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About this challenge

This challenge focuses on everything you need to convert you from a beginner to a competent and confident distance cyclist. The challenge is carefully structured and cover everything that you need to do for your fitness preparation week-by-week. Throughout the challenge you’ll also receive supporting articles and advice to compliment your training. By the end of the challenge you’ll be able to complete the 30-mile distance and you’ll have the confidence you need to sign up for your first event.

beginner Training Plan

If you have not exercised for some time then the lead in training consisting of the first six weeks of the plan (which is a precursor to the main schedules) will ensure that you can cope with the level of training.

Entry requirements: beginner

This cycling challenge is suitable for all fitness levels but has been specifically designed for beginners as it steadily builds your fitness over 14 weeks.

 

Start date:
Anytime
Expected finish time:
Anytime
Duration:
14 weeks
Week 1
Jump to:
Monday
Training

10 minutes very easy, just 'getting back in the saddle'

Start easily, introducing your body to training and stretch your legs afterwards

Tuesday
Rest

Rest

Now that your bike's had an outing, check it for saddle and handlebar position

Wednesday
Rest

Rest

Try and stretch again today but give the training a miss

Thursday
Rest

10 minutes easy ride

Repeat Monday's session, still taking the pace easily

Friday
Rest

Rest

Saturday
Rest

Rest

Sunday
Training

10 - 15 minutes easy ride

1st longer session, start slowly and stretch your leg muscles at the end

Monday
Rest

Rest

Recovery after Sunday's longer session

Tuesday
Training

10 minutes steady pace

Slightly brisker than last week

Wednesday
Rest

Rest

Thursday
Training

15 minutes easy pace

Start slowly. Try a loop circuit which takes you about 7 or 8 minutes to complete and go around twice

Friday
Rest

Rest

Saturday
Rest

Rest

Sunday
Training

15 - 20 minutes easy pace

Practice your pacing techniques that you've used during previous sessions

Monday
Rest

Full recovery after yesterday's longer session

Tuesday
Rest

Double recovery

Wednesday
Training

15 - 20 minutes easy, relaxed ride

This should now be comfortable

Thursday
Rest

Just 2 sessions during this recovery week

Friday
Rest
Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

20 - 30 minutes easy pace

Today's session should now be within your grasp, particularly with 3 rest days beforehand

Monday
Rest

Rest

Tuesday
Training

20 minutes easy

Wednesday
Rest

Rest

Thursday
Training

20 minutes steady

Friday
Rest

Rest

Double rest day because Sunday's ride will be your longest to date

Saturday
Rest

Rest

Sunday
Training

35 minutes easy paced ride

Try the 'loop' strategy again

Monday
Rest

Rest

Make sure you rest up today because this is the maximum training week

Tuesday
Training

20 minutes easy

See if you can try an off-road route on a bridleway or towpath for a change

Wednesday
Rest

Rest

Thursday
Training

Repeat last Sunday's session of 35 minutes non-stop

Try and vary your routes so that you don't become stale

Friday
Rest

Rest

Saturday
Rest

Rest

Sunday
Training

45 minutes easy pace

Longest ride of the schedule, don't worry about your pace, just aim to complete the session

Monday
Rest

Rest

Tuesday
Training

20 minutes steady pace

Wednesday
Rest

Rest

Thursday
Rest

20 minutes steady pace

This should now be comfortable

Friday
Rest

Rest

Saturday
Training

45 minutes easy/steady

Repeat last Sunday's session, which should now feel easier

Sunday
Rest

Rest

Rest today before you begin the main training guide tomorrow. You're ready to begin!

Monday
Training

20 - 30 minutes easy ride

Start easily, introducing your body to training

Tuesday
Rest

Rest

Even though your enthusiasm will be high, resist the temptation to train today

Wednesday
Rest

Rest

Thursday
Training

30 - 45 minutes easy ride

Don't push the pace; week 1 is all about getting into training mode

Friday
Rest

Rest

Saturday
Rest

Rest

Sunday
Training

45 - 60 minutes easy ride or 5 miles, whichever comes first

1st longer session, start slowly and stretch your leg muscles at the end

Monday
Rest

Rest

Recovery after Sunday's longer session

Tuesday
Training

45 minutes steady pace

Easy / steady sessions can be combined with a daily commute to and from work to save time

Wednesday
Strength circuit

60 minute total body workout concentrating upon legs, back, shoulders, arms and core. Begin with light weights that you can handle with ease. Focus on correct technique

Uphill cycling in particular requires good upper body strength so your gym training should focus on this area. Begin this week with a single set of each exercise

Thursday
Rest

Rest

Friday
Training

45 minutes steady pace

Both midweek sessions are comfortable because your Sunday session is longer

Saturday
Rest

Rest

Sunday
Training

60 - 90 minutes, or 10 miles, whichever comes first. Easy paced ride

If your challenge includes off-road cycling then try to do as much of off-road training as possible

Monday
Rest

Rest

Full recovery after yesterday's longer session.

Tuesday
Training

45 minutes steady pace.

Remember to stretch out for 5 - 10 minutes afterwards and don't forget your chest.

Wednesday
Strength circuit

Repeat the week 2 gym session.

Target 2 sets of each exercise this week.

Thursday
Rest

Rest

Friday
Training

80 minutes steady pace.

Saturday
Rest

Rest

Start thinking about suitable energy snacks that you can carry with you.

Sunday
Training

Target 2 hours continuous cycling or 15 miles whichever comes first. Take short recovery/refuelling breaks if you need to.

This is the end of phase 1. You should be able to cycle for 90 minutes steady, or 15 miles (whichever comes first).

Monday
Rest

Rest

Tuesday
Rest

60 minutes easy ride

A commute ride is ideal

Wednesday
Strength circuit

Total body session

Try and select weights that challenge you more on the last few repetitions of the second set

Thursday
Rest

Rest

Friday
Training

60 minutes fartlek ride. Fartlek is Swedish for speed play, interspersing some faster bursts with recoveries

Introduction to faster paced training

Saturday
Rest

Rest

Sunday
Training

Aim for a continuous steady paced ride of 2 hours - 2 hour 30 minutes or 20 miles, whichever comes first

By now you will need to be thinking about your nutrition and hydration en route, so prepare a carbohydrate drink before you set off

Monday
Rest

Rest

Two consecutive rest days, so avoid activity and recover

Tuesday
Training

Rest

Try and have a sports massage for your legs, to ease any stiffness

Wednesday
Training

45 - 60 minutes on a hilly circuit

You should be fully recovered from the weekend and feel strong for this session

Thursday
Strength circuit

Total body workout

Optional session. Omit gym training if you feel tired

Friday
Training

60 minutes steady pace

You should find this session comfortable

Saturday
Rest

Rest

Big complex carbohydrate meal tonight – pasta is ideal

Sunday
Training

Repeat last Sunday's session and aim for a continuous steady paced ride of 2 hour - 2 hours 30 minutes, or 20 miles, whichever comes first

Take a drink with you and some energy foods in your pockets so that you're always topped up. Gels and chewy bars are easy to eat on the bike

Monday
Rest

Rest

Tuesday
Training

Repeat the fartlek session from week 10, aiming for 60 minutes to 75 minutes in total

 

By extending yourself during the faster paced rides, you will find steady paced training much easier

Wednesday
Strength circuit

Total body workout

Maintain the weights from the last session at the same level

Thursday
Rest

Rest

Friday
Training

75 - 90 minutes steady paced ride

This should now be comfortable

Saturday
Rest

Rest

Sunday
Training

2 hours 30 minutes - 2 hours 45 minutes long ride. Start slowly and take a couple of recovery breaks if you need to

Make sure you're stocked up with snacks and a drink. This is the end of phase 2. You should be able to cycle for 2 hours 30 minutes steady, or 25 miles, whichever comes first

Monday
Rest

Rest

Tuesday
Training

60 minutes steady pace

Keep it steady because the focus is on the weekend ride

Wednesday
Strength circuit

Total body workout

The weekend expedition is the focus this week so if you feel tired, leave gym training

Thursday
Rest

Rest

Double rest day in preparation for the big weekend ride

Friday
Rest

Rest

Load up your fuel tank throughout the day with good quality carbohydrate

Saturday
Training

3 hours 30 minutes long ride with whatever recovery breaks you feel that you need

This weekend is effectively your dress rehearsal so try and get away to a new location

Sunday
Training

3 hours steady

Drink regularly and stretch afterwards

Monday
Rest

Rest

Use the extra rest days this week to finalise all your travelling arrangements

Tuesday
Training

30 minutes very easy

Avoid the temptation to 'race', remember that you are tapering and your training is just to keep your body 'ticking over'

Wednesday
Rest

Rest

No gym training this week, so relax and mentally prepare

Thursday
Training

45 minutes, easy paced ride

Friday
Rest

Rest

Saturday
Rest

Rest

By now you should be really refreshed, relaxed and ready to go!

Sunday
Race day

You should now be fully ready for your challenge and feel in great shape

Enjoy your big day, you're ready for it

Week 1
Jump to:
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