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Cycling Training Plans for Sportives

January 13, 2021 4 min read

Sportive training plans get you ready for race day. Distance is no obstacle - whether you’re preparing for a 40 mile, 50 mile, or 100 mile sportive, the training never stops. The Wattbike sportive training plans can help you pedal confidently towards your targets and performance goals.

Table of Contents:

Training for Sportives with Indoor Bikes

Sportives are long distance cycling races held all year long across the UK. They are held for all ages and abilities, described as non-competitive, and you can usually find varying distances to suit your performance ability. 

Training for sportives on an indoor bike trainer can help to make your workouts more effective: 

  • The Wattbike Atom smart bike offers unparalleled cycling data to show you how to improve in order to perform at your best when it counts the most. 
  • With our free cycling app Wattbike Hub, you can find dedicated workouts and training programmes to help improve vo2 maxsweet spot training and so much more. 
  • Road bike trainers can help to improve your performance when it matters most. This is because the input required is continuous, rather than at intervals which naturally occurs when cycling outdoors. 
  • You’ll never miss a session due to bad weather, punctures, or lack of time. Completing your cycling training plan on an indoor trainer means you can start pedalling within moments. Why not give a cycling time trial ago? 

No matter what distance you’re working towards, find the guidance you need with our cycling training plans designed for sportive training.

50 & 100-Mile Sportive Training Plans

Wattbike’s 50 and 100-mile cycling training plans will help you achieve your on the road goal. Our expert plan is ideal for those competing in their first 50-miler or century, looking to achieve a particular time, or need expert guidance on how to train. 

About the Sportive-Ready Plans 

Riding and enjoying a 50 or 100-mile sportive requires a dedicated training plan, mental toughness and commitment to proper nutrition. During an event of this distance, an amateur cyclist can expect to be on the road for anywhere between two-and-a-half and four hours. What’s more, the route is unlikely to be pan flat.

The Wattbike Plan will help you train for a sportive and prepare for the big event, covering core training aspects:

  • Testing current fitness levels. 
  • Indoor training and outdoor cycling setup. 
  • 12-week plan that starts off with a heavy focus on strength before transitioning into threshold training. 
  • Dedicated workouts mapped out across the week so you are always ready for your indoor ride. 
  • Recovery advice to ensure you train for a sportive effectively. 
  • Nutritional tips to support your sportive training.

Use your training to test your limits and build confidence - knowing you’ve done the hard work ahead of the event will give you a boost on the day. 

  1. Download the 50-mile plan
  2. Download the 100-mile plan 

The Experts Behind the Sportive Plans 

These sportive plans are designed by Veloptima and InPursuitCoaching who have more than 40 years of racing, coaching, scientific knowledge and experience combined. Tried and tested scientific principles, cycling specific coaching and training principles are at the core of these two programmes. The aim is to ensure that you develop the specific physical qualities that you will need to complete a 50-mile or 100-mile sportive in fine style.

The Science Behind the 12-Week Preparation 

Training for long distance sportives requires a combination of endurance and higher power work. 

Both the 50 and 100-mile sportive cycling training plans incorporate a polarised training model (80% low-intensity and 20% high intensity) consisting of a strength, threshold and endurance phase designed to progress your fitness and cycling training.

Improving your cycling endurance is essential if you want to compete in distance cycling events, because you’ll increase how long you can sustain power while you pedal. Your sportive training plan workload should progress by roughly 11% week on week throughout the 12-weeks, increasing in intensity and duration as you progress. 

The biggest load when training for a sportive will come in week 10 before a 2-week taper. Tapering your training intensity will allow you to recover and maintain fitness ready for your event.

Our cycling training plans are developed by professionals and cycling coaches, with a schedule that provides intense yet balanced training, ensuring you conquer endurance events and train for a sportive in the best way.

Fueling Events with the Right Nutrition 

Diet plays a massive role in your cycling, especially when training for a sportive. You should use your sportive training to test your nutrition strategy so you know how to fuel your body for the length of the course.

Here, are five tips for optimising your nutrition throughout your sportive training:

  1. Eat proteins and carbohydrates within 30 minutes of finishing every sportive training session or workout. This window is the most optimal time to replenish the stores you’ve used and kickstart the recovery process - check out our top tips on what to eat after cycling.
  2. Eat a balanced diet of carbohydrates (roughly 60%), protein (roughly 25%) and fats (roughly 15%). 
  3. Keep hydrated. Water is the main component of your body and dehydration reduces performance and prevents recovery. Aim to drink approximately two litres of water per day plus 600-800 ml extra for every hour of cycling exercise.
  4. A diet of whole and natural foods will help you train and recover better so it is generally best to avoid processed and manufactured foods. 
  5. After 90 minutes you will have significantly depleted your muscle glycogen (fuel stores) so you should eat during sessions that last more than 90 minutes. This will help your body keep up the intensity and quality of your workout. 

Eating well and timing your intake will ensure you are optimally fuelled for each session or workout – helping you to dig deeper, train harder and aid recovery. 

Tailored Training from Wattbike

At Wattbike, we’re committed to providing the best indoor training experience. We can help guide you with workouts to improve your cycling - the Atom is also available on smart bike finance.

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