How to Create an Annual Cycling Plan for the Masters Cyclist in 2023

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First, Here is why you want an Annual Cycling Plan as a Masters Cyclist:

Preparing an annual cycling plan will make you mentally and physically prepared for your cycling events, and you’ll perform much better, AKA you’ll ride faster. And most importantly, you’ll have more fun. It’s no fun to be the rider that shows up unprepared and out of shape. I know this because I’ve done it myself.

Here’s how to get started on your Masters Cycling Training Plan:

First, you want to determine what events you would like to participate in your masters cycling plan and the dates of those events. The sky’s kind of the limit here. A simple Google search of the area you would like to ride in will do the trick.

Here are some of the categories and thought starters for your cycling plan for 2023. Note almost all cycling events will have different lengths of rides to accommodate cyclists of various abilities. If you’re not sure, always sign up for the shortest distance. You can always do the longer ride if you’re feeling good on the day of the event.

Road Rides/Fondos:

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These are usually 100 miles long, with shorter and longer options available. They are generally supported (meaning there are stops for food, water and basic mechanical support is available. Here is a Google search I did with the following keywords. Road rides fondos California 2023 Lot’s of great options! If you’re feeling adventurous, here is a Google search I did with the keywords Road rides fondos France 2023 Now you’re talking!!! This is my plan for this July during the Tour de France. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Gravel Rides/Fondos:

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Gravel riding is kind of the cool new cycling discipline that is a mix of road and off-road riding. I just bought a gravel bike last summer, really love riding it, and look forward to doing some gravel events in 2023. My first event is Rock Cobbler on February 11. Here is a link to my post about the event.

Because this is the hot new bike event category, there are tons of events. Here is what I found with a quick Google search using gravel rides/fondos California.

Mountain Bike Rides/Fondos:

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Although they’re not as many organized mountain bike events, a quick Google search for mountain bike rides/fondos California I found some pretty cool stuff.


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If you’re a masters cyclist, racing may feel a bit daunting. Here’s the deal, just because you’re the fastest rider in your local club, don’t think you’re going to show up at a race and kick everyone’s ass. You are going to be racing against the fastest riders from the clubs all around you. That being said, there amateur bike racing is split into categories based on age and ability level. In my opinion, the best category to start racing is mountain biking. Gravel races are generally too long for beginner bike racers, and road races require some pretty advanced strategies to be competitive.

A great way to get started is a simple Google search for bike races in your area to add to your annual cycling plan. And good luck!

Put your Events into an Annual Cycling Plan in a Calendar

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This can be as simple as a good old-fashioned Annual Planner. The advantage here is that it’s super easy to enter your events and training rides. The negative is that you will have no clue what rides to do to get ready for your event, nor will you be able to track your progress.

Training for your events as a Masters Cyclist

Ok, now that you know what events you want to do, you need to train for them. Here’s the deal, training varies radically based on the event you’re training for.

Here are some reasons why you need to train differently for different events:

  1. Race Distance: The distance of the race is a crucial factor in determining the training approach. A shorter race, such as a criterium, may require more intense interval training to improve anaerobic capacity, while longer races, such as a century ride, require a focus on endurance and sustainable power output.
  2. Terrain: The terrain of the race is another significant factor to consider. A hilly race, for example, may require more focus on hill repeats and climbing training to develop strength and power. On the other hand, a flat race may require a greater emphasis on time trial training and building sustained speed.
  3. Race Format: Different race formats, such as road races, time trials, criteriums, and mountain bike races, require different training approaches. Each format demands different skills, such as sprinting, cornering, climbing, or technical handling, which need to be trained accordingly.
  4. Personal Goals: Your personal goals for the race may also affect your training approach. For example, if your primary goal is to finish the race, your training may be focused more on endurance and pacing. If you are aiming to win, you may need to focus on developing your tactical skills, such as drafting and positioning, as well as building your power and speed.

Overall, the key to effective training for a bike race is to identify the specific demands of the event and tailor your training program accordingly. By doing so, you can optimize your physical and mental preparation and increase your chances of success on race day.

Training options for Masters Cyclists

What I use is a program called TrainerRoad. According to TrainerRoad, “Whether you’re targeting specific events or simply want to improve your fitness, our science-based training responds to your needs and guides you to success.”

What I love about TrainerRoad is that it uses Artificial intelligence to get you ready for your event. You just plug in your events and how much time you have to train weekly, and TrainerRoad calculates a training plan for you. These training sessions can be done either indoors or outdoors. This is perfect for the beginner cyclist, as TrainerRoad does all the calculations for you. All you need to do is the work.

Here is a link to my comprehensive guide to training programs for Masters Cyclists

Also, I find USA Cycling is a great resource.

Questions? Send me an email john@themasterscycing.com


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