Finding time to ride your bike while working fulltime and having a career can be difficult.
One thing is to actually find that free time to train, but often, more important, is to find enough time to reach your goals; it may be to lose weight, get in shape for next summer, feel better with yourself or train for a competition.
In this blog post former Danish U19 National TT Champion, U23 National Team Rider and pro cyclist, Anders Berendt, give you inspiration for your December cycling training plan.
How much cycling training is needed?
It depends. If your goal is to compete in cyclocross your amount of time will be less than if you are going to prepare yourself for the spring and the upcoming road cycling races.
Cyclocross is a great form of cycling in the wet and muddy month of December.
Regardless of your goal, most of us full-timers work from 8am to 5pm. During December it is dark outside both in the morning and in noon.
I recommend you to sign up for Zwift cycling. You need a home trainer with ANT+ to get it going but it will be worth the money - especially when you get used to the setup (It takes 10-15 times to learn it before you don't have to think about the setup before a session).
During December I like to run 1 time each week.
5-10 kilometers one time a week will do a lot for you, especially if you are going to have fun with cyclocross.
Use a good front light on your bike
It is actually possible to find front lights for your bike, which can make is possible for you to ride in the woods when it is dark.
I will never recommend you to ride alone. Always ride in a group or at least with your training partner. Investing in good lighting can be expensive, but worth all the money. I will recommend you to look at the Sigma lighting systems.
The weekends - time for distance and stamina
Saturdays and Sundays are the best. Now we finally have time to ride the hour's needed to compete in even the longer road cycling races - but let's face it, with family, kids a dog, house and whatever you have to take care of, time usually flies faster than we ride.
It may be hard to find motivation during the long working days, but weekends a made for us to lose motivation. Nothing is worse than have to skip training because of the duties coming up.
Planning is your friend.
If you work full time, you know how important it is to plan ahead. As a family man (or woman) the key takeaway from this blog post is to stay in harmony with your job, family(or girlfriend/wife) and free time.
Free time means = cycling
Talk to your partner about how important it is for you to ride your bike. Let him or her know how important it is for them to get you home being happy about your life.
It is important that the people closest to you know about your goals - then you can plan together.
If you have a lot of stuff to do on Saturdays, make sure you wake up early for your ride or can find time later the day for a ride. The same counts for Sunday.
If your job, family/home and your hoppy don't flow in harmony, you won't be motivated and have the power to do well at your job, cycling or as a parent.
Your cycling training plan for December 2019
The below training plan could be a great plan for either cyclocross enthusiasts if you would like to lose weight or prepare yourself your road cycling in the summer.
Depending on the intervals you decide to do, you can get into a pretty good shape following this for the rest of December.
During Christmas Holidays you can use the time with your family after you woke up early to ride the miles. It is one of the only times during the year you will have the option of more than 8 days without going to work. Stamina doesn't come to you without putting the hours in. Keep yourself mentally ready for the longer December rides. These few days will make the spring much better for you - I promise.
Example of your December cycling training plan:
Saturday: Get out on the bike and ride as long as you have the time. It is time to build stamina. Road cycling is recommended. If you would like to compete in cyclocross is would suggest starting with 30 minutes warm-up on roads. Find a good route 2-3 km on cyclocross ground and race laps simulating a race. Spend the time you have afterwords on the road to building stamina.
Sunday: The same as Saturday
Tuesday: Time to go on Zwift with your home trainer. You can find group rides, races interval sessions and much more online. Other riders online will motivate you to train more and push yourself. Anything between 30 minutes to 90 minutes should make you better and get you into shape or even lose weight.
Note: Remember to stay hydrated during the day before riding in Zwift. Drink A LOT of water.
Wednesday: Go for a 5-10 kilometer run. I like to run 3 kilometers before a find some hills or stairs. Then I do intervals up and down. For example 10x10 5 minute break and then 10x10 (ups and downs)
If you don't like to run or have injuries then consider going to the gym. Focus on the biggest leg muscles and do 4 sets of each with the following interval after your warmup:
set 1: 15 repetitions (warm-up)
set 2: 12 repetitions (80% of max)
set 3: 8-10 repetitions
set 4: max: 4-6 repetitions
I won't go into details with the gym sessions at this time.
Thursday: If you have a very good lighting system for your bike you can ride outside. Normally I would turn to Zwift again going for another 30-90 minute ride. I like to ride in races 2 times a week on Zwift.
Friday: Rest day or a short recovery ride on bike or Zwift. The week is very intense with high-intensity workouts. While also working hard at your job it is important not to burn out in January. Be good to your body on Friday, meaning don't drink too much alcohol. If you really have the time (lucky you) spin your legs with high reps on Zwift for 20-30 minutes without much power. This will feel like a leg massage afterward.
I hope this blog post can inspire you to keep yourself riding throughout December. If you need motivation, you can always buy a new figata jersey or some of our bib shorts to ride on Zwift - then we promise you new motivation ;)
All the best