Coach Hughes: Cycling Training Resources
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Intelligent Cycling Training
Cycling Resources
Updated 4/11/2020

Older Cyclists
Resources for Older Cyclists Any older cyclist can improve with the right training! (age 50+)

12 Ways to You Can Slow the Aging Process.
106 pages for $14.99 from

Cycling success on a century or other bike ride involves:

Free Downloads

  • Training Zones— John Hughes, Optimal training by perceived exertion, heart rate and power. Download spreadsheet to calculate your zones.

  • Strength Training Log—Download a spreadsheet to log your strength workouts.

  • Calorie Estimator—Download spreadsheet to calculate total calories burned while cycling based on distance, average speed, total climbing and rider weight.


Event Selection—John Hughes, How to select and prioritize centuries, brevets, double centuries and other rides.

Stop Cycling’s Showstoppers—John Hughes, Cycling showstoppers can largely be eliminated on a century or brevet by learning how to prepare for bike rides and how to deal with cycling problems on the road.

Safety—John Hughes, Almost all accidents are preventable—Here’s how.

Physical Training

Centuries and Beyond

Benefits from Base Training—John Hughes, Why and how to train at an easy endurance pace.

Preparing for a Century The Six Success Factors—John Hughes, PDF of the talk on preparing for and riding a century or 200K at the Denver REI on June 19, 2012.

First Century, Preparing For—John Hughes, 8 tips to get ready for your first endurance century.

Beyond the Century, How to Train—John Hughes, Training for and riding brevets from 200 km to 1200 km and longer.

Brevet(s) & Double Century(s), John Hughes, a two-part article:

  1. Brevet & Double Century—Basic training for a brevet and double century.
  2. Fast Brevet & Double Century—How to train for a fast brevet or fast double century.

Training for Brevets, John Hughes, a two-part article

  1. Base Endurance Training—for brevets from 200K to 600K.
  2. Building Power and Peaking—for 1000K and 1200K brevets.

First Ultra—John Hughes, A three-part article on how to train for cycling more than 100 miles.

  1. First Ultra, Training For—John Hughes, Training for endurance to ride more than 100 miles.
  2. First Ultra, Nutrition For—John Hughes, Day to day nutrition during training and on long bike rides.
  3. First Ultra, Finishing the Ride—John Hughes, Preparing before and tactics during the bike ride.

Mastering and Finishing Endurance Bicycle Rides—John Hughes, Final preparations for a bicycle ride of 100 km or longer and how to manage the ride to a successful finish.


Optimal Recovery for Improved Performance—John Hughes, How to recover fully to ride your best.

Massage for Cycling—John Hughes, How to do self-massage for recovery from cycling.

Icing—John Hughes, When icing is appropriate and how to do it.

Stretching—John Hughes, Illustrations of seven key stretches, especially those for muscles prone to cramping, plus other beneficial stretches.

Cramping, how to prevent and treat—John Hughes, What to do before and during a ride to prevent cramps and how to break and flush one if it strikes you.

Recovery: A two-part article:

  1. Nutrition—Ed Burke, Ph.D. & John Hughes, Theory and practice applied to cycling including training, long rides and multi-day events.
  2. Non-Nutrition—Massage, stretching, applying heat and ice and other techniques for recovery from cycling.


Benefits of Training by Intensity—John Hughes, How training by intensity can make you a better cyclist and save you time.

How to Train by Intensity—John Hughes, Guidelines for intensity workouts to get the optimal results.

Training Zones—John Hughes, Optimal training by perceived exertion, heart rate and power. Download spreadsheet to calculate your zones.

Strength Training

Strength Training for Century, Brevet and Endurance Cyclists—John Hughes, A two-part article with exercises to develop leg strength, improve muscle balance, strengthen connective tissues, improve upper body endurance and develop core strength.

  1. Basic Strength Training—Overview of strength training for cyclists and basic exercises without any equipment for the early season
  2. Advanced Strength Training—More advanced exercises to continue building strength.

Strength Training Log—Download a spreadsheet to log your strength workouts.

Core Strength Training—John Hughes, Illustrations of core strength exercises. A strong core provides a stable platform to anchor the leg muscles, increasing power, and supports the upper body, reducing upper body fatigue.

  1. Basic Core Strength Training—Basic exercises to learn movement patterns and develop core strength without any equipment.
  2. Advanced Core Strength Training—Advanced exercises using a StryoFoam roller and an exercise ball to develop core strength.


Spring Training—John Hughes, How to structure your training to build endurance and cruising speed for a summer of cycling.

Cycling in the Hot Weather—Tips on how to ride both when the weather is hot and when you’re hot from riding hard in mild conditions.

  1. Part 1: Training and Ride Management
  2. Part 2: Hydration and Electrolytes

Effective Cycling Training, RMCC 2012 Varying the Intensity—John Hughes, PDF of the talk delivered at Rocky Mountain Cycling Club seminar on training for and riding a century or 200K at the Denver Flagship REI March 7, 2012.

Peaking for Endurance Cycling Events—John Hughes, Effective training is the least amount of riding necessary to result in continuing improvement.

Effective Training Rides, Warren McNaughton & John Hughes, a two-part article:

  1. Set Specific Objectives—How to set training objectives before key bicycle rides, listen to your body while cycling and document what you learn.
  2. Sample Training Objectives—For cycling a brevet series.

Healthy Nutrition

13 Nutrition Tips for a Century and Brevet—John Hughes, What to eat before, during and after for your best century or brevet.

12 Hydration Myths—John Hughes, Facts about hydration, dehydration and electrolytes.

Ultra Nutrition, For a Ride Over 100 Miles—John Hughes, Day to day nutrition to support good training and on the bike nutrition for good performance.

Winter Nutrition, —John Hughes, Meeting energy and hydration needs in cold weather.

Eating & Drinking Like the Pros—John Hughes, How to Make Your Own Sports Food & Drink—Nutritional insight from pro cycling teams.

Nutrition Mantras for Endurance—John Hughes, No matter how hard you train if you don’t fuel properly, finishing a long ride will be difficult. Follow these mantras for nutrition for endurance cycling.

Eating for 100 km and Beyond—John Hughes, What to eat before, during and after a cycling event.

Eating for Events—Susan Barr, Ph.D., RDN & John Hughes, How to estimate your energy requirements and eat on every 24-hours for cycling events.

Experiment of One—John Hughes with commentary by Susan Barr, Ph.D., RDN, Personal example of solving nutrition problems while cycling.

Calorie Estimator—Download spreadsheet to calculate total calories burned while cycling based on distance, average speed, total climbing and rider weight.

Proper Equipment

Clothing for Winter—John Hughes, how to stay warm while cycling in the cold.

Bike Fit—John Hughes, How Andy Pruitt at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine assesses cyclists and sets up their bicycles.

Choosing a Long Distance Bicycle—Lon Haldeman

Testing Equipment for Long Rides—Warren McNaughton & John Hughes, How to test and perfect cycling equipment and clothing before the season.

Points of Contact—John Hughes, Advice on avoiding discomfort on the butt, hands and feet while cycling.

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2

Mental Preparation

Sports Psychology Training for Cyclists—John Hughes, Even though we may plateau physically through learning mental techniques we can continue to improve our performance.

Not Fun?—John Hughes, What do to when a bicycle ride stops being fun.

Mental Training Techniques, John Hughes, A five-part article:

  1. Calming the Emotions—How to breath and relax before and during bicycle rides.
  2. Gathering Energy—How to ride in the moment and feel energized.
  3. Managing Pain—How to use breathing to ride through painful moments while cycling.
  4. Creating a Positive Attitude—How to use thoughts and images to improve performance while cycling.
  5. Visualizing an Event—How to preview the physical and emotional sides of a bicycle ride.