Cycling Workout Progression & Tips

Week #1: 

  • 3 rides per week of 30-60 minutes each at a moderate intensity (4 to 5 out of 10 intensity) 

  • The goal is to get acclimated to the bike and get some “time in the saddle” 


Week #2 - #4: 

  • 4 to 5 rides per week of 45 - 75 minutes each, still at a moderate intensity, though riders can bump it to 5 or 6 out of 10 intensity 

  • Some live skills/race strategy training at the beginning of each practice 

  • Orientation on use of power meter and smart trainers/bikes + virtual riding set up on Zwift 

  • Bike maintenance sessions 

  • Mock race on campus

Months 2 & 3: 

  • 3 to 4 rides per week of 45 - 90 minutes each, moderate intensity (w/more 90 minute rides in Month 3) 

  • 2 rides per week at higher intensity, including some interval work & virtual race events 

  • Live skills training 

  • One or two live races 

  • 4 virtual races on Zwift 

  • Some of our interval sessions will look like this: 

    • 3 - 4 X 15 minute sets at level 7 of relative intensity (with recovery spins in between) 

    • 6 X 5 minute sets at level 8 or 9 relative intensity (with recovery spins in between) 

    • 10 X 1 - 2 minute sets at level 9 or 10 relative intensity (with recovery spins in between) - we may also do some hill work 

Advice/Sports Nutrition for Cycling Training        


Stay hydrated. Being and staying hydrated takes top priority because it helps regulate core temperature through sweating, helps maintain blood volume to deliver oxygen to working muscles, and helps digest food. Hydration drives nutrition. Your hydration status determines whether your nutrition strategy has a chance of being effective. 


No additional calories are needed during workouts that are 60 minutes or shorter. You start training sessions with 1600-2000 calories of stored carbohydrate energy in your body, as well as tens of thousands of calories worth of fat. You have more than enough readily-accessible energy to fuel a a 60-90 minute workout. Consume carbohydrate during workouts longer than 90 minutes.


Performance diminishes as carbohydrate stores run out, as carbohydrate is the body’s preferred fuel for higher-intensity efforts. For improved performance during longer rides, aim to consume about 20-30% of your hourly caloric expenditure, mostly from carbohydrate. If you’re riding a 3-hour endurance ride and estimating expenditure at about 500-600 calories per hour, aim to consume 100-180 calories per hour. 


Hydration in your bottles, calories in your pocket. Sports drinks are great, but there can be downsides to combining fluids with calories. When you separate the two – water or electrolyte drink in your bottles and food in your jersey pockets – you can increase fluid intake in response to high temperatures or increased exertion without overloading your stomach with more calories than it can process. Read more on hydration/nutrition for hot weather. 


Off the bike, a generally healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and natural fats will do the trick. Cycling training does not dramatically increase protein requirements, meaning most cyclists should be able to meet their nutritional needs through meals and snacks rather than supplementation. The most important component is getting enough energy. Significant caloric restriction, in an attempt to lose weight as you start training, often prevents your body from creating the positive adaptations that enhance your fitness and performance.







Introduction to our Stages smart bikes:

Introduction to our Saris smart trainers:

SIM Motorsports:  Introduction to Gran Turismo Sport

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