Irrespective of your cycling aspirations or current skill level, structured training provides benefits to all cyclists. Discover the benefits below.
Cycling is a great way to get fit and have fun whilst doing it, but if you have specific training goals in mind, have reached a plateau with your fitness or just need to kick-start your season then a structured training programme could be the answer for you.
We outline just ten of the benefits we’ve seen over the years of devising, coaching and participating in structured training.
1. Targeted Progression
Structured training programmes are your roadmap to progress. They should be meticulously designed to take you from where you are, to where you want to be.
With a clear trajectory of workouts, intensities, and rest days, you're set on a path of gradual improvement that optimises your performance gains.
No more second-guessing about what workout to do next; every session is a purposeful step towards achieving your cycling goals.
"The Njinga FTP programme was excellent, well structured, and highly motivating. I feel stronger, fitter, healthier and motivated to continue. The programme has also helped me recognise possibilities for my ongoing fitness not only through cycling but in other activities as well." Paul Arscott
2. Starts with the End in Mind Whether you're planning a major sportive, a century ride, or simply improving your fitness, structured training programmes are adaptable to your goals.
Programmes are designed with those ambitions in mind, ensuring that every pedal serves a purpose in your journey. Programmes should prepare you physically and mentally for the efforts required for your goal.
"Another successful training programme where I saw fitness, strength and ability to climb improve. Increased confidence on the bike tackling hills and big foundation block towards the ultimate goal of 5 mountain stages of the TdeF (Le Loop)." Chris Lodge
3. Time-Efficient Workouts
In a world where time is of the essence, structured training programmes are a godsend. No more guesswork or random rides. These programmes ensure that your training time is utilised to its fullest.
Say goodbye to unproductive rides and hello to efficient workouts that challenge you and align with your objectives. You'll find yourself accomplishing more in less time, leaving you with room for other commitments without compromising on your progress.
Njinga programmes offer a mix of live group sessions where you join from home and participate with other riders (often in the evenings) or the chance to do the same session on-demand so you can pick time slots that suit your diary.
"Committing to 2 x 1 hour sessions each week was easy to manage and both sessions were always superb. Not only did I gain a fast amount of knowledge on training efficiency, cycling techniques and power building, I also saw my FTP increase by 32 watts over 8 weeks. A great achievement!"Tom Wintle
4. Plateau Busting
If you've hit a plateau in your performance, structured training programmes can break the stagnation. With targeted workouts and varying intensities, these programmes shock your body into adaptation, helping you overcome performance plateaus.
The strategic mix of endurance, intervals, and recovery sessions keeps your body guessing and responding, pushing you past those frustrating plateaus to new heights of performance.
"Despite training regularly my training had plateaued and I was not seeing significant improvement. So I signed up for a live Njinga programme, which enabled me to improve my performance by approximately 10%." David McNally
5. Prevent Overtraining
Overtraining can be detrimental to progress. Structured programmes provide a balanced approach, incorporating recovery periods that are as essential as the intense sessions.
This helps prevent burnout, reduces injury risk, and keeps you in peak condition. With rest and recovery strategically integrated into the programme, you'll find that your body responds positively to the workouts, leading to consistent progress without the risk of overexertion.
"The Njinga programmes really develop you as a cyclist in technique, physical and mental strength and a level of confidence and discipline I hadn't even thought about - religious stretching, proper nutrition, recovery and focus." Ruth Berry
6. Expert Guidance
Structured training programmes should come with the guidance of seasoned coaches, all our Njinga ones certainly do!
The expertise ensures that you're on the right track, offering valuable insights, advice, and adjustments that maximise the effectiveness of your training.
This expert guidance can make all the difference, helping you avoid common pitfalls, fine-tuning your workouts, and ensuring that you're always moving in the right direction toward your goals. "No matter how much you think you're doing, the Njinga coaches always seem to get that little bit extra out of you, even if you didn't think it was there!"Ali Housley
7. Accountability and Consistency
Knowing that a structured programme awaits keeps you accountable.
Consistency becomes your ally, as you're more likely to stick to a planned schedule than haphazard workouts. This commitment results in more significant and sustainable progress.
With a structured programme in place, you have a clear path to follow, and the commitment to consistently follow that path becomes a powerful motivator to keep pushing forward.
"The Njinga Programme has helped me truly understand how my body feels in different riding zones and has helped me week on week take accountability to get stronger and stronger." Zoe Head-Rapson
8. Optimal Adaptation
Structured programmes strategically introduce intensity variations, ensuring your body adapts optimally to different stimuli. This enhances your cycling performance across various terrains, elevations, and challenges.
The carefully planned mix of endurance, threshold, and high-intensity workouts keeps your body versatile, helping you handle different cycling conditions and scenarios with confidence.
"Njinga has fantastic indoor training programmes to set you up for an event and they definitely build strength and confidence for outdoor rides. Togo guides you all the way through and offers great tools which I took with me on my rides and his powerful words of encouragement definitely stuck in my head giving me much confidence."Sarah Guignard
9. Mental Edge
Cycling is as much a mental game as it is physical. Structured training programmes boost your mental game by setting clear goals, fostering a sense of accomplishment, and cultivating the mental resilience needed to conquer challenging rides.
As you tick off planned sessions and witness your progress, you're not only building physical strength but also the mental fortitude required to push through barriers and achieve your cycling aspirations.
"Loved every minute of the Njinga programme. Their online platform was easy and VERY useful with recipes, advice and training tips assisting me throughout the programme. I will definitely be signing up for the next one as not only it improves my fitness it also improves my mental health and well-being." Danny Cox
10. Off the Bike Matters Too
Structured training programmes should not just be confined to the bike. Off-bike conditioning provides many benefits to cyclists too.
Cycling places demands on your muscles and joints, which is why off-bike stretching is essential. Regular stretching enhances flexibility, prevents injuries, and improves your overall range of motion. It's not just about recovery; it's about ensuring your body remains supple and ready to tackle the challenges of the road.
A strong core is the foundation of efficient cycling and therefore is another key component of our training programmes. A strong core enhances your stability on the bike, improves your pedalling efficiency, and helps you maintain proper form throughout your rides.
Fuelling your body right is integral to cycling success, and our programmes support this. Including pre-ride fuelling strategies, on-bike nutrition, or post-ride recovery meals, the right nutrition fuels your workouts and aids in recovery.
“One of my biggest lessons from the Njinga Programme was around nutrition and how to fuel to train. I saw big improvements weekly and on outdoor rides I was amazed at the difference.”Mei-Ling Lancashire
Structured Training at Njinga
1. Njinga Training Programmes
Efficient, effective, goal-focused, fun and supporting you on and off the bike - these are all the bedrock of a Njinga structured training programme.
Throughout the year we launch 8 and 4-week live online training programmes focused on specific goals and elements of your cycling.
Alternatively, you can join The Njinga Cycling Academy and jump into the pre-built plans that best suit your cycling ambitions. You will find a range of different options on the Njinga Cycling Academy including:
- Off Bike Plans - Yoga, Core, Strength and Mobility - On-Bike Plans - 8, 12 and 20-week event-based plans with climbing or endurance focus - Nutrition Plans - 28-day meal plans and also weight management plans - Mindset Plans - Mindset basics and how to develop a high-performance mindset.