First Timer Ultimate Challenge Training Guide

The Ultimate Challenge is one of the most challenging and respected non-competitive amateur cycling events in North America. A common roadblock for cyclists training for a long event is scheduling the training. This twelve-week plan is written for cyclists who have not participated in many century rides and will have any determined cyclist ready to hit the pavement on August 5th.

*Please consult a physician before engaging in physical activity.*

SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY
WEEK 1
5/20/18
10 miles easy Rest cross training

30-minutes

Rest 6 miles hills/climbing Rest 15 miles moderate
WEEK 2
5/27/18
12 miles easy Rest cross training

45-minutes

Rest 8 miles hills/climbing Rest 20 miles moderate
WEEK 3
6/3/18
15 miles easy Rest cross training

45-minutes

Rest 8 miles hills/climbing Rest 25 miles moderate
WEEK 4
6/10/18
12 miles easy Rest cross training

30-minutes

Rest 8 miles hills/climbing Rest 18 miles moderate
WEEK 5
6/17/18
15 miles easy Rest cross training

45-minutes

45-minute ride or rest 10 miles hills/climbing Rest 30-35 miles moderate
WEEK 6
6/24/18
18 miles easy Rest cross training

45-minutes

45-minute ride or rest 12 miles hills/climbing Rest 40-45 miles moderate
WEEK 7
7/1/18
20 miles easy Rest cross training

45-minutes

45-minute ride or rest 12 miles hills/climbing Rest 50-60 miles moderate
WEEK 8
7/8/18
18 miles easy Rest cross training

45-minutes

Rest 10 miles hills/climbing Rest 35 miles moderate
WEEK 9
7/15/18
25 miles easy Rest cross training

45-minutes

45-minute ride or rest 12miles hills/climbing Rest 65-75 miles moderate
WEEK 10
7/22/18
 25 miles easy Rest cross training

45-minutes

45-minute ride or rest 14 miles hills/climbing Rest 75-85 miles moderate
WEEK 11
7/29/18
20 miles easy Rest cross training

45-minutes

60-minutes cross training or rest 14 miles hills/climbing Rest 30-40 miles – race course!
WEEK 12
8/5/18
10 mile recovery ride Rest 60-minute ride – hills/climbing 60-minute ride or cross training Rest 30-minute ride Ultimate Challenge!

 

 

Plan notes:

Consistent training is the key to your best athletic performance. The keys to consistency are structured training, moderation and rest.  This training plan is periodized which means that there are 3 weeks where mileage and intensity increase, followed by a recovery week to allow your body to rest and get stronger.  If you begin to fee fatigued, it is a great idea to take an extra rest day or cut a workouts short so you don’t get injured or over-trained.

Feel free to rearrange the ride schedule to work for you, but be sure to spread the rest days throughout the week.

Work-out explanations:

Mid-distance Easy Rides (Sundays): These rides should be enjoyable at a comfortable pace. These rides are important for your body to adapt to increasing time in the saddle.

Long Moderate-Intensity Rides (Saturdays): These rides are the key to successful completion of the Ultimate Challenge. The distance will gradually increase and hit a maximal distance (75-85 miles) two weeks prior to the Ultimate Challenge. Do your long rides at a moderate pace and try to include some of the race course in these rides. You should feel tired, but not overly fatigued when you complete these rides. These rides are scheduled for Saturdays on the plan, but feel free to modify to do your long rides on the day that works best for you. You’ll notice that the mileage drops back down to 30-40 miles in Week 8. This is an intentional decrease to allow your body to recover so you’re ready for the final push.

Hills/Climbing (Thursdays): The Ultimate Challenge course includes a ton of climbing. In order to be prepared, you’ll want to integrate hills into your training every week. This ride can include rolling hills or longer climbs. The intensity of these climbing days should be relatively high. You’ll build climbing strength and stamina with these workouts. Remember to focus on your descending skills as you coast down!

Cross training: Cross training can increase your fitness and help to prevent overtraining injuries. Pick a sport or activity you enjoy – mix it up! Hiking, running, swimming, yoga, mountain biking, group fitness classes and walking are all great choices.

Rest: It is very important to incorporate rest days into your training. Workouts break the body down, rest builds it back up. However – resting does not mean that you should become a couch potato. Even rest days should include some light physical activity. You may want to participate in a gentle yoga class, or take a stroll in the evening.

Download First Timer Ultimate Challenge Training Guide PDF

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