The next phase of your cycling training will depend on what kind of cyclist you are. If you’re just starting out, then it’s probably best to focus on building up your aerobic capacity first before moving onto harder workouts like interval sessions or time trials. You’ll need all the speed and power you can get if you want to compete at a high level in road races.
If you’ve been riding regularly for awhile, then you might consider doing some longer rides to develop your endurance. These could include rides of 100 miles or even 200 miles (or more) with plenty of rest between them. A ride of this length would allow you to maintain a good level of fitness while also giving you enough time to recover from the hard efforts.
Finally, if you’re a competitive rider, then you may want to start focusing on the more technical aspects of your sport. For example, maybe you’d like to try your hand at mountain biking or trail running. These types of activities require a different type of training than other sports because they involve climbing and descending over rugged terrain without any flat land surfaces available for recovery.
So it makes sense to train these skills in their own separate phase after building up your aerobic abilities.
Doing shorter rides more frequently is an important way to stay in shape during the base training period. You’ll need to do these short rides 2-3 times per week with at least one rest day in between. Make sure you take it easy the first few times so that your body has time to adjust, because if you go too hard right from the beginning, then you’re going to burn yourself out quickly and potentially cause more harm than good.
Make sure you keep detailed training logs so that you know what’s working and what’s not. Also be sure to warm up and stretch your muscles gradually before and after your rides to help prevent injury.
Road Racing Training Plan
Most of the strategies mentioned in the endurance section also apply to road racing, except now you’ll need to start focusing on your sprinting power as well as your aerobic abilities.
Start out by doing some basic sprint exercises (hill sprints, standing starts, etc.) after you’ve warmed up. For your aerobic training, you’ll do better with medium intensity rides rather than long ones, so most of your riding should be around the hour mark.
Also include some steady efforts where you ride at your maximum ability for about 20 to 40 minutes. Remember to take it easy the first few times so that your muscles, lungs and heart have a chance to adapt gradually.
As you improve, you may want to start racing on the road or track to see how you stack up against others and to give yourself more of a challenge. To help with your specific needs as a road racer, try the following training plan:
3 month plan: Ride 4 days per week doing steady efforts of 1 to 2 hours. Do hill sprints and other strength workouts 2 days per week.
6 month plan: Continue the above routine, while also adding a long ride of 3 to 4 hours once per week.
1 year plan: Do the above, but also add in a couple of races during the year such as a local criterium or circuit race. The addition of some real racing will give your training a new dimension and allow you to test your fitness under real conditions.
Road racing is a fantastic and thrilling experience where all sorts of goals and ambitions can be pursued. You can race to become fitter, faster or even just for the fun and thrill of competition. Whichever reason you have, always make sure that you stay safe during your rides and races and always wear your helmet.
Mountain Biking Training
Mountain biking can be a fun and exciting sport that offers a great workout and a chance to enjoy the outdoors, but it’s important to start off on the right foot. The most important thing is to build up your strength and endurance gradually so you can handle the bike and the terrain.
Start out by riding local trails that are fairly easy so you don’t get in over your head and hurt yourself. Build up your distance gradually on these easy trails, then after a couple of months move on to more difficult trails. As with road biking, keep track of your workouts so you’re progressing, but not overdoing it.
Here’s a sample mountain biking plan to get you started:
3 month plan: Ride 3 times per week, with one ride being endurance training (2+ hours), one being an interval training and one being a skills practice (riding technical trails). Also do some weight training 2 times per week focusing on legs.
6 month plan: Add a fourth ride to your weekly schedule and experiment with different types of riding. Continue other training as above.
1 year plan: By now you should be fairly comfortable with most types of mountain biking and racing. Continue with this plan if you want, or feel free to experiment with other types of riding.
Mountain biking can be a great experience and offers many challenges for years to come. Remember to have fun and always wear your helmet!
Long Distance Riding
Long distance cycling is a wonderful way to see the world and experience many different landscapes while doing something you love.
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