Top 10 principles of cycling training

Posted by tan xiao yan on

If you’ve never completed any sort of structured training program and that you've ridden your bike for commuting and pleasure but never ridden competitively or joined a cycling club. If this is the case then the good news is that you should see some big noticeable gains airily quickly if you put the work in.


If you’re planning on a self-contained ride, panniers, racks, the whole deal, best to do your training rides with weight in the bags, so you can see what is does to the balance and maneuverability of the bike, which will be different, and riding a loaded bike is more challenging, but you’ll get used to it. Some people can cover 400 miles in 24 hours, but usually with the help of a support crew, carrying almost nothing on the bike.

Remember not to overload. This can slow you down and take you longer to cover the same distance.


More intense efforts will do more damage to the muscles and, without adequate time for them to recover, make it increasingly difficult to maintain the same level of exertion session after session. Many people take tours of that length, carrying camping equipment on the bicycle. They might take a week to cover 400 miles by covering 60 to 70 miles a day. You might start with some “24 hours overnight” camping trips to get the hang of 10 principles of cycling training

The short answer is to actually make sure you cool down at the end of your ride each day with a relatively easy effort (low wattage, keep legs spinning). Do this for at least 10 minutes if you are prone to muscle soreness or if you've had a particularly hard ride. Post-bike, get food into your system within the first 20 minutes of stopping. This is your "glycogen depletion" window and numerous studies have shown that if you miss refueling during this window, your body doesn't process your food intake as efficiently afterward. That is, no amount of food you eat after this 20 minutes window will help you recover as well as the food you take in during this window.

Beyond that, stay hydrated, and get a good night's sleep. Finally, be sure to massage your legs and back after your ride. If you can't hire a personal masseuse to follow you on your ride (ha ha), consider using a foam roller and/or a massage stick.


You want to know how much is ‘lots’? It's just enough that it fits within your regular life yet meets your riding expectations. Don't overdo it, just do enough. How much is that? If you want to comfortably ride 100km then you need to be riding at least that every week, most weeks. It'll still be hard, just a bit more comfortable!

Aim to build up your total distance gradually~5-10% each week over a block of 3-4 weeks, have an easier week (less distance or take the week off) then repeat but starting from your biggest previous distance and keep building until you hit a ceiling where time becomes the limiting factor to increasing the weekly distance.

4.Specificity of training

There is no cycling training plan that fits everyone. Without knowing your training history or time available it's hard to put up with anything specific.

Have you done an FTP test? Once you know your FTP, you can start doing interval workouts. Set your threshold (Google Cycling FTP Test) - Your FTP is about 5% off of your best 20 minutes average power or 10% off your best 8 minutes (a bit less accurate but still very close).top 10 principles of cycling training


You need to cycle beyond your comfort zone. Cadence is a term that refers to the number of pedal strokes one of your feet completes in one minute. Everyone has a comfortable cadence level, and the point of this drill is to increase it. You can tell what your comfortable cadence range is because when you fall below it, you will feel as though you are using too much muscle to push down, and when you are going too fast you will begin breathing too quickly. For this drill, gradually increase your cadence for 20 to 30 seconds until you start bouncing in your seat. Then go back to your usual speed for 30 seconds. Keep repeating and you will increase your cadence, which will increase your cycling speed.


Maintaining your health, strength, and energy is of paramount importance for ensuring you can bike for long distances. By practicing your biking, you will get your body used to moving in such a way, and build strength in such muscle groups of your body.

There is no replacement for time spent on the bike. You need to build up slowly. This is consistency again. Don't just go out and suffer for 300km. Start slow and short, back off if you get tired, sick or injured. It's cumulative, so lots of shorter rides will add up. But at some point, you'll want to hit stretch goals, waypoints on your journey to whatever distance is your goal. Just don't over-reach. It should be a smooth progression, almost boring.

The easiest way to do this is to ride at a moderate pace for as many hours as possible. If one's time is limited, including more intense efforts will increase the effectiveness of that workout (i.e increase the output of energy for the given session). In this case, longer, tempo intervals at 60-70% of one's maximal exertion will prove to be the most effective strategy. A 2 hour ride with one hour of tempo intervals may be equal to a 3 hour steady ride at a moderate pace in terms of energy expenditure (and therefore effectiveness in terms of building endurance), however, it is more realistic to sustain a regular schedule of longer, moderately paced rides than to do intervals day after 10 principles of cycling training


Specifically, your plan might look something like this:

Saturday - long ride, ideally with short bursts of intensity

Sunday - longish ride (shorter than above but with same intensity bursts) group rides are great for both of these

Monday - rest

Tuesday - intervals (start with short intervals (e.g. 5x2min with a 1min rest between, 15 in warm up and down)

Wed - short fast ride (20m at high average speed, minimize high-intensity efforts by keeping a steady pace/cadence)

Thursday - as per Tues

Friday - rest

If you are challenged with the above then drop the Wed ride first and if needs must the Sunday ride. Time on the bike is the most important factor, but mixing in intensity will ensure you develop strength too.


Don't strain yourself early on in a ride. The biggest problem when you start cycling is blowing your legs way too early on. It's natural - it's a nice day, you feel strong, you want to get out into the countryside as quickly as you can (if you live in a town), you want to impress the people on the pavement with how quick you're going, so you whiz out of town at a solid 35kph only to find you're shattered after the first 10km and the rest is really hard work...and you end up going slower anyway!

Duration is essential and doesn't consume your energy too early. So take the first 5-10km nice and easy- in fact, as you're looking to build stamina and endurance, you can take most of the ride nice and easy. Note: easy doesn't necessarily mean slow. Find a good rhythm, settle into it and on a good road, you'll be surprised how fast and far you find yourself 10 principles of cycling training

Besides, build endurance with the shoe top drill. While you are pedaling, press your foot against the top of your shoe and avoid the back of your shoe. This exercise helps to train your muscles, which is especially important during transitions on the bike. These transitions occur when you move from flat ground to hills or encounter another change on your path.

Endurance doesn't flick on like with a switch. Your body will "forget" quickly unless you reinforce improvement with a follow-up ride. And repeat.


The cycling training depends on how structured you want to be with your training. It also depends on how to fit you currently are and how long you've been riding a bike. It also depends on what you want to increase your endurance to achieve. What you should always remember is that your body is incredibly adaptable. If you put the work in then over time you can transform your physical capabilities - often way beyond what you thought possible. Personally, if you're serious you'd buy a turbo trainer to control intervals and to be able to train meaningfully.

10.Ride lots.

Don't get discouraged if your first big ride feels slow and hurts. My first century (100 miles) was a 6-hour affair and I suffered mightily the last 20 miles. My second century was part of the Cross-Florida ride (172 miles). The group of 4 I rode with did the first 100 in an easy 5 hours and completed the state in 9 hours of ride and 2 hours of stoppage. That second hundred was a breeze (but the 72 that came after hurt).

Cycling is all about the right technique, and mental strength. Training will get you faster and further.