 4-5 weeks and be honest with yourself about the amount of exercise, activity or cycling you have been consistently managing. How long, in distance or time, are you currently capable of comfortably riding for?
4) Decide if your goal is realistic?
The answers to the first three questions should let you know if your goal is realistic and achievable. If you are starting out from sedentary, building up to a 50 kilometre ride in 8 weeks should be do-able.
5) Is your bike and kit ready to go?
Check your bike over and, if you are unsure of its roadworthiness, book it into your local bike shop. You don’t need loads of kit but some proper padded shorts and a decent breathable waterproof jacket definitely make riding more comfortable.
6) Do you need an indoor trainer?
An indoor trainer, whether rollers, a turbo or static bike, can make midweek sessions during the winter far more convenient but, with decent lights and some planning, they can be done outdoors. Don’t forget indoor cycling classes at your local gym or just using a bike there for your own sessions.
7) Think about suitable routes?
Look at the plan and the specific sessions and have a think about suitable routes in your area. If you are unsure, get in touch with or, even better, join your local cycling club as they will know all the best roads.
8) What if you miss a couple of sessions?
Don’t worry too much but, if it starts to become a regular occurrence, ask yourself whether your goal and the plan you are following are realistic and compatible with your life. It is better to have a realistic plan that you can follow consistently than an over ambitious one you can’t.
9) What if you get ill or injured?
If you miss a whole week, repeat it. If you miss 2-3 weeks, go back to your last recovery week, use that to ease yourself back in gently and restart the plan from that point. If you miss more than this, restart from the beginning of the plan or drop down to an easier plan.
10) What do you do when you finish the plan?
Check out the next level of plan and see if that appeals or, if you are happy with the level you are at, just keep working through the final four weeks of the plan or try one of our modular plans if suitable.
We have got training plans for all levels, from complete novices looking to build-up to 50 kilometres, improvers wanting to push on to 100 kilometres, to intermediate and advanced riders focused on performance gains.