GMC Coaching 6-week Plan.

So you have decided to take on the Taranaki Round the Mountain Cycle Challenge but unsure if 6 weeks is enough to get you fit in time. Fortunately, it is, we will assume your already doing a bit of riding with friends or family each week or perhaps you’re a lone wolf and this is your opportunity to get away from it all, so you’re not starting totally from scratch. If you are starting from scratch. Don’t worry, dive in to the plan have a go and see how it works for you. You may just need to drop volume a little bit if you’re feeling tired.

The following plan is a simple way to get yourself fit for a long endurance event in a short period of time. It involves some harder ‘effort’ days to get your max aerobic power and capacity as high as possible in a short space of time, this will help make sure you can deal with any hills or hard efforts you’ll need to make during the event, along side some longer steady endurance days to ensure you can make the distance.

This plan is an ideal scenario week by week guide. You can follow it to the letter but not everyone can follow a best-case scenario plan and so you should change days around to better suit your working week and life if you need to. For beginners and master’s athletes 45+ I would suggest 2 rest days Monday and Friday. For fitter and younger athletes, you should take Monday as a rest day and have Friday as an easy recovery day. Remember, don’t make your endurance rides too hard. You should be able to hold a conversation with a friend and not be out of breath. But don’t dawdle. Your still there to get work done.

Any intensity efforts should be hard!!! If you have ridden endurance sessions too hard, you’ll be too tired for the intensity efforts, and this is where you can make some huge gains in your ability to go fast for short periods of time.

Week 1: Getting Started

Week one will get you in the cycle of a plan

Day: Training: Comments:
Monday Rest Day Take the day off. Do some stretching, eat quality food and drink plenty of water
Tuesday Endurance ride 1h Steady 1h endurance ride low intensity. Conversation pace
Wednesday Endurance ride 1.5h As above, but include some hills today.
Thursday Endurance ride 2h Mix it up, a bit off hills and flat
Friday Rest or recovery For older riders, take the day off, all others an easy slow 30-60min is all you need today
Saturday Hilly Endurance 2h Head out for a hilly endurance ride.
Sunday Endurance ride Longer Head out and stretch yourself today, go slightly longer than yesterday
Total 8-10h You should achieve around 8-10h of mostly endurance riding this week, hills will be ridden slightly harder

This first week of training is to get you in a rhythm of following a plan and some structured training. Don’t get too excited and ride too hard or too long. A training plan needs to build over a period of time starting at a point and increasing in both intensity and volume to overload your body.

GMC Coaching 6-week Plan.

So you have decided to take on the Taranaki Round the Mountain Cycle Challenge but unsure if 6 weeks is enough to get you fit in time. Fortunately, it is, we will assume your already doing a bit of riding with friends or family each week or perhaps you’re a lone wolf and this is your opportunity to get away from it all, so you’re not starting totally from scratch. If you are starting from scratch. Don’t worry, dive in to the plan have a go and see how it works for you. You may just need to drop volume a little bit if you’re feeling tired.

The following plan is a simple way to get yourself fit for a long endurance event in a short period of time. It involves some harder ‘effort’ days to get your max aerobic power and capacity as high as possible in a short space of time, this will help make sure you can deal with any hills or hard efforts you’ll need to make during the event, along side some longer steady endurance days to ensure you can make the distance.

This plan is an ideal scenario week by week guide. You can follow it to the letter but not everyone can follow a best-case scenario plan and so you should change days around to better suit your working week and life if you need to. For beginners and master’s athletes 45+ I would suggest 2 rest days Monday and Friday. For fitter and younger athletes, you should take Monday as a rest day and have Friday as an easy recovery day. Remember, don’t make your endurance rides too hard. You should be able to hold a conversation with a friend and not be out of breath. But don’t dawdle. Your still there to get work done.

Any intensity efforts should be hard!!! If you have ridden endurance sessions too hard, you’ll be too tired for the intensity efforts, and this is where you can make some huge gains in your ability to go fast for short periods of time.

Week 1: Getting Started

Week one will get you in the cycle of a plan

Day: Training: Comments:
Monday Rest Day Take the day off. Do some stretching, eat quality food and drink plenty of water
Tuesday Endurance ride 1h Steady 1h endurance ride low intensity. Conversation pace
Wednesday Endurance ride 1.5h As above, but include some hills today.
Thursday Endurance ride 2h Mix it up, a bit off hills and flat
Friday Rest or recovery For older riders, take the day off, all others an easy slow 30-60min is all you need today
Saturday Hilly Endurance 2h Head out for a hilly endurance ride.
Sunday Endurance ride Longer Head out and stretch yourself today, go slightly longer than yesterday
Total 8-10h You should achieve around 8-10h of mostly endurance riding this week, hills will be ridden slightly harder

This first week of training is to get you in a rhythm of following a plan and some structured training. Don’t get too excited and ride too hard or too long. A training plan needs to build over a period of time starting at a point and increasing in both intensity and volume to overload your body.

Week 2: Intensity Introduction

Week 2 we introduce some intensity to your training

Day: Training: Comments:
Monday Rest Day Take the day off. Do some stretching, eat quality food and drink plenty of water
Tuesday Max Aerobic Power efforts 4x3min 1h In todays ride of 1h include 4x3min hard 3min easy. These efforts should be 3min Time trials producing your best effort for each 3min effort. Ride easy between to get your breath back
Wednesday Endurance ride 1.5h A low intensity endurance ride
Thursday Max Aerobic Power efforts 4x3min 1h In today’s ride of 1h include 4x3min hard 3min easy. These efforts should be 3min Time trials producing your best effort for each 3min effort. Ride easy between to get your breath back
Friday Rest or recovery For older riders, take the day off, all others an easy slow 30-60min is all you need today
Saturday Hilly Endurance 2h:15 Head out for a hilly endurance ride.
Sunday Endurance ride Longer 2h:15- 2h:30 Head out and stretch yourself today, go slightly longer than yesterday
Total 8-10h This week you will of achieved 8- 10h similar to last week. However, we have introduced some intensity to the riding

This week we have introduced some intensity to your rides. You make sure you eat plenty of carbohydrates to fuel these rides and drink plenty of water. You might be a bit sore and tired after these harder rides so ensure you stretch and get a good nights sleep to help recovery.

Week 3: Intensity Development

Week 3 we develop your aerobic power

Day: Training: Comments:
Monday Rest Day Take the day off. Do some stretching, eat quality food and drink plenty of water
Tuesday Max Aerobic Power efforts 5x3min 1h In todays ride of 1h include 5x3min hard 3min easy. These efforts should be 3min Time trials producing your best effort for each 3min effort. Ride easy between to get your breath back
Wednesday Endurance ride 2h A low intensity endurance ride.
Thursday Max Aerobic Power efforts 5x3min 1h In today’s ride of 1h include 5x3min hard 3min easy. These efforts should be 3min Time trials producing your best effort for each 3min effort. Ride easy between to get your breath back
Friday Rest or recovery For older riders, take the day off, all others an easy slow 30-60min is all you need today
Saturday Hilly Endurance 2h:30 Head out for a hilly endurance ride.
Sunday Endurance ride Longer 2h:30- 2h:45 Head out and stretch yourself today, go slightly longer than yesterday
Total 10h This week you will of achieved around 10h. We have also increased the number of efforts youl do

The body loves repetition to help it develop, it requires repeated doses of the same effort to help it develop and improve. So we have kept this week the same as last week, however we have now added 1 more effort making it 5 aerobic power efforts. This will give you around 15min of working in your Vo2 zone.

The rest of the rides are still low intensity but your weekends should be getting longer

Week 4: Intensity Consolidation

Week 4 we consolidate that intensity in to your lungs and legs

Day: Training: Comments:
Monday Rest Day Take the day off. Do some stretching, eat quality food and drink plenty of water
Tuesday Max Aerobic Power efforts 6x3min 1.5h In todays ride of 1.5h include 6x3min hard 3min easy. These efforts should be 3min Time trials producing your best effort for each 3min effort. Ride easy between to get your breath back
Wednesday Endurance ride 2h Low intensity endurance ride
Thursday Max Aerobic Power efforts 6x3min 1.5h In todays ride of 1.5h include 6x3min hard 3min easy. These efforts should be 3min Time trials producing your best effort for each 3min effort. Ride easy between to get your breath back
Friday Rest or recovery For older riders, take the day off, all others an easy slow 30-60min is all you need today
Saturday Endurance ride long 3h to 3h30 As today 2 weeks out from event day we will use it as a chance to go long. Head out for a 3h ride, if your feeling good stretch it out to 3h30min
Sunday Endurance ride 2h You could be a bit tired from yesterdays longer ride, so head out and get 2h steady in the legs. If you feel good, stretch it to 2h30. If you don’t, keep it under 2h
Total 9-11h This week you will of achieved 9- 11h. We have extended the effort sessions again by 1 rep and increased the time of the session by 30min as well as doing your first long ride over 3h.

By the end of this week you will of achieved your 3rd week in a row of intensity. Structured training is all about increasing volume and intensity over time before backing off to let the body recover and build itself stronger. For week five, we will be focusing on letting the body recover but at the same time we will plan to achieve your longest ride so far.

Week 5: Recovery and rebuild

Week 5 we let the body recover from the hard work of the last 3 weeks. But we still need to keep the eye on the goal so the weekend will be hard.

Day: Training: Comments:
Monday Rest Day Take the day off. Do some stretching, eat quality food and drink plenty of water
Tuesday Recovery ride 1h Today just head out for an easy hour and enjoy your ride, check out the scenery, smell the flowers. Enjoy the simple pleasure of a bike ride.
Wednesday Endurance ride 1.5h Low intensity endurance ride
Thursday Recovery ride 1h Today just head out for an easy hour and enjoy your ride, check out the scenery, smell the flowers. Enjoy the simple pleasure of a bike ride.
Friday Rest Take the day off to allow the body recovery and prep it for tomorrow.
Saturday Endurance ride long 4h Today is your longest ride before event day. Head out for four hours and ensure you eat and drink plenty to prepare your body for what you will do on event day
Sunday Endurance ride 2h You could be a bit tired from yesterday’s longer ride, so head out and get 2h steady in the legs. If you feel good, stretch it to 2h30. If you don’t, keep it under 2h
Total 9.5 This week you will have spent the first 5 days letting the body bounce back before your longest ride of the 6 weeks so far

Rest is an important part of the training process. Hard training tears and breaks your body down and it’s not till you back off that it builds itself stronger. The first 5 days of this 5th week are spent letting the body recover and absorb the last 3 weeks of training before you head out on Saturday and perform your longest ride so far. 4h is a long time for anyone weather you’re a beginner or a stronger seasoned rider, so ensure you eat and drink plenty.

GMC coaching head over to https://www.gmccycling.com/ or drop Gordon or myself an email at Gordon@GMCcoaching.com or Josh@gmccoaching.com

We would love to hear how you got on.

Last time Gordon and Josh rode the Cycle Challenge they finished 1st and 3rd. They have 2 wins each between them and are well versed in how to ride this event. In 2020 Gordon is planning on being there so if you see him before hand, say hi and see what his advice for the day is.

Week 6: Event Week

Event week is upon us. Don’t do too much, but don’t let the body go to sleep

Day: Training: Comments:
Monday Rest Day Take the day off. Do some stretching, eat quality food and drink plenty of water
Tuesday Tune up with a 1h ride and include 4x3min Hard as you can With a 5min rest between each Today we don’t want the body to go to sleep we also want to give it a rev up especially in the zone we have been working. Give it 100% for each effort
Wednesday Endurance ride 1.5h Low intensity endurance ride.
Thursday Recovery ride 1h Today just head out for an easy hour and enjoy your ride, check out the scenery, smell the flowers. Enjoy the simple pleasure of a bike ride.
Friday Rest day or openers 1h with 3x1min hard fast pedalling seated. Rest 5min between each Take the day off if you need to, but the day before a race it’s a good idea to do some openers to let the legs know tomorrow it will be doing something.
Saturday BDO Taranaki Cycle Challenge Today is event day. Enjoy it!!!!
Sunday Rest Day Take the day off have a lie in you earned it. Start planning next year and how you could do even better. Imagine what you could achieve with 12 weeks structured training and a Coach!!!
Total This week we will of tuned you up, and you should arrive at the race rested not too fatigued and ready to go. Hopefully you have also in a short space of time got yourself fit and had a blast riding around the mountain.

The final week of a run in to an event can be a tricky one. You need to balance rest and recovery with intensity to keep the body sharp so it doesn’t get stagnant. A little bit of intensity and a good spin out the day before are key. Don’t let enthusiasm get the better of you, your hard days should be hard, but your endurance rides and recovery rides should be just that, low intensity and recovery. Too many people ruin race day by not backing off when they should in the lead up to an event. Good form and condition only comes when you back off and let the body recover stronger from those harder days on the bike.

Final word: Ensure you get your bike tuned and checked in the final week. Make sure you have fresh tyres and don’t skimp on nutrition. No point having all the hard work waisted cause you had worn tyres and didn’t get a service or ran out of gels.
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