Cycling: Level II Cyclist, Base (Winter, Off-Season) Training Plan, 4.25-10.5 hrs/wk

This plan is written for an experienced cyclist that had a great summer season of riding, or currently has solid fitness, and is looking to maintain strong off-season fitness. The purpose of this off-season is to enjoy improved performance next season – a step up. This plan can be used by cyclists that intend to race or those that want to improve group ride speed.

While the plan is written as an off-season training guide, it can be used to build foundation fitness at any time of the year. At less than $1 per day, this plan offers excellent value.

Find the supporting documents you need to help you with this plan in the right column of this main page. in the right column of this page.

PROFILE

The plan is designed for a Level II cyclist that is riding three or four times per week before beginning the plan. You are currently capable of comfortably completing a two-and-a-half hour ride. Your current long ride is mostly aerobic, but may include a small amount of intensity.

You are looking to build strength, endurance and increase your riding speed for next season. You want a weight training program included in your plan that will deliver on-the-bike speed later.

Your schedule allows you to train six or seven days per week.

GOAL

Your goal is to have an off-season training plan that gives you a jump on your summer fitness. Your main goal is to complete some 80 to 90 percent of the training hours given each week, ranging from 4.25 to 9.5 or 10.5 hours per week.

Two measures of improvement include improved speed for an aerobic time trial and improved speed for an all-out time trial. A third measure is your improvements during regular group rides. This might mean riding with a faster group or riding with less effort than in the past. Less effort can be measured by average heart rate values for a given distance or average heart rate for a given power output.

THE PLAN OVERVIEW

Take a look at the plan preview. The first week should be very manageable to you, before beginning the plan.

The overall structure is two weeks of training to build training volume and intensity, followed by one week of recovery. This is a three-week cycle format. While some riders can do well on a four-week cycle, I have found a three-week cycle works well for athletes utilizing higher training levels because riders can keep the quality of workouts high and avoid deep fatigue.

For the overall structure of the plan, Monday and Wednesday are strength training days. Friday is shown as an optional day off on the plan; however, depending on your personal needs, Friday can be an additional strength training day or an optional easy ride day. This is where the plan training time can increase by an hour each week. (Ranging on the top side from 9.5 to 10.5 hours per week.)

If you decide to strength train on Fridays, keep the AA Phase of training on this day throughout the entire plan. If you decide to ride for an hour on Fridays, keep the intensity of the ride mostly in Zones 1 to 2. You can use this day to work on cycling skills as well. The plan includes several days of skills, use any one of these workouts.

Tuesday and Thursday workouts vary throughout the plan, but the time stays around an hour on each day. If you have the time and energy to increase these workouts up to 30 minutes each, that is another option. Remember that more volume does not necessarily make you a faster rider. More volume or intensity is only good if your body can use it for positive adaptations. Chose wisely.

Saturday rides on the plan are the longer and more intense rides of the weekend. These can be group rides. If you do participate in group rides, try to keep the intentions of the workout shown on the plan within your group ride. If your gr

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