Whether you're new to cycling or extremely experienced, your training plan should be carefully considered, specifically structured and highly personalised.
Coach Tom shares his three training plan fundamentals for anyone looking to elevate their training in the next 12 weeks leading up to Struggle Dales...
Tom of Downing Cycling is currently assisting a huge range of riders prepare for a Struggle with our 12-Week Training Plans.
1. Be Individual
Tom believes the most common pitfall is when a cyclist emulates the training regime of another rider. Tom said: “Your training plan should be individual to you. You need to consider your riding history, age, gender, work requirements, family life, stress levels, etc.”
If you are chained to your home office from 9am until 5pm, your training plan needs to be vastly different to a friend who is on furlough for example. “This is a big mistake many riders make,” says Tom. “Your friend has the luxury of far more time to train - and sleep!”
That doesn’t mean you can’t train just as effectively as your fellow rider. However, your training plan needs to be smarter, more focused and prioritises recovery. “It’s vital your individual lifestyle is considered when building your training plan. That’s when a coach, who can help you plan your training around your life, becomes invaluable."
2. Be Specific
Always understand the purpose of your training plan. “If you’re training for a Struggle you’re going to be tackling one of the longest, hardest sportives in the UK. It’s important your training is inline with this huge yet achievable goal,” says Tom.
Tom is adamant that a 100 mile sportive featuring 3000m of climbing is no small task for any cyclist. “Your training plan should be tailored to help you meet this demand,” he says.
“Commit to riding outside (weather permitting) at least once a week for a longer ride. This is invaluable. There are huge physiological benefits to be had from a longer ride once a week that you do not gain from short, intense sessions on the turbo.”
3. Be Progressive
This is where Tom sees so many riders trip up. “Far too often, I see both experienced and inexperienced riders decide to tackle a big goal and just jump straight in the deep end.” Tom advises on easing into a training regime. “Don’t go from riding a few hours a week to an intensive 10-hour training plan,” says Tom.
“It’s vital that you start your training easier than you think you should. You don’t need to do massive intensity or volume to get faster! All it takes is consistency and the right progressive structure and you will be shocked at just how much stronger you can get in 12 weeks.”
Ensuring your training plan is progressive is when the benefits of having someone to guide your plan really comes into its own. Tom is offering 12-week personalised training plans for just £50 per month.
What's the 12-Week Training Plan Like?
"It's very different for every rider," says Tom. "First there’s an initial consultation call to understand your current fitness levels, personal goals and life commitments."
The 12-week plan is then delivered through the Training Peaks app, with all sessions upload-able to indoor training apps such as Zwift and outdoor riding computers such as Garmin and Wahoo.
"You also benefit from weekly feedback via Training Peaks so you’re motivated by praise, critique and accountability."