Beginner’s Bike Training Plan | Prepare to travel 100 miles
One of the best ways to stay motivated and stick with your newfound love of riding is to set a goal for yourself. And one of the best ways to achieve that goal is to follow a workout plan.
As cyclists, we often like to make it a goal to cover a significant distance. Depending on your physical condition, it can range from 30 to 100 miles or even over a century, whatever you realistically think you can accomplish in a set amount of time.
Whether you choose to walk the distance to your goal on your own or with a group of friends, participate in a sporting activity, or participate in a charity challenge, one thing is for sure: you will need to work out. It’s a good job as we have a training program especially for you.
Before getting into the plan itself, here are some training truisms you need to stick to …
1. Set your goal
First, choose your event. Be realistic: you want to be challenged, not overwhelmed. Think about what you want to accomplish on your commute.
Do you complete, compete or conquer? Again, be reasonable. Set an impossible goal and you will soon lose your motivation.
Write down your goal and put it in your wallet, on the refrigerator door – anywhere you see it often enough to stay focused.
2. Make your long journeys
We all miss the occasional planned outings, but don’t miss the long, basic workout outings at the heart of your schedule – they are vital.
Bad weather? Go out anyway; you might have bad weather on the day of the event. The bike is broken? Fix it (we have plenty of bike maintenance guides here on BikeRadar), or take it to your bike shop – and learn how to fix it.
Long journeys are when your body gets used to handling the demands that you will face on the big day; they help you draw on your fuel reserves more efficiently and prepare your head for long, demanding efforts.
3. Develop the technique
Get used to incorporating technical work into your general outings and devoting regular sessions to improving your skills. Find a long, winding hill and time it over several descents to work your descent, seeking to go faster by releasing the brakes, leaning in turns and learning when to turn on the power.
Be careful, however – do this with a fellow traveler and only on quiet roads where you can easily see approaching traffic. And don’t think you can make up for a bad climb just by flying downhill.
Protecting yourself from the wind while riding in a group saves you masses of power output from your legs and improves your average speed, but it doesn’t come easily and there are tactics to learn, so practice as a group. . The more comfortable you are with riding safely in tight formation, the more time you can save.
4. Muscle power
Lactic acid is produced when your body breaks down carbohydrates for fuel, resulting in the presence of lactate in your blood which affects the performance of your muscles.
All you really need to know is that the point at which lactate starts to build up faster than you can disperse it is your lactate threshold (LT), and increase it (or work on your potency. functional threshold) will help you drive faster.
Working on your power is also important, both for increasing the amount of force you can put into each pedal stroke and for improving your endurance. We recommend regular high-intensity intervals dedicated to LT and strength work.
We don’t improve when we ride, we improve when we recover afterwards.
This is why you should have at least one day without exercise each week, or more if you stretch too much, plus an easy week each month.
6. Drink enough
You may have read that you should drink 400-900ml of fluid per hour to stay hydrated while riding, but that’s a myth – it varies depending on your personal sweat rate.
Determine precisely what you need at different intensities and in different weather conditions by performing this process on multiple rides:
- Weigh yourself undressed. Suppose you weigh 75 kg.
- When you return, write down how much you ate and drank on your trip. We’re going to say 1,500 ml, which weighs 1.5 kg, and three gels of 0.06 kg each, so you brought 1.68 kg on board.
- Before taking a shower, eating or drinking, dry yourself off and weigh again. We will say that it is now 73.2kg. Subtract the second weight from the first to get your body weight change: 75 – 73.2 = 1.8 kg.
- Add the weight of the food to this to get your total loss: 1.8 + 1.68 = 3.48 kg.
- Estimate toilet stops as it means the losses are higher.
- Divide the total losses by the driving time: 3.48 Ã· 3h = 1.16 kg lost per hour.
You will not come to the end of your workout or event with the same weight as at the beginning, but you should eat and drink enough so that you do not exceed 1 to 2 kg. Try to never lose more than 2-3% mass.
7. Become fuel efficient
You need to drink to replace the water you sweat and breathe out, but drinks also provide fuel. Suffering from a âbonkâ – when your body can’t get the energy it needs – is bad news.
Use a drink that contains 5 to 7 percent carbohydrate. This is an isotonic level – it contains the same concentration of dissolved particles as your body fluids, so it will be absorbed quickly.
Some people prefer a hypotonic drink, a drink with a carbohydrate content of less than 5%. The only way to know what is right for you is to experience the training.
Also, choose a drink that contains electrolytes, especially sodium. This speeds up the flow of fluid to your body, so it’s especially important on long journeys.
Finally, it is essential to choose a drink that you like the taste of. This way, you are much more likely to drink enough. Drink plenty of fluids before you go to start to hydrate yourself well, and continue drinking – little and often – to aid recovery.
If you’ve been training for more than an hour, make it a high-carb drink and don’t wait until you’re thirsty, it’s too late.
You should consume at least 1g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight for every hour that you ride. This can take the form of carbohydrate and electrolyte drinks, gels, bars, solid foods, or a mixture of these.
Your needs may differ from the norm, so experiment with the training to learn exactly what you can tolerate and what you need with you the same day.
If you’re attending an event, find out what food and drink will be available and at what points along the route, and see if it’s right for you. If you can’t stand the energy drink on offer, for example, grab your own (or make your own energy drink). If you’re sick of the sweet stuff, check to see if there’s something salty or take it with you.
8. Avoid injuries
When you increase the amount of driving you do, you put stress and strain on your body. These cycling stretches can help improve your flexibility, while strength training can help prevent injury.
You might be tempted to ignore minor issues in order to stick with the program. No ! Rolling through pain is a great way to make minor problems major.
If you hurt yourself, take it seriously. Take some free time or do cross-training, and if it’s a biomechanical issue, have your riding position examined by an expert. If necessary, consult a healthcare practitioner.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore a potential injury.
9. Training zones
To maximize the effectiveness of the training plan, you will need to set your training zones based on your maximum heart rate (Max HR).
This will allow you to target the areas you want to grow and not overcook it. Our training plan uses zones 1 to 5:
- Zone 1: (50-59% HRmax) – Easy
- Zone 2: (60-69%) – Stable
- Zone 3: (70-79%) – Lively
- Zone 4: (80-89%) – Difficult
- Zone 5: (90-100%) – Very hard
If you want to increase your workout by one level, you can use a power meter (or a smart trainer with a built-in power meter). We have a separate guide with more information on using the training zones.
12 week training plan for cyclists
Read our tips and follow our plan to be ready to cover 40-100 miles in just three months, depending on your goal and current fitness.
If you’ve never used a training plan before, don’t be discouraged – this is a guide and shouldn’t be followed exactly.
If you can’t ride in the morning like we suggest every now and then, or can’t hit the hills when we advise you, swap things out – it’s real life.
And don’t forget, have fun!