Cycling Training Plans & Training Tips

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How To Train For Cycling Events

The best way to train for cycling is by making it a regular part of your lifestyle. Start off with easy, manageable workouts and build up gradually over a period of weeks and months. The beauty of cycling is that it’s a great workout and a useful method of travel. You can be time-efficient by combining your journey and training into the same time-frame.

Specific Training Tips For Cyclists

Around 80% of your training should be done at an easy or steady effort, where you can maintain a conversation. Low intensity training boosts your fitness and is kind to your body, meaning you’re less likely to get over-tired or injured.

The other 20% of your training should be done at higher intensities. This normally involves harder efforts with frequent rests (after you’ve done a good warm up). Our online training plans include high intensity sessions, longer aerobic workouts and recovery periods, so you will improve consistently throughout. 

Aim to cycle at least twice per week if you want to consistently improve. It’s generally better to follow a pre-planned workout, rather than just riding along aimlessly. Your training should include a mix of longer steady rides, and focused workouts with higher intensity efforts.

Your workouts should start off at a relatively easy level and progress gradually over a period of weeks and months, so that your body gradually adapts to the loads placed upon it. Include regular recovery days and easy weeks, so that it never feels like a drag. The more you enjoy it, the longer you’ll stick with it. Consistency and gradual progression are the keys to improvement.

You can either cycle outdoors in good weather, or indoors using an indoor trainer. Many indoor trainers enable you to use cycling software like Zwift, which makes it more fun. The workouts in our training plans can be exported to platforms such as Zwift, TrainerRoad and Garmin. However, it’s sensible to do at least some of your training outside on the bike you intend to use during your key event. This ensures you’re used to the feel and handling of your race-day bike.

There are normally two 40-minute strength and conditioning sessions per week with our cycle training plans. These workouts can help balance your strength and flexibility, which leads to more efficient movement patterns and fewer injuries. We suggest you only do strength work in addition to at least three rides per week. Rather than instead of them.

Under 40? Compare these with our Standard 10K plans ▸

How Long Do I Need To Train For?

Entering a cycling event is a great way to kickstart your training, because it adds a sense of urgency to your preparation. The earlier you start training for your target event, the more time you can build up your fitness gradually. Fitness adaptations take weeks and months to occur, rather than days. Improvements occur faster for beginners. Either way, you should allow yourself at least 8-12 weeks to get fit.

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Cycling training plans with email coach support

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1. Choose your 4-40 week training plan

With 300+ expertly-crafted plans in beginner, intermediate or advanced, we have a plan to suit you.

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3. Get your online plan and start training!

Tick off your sessions and keep motivated with plans that fit around your lifestyle. Plus, get free email support along the way!

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FEEDBACK FROM MY CYCLING CLIENTS

The training worked extremely well. I never felt in trouble on any of the stages. There were no bad days for me. I think we got the numbers and training right particularly as I was able to ride well day after day.
David Downey - Sept 2015
Haute Route Alps Sportive
Just finished my FTP test. I gained 20 watts!!! I can't believe how beneficial your sessions have been. ​ Saif Al Assam - Aug 2015 Cyclist
Saif Al Assam - Aug 2015
Cyclist
Just wanted to drop a message and let you know that I was extremely pleased with the plan! Your plan combined with TrainingPeaks is the perfect combination.
Mike O'Reilly - Aug 2018

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*on average athletes use their plan twice (our plans can be activated multiple times for free)

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Planning Your Off-Season

You can start our Off-Season (Fitness Maintenance) plans anytime you like.

They’re designed to help you maintain a good level of fitness when you’re not specifically targeting an event, such as, during the off-season, or anytime you’re taking a break from racing.

Planning For Your Event

For the best outcome, input the date for your “A” target race and the tool will default to a plan that will fill that gap nicely. If you want, you can then adjust the plan length to start it on a different day.

Note that you can still work in other, smaller races during your plan too!

Unlimited Athlete Price Rise - Dec 1st 2021

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, after 2 hugely successful years of our Unlimited Athlete subscription with over 1300 active members, we’ve decided to increase our prices for the first time on December 1st.

The feedback has been outstanding (rated 5.0 from 100’s of testimonials), and recently we’ve also added further personal coach time… For example, our coaches now check your personalised training zones are set up correctly, and also keep you accountable by getting in touch if you haven’t logged any training for 2 weeks.

So, to maintain this great customer service and to support our coaches, on Dec 1st we’re increasing both price options by $5 per month, or by $4 per month if you pay annually (but for all existing Unlimited Athletes, to give a fair warning, renewals will not increase in price until Feb 1st, 2022).

Lock-In Prices, Plus an Extra $20-Off!

For Black Friday, we are also giving a bonus $20 off any new annual subscription! Our annual prices are going up by $4 per month, or $48 per year. This means if you sign up this week with our bonus $20 off, you’ll be saving $68 compared to our future annual pricing.

Which comes down to as little as $3.55 per week for unlimited training plans and ongoing certified coach support. We can’t thank everyone enough for all your support!

The longer plans start easier and progress more gradually. This has a bearing on the difficulty level you choose. For example, a 12-week plan starts off at a higher level than a 36-week plan because with 12 weeks left there’s not as much opportunity to build up slowly.
Short Medium Long
Duration
4-12 weeks
14-24 weeks
27+ weeks
Required fitness level
Higher
Moderate
Lower
Training phases
2~4
5~7
8+
Fitness tests
1~2
3~4
5+
Our Standard and Masters plans are designed to get you ready for your target event, while our Off-Season plans allow you to recover from a tough season but still maintain your well-earned fitness.
STANDARD MASTERS OFF-SEASON
Approx. age
Under 40
Over 40
Any
Recovery weeks
Every 4 weeks
Every 3 weeks
N/A
Strength sessions
1-2 per week
2 per week
1-2 per week
Likely goal
Train for event
Train for event
Maintain fitness
This table provides a brief overview of which level might be right for you, to help you get the most out of your plan. You should also note your current fitness levels and how many times you have done this event before.
BEGINNER INTERMEDIATE ADVANCED
Experience
Little to none
1-3 years
3+ years
Time to train
Limited
Moderate
Ample
Likely goal
To finish
At least top half
Competitive
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Price
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From $24.58 per mth
Flexible, structured training
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Coaching videos, articles & FAQs
Email coach support

During plan only

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Swap freely between all 900+ plans
Help setting up your training zones
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