Beginners Training Program
Here’s a 8 week beginners program to help you go from zero to hero as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
It’s that time of the year when the posters for upcoming bike races begin to wallpaper every bit of available space at the local bike shop and fitness center. You’d like to sign-up and race, but the only training you’ve done is taking a lap between the couch and the refrigerator during commercial breaks.
Don’t let your lack of time in the saddle hold you back. Sticking to this cycling training program will take you from the couch to crossing the finish line in just 8 weeks.
1.5 to 2 hour rides 3 to 4 days each week with a 2.5 hour ride on Sundays. Keep the cadence high meaning 90 to 100 rpm. Keep the cadence high by riding in your easier gears. If you don’t have a cycling computer that measures cadence, a good rule of thumb is to shift to a harder gear if your rear end is bouncing on the saddle. If you can’t keep that 90-100 rpm cadence, you need to find a gear that makes it easier to do so. (Don’t be afraid to shift!) Measuring the distance you’re riding isn’t as important as getting used to spinning your legs and spending time on the bike.
These 3 weeks are for developing a fitness base that can be built upon for the following 5 weeks. After the first week (maybe even after the first day or two) your rear end may really hurt when you first sit on the saddle at the beginning of the ride. Don’t worry, this is normal. Not only are you training your legs you’re also training your core and muscles near your sit bones. You shouldn’t have any discomfort by the middle of the second week.
Monday: 1 hour ride 90-100rpm to recover from Sunday’s ride, or a rest day, if you feel too fatigued to ride.
Tuesday: 20-minute warm up at 90-100rpm. 30 minute time trial. 20 minute cool down at 90-100 rpm.
Ride your 30-minute time trial as hard as you possibly can. This is a maximum effort and should feel like you’re racing. Make sure you choose a section of road or trail where you won’t have to stop and start again. It’s really important that you ride continuously without having to stop for 30 minutes.
Wednesday: 1 hour ride. Ride at 75% of Tuesday’s effort for the middle 30 minutes of the ride.
Thursday: Repeat of Tuesday’s workout.
Friday: 1 hour ride 90-100 rpm to recover from Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s workouts. Or, if you feel fatigued, take a rest day.
Saturday: Rest Day no ride.
Sunday: Group ride or longer 2.5 hour ride.