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In 4 Weeks Youʼll Have the Strength, Stamina, and

Confidence to Ride Your Best Century Ever!


Dear Fellow Cyclist,

Itʼs that time of year my friend. Cycling is in the air and with it every cyclist, old and young, beginner
or experienced, all around the world is looking for exciting and challenging century rides to add to
their yearly accomplishments.

If youʼve chosen to do a century ride (100 miles) or even a charity ride or metric century (65 miles),
then this is a great training plan for you! Even if youʼve done century rides before and are looking to
better your time from last year or get more fun out of the coveted 100 mile ride, then we have a great
solution to help you get to the finish with energy to spare.

I love century rides. They offer the ultimate in personal challenge without being overly competitive.
They have become very popular as charity events and as such have lured in many new cyclists to
this wonderful sport. Once youʼve completed your first century, we guarantee you that youʼll be back
for more! They get addictive and offer a life long challenge that you can strive for again and again!

Training and completing a century ride is not easy! In fact for many of us, the challenge is to get in
enough miles and enough focused and effective training during our hectic life and work schedules so
we can show up for our event in good shape and with enough strength and endurance to not only fin-
ish, but have a good time in the process. Not an easy task!

Cyclo-CORE has put together for you a simple and easy to follow, workout-by-workout template and
training plan that will address ALL the necessary attributes you will need to not only finish your cen-
tury ride, but finish without pain and fatigue and most importantly finish with the desire to do another
century ride or charity event in the future!

Century ride preparation is sometimes misconstrued as only the need to get in lots of miles. Although
miles are necessary, we want to help you understand that a good century rider has the base fitness,
endurance, core strength, low back durability, and balanced and focused training to make the most
out of their limited training time.

Letʼs be real. If we all had the time to ride 100 milers every weekend, we wouldnʼt be stuck at a job
behind a desk. So, we have to be more practical and more FOCUSED in our training. That is what
our 4 Week Century & Endurance Focused Training Plan is all about! This plan is designed to be fun
and an opportunity for you to develop more structure and focus for your passion for cycling. We know
that once you follow this easy to use, no-guesswork training plan and subsequently have a great cen-
tury ride as a result that youʼll come back to Cyclo-CORE for all of our other cycling-specific training
programs and training plans.

Ride Hard. Ride Long. Ride for Fun!

Sincerely,
Graeme Street,
CEO and Founder of Cyclo-CORE.com

Copyright 2006 Cyclo-CORE, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Meet Graeme Street
Cycling Fitness Expert, President & Creator
of the Cyclo-CORE Revolution!
Graeme Street, ACSM, has been an avid cyclist for almost twenty
years along with his continued passion for cutting edge fitness train-
ing and personal development for thousands of customers and clients
around the world.

Graeme accomplished his dual degree in Exercise Physiology and


Nutrition from Florida State University and quickly moved into high
end personal training and fitness consulting for major corporate health
organizations.

After Graeme conquered the corporate world he moved to greener pastures and pursued his own
successful training company with his wife Kate, also a personal trainer.

Graeme and Kate had much success and have been featured on NBC News as well as their own fit-
ness radio show for almost four years. During that time, Graeme and Kate began creating multi-me-
dia fitness programs and stayed very successful in the general fitness and weight loss market.

During this time, Graeme had dreams of taking his talents with fitness training and coaching and com-
bining it with his long term passion of cycling. Graeme was now headed towards his destiny!

Graeme launched Cyclo-CORE in late 2004 with nothing more than passion and drive for bringing
the sport of cycling new life and direction. His experience with thousands of clients had taught him
that core training, flexibility work, and a balanced training approach was greatly lacking in the cycling
industry. This experience combined with his given talent of personal motivation and educational skills
created the first ever cycling specific core training program, Cyclo-CORE.

Since the launch of Cyclo-CORE and itʼs overwhelming success, Graeme has been on the leading
edge of producing the cycling industries leading fitness and recovery programs geared for the recre-
ational and competitive level cycling market. Graemeʼs follow up programs, Cyclo-ZEN and his ad-
vanced program, Cyclo-SPEED have helped propel thousands of cyclists around the world towards
greater cycling fitness and performance. Now combined with Coach Alʼs Training Plans, you are
100% Guaranteed to get results from your training!

Graemeʼs mission for Cyclo-CORE is to create the most time-effective core training, cycling condi-
tioning, and performance producing programs, training plans, and complete training systems in the
world for all levels of cyclists, mountain bikers, triathletes, and runners.

Graemeʼs commitment to cycling is unwavering and as a sign of his commitment to continue pursuing
his passion, Graeme has started the first ever “Everyday Cyclist” sponsorship, TEAMCycloCORE.

If getting in better shape and condition for cycling is one of your goals, than Graeme is the person
thatʼs going to help you get there and his Cyclo-CORE programs are his teaching tools!
“My life and my hectic schedule may keep me
doing sprints all day, but I can still train my mind
and body for a self-challenging 100 mile journey!”
SIX CENTURY RIDE PREPARATION TIPS
“May your core be strong and your fitness ready for the long road ahead!”
By Graeme Street, President of Cyclo-CORE.com and Avid Century Rider

Whether youʼve chosen to ride a popular charity event century such as an MS ride or a competitive
century, there are some important factors that will determine your enjoyment and success of the ride.
Follow my sure-fire century prep tips and you will have a higher likely hood of finishing strong!

CENTURY TIP 1: Know What Youʼre In for BEFORE You Get to the Start!

Yes...I highly suggest that you know as much about the course as you can BEFORE you ride it. If
possible, try to ride sections of it as part of your training weeks in advance. Now, many times this isnʼt
possible. Thatʼs OK. Most event organizers will have a topography map with water stations, eleva-
tions, directs, etc. for you prior to start. Study it! Know when and where and WHAT you can expect
at different sections of the course. If possible get the info off the event website and choose training
routes that are similar to elevations, wind conditions etc. as practice.

This RECON will help you accomplish a few things such as knowing when and where there are water
and rest breaks, monster hills that may cause you trouble and an overall confidence that you know
that youʼll finish before you even begin.

CENTURY TIP 2: One FOCUSED Century Preparation Ride Per Week is KEY!

You should have at least 1 metric ride (65 miles) under your belt BEFORE you attempt a full century.
The funny thing is that if you can do 65 miles you can probably do 100. Itʼs like a ʻdistance sealʼ that
must be broken. If you follow the plan we have set for you over the next four weeks you will actually
accomplish four CENTURY FOCUSED rides of 65 miles or more.

We recommend that you do these in a group ride if possible as you are more likely to have a good
time and stay on a good pace. Use the rides during the week to work on your skills and maintaining
your fitness between your FOCUSED rides.

CENTURY TIP 3: DO NOT Cram in the Miles! Follow the Plan and Trust Us!

If you donʼt have enough base miles in your tank before the century, thatʼs OK, you can ride into fit-
ness during the ride. BUT, donʼt be dumb and try to ride hard and long miles just the week or two
before to get you prepped. This will sap your energy, reduce your recovery rate, and leave you vulner-
able for the goal ride. Trust me...Iʼve made this mistake before. Itʼs a horrible idea. Pick NO more
than one or two rides to push hard during the weeks preceding your event. Use other rides to work
on tempo, mental prep, technique and active recovery to get your body ready. Basically, just trust us
and follow the plan and youʼll be ready for your best century ever!

Copyright 2006 Cyclo-CORE, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


CENTURY TIP 4: Prepare Your Core and Low Back for the Work Ahead!

Out of the tips I am going to give you, this one can make or break your century ride success. Bottom
line, without a strong enough core and low back to handle the stress of 100 miles, it wonʼt matter how
aerobically fit you are or how many miles youʼve put in!

You must Pre-condition your core, low back, upper back, and stay strong and flexible weeks ahead
of your ride. When youʼre in the saddle for 5 hours or more, it takes a huge toll on your posture, low
back endurance, neck strain, knees, etc. You can prepare your body to deal with this well in advance
with systematic core training, post-ride flexibility work, low back conditioning, functional strength
training, and more. Use the Cyclo-CORE and Cyclo-ZEN programs outlined in the plan as tools and
guides to help you combat muscular fatigue and low back pain during your century. I promise you,
it will make ALL the difference in your century performance no matter what your age or experience
level!

CENTURY TIP 5: Hydrate. Replenish...And Then Hydrate and Replenish Some More!

This is the single most important step to a fun and enjoyable century and can not be controlled by the
plan...itʼs up to you to plan to stay hydrated and replenished! You must start your pre-hydration prac-
tice at least 3 days in advance. This does NOT mean pounding water all day. You want to replenish
water, electrolytes, carbohydrates and proteins after all training rides or CORE and ZEN workouts
and maintain a constant influx of water/diluted electrolyte drinks during the day.

During the ride you want to have one (22-24 oz.) bottle of water and one bottle of a carb/electrolyte
drink to sip on every 8 to 10 minutes. Donʼt wait to FEEL thirsty or youʼre dead. Put yourself on a
schedule and stick to it. Donʼt be anyoneʼs hero and try to do a whole century without refilling your
water. Iʼve seen it happen and itʼs not pretty! If you have to stop to get fluids...do it! If you dehydrate
quickly because you sweat a lot like me, then an electrolyte tab solution may be a good solution.
There are several on the market and all should contain sodium, potassium and maybe magnesium.

You also want to eat a carb/protein mix during the ride. Usually every hour is a good schedule, but
each person is different. Guʼs, powergels, PB&J, dried mango,cliff bars, bananas, etc. Keep replac-
ing the lost calories from the effort and stick to a schedule and be prepared. Better to have too much
food available than not enough!

CENTURY TIP 6: Ride YOUR Ride and Remember Why Youʼre Doing it!

You MUST know yourself, how youʼre feeling, how much more can you take. You must set a good
tempo for you! Many times, riders who never ride together meet up for a charity ride or century event.
This is good and BAD in some ways. Each person has their own tempo, pace and ability. If you donʼt
honor your own ability youʼll push too hard too quick and never make it to the end.

If someoneʼs pushing too hard for you, you must ask them to back off or disengage and ride with
another group behind you. It stinks, but trust me, it happens and many canʼt finish because they donʼt
follow this tip. Pick a tempo and pace that you can hold the whole time. Usually 1 to 2 mph below
your 65 mile pace is a good one to shoot for and adjust up from there depending on how youʼre feel-
ing on that particular day. If youʼre feeling off, then back down the intensity and slowly regroup so you
can come back. Remember why youʼre doing this and always ask yourself....an I having fun?

Copyright 2006 Cyclo-CORE, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Look What CORE and ZEN Workouts and Following
These CENTURY TIPS Did for David Snow:

Graeme,

I know that I have raved about your programs before, but after riding my first century of the season,
all I can say is I BELIEVE !!!!!!!! I was somewhat concerned about my level of fitness this early in the
season, even though I had been doing well the Core and Zen workouts.

I canʼt believe how good I felt so early in the season. I really noticed a huge difference in how comfort-
able I felt on the bike. We werenʼt expecting to do the amount of climbing we did, but we felt great. My
brother-in-law and I were pulling people up the hills all day. It was awesome!!!

If it werenʼt for an automobile accident I was involved in the day before, I think I could have ridden
longer.This has motivated me even more to continue using both workouts to improve even more. My
brother-in-law, Jim Rusnell bought the cyclo-core DVDʼs and is anxious to start using them.

Thanks so much for your expertise and knowledge. I have already seen more improvement than I
have ever seen in myself. Great job!!! Take care, Dave Snow

Vistit www.Cyclo-CORE.com to Learn More About ALL


of Our Cycling-Specific Training and Conditioning
Programs and Professionally Designed Training Plans.

Copyright 2006 Cyclo-CORE, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Coach Alʼs Philosophy on Training and
Century Preparation:
Certain aspects of this plan might be considered somewhat unortho-
dox compared to common training practices for many cyclists. As
such, I want to share a bit of my philosophy of training so that you
have an understanding of why I created the plan the way I did. That
philosophy, which was integral in how I prepared this plan, is based
upon some important principles:

1. The ideal training program is one where an athlete does as


much training as he/she can truly ABSORB (complete the work-
out and then recover fully from it), which is usually vastly differ-
ent than doing as much training as he/she can fit into their life, or
as much as someone else might be able to do.

2. The concept that an effective training plan should be one that perfectly balances stress and
rest so that actual improvement (following that rest) is the result!

3. The idea that doing lots of mediocre (read: moderately long and moderately difficult) work-
outs day after day, usually DOES NOT result in improved performance in a key event!

4. Normal people with jobs and families and other responsibilities outside of cycling generally
need more rest and recovery compared to elites, who donʼt have those other daily responsi-
bilities and have time for a daily nap!

5. The best training strategy is one that allows for adequate rest by focusing on very specific
KEY workouts, which I define as workouts that are difficult enough to do that they stimulate a
distinct fitness improvement! Why? KEY WORKOUTS prepare you and your body for specific
race conditions and circumstances MUCH BETTER than daily, “consistent” mediocre riding.

6. If you maintain purposeful and moderate amounts of focused “hard” training in between
the KEY workouts which are designed to be specific to your goal event and will truly lift your
fitness and strength, you will NOT lose any of the fitness you gained from your most challeng-
ing training. In fact, you GAIN FITNESS as you rest and recover!

FOCUS ON KEY CENTURY FOCUSED WORKOUTS IN THE PLAN:


The Key WORKOUTS in this plan (because it is designed to prepare a beginner/intermediate cyclist
for completing a century ride) are the LONG endurance rides on Day 7. This single ride is the KEY to
you being able to complete your goal event! Believe it or not, daily exercise consistency is of minimal
consequence when we are talking about peak performance and preparation for a KEY EVENT like a
century or challenging charity ride!

Please keep the above in mind as you review the plan. Resist the common thought process (based
upon flawed logic) that says you must hammer yourself every day in order to finish a century. That
flawed logic is based upon the myth (obsession!) of “high weekly mileage” being essential for suc-
cess, or the need to do some form of “hard” riding every day or you will instantly “lose” fitness. These
myths and obsessions are ego driven, and they donʼt serve your body well, or help you reach your
goal. What your body REALLY wants is for you to avoid obsessive/compulsive tendencies by focus-
ing on the appropriate amount of stress and rest in your training that will truly help you to reach higher
levels of fitness and health.

To summarize, in order to prepare successfully using this plan, you must:

1. Do whatever it takes to show up RESTED, MOTIVATED, and ready for the KEY long endur-
ance rides that will specifically prepare you for a century.

2. Think of all of your other workouts as “supplemental” to this KEY long ride.

3. DO NOT ignore the CORE and ZEN workouts as they hold the key to helping you improve
the fitness of your core muscles, low back, flexibility and leg strength needed for a good cen-
tury ride. All too often, cyclists ignore the little things that can make the biggest impact on
their cycling. The CORE and ZEN workouts will help you get the work done quickly and allow
you to recover quicker from your training.

3. Focus your attention on how to best execute the KEY workouts and how to target “event
specific” preparation in that key workout, i.e. is your upcoming century on hilly terrain? Then
you must ride that KEY workout in hilly terrain that mimics as closely as possible what you
will see in your goal event. The same goes for time of day, nutrition and hydration, flat terrain,
equipment, pre-ride meal, etc, etc. You must practice your actual event preparations in your
KEY workout.

4. Reject obsessions like weekly mileage and consistent day in/day out “hard” workouts that
just tire you out and make completing the KEY session more difficult.

5. If you NAIL and execute the KEY workouts in this plan and follow the previous 4 tips, you
absolutely will be ready to complete your goal on the day! Good luck!

If You Like Having More Structure in Your


Training, Such as This Sample Training Plan
Then Youʼll Love Our Multi-Level In-Season
and Off-Season Training Plans Developed by
Coach Al Himself. These Have Been Wildly
Successful With Our Customers and Will Take
Away ALL the Guesswork in Your Training for
Years to Come! Check them Out Today:

Cyclo-CORE.com
ATTENTION: All Cyclists Stuck in the “Mileage Prison”
ALL Avid Intermediate and Advanced Level Cyclists Looking to Use This
Plan to Improve Their Century Time and Performance, Please Read:

Although this plan was intended for the beginner/intermediate cyclist looking to complete their first
century and or charity ride, ALL the info contained in the plan is still valid for the more experienced or
avid cyclist with performance in mind.

We recommend you follow these guidelines to get th most out of this plan:

1. FOCUS ON INTENSITY AND TIME...NOT JUST MILEAGE!

You will quickly see in this plan that we do not discuss mileage goals, but instead focus on time, in-
tensity, and focused training objectives. If you have time for more miles, you can do them of course.
However, keep in mind that if completing a strong century is your primary goal, then our original tips
still stand! Stay focused on the one long endurance ride of the week and allow the other rides to be
shorter and more structured and focused! Youʼll get more out of it, we promise.

2. DO NOT NEGLECT THE LITTLE THINGS THAT CAN MAKE THE BIG DIFFERENCE!

All too often I run into avid and expereinced cyclists that are stuck in one-dimensional thinking about
their training and as a result either never make further progress or wind up overtraining.

Most avid and competetive cyclists that do century rides do them to gain fitness and have a good time
in the process. Never forget that! With that in mind, make sure that each training ride and century
you do has a specific goal in mind or a wekness to overcome.

This does not mean hammering every mile of your training and century ride. In fact, there is no faster
way to LOSE FITNESS over time than this antiquated method. Focus on the little things and make
sure you are recovered and focused. Work on your technique, cadence, form, strength or all of the
above in a more systematic fashion than “just riding” the century. Make the time in the saddle more
useful and long term and youʼll get more out of it.

3. DO THE CORE WORK AND RECOVERY SESSIONS...PERIOD!

Biggest problem with more experienced cyclists is helping them see the forest through the trees and
help them understand that if they want to improve more on the bike, then they will have to get off the
bike to do some of the work!

This is why the CORE and ZEN workouts can make or break your century performance and overall
cycling fitness! In fact, as a more expereinced cyclist, you stand the MOST to gain from adding in
these core and cross training tactics.

Why? Because these are the “refining tolls” your body is craving to put the icing on your cyling cake.
Donʼt let your ego get in the way and through out your fear of getting off the bike and I promise it will
set you free!

--Graeme Street, Fellow Avid Cyclist Who has to Follow the SAME RULES!!
A Basic User’s GUIDE to the
Cyclo-CORE 4-Week Century Focused
Training Plan
By Coach Al Lyman, CSCS
© 2006, Pursuit Fitness, LLC, all rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or shared
without the express written consent of the author.

IMPORTANT TRAINING TERMS USED IN YOUR PLAN:


Term or Description
Abbreviation
‘ Minutes, as in 3-5’ (three to five minutes)
“ [“] = seconds, as in 15”.
W/up and C/d W/up = Warm up. Each and every exercise session
should be proceeded by a warm up period where you
transition from a resting state to a state where you
are ready to work in your aerobic training zone. This
transition prepares the mind & the body for what is to
follow.

C/d = cool down. Likewise, every training session


should finish with a gradual reduction in intensity that
brings your body back to a resting state. After your
cool down is the ideal time to stretch!
(5’) or (30”) When you see a number of minutes or seconds in
parentheses, it indicates a rest or recovery interval
between sets or reps. These REST intervals should be
comprised of easy “soft pedaling” at a cadence of 75-
95 rpms. (For a complete description of what soft
pedaling is, see the next column).

Note that the 5’ and 30” used here are examples only.
Any duration can be used in the plan.
Soft Pedal Soft pedaling means exactly as it says: to pedal very
softly. Gearing should be VERY easy such that you
are merely touching the pedal – spinning circles very
easily as though the pedal was an egg you were afraid
of breaking. As mentioned above, all recovery
intervals (numbers within parentheses) should be
soft-pedaling unless other specific directions are
given.
3 x 5’ (1-2’) Three (3) repetitions (repeats) of 5 minutes each.
After each repeat rest by soft pedaling for 1-2
minutes before starting the next interval. As
mentioned in the previous paragraph, in general you
should continue to exercise very lightly, i.e. soft pedal
(z1) during this rest interval.
2-3’ This means two to three minutes long. In essence,
you have a “range” of time to work within.
Spin Ups These “speed” drills are excellent for developing and
smoothing out your pedal stroke so that you learn
how to pedal more effectively and efficiently at a
higher cadence. Here’s how you do the spin-up drills:
Begin in a very easy/low gear, and spin at 70 rpms
for 10-15”. Then every 10” increase cadence by
about 5 rpms until you eventually are spinning as fast
as you can, while trying to keep your hips from
rocking. You’ll know when the cadence gets too fast
to sustain because your butt will begin to bounce on
the saddle. Focus on “planting” your butt on the
saddle and don’t bounce. Stay smooth and relaxed
at all times. Maintain “pressure” on the pedal at all
times, but keep the pressure “light,” and focus on
pulling up through the bottom of the pedal stroke and
over the top.
Standing Jumps These moderately explosive efforts which ARE the first
10 seconds or so of a sprint are the most technically
difficult part of sprinting. They can be used to help
improve your ability to quickly accelerate, and can be
a great drill to use as part of a warm-up in
preparation for more challenging interval training or
full-out sprinting.

How? Good Jumps are the perfect combination of


speed and force. Though these can be done in a
variety of ways.

Experiment with different protocols depending on how


you are feeling and learn more about your riding
strengths and weaknesses.

Note: Jumps require a great deal of coordination and


skill. You’ll literally “jump” out of the saddle and drive
one knee forward while driving the other pedal back
with your strength, aided by your body weight.

ƒ Have your hands on the DROPS for jumps and


sprints. The hoods are appropriate only for
sprinting and jumping when climbing.

Important Notes: While Jumps are essentially the


beginnings of a sprint effort, they are NOT meant to
be “all-out” sprints themselves!

• In the way Jumps are used in this plan, they


are moderately hard: they get the legs
moving, raise heart rate, preparing you for
more intense training that might follow.
• They can also be used very effectively as part
of a taper into a race.

rpms rpms = Revolutions Per Minute. This is our way of


gauging our pedaling speed, or the amount of times
the crank arms revolve around the bottom bracket of
the bicycle.

Now that you have seen some of the abbreviations used in the plan, I will provide a
sample workout from week-1 here and then clarify, in layman’s terms, exactly what
the workout prescribes for you. This should clear up any potential confusion
regarding the terminology. Here’s what it says:
Perform warm up to z2, choice duration, then:

Main set#1: 2x [2x 10” Standing Jumps (50”), (1’), repeat], then…

Remainder of the ride: z1 recommended, choice duration

Now that you know what it SAYS, here’s what it MEANS:

(First, the actual duration of this and most rides in the plan is your choice, as the
warm up and cool down periods are left up to your discretion.)

The workout: you will get out on the bike and warm up as needed, gradually going
from a resting level to a zone-2 training intensity. After a warm up period where you
build to zone 2, you are ready to move into the first “main” set.

This “main” set is to be done two-times through (i.e. 2x). The set is two, 10-second
standing jumps with 50 seconds of easy soft pedaling for recovery between each.
After the second time through the set, you are free to continue on with the ride with
the remaining time on the bike at easy zone-1 or zone-2 spinning to cooldown, and
its your choice how long this will be………

TRAINING INTENSITY- The Basics:

While there is a great deal of information that could be conveyed about training
intensity, I think its imperative to keep things AS SIMPLE as possible. With this in
mind, please refer to the chart below for a basic description of the intensity levels
that are used in this plan. Of note is that these “zones” are based on your
perceptions about your breathing and your “rating of perceived exertion.”

Training Zones/Intensity:
As Determined By Perceived Exertion.

Zone 1 Very easy effort with comfortable light breathing. Talking is easily possible.

Easy effort with increased breathing effort and volume. Talking is still possible, but it
Zone 2 is more difficult (particularly on hills) than zone 1.
Moderately hard effort with somewhat labored breathing. Talking is going to be very
Zone 3 sporadic and quite difficult.
Zone 4 Hard effort with labored breathing. Talking not possible! This effort requires focus!

Zone 5 Very hard “all out” maximum effort with panting!

For those cyclists who are training with “power” or by heart rate, refer to the slightly
more detailed chart below for a basic description of the intensity levels which are
similar to what is used by “most” endurance athletes worldwide.

Please note: when thinking about what is the appropriate intensity for a particular
training session, the bottom line is that ‘aerobic’ (z1 and z2) training is best done by
practicing good form for relatively short durations and then applying that improved
form over increasingly larger distances and durations at the same relatively “easy”
intensity. Aerobic efforts should NOT be hard sessions. Keep z2 training
comfortable from the standpoint of aerobic/cardiovascular effort so that you can shift
your focus to becoming “better” at what you are doing (skill and technique
enhancement). Similarly, “easy” z1 type efforts in this plan should be even EASIER
than aerobic / zone 2 sessions, i.e. you can consider them to be almost active
recovery.
Here’s the slightly more detailed chart:

Training
Zone Term in Basic Description
Program
Easy (Z1) Recovery days, between intervals segments,
and easy aerobic training. Essentially “active”
1
recovery, but always with good form! Soft
pedaling.
Aerobic Basic aerobic endurance training or “base”
(Z2) building. Marks the line between “easy soft-
2
pedaling” and “training,” requiring a bit more
focus to maintain the proper intensity.
Tempo In general, Z3 is either too hard or too easy
(Z3) and large amounts of Z3 time will be avoided in
3
favor of Z2 or short, controlled periods in Z4 or
5. Also known as “moderately” hard.
Threshold At or Near “Lactate Threshold” intensity. This is
4 (Z4) a hard effort and requires extreme mental focus
and concentration to maintain effort.
VO2 Max For use only in tightly controlled training
5 (Z5) sessions and/or short intense interval training.
This is maximum, all-out effort!

Note: the above zones are very loosely based on the training intensity system
created by Andrew Coggan, Ph.D.1

INTENSITY: How Do We Measure It?

As cyclists, we have a variety of ways to determine whether or not we are working at


the right intensity during training. Being purposeful and accurate in terms of the
appropriate intensity is one of your primary goals with each and every session you do!

Here are the 5 basic ways to measure intensity to determine whether we are working
too hard or not hard enough:

† Pace or speed: miles or kilometers per hour


† Rating of perceived exertion (Borg scale)
† Heart rate monitoring

1
Coggan, Power Training Levels, February 2006, < http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/levels.html>
† Power (watts)
† Blood lactate measurement

Depending on what sport you are training for, and where you are in your year-long
periodization or season, one or all of the above measures can be used to effectively
gauge intensity. As you gain experience, RPE (rating of perceived exertion) is likely
the most used and valuable feedback, but it only “works” if the person using it has the
experience and objectivity to rely upon that feedback. Measuring wattage on the bike
via a power meter is, far and away, the most accurate way to measure workload and
intensity for cycling.
© Pursuit Fitness, LLC, all rights reserved, 2006
Week 1: 4-Weeks to a Century
Cyclo-Core Training Plan
Pedaling Skills & Endurance Focus
DAY CYCLING CYCLO-CORE/ ZEN / SPEED
st
Day 1 1 : 30’: Do a gradual W/up to z2, focusing Off
on spinning your legs at a cadence of 90-
105 rpms in the SCR over moderate terrain.
Day 2 Optional: You have the option of doing a 1st: Cyclo-CORE: Body-Weight Conditioning
short spin on the bike or some calisthenics Circuits #1 and #2, then….
as a W/up and C/d to the Cyclo-CORE 2nd: Cyclo-CORE: Stretching, Flexibility, and
workouts. Cool down Program

Day 3 Perform a W/up to z2 of 10-20’ long where Off


you build in intensity to z2, then on flat
Today’s terrain, do:
FOCUS &
Purpose: Main set#1: 4x 1’ Spin ups in the SCR in
Improve z2 (1’), then spin easily for 5’ and repeat
Pedaling the set…
Skills
Remainder of the ride: z2 recommended,
choice duration
Day 4 30’ to 1 hr of z1 easy/aerobic spinning Cyclo-ZEN: “Fix the Back” Core Training
Program: Strength and Stretch
Day 5 Perform a W/up to z2 of 10-20’ long where Off
you build in intensity to z2, then on flat
Today’s terrain, do:
FOCUS &
Purpose:
Improve Warm up set: 5x 10” Standing Jumps in
Pedaling the SCR (50”), then…
Skills

Main set#1: 6-8x 1’ Spin ups in the SCR


(1’), then spin easily for 5’ and repeat the
set…

Remainder of the ride: z2 recommended,


choice duration
Day 6 Off Off or Cyclo-ZEN: 30’ Recovery YOGA routine,
your choice
Day 7 The KEY Century Prep Ride: Off
Extended Endurance (w/group or solo).
NOTE: Goal for today is to ride up to 3
hours if you can (approximately 35-50
miles). Do your best!
Coach Al’s “On-The-Bike” TIP for WEEK ONE:

Our Focus: Our focus this week is on developing our basic ENDURANCE along with developing and
enhancing our pedaling skills for a more efficient and effective pedal stroke.

Tip: This is important: Since we are preparing to cover a century with this plan, one of our most
important and KEY rides will be our long endurance rides on Day 7. Be rested and ready for this ride!
Remember the purpose of this ride is simply to develop your ENDURANCE, i.e. your ability to remain on
the bike for an increasingly longer duration of time. Stick it out – finish strong and feeling good! How?

To finish strong and feeling good, you must learn proper pacing…which essentially means that you must
begin your rides easily and at a conservative pace or intensity, i.e. easier than you “think” you could
maintain. As the ride progresses, if you are feeling good, you always have the option of very gradually
increasing the intensity up to and well within your z2 during the ride. Early on, you will feel you are
going too slowly, but as time goes on and you begin to become fatigued, you will be glad you started out
conservatively! Choose to ride smart and stay mentally strong! Stay relaxed! Breathe!

This is only a sample of the kind of workout direction and focus included within our In-Season Training
Plan. To learn more about the plan, click here:
© Pursuit Fitness, LLC, all rights reserved, 2006
Week 2: 4-Weeks to a Century
Cyclo-Core Training Plan
Pedaling Skills & Strength Focus
DAY CYCLING CYCLO-CORE/ ZEN / SPEED
Day 1 Off Off
Day 2 30’ to 45’ of z1 easy/aerobic spinning, at a 1st: Cyclo-CORE: Bonus Ab/Core Conditioning
cadence of 100+ rpms over slightly rolling Workout, then...
to flat terrain. 2nd: Cyclo-ZEN: “Fix the Back” Core Training
Program: Stretch!
Day 3 Perform a W/up to z2 of at least 20’, then: Off

Today’s Main set#1: HILL Repeats – 4x 2’ with 3-


FOCUS & 5’ of easy spinning for recovery between
Purpose: each…
Force and
Strength (*Choose a MODERATELY steep hill of
about 8-10% grade and go for only 2’. Use
a gear that you can turn over 70-85 rpms.
Remain seated for each repetition! These
are difficult efforts but you should finish
feeling you could have done more! Stay in
control.)

Remainder of the ride: z1 recommended,


choice duration
Day 4 30’ to 45’ of z1 easy/aerobic spinning After your ride: Cyclo-CORE: Stretching,
Flexibility, and Cool down Program
Day 5 Perform a W/up to z2 of 10-20’ long where Off
you build in intensity to z2, then on flat
Today’s terrain, do:
FOCUS &
Purpose: Warm up set: 5x 10” Standing Jumps in
Improve the SCR (50”), then…
Pedaling
Skills Main set#1: 4x 1’ Spin ups in the SCR
(1’), then spin easily for 5’ and repeat the
set…

Main set#2: 5’ of z3/Tempo. Note: Do


this tempo segment in the SCR, focusing on
maintaining a High Cadence of at least 100
rpms.

Remainder of the ride: z2 recommended,


choice duration
Day 6 Off Off or Cyclo-ZEN: 30’ Recovery YOGA routine,
your choice
Day 7 The KEY Century Prep Ride: Off
Extended Endurance (w/group or solo).
NOTE: Goal for today is to ride up to 3
hours if you can (approximately 35-50
miles). Do your best!
Coach Al’s “On-The-Bike” TIPS for WEEK TWO:

Our Focus: This week we continue to develop our basic ENDURANCE and pedaling skills for a more
efficient and effective pedal stroke. We are also working a little on strength and force development via
some short Hill Repeats on a moderately steep slope! The “tempo” effort on Day 5 gives you a chance to
go a bit harder than z2, but be sure not to go TOO hard! Stay in control. Z3 is only slightly harder than
z2. You should finish feeling refreshed, not spent!

Tip #1: One of the most important skills that a developing cyclist should learn and practice is that of
SPINNING at a relatively high cadence. There are many benefits of learning to “spin” at a higher
cadence such as being able to react more quickly to changes in terrain or in speed when riding in a pack.
However, far and away the most important benefit is that having a higher cadence and a smoother pedal
stroke allows a cyclist to ride longer and at a higher speed WITH LESS muscular fatigue! Practice staying
relaxed and spinning your legs!

Tip #2: Be sure your bike is set up with the appropriate gearing so that you can spin relatively easily
over the steepest climbs you have in your area. Very often a triple-chain ring, or compact cranks is a
viable option to be sure you have enough easy gearing. For most cyclists, a 39 tooth SCR and at least a
27 tooth large cog “on the back” is appropriate. Don’t let your ego dictate your gearing! Ride smart!

This is only a sample of the kind of workout direction and focus included within our In-Season Training
Plan. To learn more about the plan, click here:
© Pursuit Fitness, LLC, all rights reserved, 2006
Week 3: 4-Weeks to a Century
Cyclo-Core Training Plan
Endurance Focus
DAY CYCLING CYCLO-CORE/ ZEN / SPEED
Day 1 Off Off

Day 2 Optional: You have the option of doing a Off or Cyclo-ZEN: 30’ Recovery YOGA routine,
short 20-30’ z1 spin to stretch out and feel your choice
good, OR..if you are tired from this
weekend’s long ride, take one more day of
rest OFF the bike and do some relaxing
RECOVERY yoga instead!
Day 3 Optional: You have the option of doing a 1st: Cyclo-ZEN: 8’ Power Routine (1 or 2x
short spin on the bike or some calisthenics through, your choice), then…
as a W/up and C/d to the Cyclo-CORE 2nd: Cyclo-CORE: Resistance Training –
workouts. Functional Circuit #1, then…
3rd: Cyclo-CORE: Stretching, Flexibility, and
Cool down Program
Day 4 Try to ride up to 1.5 hrs today building into Off
z2. Focus on spinning your legs and
Today’s maintaining an average cadence of 95-100
FOCUS & or more rpms. Ride over terrain that is
Purpose: similar to your upcoming “goal” event, if
Endurance possible.

Day 5 Take a day off the bike today, OR…..ride for Optional: Cyclo-ZEN: 30’ POWER Yoga routine
30’ of z1 easy/aerobic spinning, your choice.

Day 6 Try to ride up to 1.5 – 2 hrs again today After your ride: Cyclo-CORE: Stretching,
building into z2. Focus on spinning your Flexibility, and Cool down Program
Today’s legs and maintaining an average cadence of
FOCUS & 95-100 or more rpms. Ride over terrain
Purpose: that is similar to your upcoming “goal”
Endurance event, if possible.

Day 7 Longer Endurance Ride (w/group or Off


solo). NOTE: Goal for today is to ride up to
or at least 4 hours (approximately 50-75
miles). Do your best!
Coach Al’s “On-The-Bike” TIP for WEEK THREE:

Our Focus: This week we continue to develop our basic ENDURANCE and pedaling skills for a more
efficient and effective pedal stroke. We are also working a little on strength and force development via
some short Hill Repeats on a moderately steep slope!

Tip: Should you train with a heart rate monitor? Perhaps! As you know I’m sure, heart rate monitors
have existed for years now, but it wasn't until relatively recently that the technology behind them, and
the development of heart monitor training techniques came together to make training with a monitor
both simple and effective for the average cyclist. While many athletes own heart rate monitors, often
they may not be using the devices to their full potential or using them incorrectly. Other athletes don’t
own a heart monitor and are unaware of the benefits of training with one.

Depending on the nature of your goals and objectives you may or may not be using a heart rate monitor.
If you are using one or are planning on using one, here are a few basic concepts to keep in mind when
considering training with a heart rate monitor:

• Heart rate during exercise is a dependent, not an independent, variable:

o It will rise to the rate needed to provide the necessary cardiac output/blood pressure to
meet the demands of the exercising muscles, but no higher. It is therefore not a
determinant, but is itself determined, by power output (effort) and corresponding
metabolic rate.

• Heart Rate Monitors can be a great tool to help assess training (intensity and adaptation), but
they are not a “be all- end all” for determining how hard you should go, or how effective your
training is.

o Heart rate monitors are more reliable for less intense exercise/training, vs. higher
intensity (anaerobic) training. Why?

• Heart rate lags behind true effort and has variable accuracy depending a multitude of factors.

• Training with a heart rate monitor should be specific: what’s the purpose of the training session?

Rule: Don’t be a slave to your monitor!

This is only a sample of the kind of workout direction and focus included within our In-Season Training
Plan. To learn more about the plan, click here:
© Pursuit Fitness, LLC, all rights reserved, 2006
Week 4: 4-Weeks to a Century
Cyclo-Core Training Plan
Endurance & Muscular Endurance Focus
DAY CYCLING CYCLO-CORE/ ZEN / SPEED
Day 1 Off Off

Day 2 Optional: You have the option of doing a Off or Cyclo-ZEN: 30’ Recovery YOGA routine,
short 20-30’ z1 spin to stretch out and feel your choice
good, OR...if you are tired from this
weekend’s long ride, take one more day of
rest OFF the bike and do some relaxing
RECOVERY yoga instead!
Day 3 30’ to 45’ of z1 easy/aerobic spinning, at a 1st: Cyclo-CORE: Bonus Ab/Core Conditioning
cadence of 100+ rpms over slightly rolling Workout, then...
to flat terrain. 2nd: Cyclo-ZEN: “Fix the Back” Core Training
Program: Stretch!
Day 2 Perform warm up to z2, choice duration, Off
then:
Today’s
FOCUS & Warm up set: 3x 10” Standing Jumps
Purpose: (50”), (1’), then do 3x 1’ Spin-Ups (1’),
then…
Muscular
Endurance Main set: 4’ – 3’ – 2’ of z4 (time trial)
intervals (4’),

Remainder of the ride: z1 recommended,


choice duration
Day 5 Take a day off the bike today, OR…..ride for Off
30’ of z1 easy/aerobic spinning, your choice.

Day 6 Try to ride up to 1.5 – 2 hrs today building Cyclo-CORE: Stretching, Flexibility, and Cool
into z2. Focus on spinning your legs and down Program
Today’s maintaining an average cadence of 95-100
FOCUS & or more rpms. Ride over terrain that is
Purpose: similar to your upcoming “goal” event, if
possible.
Endurance
Day 7 The KEY Century Prep Ride: In the evening after the ride: Cyclo-ZEN: 30’
Extended Endurance (w/group or solo). Recovery YOGA routine, your choice
NOTE: Goal for today is to ride up to 3
hours if you can (approximately 35-50
miles). Do your best!
Coach Al’s “On-The-Bike” TIP for WEEK FOUR:

Our Focus: This week we continue to develop our basic ENDURANCE by gradually increasing the overall
volume of riding that we will do. We also focus a little of our energy on developing our muscular
endurance, which is our ability to sustain a higher effort and power for gradually increasing periods of
time.

Tip: Proper fueling and hydration is critical to your success as a cyclist, and is particularly important for
a century! Depending on the relative heat and humidity, you should be consuming at least 25 oz of fluids
each hour while on the bike. Be sure to START your rides well hydrated by drinking AT LEAST 12-25 oz
of plain water before you head out on the ride.

For most cyclists I recommend you take in somewhere between 150-250 calories per hour while on the
bike, in liquid form. Try to avoid solid foods as much as possible. Experiment during your longer sessions
to find what works for you, so that you will have a viable “fueling strategy” for your important event. As
always, on the day of your event, listen to your body for the warning signs it may be sending you, and
then be willing to adjust your strategy if necessary.

This is only a sample of the kind of workout direction and focus included within our In-Season Training
Plan. To learn more about the plan, click here:
© Pursuit Fitness, LLC, all rights reserved, 2006
Meet the Coach Behind the Plan!
Coach Al Lyman, CSCS, is a nationally recognized multisport coach,
author, columnist, and motivational speaker, and holds certifications
from USA Triathlon (level 1), the Triathlon Academy (certified profes-
sional coach), and the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research. He is
also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National
Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

As an endurance athlete, Coach Al is an 8-time Ironman finisher, in-


cluding 3 Hawaii Ironman World Championship finishes. He achieved
his Ironman PR of 10 hrs 29 minutes at Ironman USA in Lake Placid,
N.Y. Coach Al has competed in hundreds of races over a 25 year span
as an endurance athlete, including 20 marathons with 19 straight in
sub - 3 hours. He achieved his marathon PR of 2 hrs 39 minutes at
Boston in 1992, and holds a 50 mile ultra PR of 7 hrs 19 minutes.

In addition to coaching endurance athletes in the U.S and abroad, Coach Lyman regularly presents
workshops and clinics for the Triathlon Academy nationwide and in his home area of Eastern Con-
necticut. He has written articles for numerous multisport and endurance publications, including an
article on Training Cycles and Periodization which appeared in the December 2001 issue of Inside
Triathlon magazine, and an article on cramping which appeared in Inside Triathlonʼs online Q&A sec-
tion.

What is Alʼs Philosophy on Coaching Endurance Athletes?

My coaching philosophy is simple: I want to be the very best coach that I can be, for you, and I will
work as hard as humanly possible to achieve that end. I strive to develop a close relationship with
each athlete I work with in order to maximize their training experience. Simply put, you will always get
the very best that I have to offer because I care about you, and I care about your success.

There are no shortcuts or easy paths to achieving your athletic dreams and goals. What is required is
a sound training program designed with only YOU in mind, which is based on scientific principles and
practical experience. If you are willing to work hard, be consistent, and not give up, then I can help
you by merging the scientific and practical for optimal results.

Most importantly, I will be more than a coach who simply writes a program. I will be there for you,
each and every step of the way.

Check Our Coach Alʼs No-Guesswork Training Plans with Cyclo-CORE Integration