TRY THIS 7-DAY CYCLING TRAINING PLAN TO JUMPSTART 2022

By Chris Carmichael, Founder and Head Coach of CTS

There is no shortage of endurance challenges spanning the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Although the “Festive 500” – 500 kilometers between December 25-31 – remains one of the most popular, you can also find other distance-, duration-, and elevation-based challenges for the coming week. Instead of joining the challenge chorus, this year I want to encourage cyclists to use this week to jumpstart your 2022 training with a combination of cycling and strength training workouts.

What’s the purpose?

Coaches, podcasters, and YouTubers recommend training in the fall to minimize the loss of fitness gained in the summer. Instead, many athletes go relatively dormant and reach the end of December with a ton of ground to make up.

Ramping up training volume and intensity too quickly is one of the leading causes of injury for athletes. Though it’s more common with runners and triathletes, plenty of cyclists hinder early season training by hurting themselves in January.

This one-week training plan isn’t going to miraculously take your fitness to the next level. Rather, the idea is to prime your body so you are physically ready to match your newfound enthusiasm and commitment.

7-Day Cycling Training Plan

Many of the big Christmas-to-New Year’s challenges aim to finish the year with a big block of riding. However, to start pursuing 2022 goals on January 1, a giant block this week may not be helpful. If you haven’t been training much, the following 7-day plan will ease you into goal-oriented training by next weekend.

As written, the plan has 7 hours on the bike and another 30 minutes or so in strength training. Cyclists who regularly ride 8-plus hours per week can follow the same structure and add 30 minutes to each ride.

cycling training plan

Workouts in the training plan:

Read more about the CTS Field Test and calculating your personal power and heart rate ranges.

Endurance Miles

Rate of perceived exertion: 5-7
Zone: Endurance
Heart Rate: 69-94% of Threshold HR
Average Power: 63-87% of Threshold Power
Typical Duration: 60 Min – 4 Hrs

For an Endurance Miles ride the simple instruction is “go ride your bike”. Endurance Miles rides are moderate intensity aerobic training and span both Endurance and Tempo zones. The intensity range is wide to accommodate changes in effort resulting from uphills, downhills, headwinds, tailwinds, and stop lights. You should spend 90% of the ride should occur within the target intensity range.

For the workouts in the plan above, here’s what the abbreviations mean: During a 90-minute Endurance Miles ride, include two 15-minute Aerobic Tempo intervals, separated by 5 minutes of easy spinning recovery.

 

Aerobic Tempo Intervals

Rate of perceived exertion: : 6-7
Zone: Tempo
Heart Rate: 84-92% of Threshold HR
Average Power: 76-85% of Threshold Power

Tempo intervals focus effort on lower end of your Tempo zone. It is at an intensity that is just above your aerobic threshold but still well below lactate threshold (FTP). This kind of effort feels fast and requires you to keep pressure on the pedals. However, it is moderate enough that you can sustain for a long period of time.

 

Strength Workout #1

Complete 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions for each of the exercises below, including 10 repetitions to each side when applicable. The goal is to get your body moving so you’re ready for more intensive training in January. So, keep the movements slow and controlled. Take 30-60 seconds of recovery between exercises, more if you feel like it. These should not be done a “speed circuits”.

 

Side to Side Monster Band Walks

Bodyweight Squat

Banded Lateral Leg Lift

Strength Workout #2

Complete 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions for each of the exercises below, including 10 repetitions to each side when applicable. The goal is to get your body moving so you’re ready for more intensive training in January. So, keep the movements slow and controlled. Take 30-60 seconds of recovery between exercises, more if you feel like it. These should not be done a “speed circuits”.

Bird Dog

Plank with Hip Drop

Elevated Hip Bridge

 

 

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