Sportive Training Plans

Your 2013 Sportive preparation and training starts here. On Thursday 27 September 2012, British Cycling launched its first ever tailored Sportive Training Plans, designed for all levels of rider ability and aspiration.  You may be a complete beginner, a seasoned sportive campaigner, or somewhere in between; either way we have a plan to suit you.

Autumn and Winter is the ideal time to lay the foundation for the spring’s season opening sportives, and also represents excellent groundwork for next summer.

The British Cycling Sportive Training Plans are exclusively available to British Cycling members and require you are able to measure both heart-rate and cadence as you ride.  Measuring these variables will allow you to:

  • Monitor your fitness level
  • Measure your progression
  • Keep your training sessions structured and focussed
  • Train in targeted heart rate zones with specific physiological effects
  • Get the very most out of the training time you have available

All British Cycling Sportive Training Plans run for an initial 6-month period

Rider levels

You may want to complete your first ever sportive as a personal challenge, you may have dipped your toe in the sportive water in 2012 and now want to take on bigger challenges by increasing your event distance or entering bigger, more prestigious events. Whatever your goals, we have a plan to suit everyone:

  • Beginner plans use heart rate and cadence as measures of performance and progression and are designed to support riders that are new to cycling, new to structured training or both. On successful completion you should be able to complete a 60 mile sportive with relative ease, or 100 miles with some grit, determination and adrenaline
  • Intermediate plans use heart rate and cadence but also include training sessions based on power data as a measurement your effort.  Intermediate plans are designed for riders who have been cycling for longer than a year, and have already completed some sportive events. The intermediate plan is designed for successful completion of a 100 mile Sportive event.
  • Advanced plans use heart rate and power (you choose).  They are designed for riders who already train specifically for sportive events, and may also be racing competitively

All British Cycling Sportive Training Plans run for an initial 6-month period. This is your Core Training Plan and if adhered to, will deliver you to the Spring events in great shape.  On completion of the Core Training Plan, you may then complete the 3-month Booster Training Plan which will take you into summer 2013.

Before you undertake any form of physical activity or make significant changes to your routine it is a good idea to check with your GP that you are able to undertake the programme.

Plan structure

The structure of the plans is essential to allow you to fit your training around your existing work and family commitments:

  • All training weeks have 3 Primary (essential sessions) and 1 Bonus session (it is up to you whether you complete the bonus session)
  • Some weeks will require you to ride two days back-to-back.
  • Rest days are scheduled, and are essential if you want to improve: you should not miss them!
  • Rest weeks are included, when the training volume and intensity is significantly reduced.  These are essential for your body to adapt to the training and get stronger.
  • Plans will be available in 4-week blocks at

Prior to starting the training plans you might want to:

  • Give your bike a service
  • Buy a heart-rate monitor and cadence computer if you don’t already have one.
  • Treat yourself to the power meter you have been promising yourself. (Nice to have, but in no way essential)
  • Plan a flat, rolling and hilly loop near to home 15-20 miles long. You will use this loop over the coming months to calculate your training zones and measure your progression.
  • Look at your other life commitment; when will be the best time for you to train?  The training process should enhance your life, not take it over.
  • Look through the British Cycling Events Calendar and identify some 2013 events you want to target.
  • Find a friend or group of similar ability that you can ride with on a regular basis.
  • Join a cycling club.