12 Hour a Week Endurance Fitness

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  • 12 Hour a Week Endurance Fitness
  • Premier Icon phinbob


    Can anyone give me some advice on a training plan?

    I’ve got about 12 hours a week to train, with a goal of improving my riding in general but specifically for a weeks alpine tour and a few of the Meridia type events.

    Some of this time will need to be home based, as like many of us I have family to look after too (this also drives the 12 hour constraint).

    So I’m thinking along these lines:-

    1 Long ride at the weekend (4 hours) aiming to stay at at 60-70% Max HR

    1 medium speed night ride 3hours – fairly fast – 70-80% max HR with some harder efforts – a typical night ride I’d guess

    2 X 2 hour resistance training sessions, dynamic stretching, core strength and some upper body work.

    1 X Run – I can usually get this done before work one day a week – around 1hr 10min offroad.

    I might be able to get in some 20 minute slots occasionally too, which I was planning to so some simple body weight exercises like pushups, plank, etc.

    Extra longer slots would probably involve the turbo session which I generally do 10min warm up then 12 * 1 minute effort 1.5 minute rest then cool down for 15 min.

    Does it sound like I’m on the right track? I know that more, longer rides might benefit me, but I can’t really justify the time.

    Any advice gratefully received.



    I would do far less weights. I ride about 12 hours per week and do the odd press up / tricep dip to stop my arms getting too tired on long rides. I would also start with longer intervals on the turbo (5-20 mins) and shorten them as you approach your target event.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Depends what you are training for. If it’s races, then the races are in the summertime (ish) and this affects how you do your training. Base fitness aka endurance lasts longer, so you do mostly that in the winter then as your races approach you start the speed work.

    Advice to anyone asking about fitness is buy a book.


    More riding, less weights. Even the pro roadies seem to knock the weight training on the head for the summer (and many don’t do any weights at all).

    I’d do a few shorter, more intense bike sessions instead (2 by 20min threshold intervals, 5 by 5 min hard intervals, etc., then some real speed work near the dates)

    Premier Icon molgrips

    On the subject of weights, I’ve been paying for coaching for three years and I’ve never been prescribed them. Nor have I been prescribed a run, until I said this year I fancied triathlon.


    Have a look at functional and dynamic training rather than static resistance training. Controlled manipulation of your centre of gravity. You cannot fire a cannon out of a canoe!


    For your bike related sessions you can either use HR or the Borg Scale (1 (easy)-20 (hard) perceived exertion).
    Lactate Clearing Sessions – improving your efficiency to remove lactic acid (15 10-60mins sessions)
    Lactate Tolerance Sessions – improving your ability to work whilst producing lactic acid (16 3-6 mins intervals)
    V02 Max Sessions – improving your utilisation of oxygen (17-18 2-4 min intervals)

    Premier Icon phinbob

    Thanks for all the replies so far guys.


    thats not much riding for 12 hours of training! I would ride more, three weeks getting progressively harder then an easy week; a mix of long (3-4hrs +) and easy with somr sprinting sessions. A bit of pilates or yoga is no bad thing if over 30 and maybe some weights if over 40 to compensate for muscle shrinkage at that age onwards. But basically ride and you will get pretty fit for a normal bloke. If you aim to be pro elite then you need professional coaching not a forum.

    For what its worth I keep fittish (top 10-35% in most races) on 5-7 hrs a week with the odd longer ride. And stay off the pies too.


    hh45 – Muscle atrophy occurs due to lack of use rather than being age related. Its about training smart, more efficiency and affective ways to improve your overall performance and stay in good health.
    Chris Hoy didn’t get those quads just from riding. Gee Atherton didn’t get his physique out of a kellogs packet with four special tokens.
    Hey what do I know, I’m on a forum! Its a shame I’m also a coach and sports scientist. Well I never!….
    You may also want to look at yourself – possibly wasting natural talent and ability?

    Premier Icon terrahawk
    Premier Icon njee20

    My thoughts exactly!

    I’d generally say you want to be doing more riding than that. Like Molgrips I also have a coach, who does give me weight sessions (and the odd run in winter) to do, but that’s always a contentious issue, but I wouldn’t ever do that quantity, and not at the expense of decent on the bike training.

    If I had that time, I’d probably do two 3-4 hour rides, a 2 hour ride with some harder efforts, an hour in the gym and a really good interval session for an hour or so.


    Quality not quantity. Decide what you want to be training for. If its just short mtb races then this is quite different to long sportives.

    I think that you will find that on any mtb ride you will not be at 70-80% for the full 3 hours. HR varies wildly off road!

    Intelligent recovery is also very important!

    Don’t forget to take a rest week every four or over training will raise its ugly head. In fact are you already doing 12 hours a week or is this something you want to start doing? As the general advice is to only increase your training time around 10-15% each year IIRC. I would also agree that 4 hours a week purely pushing weights is a bit excessive plus you want to be an endurance athlete not a sprinter like Chris Hoy so having huge heavy muscles can actually be a hindrance on the climbs. If you do want to spend time indoors dong off the bike training how about circuit training? I used to do it when I was in the UK and found it firstly a great all body work out as well as improving aerobic capacity and it was good fun in a kind of masochistic way!

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