Cycling Training Plans

Following a training plan is the most effective way to become a faster cyclist. Whether you’re training to win or simply for the love of the sport, you’ll get faster with structured training from a USAC Level I coach every step of the way.

Base Phase

Every training plan is built upon a basic, underlying foundation of fitness. During the Base phase, you’ll cultivate the endurance and cycling skills necessary for further specialization.

The Sweet-Spot block is the most efficient form of base training for 99% of cyclists — it’s what we recommend. You’ll train in the Sweet-Spot, Threshold and VO2max power zones for a blend of interval training that makes you stronger, faster. Aside from the significant fitness gains and increases in FTP, you’ll enhance your form work and pedaling mechanics.

  • Low Volume I (3.5 Hrs/Wk)
  • Low Volume II (3.5 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume I (5.8 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume II (6.3 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume I (8.9 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume II (10.4 Hrs/Wk)

Triathlon Base training plans have been designed from the ground up for multi-sport athletes. With workouts for swim, bike and run disciplines, the goal is to help triathletes get as strong as possible for all aspects of their event. Training plan hours per week represent cycling workouts only.

Sprint-Distance Triathlon4 Weeks Per Block

Sprint triathlons require a very different approach than the increasingly common Half- and Full-Distance triathlons. The short duration of these events generally requires a high-level of intensity — something to start training for from the beginning.

  • Low Volume (1.6 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (2.9 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (4.4 Hrs/Wk)

Olympic-Distance Triathlon6 Weeks Per Block

Effectively managing your training time begins to get difficult when you step into the Olympic distance. It is crucial for athletes competing in this international distance to develop their threshold power in all disciplines, since this is where they will spend most of their time on race day.

  • Low Volume (2.0 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (3.7 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (4.9 Hrs/Wk)

Half-Distance Triathlon8 Weeks Per Block

Athletes training for half-distance triathlons need to build a broad aerobic base while paying attention to intensities at or above threshold. Whether you are a time-constrained athlete, or somebody looking to PR their next event with plenty of available training time, these plans will effectively build your endurance in all three triathlon disciplines.

  • Low Volume (3.9 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (5.0 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (5.9 Hrs/Wk)

Full-Distance Triathlon12 Weeks Per Block

Although full-distance triathlons are considered an endurance event, the low-volume variation of this plan still gives you the fitness you need in the always-critical Base Phase. Ranging from 4-5 days of training per week, this plan will take 12 weeks to establish a lasting and reliable base of aerobic fitness.

  • Low Volume (4.6 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (6.2 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (6.8 Hrs/Wk)

The Traditional block takes an old-fashioned approach to base training. It requires a large time commitment to give you significant gains. Unless you have at least 10 hours/week to train, we do not recommend the long, low-intensity Traditional approach. This block is primarily geared toward high-volume Grand Tour athletes or those recovering from an injury who want to avoid high-intensity intervals.

  • Low Volume I (4.1 Hrs/Wk)
  • Low Volume II (4.1 Hrs/Wk)
  • Low Volume III (5.1 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume I (6.4 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume II (7.2 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume III (8.6 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume I (9.2 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume II (10.4 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume III (12.7 Hrs/Wk)

Build Phase

Once you’ve built a basic fitness foundation, it’s time to turn up the heat. All Base phases address sustainable power and short power bursts, while shifting their emphasis depending on your cycling discipline.

This block builds short power with a little less emphasis on sustainable power. Instead, riders focus more on VO2max work and increasing maximum aerobic power. Perfect for criterium racers, mountain bikers and cyclocross riders.

  • Low Volume (3.8 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (7.2 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (9.4 Hrs/Wk)

This block is all about emphasizing sustained power above all else. Riders focus on strength endurance work, lactate-tolerance intervals and a healthy dose of maximum VO2max intervals. Perfect for marathon mountain bikers, century riders, olympic-distance, half-distance and full-distance triathletes.

  • Low Volume (3.8 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (6.9 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (9.3 Hrs/Wk)

This block blends all types of power training for cyclists across the board. Riders focus on evenly blended conditioning and a balance of differing types of power. Perfect for road racers, sprint-distance triathletes and enthusiasts.

  • Low Volume (3.8 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (7.2 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (9.3 Hrs/Wk)

Triathlon Build training plans have been designed from the ground up for multi-sport athletes. With workouts for swim, bike and run disciplines, the goal is to help triathletes get as strong as possible for all aspects of their event. Training plan hours per week represent cycling workouts only.

Sprint-Distance Triathlon4 Weeks Per Block

Having recently covered the necessary sprint-specific yet triathlon-general training, these short-duration Build blocks take the next step in preparing triathletes for the short, intense nature of the triathlon’s quickest format.

  • Low Volume (1.8 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (3.1 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (4.3 Hrs/Wk)

Olympic-Distance Triathlon6 Weeks Per Block

In the pursuit of raising and then sustaining threshold power & pace in all 3 disciplines, these Build blocks shape the Olympic format training demands further by elevating all workout requirements and bringing them more in line with race-day intensities.

  • Low Volume (2.5 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (3.8 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (5.5 Hrs/Wk)

Half-Distance Triathlon8 Weeks Per Block

Furthering the ability to sustain race efforts that lean a little more toward speed than full-distance events, these training blocks push the strength-endurance requirements noticeably higher than the previous Base blocks.

  • Low Volume (4.1 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (4.8 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (6.2 Hrs/Wk)

Full-Distance Triathlon8 Weeks Per Block

Full-distance events first require base fitness, and a lot of it. With that in place, it’s now time to start building your sustainable power on the bike as well as your fast but maintainable run and swim paces such that race-day speeds will be noticeably faster than they currently are.

  • Low Volume (5.7 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (7.1 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (7.3 Hrs/Wk)

Specialty Phase

Specialized training is all about fine-tuning the specific capabilities you’ll need to compete in specific events and reach your cycling goals.

Train like a champion and hit the road with cycling training plans designed for road racers.
How to Choose a Road Racing Training Plan

Rolling Road Race8 Weeks Per Block

This block prepares riders with broad race demands. Even the best road racers face recurrent flurries of attacks and counter-attacks, so the ability to exert varied power efforts throughout the race is key. Riders focus on increasing sprint, anaerobic and VO2max power while maintaining strength and endurance.

  • Low Volume (3.2 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (5.6 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (7.7 Hrs/Wk)

Climbing Road Race8 Weeks Per Block

This block focuses on similar areas to those required for a Rolling Road race, but with more emphasis on sustained power than short power. Riders work to further their strength endurance by holding high percentages of FTP for sustained amounts of time without neglecting shorter bursts of high intensity.

  • Low Volume (3.3 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (5.1 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (7.1 Hrs/Wk)

Criterium8 Weeks Per Block

This block emphasizes maximum aerobic and anaerobic endurance as well as sprint timing and capacity. Riders work to generate high watts for short periods of time over and over again over short durations with a high attention to technical detail.

  • Low Volume (3.0 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (5.2 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (6.8 Hrs/Wk)

40K TT8 Weeks Per Block

This block helps riders grow accustomed to the physical and mental demands of Time Trials. Accordingly, riders focus on maintaining high sustainable power at intense levels of discomfort while training in an aerodynamic position.

  • Low Volume (3.4 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (5.7 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (7.3 Hrs/Wk)

Half Century11 Weeks Per Block

This block is ideal for less time-intensive endurance enthusiasts or riders who might someday transition into full Century participants. Riders work to establish deep-level muscular endurance for long hours via Threshold and VO2max work.

  • Novice Low (5.7 Hrs/Wk)
  • Advanced Volume (5.6 Hrs/Wk)

Full Century8 Weeks Per Block

This block focuses entirely on fostering a higher level of muscular endurance for hours at a time. Workouts include VO2max and Sweet Spot efforts with occasional Strength Endurance workouts to build sustained power needed to excel.

  • Low Volume (4.1 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (6.9 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (8.4 Hrs/Wk)

Get comprehensive training plans with swim, bike and run instructions designed for triathletes. Training plan hours per week represent cycling workouts only.
How to Choose a Triathlon Training Plan

Sprint Distance Triathlon8 Weeks Per Block

This block is for riders who like to go short and fast. Riders work through specialty blocks that incorporate variety into very little, yet effective, training time each week.

  • Low Volume (1.8 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (3.2 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (5.6 Hrs/Wk)

Olympic Distance Triathlon8 Weeks Per Block

This block is for riders looking to move up from the sprint distance and grow their international-distance capabilities. Riders work through specialty blocks that incorporate efficient and effective training with various training schedules.

  • Low Volume (2.3 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (3.7 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (5.7 Hrs/Wk)

Half Distance Triathlon8 Weeks Per Block

This block is ideal for the seasoned triathlon veteran or triathletes working toward a full-distance event. Riders work through long specialty blocks designed to improve your bike split with general advice on improving swim and run splits, too.

  • Low Volume (3.5 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (4.9 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (7.1 Hrs/Wk)

Full Distance Triathlon8 Weeks Per Block

This block is primarily for athletes with an extensive background in endurance sports or those ready to make the commitment to a full-distance triathlon. Riders build off the Half Distance plan with increased training hours and slightly reduced intensity.

  • Low Volume (5.9 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (7.6 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (8.9 Hrs/Wk)

Prepare for the trail with structured, power-based training plans designed for off-road racers.
How to Choose an Off-Road Training Plan

Short Track Cross Country8 Weeks Per Block

This block is designed to help riders prepare for short, fast dirt-circuit races. Riders focus on aerobic and anaerobic capacity as well as high-power sprints similar to those in the Criterium plan.

  • Low Volume (3.3 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (5.3 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (7.7 Hrs/Wk)

Cross Country Olympic8 Weeks Per Block

This block emulates the unrelenting nature of Cross-Country MTB riding and racing. Riders work through anaerobic, VO2max and sweet spot intervals — often with rapid transitions.

  • Low Volume (3.3 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (5.3 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (6.9 Hrs/Wk)

Cross Country Marathon8 Weeks Per Block

This block is for long off-road events lasting upwards of three hours. Riders focus on increasing muscular/strength endurance while maintaining aerobic fitness and weaving in high-power, short-duration intervals common to trail riding.

  • Low Volume (4.9 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (6.4 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (8.3 Hrs/Wk)

Cyclocross8 Weeks Per Block

This block is all about preparing for the unique racing style of Cyclocross. Riders focus on increasing maximum aerobic and VO2max power alongside strength, endurance and sprint capabilities.

  • Low Volume (3.3 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (5.4 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (7.7 Hrs/Wk)

Gravity8 Weeks Per Block

This block incorporates the importance of blending high power with the sustainable power necessary in Gravity races. Riders focus largely on anaerobic power development through specialty gravity-specific workouts aimed at helping them dominate their events.

  • Low Volume (2.9 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (4.8 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume (6.5 Hrs/Wk)

Stay fit and stay connected to the sport you love with training plans designed for cycling enthusiasts.

Maintenance8 Weeks Per Block

These blocks are designed for the enthusiast who wants to stay fit. Riders work through three high-intensity workouts with the option for some low-intensity variation based on weekly training volume.

  • Low Volume I (3.4 Hrs/Wk)
  • Low Volume II (3.4 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume I (5.1 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume II (5.1 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume I (6.5 Hrs/Wk)
  • High Volume II (6.5 Hrs/Wk)

Time Crunch 308 Weeks Per Block

Time Crunch 30 blocks are modeled after some of our most popular 60-minute workouts offering shorter but no less intense efforts in order to grant time-crunched athletes the luxury of a similar training effect, just in less time.

  • Low Volume (1.5 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (2.5 Hrs/Wk)

Time Crunch 458 Weeks per Block

Every workout constituting the Time Crunch 45 plans are slightly shortened versions of many of our most popular 60-minute workouts which then trim off enough work to get you on & off the bike inside of a single hour.

  • Low Volume (2.3 Hrs/Wk)
  • Mid Volume (3.8 Hrs/Wk)

Highly effective and easy-to-use power-based training software. Perhaps the best US$12 you can spend on getting faster.
TrainerRoad
Date published: 11/17/2014
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