Advanced Training Plan
Training for intermediate – advanced ride routes, such as 60km ride
This training plan is designed for cyclists participating in the 60km Ride Don’t Hide event. Over the course of 8 weeks you’ll focus on your riding technique, increase your fitness and build your endurance. By June 22, you’ll be riding strong and ready for the challenge.
Download the Ride Don’t Hide: 8-week training schedule (pdf)
About Level of Exertion
The ride format descriptions below include numeric ratings for level of exertion. These are intended to give you an idea of how hard you should be riding at different stages of a ride in order to maximize the effectiveness of your training.
The levels go from “1” to “10”, with “1” being the easiest pace you can maintain without the bike falling over and “10” being the hardest you are physically capable of riding, a pace sustainable for only a few seconds. In the rides below, a few numbers are used repeatedly:
- “3” represents an easy recovery pace, with a similar level of exertion to walking. Breathing is natural enough to conduct a regular conversation.
- “5” represents a warm-up pace, brisk but easy to maintain over long distances. Breathing is rhythmic but conversation is still easy.
- “7” represents an endurance riding pace that you can consistently maintain with some focus. You’re starting to push yourself at this point and your breathing and heart rate start to climb.
- “8” represents a fast riding pace that you can maintain for short bursts of a few minutes. You’re breathing hard and conversation becomes difficult.
Ride Format Descriptions
- The focus of these rides is to build fitness through a series of relatively short, brisk sessions. Focus on smooth cycling technique while maintaining a consistent cadence of 80-90 pedal revolutions per minute (the optimum cadence for most people) regardless of your level of exertion.
- These rides start with a 10 minute warm-up of easy spinning (smooth, low-exertion, high cadence pedaling on a relatively easy gear). Your level of exertion starts at “5” for the warm-up. As you come to the end of the warm-up, switch into a harder gear. Your level of exertion increases to “8”, a challenging pace that you can maintain for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, drop down to an easy gear and an exertion level of “3”. This is a recovery period that allows your body to prepare for the next fast interval. After 5 minutes, get back into that hard gear and bring your level back to “8”. Continue to alternate fast intervals and recovery periods for the duration of the ride, finishing with a 10 minute recovery/cool down in which you drop back down to “3” and easy spinning.
- Fast rides do a great job of preparing you for the demands of a group road ride, in which you often alternate between quick bursts of power and short recovery opportunities. By pushing your pace for brief periods, you’ll increase the amount of time that you can maintain a high level of exertion, while shortening the recovery time your body requires.
- Ultimately, these sessions will give you the extra pace and fitness required to climb that big hill, fight that stiff headwind or join that fast group on the day of your ride.
- This ride format is all about building your endurance and getting you used to spending longer amounts of time in the saddle. Again, focus on smooth technique and maintaining a consistent cadence.
- Start with a 10 minute warm-up as with the fast rides and then build to a steady pace with a slightly lower intensity than your fast rides. Your level of exertion should be a “7”, or a pace that you can maintain (with focus) for the duration of the ride. Finish with a 10 minute cool-down.
- Over time, these sessions will get you accustomed to the demands of a longer ride and have you exploring different positions on the bike. By the day of your big ride you’ll face the distance confidently knowing you’ve paid your dues on the bike.
- These sessions complement the other ride formats, acting as recovery rides between more intense sessions.
- The key with easy rides is to keep yourself from going too hard. As always, focus on smooth technique and maintaining your 80-90 rpm cadence. Start off at a relaxed pace and maintain it. Resist any temptation to jump into a hard gear. Your level of exertion should be “3” (roughly equivalent to your output when walking) and you should be on relatively easy gears for the duration of the ride. Think of it as taking your bike for a walk!
- These rides will have you feeling loose and rested for your next long ride. Easy rides also begin to take the place of other rides as the date of the big ride approaches, ensuring you have fresh legs on the day of the event.
Get ready for your ride by following the Training Blog, where Jess documents her journey through this exact 8-week training plan!