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Bicycle Training ABC*

 *plus D, E & F

By Jose A. Hernandez


Here's a sensible training program. I basically summarized a bunch of good advice into an easy to follow chart. Keep in mind that resistant training and proper nutrition is just as important as the cycling program below (continue to lift weights at least twice per week for 20-30 minutes. Also be sure to get enough rest (sleep) so you don't burn out. The total hours/distance is RELATIVE to your goal so hours and distance are not specified. The idea is to define a goal and plan your training accordingly. For example, if your goal is endurance or being able to complete a long ride, you should gradually increase the distance of your long ride until you can do 50-75% of the expected event/goal distance/duration by the end of your base period. The other phases just elevate your fitness level so that you'll be able to easily achieve your goal. Good Luck and remember... be careful.... take it easy.... increase distance/speed GRADUALLY!

Identify your limits and GRADUALLY eliminate them. I repeat... KEEP IT FUN and DON'T risk burning out or a needless injury. LISTEN to your little voice... Listen to your body!!!


 Duration & Frequency



A - Base

 12 weeks

Ride 4-5 Times per week!

Easy does it. 65% of your max heart rate (HR).

Duration and distance is determined by your goal. The idea is to prepare your body to ride for 50% to 75% of the EXPECTED RIDE DURATION. Work on your spinning technique: Shoot for 85-90 Circular RPMs!


Ride 4-5 Times per week! Include one long and one slow ride ride per week (your early Saturday or Sunday ride) Did you buy a heart monitor? What are you waiting for?

B - Speed Work

 8 weeks

Ride 4-5 Times per week.

Do 2 Interval Workouts per week

Do 2 Long rides/ week  @ 75% - 80% of Max HR and 1 easy ride or just rest!


This consists of a combination of sprints and cruise intervals.

A sprint is an all out effort for say 100 meters followed by a rest period. A cruise interval is riding at 85% to 90% of your maximum for five minutes and resting long enough to allow your heart to go back to 60-65% of Max.

Start doing a couple of sprints or cruise intervals and gradually increase this so by the end of 8 weeks you can do 7-8 intervals or sprints during one workout session.Pretty tough, right?


Don't forget to build gradually and take a day or two off each week!! Did you get clipless pedals? WHY NOT?


C - Peaking

6 weeks

Same as above


Same as the Speed Work Phase but we're going to turn up the heat a little

bit more - work a little harder for 6 weeks. In other words, work as HARD

as you can without getting sick or injured.



D - Taper

3 weeks

Ride 3-4 X per week - less distance and less intensity

Three weeks before your ride or race, you're going to do half as much as you were doing during the preceding hard weeks of training. This is when the body really overcompensates and gets stronger. Don't skip this phase!!!


E - Total Rest

1-2 weeks

Get a Life, will you? By now you're probably having cycling nightmares. Take a vacation, watch TV, Eat!

F. Then what?

Go back to phase one. Fitness is a lifetime journey!


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