Time Trial Training Plans (Zwift Compatible)

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The Best Way To Train For Cycle Time Trials

Cycle time trials are a race against the clock, held over a range of distances, but most commonly 10 and 25 miles. The two biggest determinants of performance are your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) and your drag coefficient.

Your FTP refers to how hard and fast you can pedal for an hour in a race situation, measured in Watts. Whereas your drag coefficient is a number that describes how aerodynamic you (and your bike) are. The lower the drag, the faster you’ll ride for a given power output.

If you want to improve your FTP, a good place to start is by getting a training plan. People who follow training plans have been shown to be twice as likely to succeed in reaching their goals.

Top Training Tips For Cycle Time Trials

Generally speaking, the best way to train for time trials is by riding consistently and regularly over a period of weeks and months. You need to make cycling a part of your lifestyle, be it training at home in the mornings, cycling to work, or riding with friends at the weekend. 

However, with cycle time trials, there is no great disadvantage to training alone or indoors, as it’s a solo event anyway. Indoor trainers are a great option. Many let you wirelessly link to interactive cycling software like Zwift. This means you can ride with real people in a virtual environment. The workouts in our training plans can be exported to platforms such as Zwift, TrainerRoad and Garmin. This allows you to follow the workouts on screen, with visual cues. It’s a bit like having a coach in the room with you.

That said, it’s sensible to do at least some of your training outside on the bike you intend to use. This ensures you’re used to the feel and handling of your event-day bike.

Some of your rides can be easy or steady, done at chatting pace. One or two of your weekly rides should include efforts at or just below your FTP. And some of your rides should include short efforts at above your FTP. Gradually progress your rides over time, either increasing the length of the efforts, or reducing the recovery time

Our Time Trial training plans offer a progressive blend of aerobic endurance rides, Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP) efforts, longer sweet-spot efforts, race practice rides and FTP efforts with short recoveries. These workouts are structured to progressively challenge your boundaries.

Anything you can do to reduce drag will help too. For example, a wind tunnel test might help you knock 2-minutes off your 25 time trial times, without you having to pedal any harder. Aero testing can also be done on a cycle-track or estimated via software that takes your bike and body measurements.

Research shows that appropriate strength training can boost cycle performances too, and our training plans feature two strength and conditioning sessions per week. If you can fit them around your schedule, they are well worth doing.

The way you train, depends on the goals you have. It’s good to start by writing down some clear goals. For example: “Improve my Functional Threshold Power by 20 watts in three months”.  Or: “Get fit enough to ride a 50 mile TT in 12 weeks”. Whatever your goal, the training principles are similar. You need to start at a level that is comfortable for you right now, and then build up slowly over the next few months.

Your training program should be built around two or three key rides each week. Any additional rides you do are advantageous, but not essential. The first key session is an endurance ride, where you slowly increase your ride duration over a period of months, from whatever is comfortable for you now, say up to two hours (depending on your goal). These rides should be done at chatting pace, ideally with friends, while you consume energy drinks and snacks every 30 minutes along the way.

Your second key ride is a sweet-spot session, designed to raise your FTP without leaving you feeling excessively fatigued afterwards. By training your body to ride harder, it will also feel easier to maintain a given pace for longer. For example, ride 3 x 10 minutes at 90% of your 1-hour race pace effort, with three-minute recoveries (plus a warm up and warm down).  You should progress these rides over time, so your body keeps adapting to new stimulus.

Your third key ride should be another speed session, such as 5 x 3 minutes as hard as you can, with 3-minute active recoveries. This is designed to raise the ceiling of your current sustainable power output. 

However you train, make sure your key sessions progress gradually, rather than keeping them the same each week. This is how you get fitter.

Any additional rides you decide to do should be done mostly at an easy/steady intensity. It won’t do you any harm to throw in a few harder efforts during these rides but keep at least 80% of your riding at an easy intensity. You want to feel relatively fresh for your three key weekly rides.

Always be mindful of over training, road safety and avoiding injury. It’s also important to include regular recovery periods, so you can train happily and consistently over a period many months. In our cycling training plans, we make every fourth week an active recovery period, with half the training volume of a normal week.

We include two 40-minute strength and conditioning sessions per week with our cycle training plans. Not everyone can fit them in around their busy lives, on top of cycling, but it’s great if you can. These workouts improve your strength and flexibility, which leads to more efficient movement patterns and fewer injuries.

Using A Time Trial Training Plan

Online training plans are for athletes who don’t feel the need for a personal coach, but who still want the structure and planning of an expertly-written training program. Research has shown that you are twice as likely to reach your goals if you train with a structured plan.

About Phil Mosley
About Phil Mosley

As an athlete and parent I know how challenging it can be to train effectively for endurance events. As a certified coach with over 20 years’ experience, I’ve found the biggest challenge to be balancing my client’s training with their lifestyle…

And that’s why I started MyProCoach - to offer the world’s most comprehensive range of online endurance sports training plans. All designed to help you enjoy the same success that my athletes and I have, while still making sure you have quality time available for your family, friends and career. And the results have been great - read 80+ detailed testimonials here.

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Why use our training plans?

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Premium, flexible plans

Research-backed plans for any experience-level that fit around your lifestyle. From leading endurance coach Phil Mosley.

Intuitive tracking software

A flexible calendar, targeted training zones, trackable progress and so much more - on any device.

Email access to coach

On top of full help-centre & FAQ support (with videos), our coaches will quickly reply to any questions you have via email.

Our Time Trial Plans (6-10 Weeks)

MORE THAN JUST A TRAINING PLAN

We use Training Peaks to deliver your plan – the world’s most popular endurance coaching platform. Free to use, Training Peaks is an online calendar that lets you record, track and analyze your training sessions. 

It has a host of great features allowing you to get as in-depth as you like, including the ability to export your workouts to your training devices (Garmin, TrainerRoad etc) and follow them in real time. 

Training Peaks enables us to set you in-depth training plans in a way that other formats cannot. Phil Mosley is a Certified Coach and one of the best-selling coaches on the platform.

We want to provide an affordable and effective training solution, including email coach support for any questions you may have. As you can understand, some limits apply, like personalisation or analysis of your training, but for anything else relevant to your plan, we would love to help. We also give you full access to our online help centre, with videos and articles to help you train effectively.

Certainly! Our training plans allow you to easily swap a few days around each week to suit your availability. We give a few recommendations on how to best do this in our help centre.

Yes! Our training plans guide you up to your target “A” race, but it’s also good to include some “B or C” races along the way. Our help centre goes through the exact steps you should take to enable you to get full benefit, without detracting from your key focus.

BEGINNER

Perfect for your first Time Trials
4:30-6 hrs per week, across 4-6 workouts
  • Premium, flexible plan
  • Intuitive tracking software
  • Help centre & FAQ support
  • Email access to coach
  • From just $5.40/week!

INTERMEDIATE

Sharpen Your Speed
7-8 hrs per week, across 5-7 workouts
  • Premium, flexible plan
  • Intuitive tracking software
  • Help centre & FAQ support
  • Email access to coach
  • From just $5.40/week!

ADVANCED

Maximise your Potential
9-10 hrs per week, across 6-8 workouts
  • Premium, flexible plan
  • Intuitive tracking software
  • Help centre & FAQ support
  • Email access to coach
  • From just $5.40/week!

Join Over 10,000 Successful Athletes

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
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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Other Plans

In response to client feedback, we’re continually designing new specialist plans to get the best results from all our athletes. Follow the links below to read about them and see if they could be a good fit for you.

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Time Trial Cycling - Beginner Plans:

You should count back the weeks from your “A” target race-date – noting that you can still work in other, smaller races during your plan too. Generally, the longer the better – as this will give you more chance to gradually build up your training and fitness. The body responds best to constant progression with regular recovery periods, and that’s exactly what our training plans are designed to give you.

Further questions about choosing the right plan or using it? Our coaching team would be happy to help: info@myprocoach.net

Preview or Buy Now!

CLICK A BUTTON BELOW TO BE DIRECTED TO THE TRAININGPEAKS™ ONLINE STORE

Time Trial Cycling - Intermediate Plans:

You should count back the weeks from your “A” target race-date – noting that you can still work in other, smaller races during your plan too. Generally, the longer the better – as this will give you more chance to gradually build up your training and fitness. The body responds best to constant progression with regular recovery periods, and that’s exactly what our training plans are designed to give you.

Further questions about choosing the right plan or using it? Our coaching team would be happy to help: info@myprocoach.net

Preview or Buy Now!

CLICK A BUTTON BELOW TO BE DIRECTED TO THE TRAININGPEAKS™ ONLINE STORE

Time Trial Cycling - Advanced Plans:

You should count back the weeks from your “A” target race-date – noting that you can still work in other, smaller races during your plan too. Generally, the longer the better – as this will give you more chance to gradually build up your training and fitness. The body responds best to constant progression with regular recovery periods, and that’s exactly what our training plans are designed to give you.

Further questions about choosing the right plan or using it? Our coaching team would be happy to help: info@myprocoach.net