So begins Specialization - a 6-8 week period from early March to late April, when we begin to turn endurance into speed. We begin to 'specialize' as competitive cyclists - It is the effort that differentiates competitive cyclists from 'recreational' cyclists - it is what propels us, both physically and mentally, to a different level of fitness. You will be active 7 days a week.
Long hard group ride or 'training' race - increasing in distance each week by 5-10 miles (ranging from 35-40 at the beginning of March to 60-70 by the end of April)
Recovery ride, 45-60min easy spin in low gear. Or cross train.
Speedwork - begin with 2 hard efforts of 10-15 seconds (150-200 meters) - full out. Increase to 6 by late April. Upper body work. Click on the TRX link to the right and down for a great tool for strength training.
Long steady ride, same distance as Sunday's ride, but not as hard. Not easy - use the big chainring for a fairly strong tempo ride. For triathletes, this is a good day to run. Either bag the ride - or shorten the ride if you do run.
Intervals: These are not sprints - but longer and really hard efforts - if your interval period is 60 seconds, ride so hard that you can go 100% for 60 seconds, but not 70. Begin with 3-5 min efforts, starting with 2, and build on that. As March rolls on into April, change to shorter intervals, but more of em. Be sure to get a good warm up and warm down.
2 hours easy ride. Strength training.
Long easy ride (30-50m)You triathletes will probly look at today as your long run day. That works too - If that's you, make your ride shorter, or bag it.
Understand that this is Eddy Bs cycling training plan that he used to train Olympians - like the guy who rode my bike, the Red Rocket. For Triathletes, I realize you are swimming too, and probly have a family and job and grass to mow... So, this plan is easy to modify. The most important rides are Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. You don't have to do them on those days, but if you really want to improve, get in those 3 workouts; sprints, hard intervals and a long, spirited ride. That leaves 4 days for running and swimming. If you want to add a 4th day riding, add a strong tempo ride like the one described on Wednesday. Even with all this, I still believe in strength training (though I too have a hard time finding time to fit it in). Proper nutrition and rest is a MUST during this prepatory period - your body is a very hard working machine and needs to be nurtured.
Editorial note - this Yearly Training Plan is taken, almost word for word, from Bicycle Road Racing, writen by Eddy Borysewicz, 1980-84 US Olympic Cycling Coach. It is intended to be used as a guide and can and should be adapted to meet the individual needs/wants/desires of, well, you. As always, consult your doctor before beginning any rigorous exercise program!