Bike To The Future

© Getty Images

Going for gold on the track comes easily to the British cycling team. If their exploits on two wheels have inspired you, try this four-week training plan to compliment your running. The bike sessions will enhance your cardiovascular system to deliver oxygen more efficiently to working muscles and provide a break from the pounding of running. Ride on days when you’re not running, or have an easy running day scheduled. You might not win gold after four weeks on the bike but your running will enjoy an injection of pace.

The four weeks break down as follows:

Week 1: Easy does it is the key this week.

Week 2:
Increase your ride duration and throw in some harder efforts – intervals, moderate hills. Include some longer rides at the weekend.

Week 3: Add substantial threshold intervals – climb steeper hills, ride at a brisker pace – and throw in a spirited group ride, while making the other longer day easy.

Week 4: Include a ride or two with some VO2 Max work. Try two sets of 3 x 3-minutes at an effort of nine on a scale of one to 10 with three minutes’ rest between intervals and five to 10 minutes between sets. Or climb for three to six minutes. Add a group ride this weekend and take the other day off or ride easy. If you’re not feeling up to going hard, skip this intense session.



Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Week 1
REST
Fun, EZ ride
REST
Fun, EZ ride
REST
Fun MTB or road ride
REST
Week 2
Short, EZ ride
REST
Fun, moderate ride 
Short, EZ ride
REST
Long endurance ride
Short, EZ ride
Week 3
REST
Moderate ride
Short, EZ ride
REST
Moderate ride
EZ to moderate group ride
Long, EZ ride

Week 4

REST
Intense option
Short, EZ ride
Intense option
REST
Hard group ride
Short, EZ ride

The Key:

Rest: Complete relaxation.
Fun:
Sightseeing pace.
MTB: Mountain-bike ride.
EZ: Active recovery and endurance pace; social.
Moderate:
Tempo/sublactate threshold.
Intense: VO2 Max, group ride or short, all-out efforts.
Short:
Up to one hour.
Medium: Two hours.
Long: Three hours.