Several fitness-related organizations and seasoned fitness trainers provide various cycling workouts and training programs online, free of charge. Incorporate a variety of cycling workouts in your training plan to improve your fitness level and performance, including workouts targeting speed, strength and endurance. Cycling, a low-impact exercise, supports weight loss, reduces depression levels and lowers your risk of certain diseases, according to Better Health Channel, but obtain your physician’s approval before embarking on any new workout plan.
Individual Cycling Workouts
Utilize a hodgepodge of free workout plans from various online sources to create an individualized, well-rounded cycling training plan. Several credentialed organizations and cycling-related companies publish free cycling workout ideas online, including Spinervals and IDEA Health & Fitness Organization. For instance, Spinervals offers over a dozen indoor cycling workouts complete with step-by-step detailed instructions. IDEA provides instruction for devising a tailored cycling workout framework which includes a warm-up, interval training, hill climbs and a cool-down. Beginners should see a certified sports-specific trainer to learn proper form and training protocol before trying new workouts.
Cycling training focuses on several facets of fitness, including speed, strength and endurance, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). ACE offers four free online cycling-inspired workouts targeting each of these areas, comprising a well-balanced training program. Workout one includes cycling tempo intervals in a 60-minute endurance workout; workout two helps cyclists develop strength with total-body resistance exercises; workout three provides instruction for an outdoor cycling workout that alternates between very hard intensity and moderate intensity; and workout four features more advanced traditional strength-training exercises.
Cycling Training Plans
Several cycling resources offer free online goal-specific training plans for those with specific objectives in mind, such a race or more time in the saddle. “Bicycling” provides an eight-week training plan to help cyclists complete a century, or a 100-mile ride. A Swiss Alpine cycling adventure team, Brevet, offers a free 12-week cycling training plan, “Sportive Training Plan,” which focuses on helping cyclists develop endurance for longer rides. The plan explains principles of training, gear, aerodynamics, riding techniques, nutrition and cross training. When using any cycling workout plan, vary the duration, frequency and intensity of your workouts to improve your fitness and prevent over-training injuries, recommends Brevet.
Personalized Cycling Plan
Search online resources for workout ideas or create your own cycling workout plan that suits your individual goals and preferences. Try hill training, steady-state rides, a mix of indoor and outdoor cycling and cross training. Create various training sessions that meet your specific objectives. For instance, to improve your ability to accelerate and increase your lactate threshold, perform eight to 12 30-second cycling sprints at 100 percent effort with a four-minute recovery after each, recommends BrainMac. To improve endurance, perform three or four five-minute sprints at approximately 100 rpms with five-minute recovery intervals at 90 rpms. Visit a cycling specialist to learn terminology and proper techniques.