At Prudential RideLondon, we know that committing to a challenge can feel daunting, so to make your training more fun – and ensure you stay motivated to go the distance – we've teamed up with Zwift to bring you a programme that's both effective and enjoyable.
The 16-week training programme – designed for a 100-mile sportive – has been put together by top cycling coach Kevin Poulton, who is perhaps most famous for coaching Mat Hayman to victory in the 2016 edition of the Paris-Roubaix. The 16-week plan is for riders looking to achieve their highest level of performance, and will give you a taste of what it's like to train with the pros.
About the plan
Most sessions in the programme are around 60 minutes in length, ideal if you need to fit your training around your busy work schedule. You'll also find longer workouts designed to really develop your stamina for the demands of riding long distances over challenging terrains.
There are four structured sessions a week, as well as an optional free ride. If you miss or decide to skip a sessions, just move on to the next one on the schedule or work the four sessions into your seven-day week. Completing every workout is less important than feeling well prepared and rested to execute the ones you do.
The 16-week training plan can be downloaded below, or you can use the grid to view the plan week by week.
|WEEK 1||WEEK 2||WEEK 3||WEEK 4|
|WEEK 5||WEEK 6||WEEK 7||WEEK 8|
|WEEK 9||WEEK 10||WEEK 11||WEEK 12|
|WEEK 13||WEEK 14||WEEK 15||WEEK 16|
How to follow the plan
It is not essential to have equipment such as an indoor (or turbo) trainer or a power meter to be able to follow the training plan and get ready for the big day. You can simply follow the plan out on the road or on a gym bike, measuring your effort based on 'feel', or rate of perceived exertion (RPE). RPE is a way of self-monitoring how hard or strenuous your workout feels based on a descriptive scale (see table below).
Training effectively is not all about getting on your bike and riding as hard as you can all the time but more about riding easy to recover, training at a moderate tempo to build endurance and pushing yourself quite hard to prepare for those hills. The RPE scale provides a guide on how to train more effectively.
If you do have a ‘smart trainer’ (an indoor trainer that measures power and connects to a computer or mobile device) or a power meter (a device on your bike that measures your power output) you can measure your training with Watts and monitor your progress according to training ‘Zones’.
Measuring your rate of perceived exertion
|RPE||HOW IT FEELS||EFFORT TYPE||POWER ZONE||POWER AS %
|1-2||Light. Like an easy walk.||Active recovery||1||<55%|
|3-4||Moderate. Small amount of effort with little fatigue||Endurance||2||56-75%|
|5-6||Heavy. More fatigue but sustainable for periods of time longer than 20-30 mins||Tempo||3||76-90%|
|7-8||Very heavy. Should be sustainable for over 20 mins but with moderate sensations||Lactate threshold||4||91-105%|
|9||Very, very heavy. Only sustainable for 5-8 mins||Vo2 Max||5||106-120%|
|10||An all out effort sustainable for no longer than 30 secs to 3 mins||Anaerobic capacity||6||>121%|
Whether you choose to train using the Zwift online platform or download the training plan here, embrace the challenge and enjoy the miles as you train for your target event.
|Zwift is serious training made fun. With Zwift, cyclists from around the globe can train and compete with each other in rich, 3D-generated worlds. To find out more about how to get started, visit zwift.com or download the Zwift app for iPhone or Android.|