The Ultimate Guide To Fitness Training For Road Cyclists

In this post we’re going to talk about fitness training for road cycling. A lot.


Well, I’d posit that most you are here to improve your cycling performance in some fashion (here, as in on this website, rather than here on this earth).

If you’re just starting out, that might be achieved through upping your confidence and motivation levels simply to ‘do more cycling’.

For everyone else, whether you want to ride longer distances, to up your average speed, to improve your climbing ability, it is structured training that will help you get there.

For sure, ‘doing more cycling’ will achieve some results. But there is a limit to how much more cycling you can do – there aren’t enough hours in the day; there is a limit to what your body can sustain before it breaks down.

At some point, if you’re following a random-walk training ‘programme’, your performance level will plateau and may start to decline (particularly if you’re an ‘elder statesman of le peloton’).

In this super-detailed post, we’re going to learn together about the theory and practice of fitness, to help you create an individualised training programme that suits you.

How do you like them apples?

Read moreThe Ultimate Guide To Fitness Training For Road Cyclists

Cycling training in Derbyshire

How To Train For Road Cycling

In this post I’ll have a look at the different strategies for how you might train for road cycling, whether that’s to ride long, get faster or lose weight. Or perhaps all three. 

Whilst the fundamentals of training haven’t changed a great deal in recent years (although I imagine those cunning sports scientists are beavering away in their labs), the tools available to the everyday cyclist to harness those fundamentals are becoming more diverse and interesting.

This post will try to give you an overview of the different strategies you can employ to get fitter on a road bike.

Read moreHow To Train For Road Cycling

RideLondon Training Programme: Dodgy Knees and Accountability

It’s time for an update on my RideLondon preparation and my general cycling life, what with this being a cycling blog and all…

You lucky lucky people.

So what have I done?

Well, three main things:

  1. Continued rehabilitation of my knee
  2. Drafted the first cut of my RideLondon training programme
  3. Introduced some accountability into the whole RideLondon endeavour.

Let’s dive into the detail.

Read moreRideLondon Training Programme: Dodgy Knees and Accountability

Training volume versus intensity

Go Hard Or Go Home // Volume Versus Training Intensity For Road Cyclists

If you’re a ‘time-starved’ cyclist and you want to improve your performance on the bike, it’s pretty important (dare I say it, vital) to understand the difference between training volume and intensity.

You are naturally limited in the former; you can make up for some of this limitation by manipulating the latter. Training intensity is really important for the sportive cyclist that wants to do more with less.

In this blog post we look at why and how.

How’s that for a brief introduction?

Read moreGo Hard Or Go Home // Volume Versus Training Intensity For Road Cyclists

Periodised cycling training

Using Periodisation To Build Road Cycling Fitness

It’s pretty straightforward to find a cycling training programme on t’internet.

(You might have heard of this thing called ‘Google’?)

The thing is, whilst they’re helpful to a point, these training plans are generally designed to apply (and appeal) to a broad swathe of the Googling public. And they all seem to be 12 weeks long (I know, I generalise… some are 16 weeks long…).

Pick from ‘Beginner’, ‘Improver’ or ‘Expert’ and follow the programme (or not, as the case may be). I’m sure progress will follow.

But there’s a better way. A way of building your own training programme. One that lasts longer than 12 weeks.

Let’s talk periodisation.

And let’s try not to fall asleep.

Read moreUsing Periodisation To Build Road Cycling Fitness

build good cycling habits

How To Build Good Cycling Habits (By Doing Little Easy Things)

In this post I’m going to help you build good habits, which you can apply to improving your cycling. And your life. You’re welcome.

Often when you want to achieve great things, you just need to repeat a series of simple actions many times. And repeat.

The trick is working out how to encourage (force? trick?) yourself into performing those simple actions until… one day you suddenly realise you’ve achieved your great thing.

It’s at this point that generally someone will say to you something like:

  • Wow I don’t know where you found the time to achieve so much
  • I could never do that
  • You’ve been so productive

They see the ‘afterwards’ and immediately think about the size of the elephant that you’ve consumed (not literally).

You, of course, remember that each mouthful was just a mouthful (not literally).


Read moreHow To Build Good Cycling Habits (By Doing Little Easy Things)

Dealing With An Injury

Dealing With A Painful Knee (Or Any Injury That Keeps You Off The Bike)

There is a certain sinking feeling when a familiar injury returns. The twinge in my left knee as I get off the bike. The tightness above the knee. That feeling of dread as it starts to seize over the course of the afternoon. The jolt of pain as I walk down the stairs in the evening.

Then weeks of ‘is it getting better?’, ‘I’m sure it’s improving’, and ‘damn it, that hurts’.

I’m in that place right now with my knee.

I’ve tried resting it (sort of). I’ve tried light training rides. And, so far, the pain doesn’t seem to be going away.

Now I’m getting worried. I’ve got PLANS for this year. I’ve made some commitments to do rides with people and I don’t want to let them down. I need to get my training started.

What am I going to do?

Read moreDealing With A Painful Knee (Or Any Injury That Keeps You Off The Bike)

How To Maintain Cycling Habit

How To Maintain A Cycling Habit Into Winter (Or How I’m Going To Try…)

In the past, when I’ve managed to build something resembling a cycling habit over the summer, I’ve tended to lose impetus around October. The rides dry up as the weather wets up (and colds up). Excuses are made and other ‘priorities’ take over.

Sometimes the rot sets in in September.

Of course I don’t always realise that my ride consistency is slipping. I fool myself into thinking that I’m keeping the habit up with the odd autumnal excursion.

In reality, if I looked at my Strava history objectively, I’d note a paltry couple of rides recorded over the course of October, perhaps in November, and then declare it done for the year.

Read moreHow To Maintain A Cycling Habit Into Winter (Or How I’m Going To Try…)


How Do Pro Cyclists Train?

Ooh, it’s very technical. I’m not sure you’d understand. I’m certain that I don’t.

But lack of knowledge, competence and intelligence has not tended to stop me writing about a subject here on Sportive Cyclist. So I’m going to give it a crack.

As an esteemed (not to mention gloriously-handsome) Sportive Cyclist reader, I’m sure you’ll have the wherewithall to draw out the relevant lessons for your own training and performance (hint: plan it out in advance; follow the plan; adapt the plan as your circumstances change).

Let’s go!

Read moreHow Do Pro Cyclists Train?

The Ultimate Guide To Road Cycling Around Puerto Pollensa (That’s In Mallorca…)

The eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed mention on this ‘ere blog of an upcoming family holiday (training camp) in Mallorca. That holiday has come and gone. Thankfully I am pleased to report that quite a bit of road cycling took place.

Since I’ve road bike holidayed in Mallorca twice now, I feel (semi-)qualified to present my “ultimate” guide on the subject. My aim is help you get the most road cycling goodness out of your holiday to the island, particularly if you have to work around other non-cycling family members who apparently just went there for a bit of sun…

My report will be structured largely as a report on my own holiday because i) it worked quite well; and ii) I haven’t done an exhaustive study of all the road cycling opportunities on the island. So put that in your inner tube and pump it.

Read moreThe Ultimate Guide To Road Cycling Around Puerto Pollensa (That’s In Mallorca…)