Is the Novice Plan for you?
If you can tick the boxes below, then starting with this plan makes sense. If you feel you’re a bit stronger than this, then try out our intermediate or advanced plans.
- You started cycling in the past year or have just come back to the sport.
- You’ve been riding a few times a week, but haven’t *really* been getting any stronger.
- You’re a bit tired of getting dropped by faster riders. You want to get out on a group ride and be one of the riders helping set the pace. Not that you’re mean, mind you, but it would be nice to be the one inflicting a bit of pain rather than receiving it so often.
- Family, work and other priorities mean you can’t spend as much time on the bike as you’d like.
- You’ve never really followed a structured training programme before. But you’re keen.
Still not sure? Check out the Q & A with Dig Deep Coaching about our plans >>
How much time this takes
Between 4 and 6.5 hours a week, with four days riding per week – usually 2 indoor/2 outdoor (Outdoor sessions can be done inside in winter by reducing volume 25%)
How fit you need to be
If you’ve been riding about 3 times a week for the past 2-3 months, you’re good to go.
Why you need this plan
Because, quite simply, you want to be faster, stronger and enjoy your time on the bike more. The workouts in this plan each serve a specific purpose and are designed to take you from the plateau you’re at to a higher level of performance. When done, you’ll be more prepared to take on your first century, sportive or joining your local club ride and getting in the mix rather than hanging onto the back for as long as you can.
How the plan is structured
This plan has five key blocks, incorporating both indoor and outdoor riders, over the 10 weeks to move you to that next level.
- Weeks 1,2,3: Development of training ‘routine’ and endurance fitness.
- Week 4: Recovery week to absorb work of previous three weeks.
- Weeks 5, 6: Gradual increase in volume and muscular strength.
- Week 7: Recovery week to absorb work of previous two weeks.
- Weeks 8, 9, 10: Final push to boost your top-end fitness and freshen up before inflicting your hard-earned strength on other rider
About the training sessions
The sessions are a combination of indoor and outdoor rides. For the indoor rides, the Sufferfest videos you’ll need to have are:
- Extra Shot
- The Hunted
- Fight Club
- The Long Scream
Save 10% off the required videos at check-out when you buy this training plan.
BAD WEATHER? The outdoor rides generally require you to have a flat to rolling course that isn’t too challenging. If you’re not able to get outside for any reason, you can do the exact same workout indoors by reducing the volume by 25%. It won’t be nearly as interesting, but at least you can get the training in.
The plan is about 19 pages long and includes:
- Introduction and definitions of the different effort and workout types.
- Fitness test instructions so you can calculate your Functional Threshold Power.
- A zone calculator sheet so you can map your FTP to power, heart rate and recommended perceived exertion zones.
- An overview of the entire ten-week plan on one sheet.
- Detailed weekly overviews with daily workouts, explanations and tips.
What you’ll need before starting the plan:
- You’ll need many of The Sufferfest videos. You can find out what ones you’ll need by looking above.
- A heart rate monitor or power meter. Our plans are based on knowing your Functional Threshold Power (i.e., the effort you can sustain for about an hour without slowing down) and you’ll need to be able to measure your heart rate or output in watts in order to use these plans. We’ll ask you to do a fitness test (instructions in the plan) before you start week one. Of course, you can just do the plans based on our recommended perceived exertion levels, but you won’t be as specific as is possible when you know your FTP.
And, hey, are these the best looking training plans ever?