The Benefits Of Training With A Plan

The Benefits Of Training With A Plan

We recently highlighted our top 10 cycling challenges for 2018 to inspire you for the New Year. If you’ve already signed up for an event this year, you may be wondering where to start with your training. Here, we explain how using a training plan will help you achieve your goals:

  • The benefits of following a training plan

  • When and how to start your training

  • How to get the most out of your training plan

The benefits of following a training plan

Whether you’re a beginner cyclist who has just signed up for your first sportive, or you’re a seasoned cyclist looking to improve, a training plan can bring many benefits including:

  1. Performance improvements: The number one reason most people follow a training plan is to improve their performance. Whilst you may be a regular rider or commuter, a sportive or challenge requires a new level of effort and endurance which a training plan can develop.
  2. Structure and consistency: In a world where work, family and other commitments are eating away at your training time, a training plan offers structure and easy to follow sessions that slot seamlessly into your daily routine.
  3. Take the stress out of training: Having to think about what you’re doing each time you train and how it fits into your goal of completing a sportive can be stressful and time consuming. Following a training plan takes the stress away and saves precious time.

When to start training

The best time to start training will depend on your goals. If you are training for an event on a  specific date, work backwards to figure out when you should take up a training plan.

Whilst summer events may seem far away, winter and the off season provide an opportunity to create a solid foundation which you can build upon as your event moves closer. Our new 12 week base training plan follows a polarised training model, where 80% of training is low intensity and 20% is high intensity. This has been proven to be an effective training method for endurance events.

As you move closer to your goal, you should start thinking about event-specific training. A 12 week training plan will help you build the strength, threshold and endurance required to get through the challenge. We’ve launched four new 12 week training plans to help you get to the start line of your event in the best possible shape, click the links below to find out more and download the plans or visit ‘Plans’ on the Wattbike Hub to ride the sessions in real time:

50 MILE SPORTIVE PLAN

100 MILE SPORTIVE PLAN

HAUTE ROUTE 3-DAY EVENT PLAN

HAUTE ROUTE 7-DAY EVENT PLAN

Top tips to get the most out of your training plan 

  1. Don’t play catch up. If work or life takes over one week, don’t try and squeeze in missed sessions as you risk fatigue and injury. If you miss more than three sessions in a week, go back and start the week again.

  2. Listen to your body. If you are feeling particularly tired or sore, take some time out before getting back into the plan.

  3. Eat a balanced diet. Roughly 60% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 15% fats, plus a good mix of fruit and vegetables for their vitamins and minerals.

  4. Stay hydrated. Dehydration reduces performance and prevents recovery.  Aim for two litres of water per day, plus 600-800ml extra for every hour of exercise.