A 6-Week Beginners Cycling Training Plan

By Gulab Mostofa (Training plan adapted from the book, Bike Your B*tt Off!)

  • This cycling training plan covers everything from cornering to cadence, while introducing you to riding in different intensity zones.
  • These workouts are effective but easy enough for any level of rider to understand. You’ll feel stronger, more energetic, sharper, and happier—and there’s a good chance you’ll see some change on the scale, too.

Alhamdulillah, the cycling community amongst Muslims is evolving rapidly, with seasoned riders only getting faster and fitter, and plenty of beginner cyclists just starting out especially during the lockdown phase. We can see the complete range out and about.

Our relationship with cycling can grow and change throughout, and for some that includes a time when you set goals and train to achieve them. Going from a person who rides a bike to an athlete in training doesn’t need to be an intimidating transition. Cycling training doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective, and with the proven information and cycling tips, you can start training and prepare yourself to ride longer and also find it more enjoyable.

This six-week, step-by-step cycling training plan was adapted from the book, Bike Your B*tt Off!: A Breakthrough Plan to Lose Weight and Start Cycling (No Experience Necessary!) by Selene Yeager and Leslie Bonci and is perfect for new cyclists, and it also works just as well for intermediate riders. The workouts are designed to challenge your muscles and cardio and build your abilities on the bike in a progressive and short amount of time. The more you focus and follow along, the greater the results, in shaa Allah you’ll feel stronger, more energetic, sharper, and happier. And there’s a good chance you’ll see some change on the scale, too (if you cut out some of those Somosas).

The Training Plan

Follow this weekly schedule for rides and workouts. For cross-training days, activities such as running, swimming, or even walking work well—just stay active and stretch daily.

One tip: If you can’t remember the details of the rides, Download the jpeg posts below to your phone and save them, or write notes on masking tape and stick it on your bike’s top tube.

Intensity Levels

Below, you’ll find rough estimates of the intensity levels in each workout. So many factors affect speed (wind, terrain, bike type), that it’s impossible to take them all into consideration. Don’t worry too much about numbers; effort is what counts.

Week 1:

This week’s workout is all about getting you out there on the road. It will help you gain confidence

in basic bike handling and the ability to control your effort levels on rides.

Week 2:

This week’s workout helps you gain confidence using your gears to control your pedalling cadence (how fast you spin your pedals) and effort, so you’ll feel more comfortable tackling longer rides. For the more experienced riders, pushing against bigger gears and spinning rapidly in smaller ones helps you gain strength by working different muscle groups.

Week 3:

This week’s workout emphasises bike-handling skills and pedalling at a smooth and steady pace. It will help you feel comfortable coasting through turns smoothly and taking corners.

Week 4:

At first it may feel unnatural to ride at 90 or 100 rpm, but before long you’ll notice that a cadence above 80 feels like less work, which is helpful for

longer rides. This workout makes those higher-rpm efforts more comfortable and teaches you to use cadence to control your effort. Don’t sacrifice proper form during this segment of the workout. If you start rocking at the hips or flailing at the knees, lower your cadence until you’re in control, then try again.

Week 5:

This week’s workout conditions your lungs and legs to maintain a steady effort and gets you ready to meet the demands of longer, tougher rides.

Week 6:

Standing gives your legs a break and helps you up steep climbs because you’re putting all your weight into your pedals—but it also raises your heart rate because your upper body has to work harder to support your torso and keep you balanced. This week’s workout will boost your fitness and riding skills.

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