Yearly Cycling Training Regimen

A Yearly Cycling Training Regimen

Training is an ugly word to me, especially at my age. In some manner I am indeed training or making an effort to maintain my fitness. There are no “off seasons”.

January

This isn’t a month that is kind to cyclists. Modify your training when the roads are icy. Don’t go running. You might do the gym work, ride trainers or “rollers” inside.

Mondays: Gym work weight training/circuit training.

Tuesdays: 2-3 hours on the bike with steady miles

Wednesdays: Gym/weights

Thursdays: 2-3 hours on the bike with steady miles

Fridays: A lighter session in the gym

Saturdays: 3-4 hours on the bike

Sundays: 4-6 hours on the bike

February

Similar program as January but workouts should be progressive.

Bike speed will be improving.

Mondays: Gym work weight training/circuit training.

Tuesdays: 2-3 hours on the bike with steady miles

Wednesdays: Gym/weights

Thursdays: 2-3 hours on the bike with steady miles

Fridays: A lighter session in the gym

Saturdays: 3-4 hours on the bike with steady miles

Sundays: 4-6 hours on the bike with steady miles

March

The racing season starts now. The weather is improving. More training on the bike is possible and probable therefore less time is spent in the gym. Taper off on the longer, steadier rides for week-ends in favor of workouts for strength, endurance, and speed.

Mondays: Recovery day- lighter training ride with low gears.

Tuesdays: 2-3 hours of general endurance training

Wednesdays: Gym/weights

Thursdays: 3 hours on the bike-long steady distance but lift the speed some, at least toward the end.

Fridays: Rest day- check the bike for the weekend-

Saturdays: Early season races- use them for training- technique-anaerobic threshold

Sundays: Race or go for a 5-6 hour ride. Rev up the pressure from time to time.

April

Mondays: Again recovery day- lighter training ride with low gears, spinning the legs to work out the lactic acid which will have accumulated from the efforts of the week-end.

Tuesdays: 2-3 hours of general endurance training

Wednesdays: Look for special areas to work on-weaknesses

Thursdays: 3 hours of general endurance training

Fridays: Rest day- check the bike for the weekend

Saturdays: Race according to fitness and conditions-otherwise steady riding

Sundays: Race according to fitness and conditions-otherwise steady riding

May

Major events start now. These events could tax the body-combined with heavy training, could bring recovery problems. Check you pulse twice daily to see how recovery is progressing. If the pulse is elevated, the next workout should be light.

Mondays: Recovery day- lighter training ride with low gears.

Tuesdays: About 1 ½ hours of paced effort, as fast as you can. This to prepare for greater speed later.

Wednesdays: 3 hours of general anaerobic endurance work. Put out extreme effort from time to time making sure you go into anaerobic condition. This gets your muscles used to working with a build-up of lactic-acid.

Thursdays: Speed training-intervals

Fridays: Rest day- check the bike for the weekend

Saturdays: Racing- If not racing long steady riding and mix it up

Sundays: Racing- If not racing long steady riding and mix it up

June

Major events start now. These events could tax the body-combined with heavy training, could bring recovery problems. Check your pulse twice daily to see how recovery is progressing. If the pulse is elevated, the next workout should be light.

Mondays: Recovery day- lighter training ride with low gears.

Tuesdays: About 1 ½ hours of paced effort, as fast as you can. This to prepare for greater speed later.

Wednesdays: 3 hours of general anaerobic endurance work. Put out extreme effort from time to time making sure you go into anaerobic condition. This gets your muscles used to working with a build-up of lactic-acid.

Thursdays: Speed training-intervals

Fridays: Rest day- check the bike for the weekend

Saturdays: Racing- If not racing long steady riding and mix it up

Sundays: Racing- If not racing long steady riding and mix it up

July and August and September

Step up the regimen with more anaerobic work and interval training. Watch out for “staleness” that may be exhibited in loss of sleep, loss of appetite, irritability, and loss of form. If these signs are present slightly, ease up. If these signs are pronounced- give up training for a while. Take your mind off the bike for a while- refresh yourself mentally.

Mondays: Recovery day- lighter training ride with low gears.

Tuesdays: About 1 ½ hours of paced effort, as fast as you can. This to prepare for greater speed later.

Wednesdays: 3 hours of general anaerobic endurance work. Put out extreme effort from time to time making sure you go into anaerobic condition. This gets your muscles used to working with a build-up of lactic-acid.

Thursdays: Speed training-intervals

Fridays: Rest day- check the bike for the weekend

Saturdays: Racing- If not racing long steady riding and mix it up

Sundays: Racing- If not racing long steady riding and mix it up

September

September is also century month. Many clubs still have races but many are also sponsoring Metric centuries and centuries. Manyracers will use these as “race days”.

October and December

At the end of a hard racing season the inclination is to rest, stay off the bike, stop training, do more socializing- everything you’ve been putting off.

You need a psychological relaxation period.

Physically, it’s a bad idea to abandon everything. Don’t be taken in when others say that they don’t get on the bike before New Years or some other nonsense. They are certainly doing something. They are cyclo-crossing, mountain biking, swimming, or in the gym. If they are competitive, they are active year-round.

Part of being a great cyclist may be the ability to lie about the training one does.

LSD- (long steady distance)

This is the fundamental of training- the cornerstone. LSD is basic aerobic training to build up stamina. The longer the race is- the more distance you need in training. It is time in the saddle. Group riding is the best way for this. It breaks the monotony. Try to retain spin and form. A lot of racers, including Greg Lemond have said that there is not much need to go over 3 or 4 hours. However, I know of very proficient riders who concentrate on the time spent on the bike training a week or so before an event to be equal to the time spent on race day. It doesn't have to be with the same effort. Time in the saddle can help your "rear" stay in the saddle.

Basic speed or paced-effort training

This is cutting down on distance and concentrating on going faster, pacing your effort throughout the workout. It’s aerobic work but emphasizing on improving speed. A time-triallist would move from LSD to riding 20 to 30 miles at a constant pace, gauging his effort for the distance, but extending himself as well. This will develop speed and accustom your muscles to work at reasonable levels of lactic acid.

Bit-and-bit

This is aerobic and anaerobic. Perhaps with a group of six, you take a turn at the front of a pace-line. The front rider is making an effort but the riders are changing the lead every 100 to 200 meters. The time taken to ease back to the front should be same as to allow the lactic acid to be dispersed. This can replicate racing conditions such as being in a break-away in a race.

Interval training

This is planned effort and rest period system. The rest period should allow only a “partial recovery”. Efforts should be all-out and rest periods should be very easy. Intensive speed training will be short efforts with short periods of rest.

Fartlek

Once having reached a high level of training participate in what is “mock racing”. This is going out with a group, working steadily within your capacity, and occasionally sprinting for a point in the road. This is maintaining a level of fitness with an enjoyable form of training in company.

On-the-bike-strength-training

This is using medium high gears and going from a slow speed to a maximum in as short a time as possible. This is similar to intervals but it’s more of using a strong gear but not over revving at maximum speed.

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Comments 19 comments

Jess Killmenow profile image

Jess Killmenow 6 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

This is great instruction, Micky. I will take from it what I can to enhance my cycling experience. Thank you!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Jess Dude- It's not getting up to 40 during my ride time tomorrow. I don't care what "Wednesday" would say. I' a thousand years old (I feel like it anyway) and I just ride my rollers and mix it up when I can with a longer ride. Most of my rides are fartleks- Wednesdays anyway. I try to do something every day. Actually- because I got beat up last Thursday by a national caliber rider I took today and yesterday off and "fasted" (a bit-fruit juice).


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Hey Micky, I like October and December LOL, It is really hard work, but sure you must rest on lat part of the year, you deserve to rest alright! How are? Maita


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

There's no "real rest". I'm fine and hope you are. Thanks for stopping by!


Hussains profile image

Hussains 6 years ago from Olympia, WA

A great hub Micky. I never learned to balance a bicycle. I feel you are very smart to be able to do it in all seasons and enjoy nature as well as a good work out. Thanks for sharing.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Oh Hussains. today was rough. It was cold. I returned home once to put more layers on but still- it was ridiculously cold. I managed about 28 while riding with a friend. Had I been alone it would have been a shorter ride. My face was cold and that took more blood from the the toes. This seems the coldest December in a while. Thanks for stopping by.


Greensnob 6 years ago

M D - I have a fat tire no gear bike that I derive immense pleasure from riding. I just imagine that I am achieving all of these levels when riding, LOL


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

A bike is a bike is a bike is a bike! Let's roll!

Thanks for dropping by!


Drwibble profile image

Drwibble 6 years ago from UK

Nice training schedule. I found over the last month I been cycling less lately due to the snow and black ice on the roads. Even worse, with all the salt and grit, it seems I am spending more time cleaning my bike then actually using it. roll on the summer


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Drwibble I know from whence you speak. Living in the mountains of NC for decades was/is much different from the Piedmont. At about 3,000 ft there is a lot of weather that isn't at sea level. However, even in the low area I'm in now, it is bitter. The roads are OK right now. I just got in from 21 miles of riding. I rode out to where a Wednesday ride usually meets. I was the only one to show up. I expected to ride out and back, mostly anyway. Not unbearable, just not fun.


Truth From Truth profile image

Truth From Truth 6 years ago from Michigan

You are truly dedicated. Self motivation is rare these days.

I used to play basketball everyday, now that I have a son it's time I got back to it. Thanks.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

I used to play Bball too. I was so tall you know-5'6". I'm sure you remember Mugsy Bogues- very short, fast, great shooter, dribbler- I was just like Mugsy- except I couldn't shoot, dribble, I wasn't fast, or black- other than that we were just alike. Thanks Truth!


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Micky, you're a tougher cyclist than I've ever been! For years, I cycle commuted to/from Central London, 12 miles each way, which gave me a reasonable 'base'. Saturdays then were for house do-it-yourself work, and Sundays were the long ride into the countryside, exploring villages, farm roads and the occasional country pub!

Unfortunately I don't have a bike here in Qatar. It's really not a safe cycling place, and for most of the year it's just too hot. But when home in UK, the old Stratos is always ready and willing.

The photos here bring it all back :)


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Paraglider, you know life is a bunch of tricks. I've been able to ride because of a working for bike shops (poverty) having bike shop, and an inn, but I've led a life. Right now it is so cold and has been that there is no training regimen to adhere to. I've mostly been as you were. I love to travel exploring towns and the countryside. I like to stop into a country store. Sometimes I've been on the edge of being one of those best riders. I could see the best but couldn't quite attain that "best" stature. I've done well with little talent. Alas, I'm a "has-been-that-never-was." We ride and we pretend that we're Eddy Merckx, for a day. Thank you for coming by and commenting. Be safe.


liswilliams profile image

liswilliams 6 years ago from South Africa

one disciplined cyclist, keep it up Micky!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Yo Liswilliams! No, no, no! I'm not going to do all that stuff. That's what I recommend everyone else to do!


CyclingFitness profile image

CyclingFitness 5 years ago from Nottingham UK

Nice article chap. Have you thought of trying an easy 'leg opener' ride on Fridays before a Saturday Race? I find it helps personally, though not for everyone


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

CyclingFitness -yoyoyo! Yes sir. I have prescribed to that plan as well. I know many who will spin the day before.

I think it really depends on the activities leading up to the event.

I often ride (kind of hard) on Wednesday with the club. So often I will rest on Thursday - maybe not spin a lick or look at the bike. So- Friday, I actually do feel like I need to ride my "rollers" (inside machine) for about 32 minutes. Saturday is often like "race day" with the "boys".

But take "Cross Florida" this year. A friend and I drove down on Saturday. We rode on Sunday - 170 miles.

Now- another reason I don't mind missing "the day before the ride - ride" is that we were in Cocoa Beach a decade ago and more. We we riding the "Cross Florida" ride the next day. On a 5 mile ride - I ran a nail into a $65 tire. I had to ride 170 miles with an old tire. I made it fine. Flats are not really common with me.

But "superstition" of a sort? (There are other superstitions or quirks that I will address.) God-speed brother!


Ahmet 21 months ago

Before the ride I'm going to make sure all of the batteries in my lihgts are charged. I love being visible, and dead batteries make me invisible. I'm also going to print out and bring several copies of the directions from the website.During the ride I'm going to enjoy it! If I see pedestrians I'm going to give them a playfully entertaining biiiiKKEEEE PAAAAAAAAAAARTY! as best as I can get from my square vocal chords. I'm also going to yell RED LIGHT PARTY! and STOP at red lihgts. I'm going to say thank you and smile to other people that stop with me. Especially if I'm the first one to stop and they are the second. Usually it only takes about half a dozen of us stopped at a light to give the idea critical mass for the people behind us.If I see a car in or trying to get in the left left lane I'm going to yell BIKE PARTY RIGHT LANE! at least a couple of times. I'm also going to drift right myself if that makes the move easier for someone else.If I empty a can I'm going to make sure it ends up in a recycling bin or something like that. No dropping it in the street for me! (BTW: Bringing glass bottles to bike party makes no sense at all. Aluminum or plastic all the way!)

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