Winter Training Plan – Totally Addicted To Base

For the last 3 months I’ve been riding around, enjoying myself, sometimes doing a lot, sometimes eating takeaways (2 Burger Kings and 1 Chinese last week!) – not taking it too seriously. Yesterday I bought some sports nutrition products, last week I planned what I need to do (or think I need to do), and now it’s time to actually do it! Starting tomorrow I’ll hopefully ride and thus begin my preparation for next years cycling season. The last few months haven’t been wasted, I’ve loosely been riding towards increasing my ability to undertake more mileage – so that I can ride more hours this winter than the last one.

I think it’s important to use last years training as a model for this years – can I add more, did I actually achieve my goals last year, has my fitness improved? The image below shows what I did last winter:

EMC/GRC are club runs; Newburn is a chaingang.

Last winter I rode 104 hours, 1829 miles (8.5 h/week) – these are important figures to use for this years training plan. The addition of even 20% more volume would increase my fitness by a considerable amount. From August to October this year, I did 131 hours, I’m getting better at doing more!

A year ago I was pretty ambitious, or unrealistic. I’d actually planned for more like 150 hours over those three months but was quickly met with a body and mind that didn’t want to push that hard, having only recently started cycling. I didn’t have lights, mudguards, or any real idea of what sessions I would do and why. I’d read a training manual but not really absorbed it.

This year I hope for the following, which is a realistic plan, with enough space to actually increase from, if my body allows:

Key: E2 (Endurance Ride), S1 (Cadence Technique), M1 (Tempo), E1 (Recovery Ride), GRC (Club Run), M2 (Cruise Intervals), S5 (Form Sprints), F1 (Moderate Hills), F2 (Long Hills)

Totals Hours: 157.5 hours – an increase of 50% on last year.

My training over these next three months will be dominated by a big block during a holiday to Gran Canaria – 25 hours is quite realistic seeing as I’ll simply cycle, eat and sleep. With this in mind I’ve lowered some of the hours in my other weeks. Wednesday is down as Newburn but I could quite as easily exchange this for a longer ride with Nick, who’ll be riding out in the countryside, somewhere!

There isn’t huge amount of detail in the plan, to allow some flexibility – Saturday rides will either be in a decent fast group, or as a club run, it all depends on who’s around and what the weathers like!

Now then, I better get onto it, my bicycle is waiting…

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