I am a road cyclist but not a professional one. I am 21. Do you know a long term training,starting from zero, that can help me to become a good cyclist? I am 1,75 cm tall ,weigh 65 kg.My average bpm is 60 and maximum is 208,spo2 is 97%. I can train indoor 4 times per week. My goal is : 80km (gradient 0,2%) at 35km/h and 10km(gradient 6%) at 20km/H. Thanks

  • 2
    Depends a lot on your natural fitness and ability, how much you already train, how much you could train and how many other sacrifices (e.g diet)
    – rg255
    Jun 5, 2016 at 21:16
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    Examine your motives... Will training really make you enjoy the ride more?
    – BSO rider
    Jun 5, 2016 at 21:52
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    Could you describe what you mean by "good cyclist" as well? To me that means someone who can enjoy a long tour with lots of 6+ hour days on the bike, for example, rather than needing a rest day after every day or two on the bike. Do you want to go faster, longer, do more complex tricks, or simply get more sponsorship without particularly caring what sort of riding you do to get it?
    – Móż
    Jun 5, 2016 at 23:18
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    Different body types will also have different natural abilities and will excel at different aspects of road riding. If you have little experience to date, then get some more exposure before worrying about a "plan".
    – Rider_X
    Jun 5, 2016 at 23:29
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    First, get a bike that fits you and is comfortable. Second, ride it. Flat, downhill, uphill, dry or wet, day or night. Once you have a thousand km on the clock, you'll know more about your strengths and weaknesses. Personally I hate climbing, so I try the Strava climbing challenges for motivation. Also, track your progress using Strava or similar services.... It never gets easier on a bike, you just get there sooner, or go further.
    – Criggie
    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:01

3 Answers 3


Assuming you mean a fast cyclist, your best long-term plan is to find ways to enjoy or otherwise remain motivated to train year-round so that you can be consistent for the next many years. Starting from 0, assuming you are consistent, you can hope to be a a fast guy in about 3 years and among the elite (in your age/weight class) in 6.

There are many opinions about the actual training content and how it should vary over the course of a year. And mostly, the just that - opinions. There is very little good scientific research on long term training plans, because controlled double-blind studies would take a really long time, have difficulty recruiting participants, and it would be difficult to gain funding because there is no industry interest, not to mention it would be really difficult to design a blind study involving hard physical training.

Still, unscientific as it is, you should consider picking up a good book on the subject, as they tent to model the way professional riders train per tradition, and which seems to be working for them. Two of the more popular ones are "The Cyclists Training Bible" and "Training and Racing with a Power Meter". There are also good free resources online. In short, the books will tell you to do the kind of riding you want to be good/fast at, with some variations. Simply riding your bike a lot will probably do wonders for you as well.

If you want more specific advice, post more details about your goals. Do you want to win the sprints, be fastest up the hills, be the breakaway hero or win a 24h race?

  • 1
    Thank you very much. i am 1,75 cm tall ,weigh 65 kg.My average bpm is 60 and maximum is 208,spo2 is 97%. I can train indoor 4 times per week. My goal is : 80km (gradient 0,2%) at 35km/h and 10km(gradient 6%) at 20km/
    – Angelo
    Jun 6, 2016 at 6:24
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    @anjelo Great start - you have goals. Now measure your current performance on those two targets, using strava or similar. Then bike for a month and do the tests again on the same path. See your progress.
    – Criggie
    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:02

I'm taking a different view to @Morten 's answer.

A good cyclist is one who survives every trip, by successfully avoiding all the hazards while not being a hazard to other fellow road-users.

That means:

  • Obeying red lights and stop signs (don't piss off everyone else waiting at the control)

  • Looking out for road users who haven't seen you (including pedestrians)

  • Being as visible as possible on your bike (means lights, no dark clothes, reflective stuff)

  • Staying on your side of the road, and in your lane.

  • Going slow passed busses - some locations mandate that you either must stop, or must slow to speeds like 20 km/h when passing a bus outside a school.

Basically a good cyclist is a good road user. Learn to do all this and then crank on the power for speed. Otherwise you could be too busy focusing on power and aero, to be a good road user.

  • 1
    I like this answer but looks like OP want to become more faster cyclist.
    – kifli
    Jun 7, 2016 at 11:31
  • @kifli I agree with you because only racers would quote all the numbers about heart rate and oxygen, but the question specifically asks about "good cyclist" so I answered that too.
    – Criggie
    Jun 7, 2016 at 19:57
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    Yesterday, on a wet overcast day in Melbourne, I observed a cyclist wearing all dark colours. I thought A professional cyclist is a cyclist who rides for their living, the others ride for their dying. Then I saw your answer saying A good cyclist is one who survives every trip.
    – andy256
    Jun 8, 2016 at 2:48
  • @andy256 In hindsight, that comment of mine "A good cyclist is one who survives every trip" could be taken as victim-blaming at those who have had accidents in the past. Its not intended that way to anyone.
    – Criggie
    Jun 8, 2016 at 3:26
  • @Criggie Nor by me. I think we're on the same page.
    – andy256
    Jun 8, 2016 at 4:24

I like Morten's answer. It covers a lot of ground. A power meter these days - is the de facto tool to train with. They have dropped a lot in price over recent years - but still expensive - if you are just starting out. And like any tool has to be used in the correct way (training). You can still get away with using a heart rate monitor - and they are useful for longer efforts but for shorter efforts and overall data quality / accuracy - a power meter is an investment. Incidentally, I don't own or train with a power meter.

The most important factor you need to decide is how much time you can dedicate to training on a consistent basis - week to week. Once you know this - you can formulate a training plan to suit. If you are short of time - say 4 -5 hours a week - then your plan will probably bias towards intervals. If you have 8 - 9 hours a week - then your plan can shift towards longer rides to build an endurance base with less bias on intervals. But whatever, consistency would be the key.

Also set realistic goals. 80km on a 0.2% gradient at 35km/h - does this look realistic? It's a theoretical 4.2W/kg over 2hrs!! http://bikecalculator.com/

  • This is a fun chart to measure your self against. 4.2W/kg comes out at Cat 2. cyclingtips.com/2009/07/just-how-good-are-these-guys
    – alex
    Jun 8, 2016 at 3:33
  • Good answer. I was going to write my own, but this is so close to what I was going to write that I think it's better to improve this one. I suggest you incorporate the point made by @alex, and the chart from his link. The other things I would advise the OP to do are join a club, and get proper (meaning professional) coaching.
    – andy256
    Jun 8, 2016 at 4:48
  • Just remember the chart is an FTP chart based on Coggan's research. FTP is based around "an hour of power". The OP aims to reproduce the same power over more than *2 hours".
    – OraNob
    Jun 8, 2016 at 9:06

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