• Ride with a Group: Want to get faster? Ride with someone faster. Not only is riding with a group going to teach you new skills, prepare you for riding in groups, and push you harder, but it will keep you consistent. Riding with others keeps you on your game.
  • Rest: Sleep and recover. You aren’t gaining anything if your body isn’t awake to accept the improvements of your training. Getting enough rest lets you be fully recharged to tackle your next workout. But also, we’re college students.
  • Equipment: Having the right equipment is essential to good training. Making sure you are fit to your bike reduces inglorious injuries, and lets you fully extend your power in your pedal stroke.
  • Get intimate w/your bike: Learn to work on your bike. Maybe you won’t know everything, but having a good sense of how to fix your bike will save you countless worries. It will also give you a better sense of the type of the machine you are powering with your legs.


There are three measures of training zones:

  • Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE): Using your judgement of difficulty, usually based on breathing
    • Least accurate
  • Heart rate: Using a heart rate monitor strap to measure Beats Per Minute (BPM)
    • Fairy accurate
  • Power: Using a powermeter to measure watts, which is your direct exerted effort
    • Very accurate

Using one of these measures, you will have to do a zone test:

  • RPE: Break your breathing difficulty into seven sections (see table) and compare your efforts to those zones.
    • Being able to talk is your zone 1, and gasping for breath is your zone 6
  • Heart rate: Use a heart rate field test to find your max heart rate. You should be doing a 10 min full out effort with a peak in exertion in the last 30 sec. Ideally, you should be doing two more test days with rest days in-between (don’t drink coffee or drink before).
    • Take your Max heart rate and, comparing it to the table below, find the correct zones by getting percentages of max hr
  • Power: Find your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) or the wattage you can produce for a one-hour time trial, which is a fundamental benchmark for fitness. A common protocol for determining your FTP is performing a 20-minute time trial and multiplying that average wattage by 0.95, since your hour-long wattage would be about 5 percent lower. During your test perform two 20-min time trials and use the one with the higher power for your FTP.
    • Take your FTP and, comparing it to the table below, find the correct zones by getting percentages of your functional threshold power

 Training Plan

This is a basic weekly training schedule. A more personal plan utilizing your zones can be found through Strava, Training Peaks, many online training programs, or a personal coach. (the club is currently looking into hiring a club coach for the future, 2019)


Day off bike or recovery ride (core work)


Sprint work or endurance


Tempo work or Threshold /VO2 Max intervals


Endurance miles


Easy ride, opener workout, or rest (core work)


Race, VO2 Max work, or endurance miles


Race, VO2 Max work, or endurance miles


Cycle-Smart – Online Bike Racing Library 

Incredibly in depth cycling tips and racing insight from Cycle-Smart Coaching, owned by Adam Myerson, UMass Cycling alumni.

Global Cycling Network – YouTube

One of the best resources for all things bikes you can find. Quick videos on every topic consisting of bikes. How-to’s / race recaps / mechanic tips / etc.