This Base period training plan was created by Joe Friel for the category 1-2 cyclist to maximize base fitness using the principles described in his book, The Cyclist's Training Bible. Each workout is written so that you may use either heart rate or power to gauge intensity. Consider starting this plan about 23 weeks prior to your first A race of the season. Following this 12-week plan will get you ready to start the CAT 1-2 BUILD-PEAK-RACE PERIODS PLAN which specifically prepares you for your A-priority race.
To start this plan you should be able to train about 12 hours a week. Over 12 weeks you will increase your weekly volume to about 18 hours including bike rides for aerobic endurance, force, muscular endurance and power; cross training in the first 4 weeks; and 1 to 2 strength workouts each week. The exceptions are the R&R weeks every fourth week when volume is significantly reduced for 4 days culminating with self-testing at the end of the week to measure progress.
The plan uses common language to describe the workouts and is easy to follow. It provides optional power workouts for the rider with a powermeter. By the end of 12 weeks you will have excellent Base fitness and be ready to start the Build period 11 weeks prior to your A-priority road race.
Your bike training zones (heart rate and/or power) should be set before starting the plan. (For a detailed description of how to set your zones go to http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/11/quick-guide-to-setting-zones.html.)