Ultimate Challenge 12 Week Training Plan

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 for a century ride will have any determined cyclist ready to hit the pavement on August 5th.

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

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
Week 1 5/15 15 miles easy rest 8 miles with 3 sets of 2-min intervals 45-min cross training or rest 12 miles hills rest 20-25 miles moderate
Week 2 5/22 15 miles easy rest 10 miles with 4 sets of 2-min intervals 45-min cross training or rest 14 miles hills rest 25-30 miles moderate
Week 3 5/29 18 miles easy rest 10 miles with 4 sets of 2-min intervals 45-min cross training or rest 15 miles hills rest 30-38 miles moderate
Week 4 6/5 18 miles easy rest 12 miles with 5 sets of 2-min intervals 60-min cross training or rest 17 miles hills rest 38-45 miles moderate
Week 5 6/12 20 miles easy rest 12 miles with 5 sets of 2-min intervals rest 20 miles hills rest 45-55 miles moderate
Week 6 6/19 20 miles easy rest 14 miles with 6 sets of 2-min intervals 60-min cross training or rest 15 miles hills rest 55-65 miles moderate
Week 7 6/26 20 miles easy rest 14 miles with 6 sets of 2-min intervals 75-min cross training or rest 18 miles hills rest 65-75 miles moderate
Week 8 7/3 25 miles easy rest 16 miles with 6 sets of 2-min intervals 75-min cross training or rest 22 miles hills rest 40-50 miles moderate
Week 9 7/10 25 miles easy rest 16 miles with 6 sets of 2-min intervals 45-min cross training or rest 24 miles hills rest 75-85 miles moderate
Week 10 7/17 20 miles easy rest 18 miles with 8 sets of 2-min intervals rest 18 miles hills rest 85-95 miles moderate
 Week 11 7/24 20 miles easy  rest 20 miles with 6 sets of 2-min intervals 60-min cross training or rest 24 miles hills rest 40-50 miles moderate
Week 12 7/30  10-20 mile
recovery ride
rest 60-minute ride
– with 
3-5 sets of
3-min
climbing
intervals
at or
slightly 
above
race pace
60-minute ride
– 4 sets of
90-sec intervals
with 5 min
between each
rest 30-minute ride –
with 2 sets of
90-sec intervals

with 5 min rest
between each
Ultimate Challenge!

 

Mid-distance Easy Rides: These rides should be enjoyable at a comfortable pace. It’s important to build time in the saddle for your body to adapt.

Long Moderate Rides: These rides are the key to successful completion of the Ultimate Challenge. The distance will gradually increase and hit a maximal distance (85-95 miles) two weeks prior to the Ultimate Challenge. Do your long rides at a moderate pace. 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 40-50 miles in Week 8. This is an intentional decrease to allow your body to recover so you’re ready for the final push.

Mid-week Intervals: Interval training can increase your lactate threshold which will help you to ride at higher levels of intensity, with less effort. Interval work can be done on a flat or on a hill. After an 8-10 minute warm-up, complete the prescribed number of hard effort intervals. The intensity should increase your breathing and elevate your heart rate to around 90 to 95 percent of your maximal effort. Recovery is important! Spin easy for twice the length of the interval – you should feel almost fully recovered before you start the next hard interval. Complete the ride at an easy to moderate intensity.

Hills: 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 a few longer climbs. 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, 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.

 

PEAK Health and Fitness
Whatever your fitness-level, we can help you invest in your health. As part of the College of Health, we are at the pinnacle the latest fitness, nutrition and wellness developments. It’s our mission to share this wealth of expertise and skill to improve the health and wellness of University employees, students and the community, all while developing the health and exercise leaders of tomorrow. From the fitness guru to the inexperienced novice, we offer a variety of services for every lifestyle and goal.

Please visit us at health.utah.edu/peak or call (801) 585-7325.

 

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