Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | October 16, 2009

My Periodized Training Program: Endurance Phase

If you have read my last three posts, you understand that developing an annual training program is a relatively simple process for cyclists.  It involves two basic steps: developing SMART goals (outcome and/or process) and creating a four-phase plan that will allow you to achieve these goals.  Once you are clear about your objectives for the 2010 season, you should begin by crafting your plan for the Endurance phase of the periodization cycle.  This phase will last from 12 to 16 weeks and is designed to enhance your aerobic and muscular endurance.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I have attached my Endurance Phase training program as a guide for developing your own.  Please note the following:

  1. The training plan is composed of my High Impact Cycling Workouts.
  2. I am using a 16/5, 21-day mesocycle.  In English, this means my Endurance phase is based on five, 3-week blocks for a total of 15 weeks.  Each block (i.e., mesocycle) consists of 21 days.  The first 16 days are for hard training, while the last 5 are for recovery.  I have found this works really well with my soon to be 48-year old legs.  Younger cyclists may want to use a 23/5, 28-day mesocycle.  This consists of 23 days of hard work followed by 5 days of recovery.
  3. The first two mesocycles consist solely of Active Recovery (AR), Steady Spinning (SS), High Cadence Spinning (HCS) and Power Bursts (PB).  The third mesocycle replaces Power Bursts with Strength Intervals (SI), while the fourth adds Cadence Intervals (CI) and Tempo Rides.  The last mesocycle replaces Strength Intervals with Pyramid Intervals (PI). 
  4. As you can see, the Endurance phase starts easy and gets harder as it progresses, going from primarily Zone 1 & 2 rides at the beginning up to Zone 4 at the end.  By the time I am at the end of the 15 weeks, I will have improved my aerobic and muscular endurance, and should be ready for the much higher intensity rides that will take place in the next phase.
  5. The hours listed on this training plan are based on indoor training (we have long, cold winters in Michigan).  To follow this plan while riding outdoors, increase training time by one-third.  For example, a 60-minute indoor ride is equivalent to a 90-minute outdoor ride.

In my next update, I will post the results of my first training week!  Click below to download the training plan.

Endurance Training – 15 Week Program

NEXT POST – October 19, 2009

Training Report for Week 1: Endurance Phase



  1. I am a great fan of periodized training. I develop periodized programs for all my clients, whether they are training for an athletic event or general fitness and weightloss. Periodized programs elecit superior results. Good luck to you!

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