The 22-Week Training Plan
Congratulations on signing up for the Empire State Ride (ESR)! It’s going to be a great week of riding and we want to help you prepare. We’ve worked with Charlie Livermore, professional cycling coach at Carmichael Training Systems, to put together a comprehensive training plan for riders of all levels to follow. The training plan here is meant to be a basic and effective program that can be used by a relative beginner up to an intermediate cyclist.
Consistency is the most important component of preparing to ride more than 500 miles during the ESR. The program starts out with three rides per week and progresses to five rides per week. You may need to shift days around or even skip some of the specific efforts prescribed. That’s fine, but all the while aim to achieve the frequency (3-5 rides per week) and the total weekly hours. That consistency and frequency are more important than any of the specific workouts in the program.
If you are able to follow the program more closely and complete the workouts as prescribed, you’ll notice that this is a progressive program. It begins with steady-pace rides, followed by a block of Tempo work (moderate aerobic intervals), then SteadyState intervals (max sustainable efforts near lactate threshold), and then a focus on climbing with ClimbingRepeats (similar to SteadyState intensity, but on hills). All of the workout descriptions and training intensities can be downloaded here.
If you have to skip a workout here or there, don’t worry about it and don’t reschedule it. Just move forward and get back on track. And if you have to shorten workouts or individual intervals, that’s a better option than skipping them altogether.
Above all, remember to listen to your body. This training schedule will be conservative for some and may be aggressive for others. A good way to make this program easier while still retaining its effectiveness would be to skip the interval efforts prescribed on Thursdays. Just turn these into steady-paced rides and only complete one interval workout for the week on Tuesdays. You can also shift the whole training schedule by a day to match your personal schedule, but try to retain the rest days following interval workouts.