Principles of Cycling Training

Principles of Cycling Training

Our popular Sportive Training Plan is based on widely accepted principles of cycling training that can help to prevent “over training” injuries and build fitness, skills and confidence to peak for a race.

How the Body Responds to Training Stress

When you place the body under stress and then allow it to recover, your body rebuilds itself slightly stronger in preparation for the next stress or training session. This is the training principle of overcompensation.

Varying the intensity, duration and frequency of your training sessions will vary the amount of stress that you place the body under.

Frequency: Good news for busy people trying to get fit; 3-5 sessions a week have proved to be the most effective – quality is more important than quantity

Duration: The duration of endurance sessions should increase as the training plan progresses and the more intense sessions are of shorter duration

Intensity: Varying the intensity across the plan, the week and the session will result in the body adapting to the training stress and getting fitter

You must treat rest and recovery as equally important as your training sessions for overcompensation to work properly.


As the body gets fitter changes take place in the cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular and even skeletal systems. The training principle of specificity means that the specific adaptations for a particular sport such as cycling will only come from cycling.

Cross training activities (running, swimming, circuit classes etc.) are beneficial but for reasons of injury prevention, motivation and the development of basic fitness.

More simply: you have limited to time to train so to get better “cycling legs” spend that time on your bike.


Just as 3-5 sessions a week produce maximum gains, periods of inactivity can erode fitness alarmingly quickly. The best results will come from training consistently and the key to this is not missing sessions or weeks through injury; listen to your body and avoid “over training”.


Our Sportive Training Plan uses the periodization method of training, the workouts get progressively tough and more specific over two four-week periods before tapering down in the final period to allow the body to recover and prepare for your sportive. By building fitness conservatively the fitness gains from each period are kept as the foundation for the next period.

Cyclist’s Training Bible

Principles of Cycling TrainingIf you would like to learn more about the principles of cycling training then check out The Cyclist’s Training Bible by Joe Friel.

This classic cycling training reference book that will help you plan your training and understand what will and won’t make you fitter. The Cyclist’s Training Bible includes tips on hot to build strength and flexibility to underpin your cycling fitness.

Sportive Holidays with Brevet

Goal setting is an important principle of training and there’s nothing better than having a sportive goal to build your training around.

Here at Brevet we are specialists in sportive holidays in the Swiss Alps and Italian Dolomites:

Sportive Training Plan

Are you in training for a sportive? Use our free 12 week Sportive Training Plan to get you in the best possible shape for your sportive challenge. Simply fill the form below and we’ll send you your free training plan:

Free Sportive Training Plan

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