Information for the new or leisure cyclist Information for the racing or touring cyclist Cycling initiatives, routes etc.
Information and advice for advance touring or racing cyclists
Fit your bike
Advanced bike fitting
Body pains explained
Braking at speed
Leaning in turns
Some major Tours
Bike Line
Legal lighting
Cycle Training
Different cyclists
Weight training
Strength training
Heart Rate training
Cross training
Turbo training
The Training Diary
Nutrition for Cycling
Weight control
How much to eat
Main energy sources
Increasing caloric output
Effects on digestive tract
Factors affecting digestion
Optimal cycling diet
Nutrition for common rides
Post ride nutrition
Performance enhancers 1
Performance enhancers 2
Final considerations
Road Racing
Track Racing
Bikes and equipment


Setting your bike up
Braking and descending
Hill climbing
Lifting the front wheel
Lifting the rear wheel
Tips for women
On the trail kit

Training for different types of Cyclist

Training is not just for those that want to race. Training has benefits for all. I know people who have trained simply to go on a specific holiday and even a few who simply wanted to get to the pub and back. Whether you are a recreational cyclist or race 200km races every weekend the principles and approach to training are basically the same. It is usually time and personal commitment based upon personal objectives that differ.

If we all trained, we'd all get fitter, which is of course assuming each did the correct form of training and that's what this section is all about. We will highlight general and specific principles of training for cycling but will endeavour to personalise the technique to the various forms of cyclist there are. We will concentrate on three sectors of cyclist:

The casual cyclist - those who complete journeys of less than 25 miles per ride.
The intermediate cyclist - those that cycle between 25 and 50 miles per ride
The serious cyclist - who rides from 50 to over 100 miles per ride. This group will include riders who do multiple day rides and a specific section within this group - those that choose to race.

The first and most important thing to do before designing any training program for cycling is to answer the question," What do I want from cycling?" What you want out of the sport will determine what you have to put into it. This is because as with most things in life you can only get out what you put into it.

The basics of training programmes for each group

Casual Cyclist
Most casual cyclists go out for very short and relatively slow pleasure rides, often with a spouse and/or the children. Some only ride on weekends while others may ride every day. For minimum basic fitness, you need to ride at least two to three times per week for at least forty minutes. The minimum could be something like Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. You can move these days around to fit your life style. Any three days spread out during the week are fine and the minimum.

Intermediate Cyclist

This is where you really need to start having at least some form of structure to your training. You should ride at least three to four days per week, and probably up to 100 miles per week. Let's say that you don't ride more than about 30 miles in one ride. Do from 10 to 30 miles on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday or some variation of that schedule. If you ride on Saturday, it should only be about 10 miles easy spinning to loosen your legs up for Sunday's ride.

Serious Cyclist

You need a minimum of four to five days per week and anything between 100 and 200 miles per week. You need to do close to the distance you like to ride in tours or races on a regular basis. Your most important concern however will be the quality of your aerobic fitness. Remember that long is a relative term. If you like 50-mile rides, or your average race distance is 60 miles, your long Sunday rides should be 10-20% longer. You want more aerobic fitness than will be required by your tour or race so it will be easier and you will have more fun, though when the line is strung out and you're not the guy driving it, fun is probably not an appropriate word.

Above we talk about distance relative to training. Modern schools of thought suggest that as distance can be dependent upon so many factors outside your control, that the use of timed periods of training is more appropriate. This is the measurement for training that we therefore favour and will be used in conjunction with a reasonable emphasis is placed upon the use of heart rates as an effective method of measuring effort and therefore helping specificity of training and preventing over training. For a wide selection of the best heart rate monitors from POLAR, click the name.

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