Cycling is becoming more and more popular. As with most things in life, the more time you invest in cycling, the better you will get at it. This 12 Week cycling training plan is designed for beginners. Acting as a framework, for you to level up from casual cyclist, that occasionally rides down to the shops, to a competitive cyclist who enjoys a 3-hour weekend bike ride.


  • Those who have never had a cycling training plan before
  • Your goal will be what drives you, set it accordingly.

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  • Consider your route first, what dangers may there be?
  • Keep a puncture repair kit ready and familiarise yourself with using them
  • Get the right cyclewear that’s comfy for your body
  • Consume the right nutrition and stay hydrated.

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  • Weeks 1 – 4, get used to the work with short 20-30 minute cycles
  • Weeks 5 – 9, start building your engine with interval training
  • Weeks 9 – 11, continue building with endurance cycles
  • Week 12, finish big.

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Getting Started – 3 Tips for Cycling Safety


  • Suitable bicycle for the type of training

  • Suitable helmet

  • Comfortable cyclewear

  • A small handlebar bag or cycling jersey with back pockets

  • A puncture repair kit and spare inner tubes

  • A desire to challenge yourself over the next 12 weeks


  • A smartphone or GPS device with mount for bicycle – you can try and plan your route at home before leaving, but this can be very difficult to remember when you are actually out on the roads

  • An odometer or small cycle computer. Something to track your time and distance on the bike


Get Warm and Schedule Rests

Top tip: Always aim to have a rest day in between longer rides

If you are ready to ride for longer then do so, do not let this plan hold you back. However, listen to your body and do not overtrain, to avoid injury and demotivation. You have 12 weeks to get your body used to longer rides, do not get too excited in week 1!

Top tip: Warm up/cool down

There are conflicting opinions about the benefit of static stretches pre and post-workout. The best way to get your muscles ready for what is ahead is simply to do the exercise you are about to do but at a slower pace. For the first 5 minutes and final 5 minutes of each bike ride, you ride in a low gear, so that your legs are spinning easily.

WEEKS 1 – 4

Each week:

2 x 30-minute bike rides – moderate pace*

1 x 30 Aerobic exercise – this could be as simple as a fast-paced walk, yoga in the front room or bodyweight circuit training

The idea for the first month is to get your body used to more regular exercise, so it does not have a shock when you start going out for longer rides.

*Moderate pace – this is unique to you, and throughout the weeks your speed will increase. At a moderate pace, you should be able to hold a conversation comfortably.

WEEKS 5 – 8

Each week:

1 x 1-hour interval training bike ride**

1 x 1-hour bike ride – moderate pace

1 x 30-minute bike ride – moderate pace

**interval training is a way of getting the benefits of high-intensity training, without overtraining. After your warm-up, you should ride at a moderate pace (able to speak comfortably) for 1 minute. Then lower your gear and sprint, aim for 30 seconds to start with. It helps to have an endpoint in your mind, such as a lamppost or road sign. Once you have reached it, you lower your cadence (the speed that you are turning the pedals) and return to a moderate pace for 5 minutes.


5 minutes moderate pace

30 seconds sprint for the line

30 seconds rolling/easy pace

Repeat 5 times

The rest of the ride should be ridden at a moderate pace

WEEKS 9 – 11

Each week:

2 x 30-minute interval training bike rides***

1 x 2-hour bike ride – moderate pace

1 x 1-hour bike ride – moderate pace

Up to 4 days a week cycling now. You should be seeing that you are faster on the bike and recovering a lot quicker, especially during the interval rides. If weight loss is your goal, pat yourself on the back because you will start seeing results when you look in the mirror.


3-minutes moderate pace

1-minute sprint for the line

1-minute rolling/easy pace

Repeat 5 times


Even if you are not training for a specific bike ride, this 12 week cycle training plan, should culminate in the longest bike ride you have ever done. Before the big day, you should give your body a chance to fully recover from your training and rest for 5 days before ‘race’ day.

1 x 30-minute bike ride

1 x 3-hour+ bike ride – give it your best shot

Now you have the tools and the know-how, you need to put the above 12-week cycling plan into action. Remember to enjoy the ride and do not stress yourself out if you do not get instant results. At CSS Fitness, we have developed a 12-week personal training package for cycling to help fellow cyclists, like you. The first step is often the hardest, but once you start on this training plan, you will not look back.

To enquire about cycling personal training – please fill in your details below for a free consultation. 


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    After 10 weeks of dynamic upper and lower body workouts 4-5 times per week, and diet focused on lean meats and healthy carbohydrates, I’ve added 8.4KG of lean muscle to my frame. I feel stronger, more aware of the foods I consume, and overall more confident. The best part about the programme is that I’ve learned to enjoy and look forward to my time spent in the gym. CSS makes each workout unique and challenging so that I am never doing the same old routine.

    Jack Perkins, Starting weight 76kg and now 84.4kg after 10 weeks

    During the process, Chris has demonstrated an undeniable energy to lift me on the tough days, in-depth knowledge on movements, to not only tell me what to do but to educate me, and a good sense of individualisation with him tailing his approach/diet and exercise plan to meet my needs.

    Joe Mirtaheri, Starting weight 73.2kg and now 77.8kg after 12 weeks
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