Century Training Plans for 2013 WFRT

Whether 2013 will be your first Wrigley Field Road Tour or your fourth, we have some exciting changes for this year. To better prepare you to ride 100 miles, Higher Gear has teamed up with Coach Craig of Precision Multisport, a local coaching and training facility that offers personal coaching, group workouts and more to help athletes perform their best at their next event or competition.

Heck, you don’t even have to be doing the WFRT to enjoy the summer of riding we have planned for you. But after putting in all those miles on the bike this summer, wouldn’t you rather cap it off with a celebration on Wrigley Field?

Wrigley Field Road Tour LogoOh, and in case we hadn’t mentioned it, the Wrigley Field Road Tour benefits World Bike Relief and Cubs Charities, two charities that aim to improve the lives of children and their families, one at the local level and the other at an international level. So all your efforts this summer can go towards raising funds for these two great charities, again making the Wrigley Field Road Tour on August 25th an ideal goal for your summer training.


New for this year, and under the guidance of Coach Craig, we have two training plans. If this is the first time you’ve committed to a ride of this magnitude, the Beginner plan is for you. If you have a couple century (or longer) rides under your belt and have made it your goal for this year to ride faster or otherwise improve your performance, you’ll want to train with the Intermediate plan.

Also new for this year, the WFRT Training Plans are available on Training Peaks, a free training log for running, cycling, triathlon and general fitness. Both of the WFRT plans can be found on Training Peaks by following the links below. Registering for Training Peaks is free and easy.* You can use the training log as much or as little as you like; your involvement is up to you.**

As always, Higher Gear recommends you consult with your physician before beginning a new training program. When riding, always wear your helmet, follow the rules of the road, and please refrain from using headphones.


Important Dates

Higher Gear will mark the beginning of the official 2013 WFRT training season with a WFRT Training Ride on Saturday, June 1st at 7:00am from our Wilmette location.

WFRT group training rides*:

Saturday, June 1st – 25 miles to kick off the WFRT training season
Saturday, July 6th
– 40-50 mile ride
Saturday, August 10th – 70 miles and our last “long” ride before the WFRT

*All group training rides will leave from Higher Gear – Wilmette at 7:00am. Click on each date for more details.

You are welcome to join us on our other groups rides this summer. Saturday mornings, especially, you may find others willing to tack on additional time and mileage beyond our ride to follow the WFRT training plan. Last year we had a good group of WFRT riders who did just that!


One more important date:

Sunday, July 28th – Our century training plan will have you ready to ride the 60-mile course at the Venus de Miles in Lake Forest. This ride isn’t about setting a good time, it’s about having one. Register for what was voted the Best Cycling Event by Competitor Magazine in 2012 and support Greenhouse Scholars. Registration and more details at illinois.venusdemiles.com



100 Miles to Go!


Beginner Plan for WFRT

You have several options to view and follow the Beginner Plan:


Intermediate Plan for WFRT

You have several options to view and follow the Intermediate Plan:




Perceived Effort Chart for Century Training Plans

From Coach Craig of Precision Multisport


RPE Scale of 1-10

% Max

Heart Rate

Importance Scale 1 to 5

Perceived Effort in Terms of Breathing


Zone 1



         2 Able to converse.  Possibly sing or whistle. Warm up, recovery between harder efforts and easy days, also used to start getting in shape.  These are the easiest workouts.

Zone 2




Able to converse. An aerobic workout (conversational effort) helps with aerobic training for oxygen transport.  An effort you should be able to maintain for a long time but isn’t so easy it’s recovery. Training at this level will get you through your race.

Zone 3




Talking is difficult This is the area where people spend too much time.  It is working hard but not hard enough.  There are some physiological changes but not as helpful as training at a higher or lower intensity.  A lot of over training happens here.

Zone 4




Labored breathing, can only manage short phrases or words. Training at this level helps the body to tolerate and remove lactic acid.  This effort is hard to maintain for long stretches or intervals.  It is highly stressful to the body and you would follow it up with training in Zones I or II.

Zone 5




Very, very labored breathing, cannot speak. The most painful Zone to train in.  Not much work done in this zone. You cannot maintain this level for even short periods of time.  This Zone will leave you sore and very fatigued.

Importance scale is 1 = highest, 5 = lowest for your purposes.


* To register for a free Training Peaks account to access either Century Training Plan, choose which plan you want to follow and then click on the link above. If you are new to Training Peaks, fill in the required information to create an account.

** The free account with Training Peaks will allow you access to your Century Training Plan. It also gives you the ability to log exercise and meals, track daily metrics, upload your workouts from your device (Garmin, PowerTap, etc.) and map, upload and record routes. You will also have mobile access to your account, should you choose, and the ability to share workouts and routes over Facebook, Twitter and email. A premium account with Training Peaks allows you enhanced analysis of workouts, meals and metrics and the ability to edit data uploaded from devices. There are several subscription options for a premium account, beginning with a monthly plan for $19.95. A 3-month plan (which would get you through the WFRT ride) is $49. You can opt to upgrade to a premium account at any time should you decide you want more access than the free account offers.

** If you register for a free Training Peaks account, but would prefer not to receive daily email reminders of planned workouts, please follow these instructions:

  • Log in to Training Peaks.
  • Once there, click on the arrow by your name.
  • Click on Settings.
  • In the box that opens, the Account Tab and open it.
  • Uncheck the box where it says, “Enable daily emails of planned workouts.” No more email. Of course, you can opt to go back in and enable the daily email should you change your mind.



Need Help? Have Questions?

Highland Park | 847-433-2453
Wilmette | 847-256-2330

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