Sample Training Plans for the Cycle Against Suicide
by Alan Heary – Your Cycling Academy
Before you start any of these programs please take note:
Safety in any cycle is paramount so ALWAYS wear a hard shell helmet on any of your spins. Make sure it fits correctly.
Make sure that your bike is road worthy and that the brakes work.
Tips and advice to get you started
Ask for help. If you are not sure that your bike or helmet is set up properly for you, drop into a local bike shop and just ask for some advice.
Get your friends and family involved by telling them that you are taking part in the cycle and get them to join you for some spins.
Most cycling clubs have group rides of varying levels that go out on a Sunday morning. You could contact your local club and tell them what level you are currently cycling at and join in on one of these spins. For a list of clubs in your area visit www.cyclingireland.ie
Vary the route you ride in training so that you get to see more of the countryside and it will stop any boredom from setting in.
If the weather is bad you can take a trip down to your local gym and do a spin class or use some of the other aerobic machines (Stepper, Xtrainer, Treadmill, Stationary bike) to build your fitness level.
In each of the plans you will see that there are scheduled rest days. Rest days don’t mean that you just sit down and relax all day. Instead, do some other form of activity like walking, swimming or some stretching.
Most beginners to cycling make the mistake of using too “heavy” of a gear and find it hard to turn the pedals. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your gears. Get used to changing them so that you are pedaling at about 80 – 90 Revs Per Minute (Know as your cadence).
Start slow and build up. These plans are designed to get you to do a little more each week to gain fitness. Sometimes we can start very enthusiastically and go for longer and harder than we should but this can lead to over-training so listen to your body and progress at your own pace.
Get used to drinking on the bike and if you are doing spins longer than 90mins you can eat a banana or a small energy bar during your ride.
Please Note: Before starting any plan you should have a medical check up. The plans provided are sample plans and can be changed to suit your lifestyle and time commitments. If you have less than 10 weeks to the event you can count back the weeks on the plan and start from that week (only if you feel you have the fitness to do it). For a more personalised plan you can visit www.yourcyclingacademy.com
100km+ Training Plan
Please Note: In order to do more than 100kms you will need to be able to train with some extra volume and intensity. This plan definitely gets you doing both and you should have a good level of fitness before attempting it.
This plan also requires some very hard efforts, which means you will need to listen to your body and if you’re feeling completely fatigued, drained or not ready for your next ride, take an extra rest day to recover.
- Steady – Being able to ride while slightly out of breath but able to hold a conversation
- Hard – The pace is harder and you should be more out of breath. On a scale of 1 – 10 of how hard it feels, it should be about a 7. Recovery between each interval should be equal to length of interval. E.g 5mins hard = 5mins steady after
- Very Hard – Your legs are probably burning, you’re breathing faster and the intensity on the scale is 8 or 9 out of 10. Recovery between each should be double interval length.
- Max – This is an all out effort!! 10 out of 10. Recovery between intervals should be steady until feeling fully recovered.
Some things to Note:
- You can find a group or club to ride with on a Sunday or create your own with a few friends. This will get you used to cycling in a bunch (group of riders). If not, chose a route with some rolling hills to push you a little harder.
- This plan is not set in stone and you can vary the days training if it doesn’t fit into work commitments.
- The rest days are designed to help you recover after the tougher training days so if you want to do some exercise on these days, take a walk or swim and stretch.
- Stretch after each of your spins.