Monday 16th October 2023
Do you want to ride faster?
Join the Ride Harder Academy and follow the Ride Harder 12 week training plan within a virtual group environment. The Ride Harder training plan takes on the train smarter principles that I have created and provides a holistic approach making you faster on the bike!
Join the 2023 Academy Now!
Limited spaces available!
Join the 12 week Academy and get ready to get fitter & faster!
The first session starts on 16th October 2023.
New Training Program for Autumn / Winter 2023
What is the Ride Harder Academy?
The Ride Harder Academy will help you transform your cycling skills, power and speed in just 12 weeks.
The complete cycle training plan that is simple to follow. It will teach you to ride efficiently and train smart meaning you will be faster on the bike for LESS effort and have MORE spare time available.
Keep motivated over the winter months to smash your cycling goals
The Ride Harder Academy’s comprehensive three-phased training plan is supported up by a team of coaches and an exclusive online community of like-minded cyclists that are committed to helping you stay motivated and become a better rider.
Plus much more…
View the full list of what’s included
A smarter way to train to improve heath, happiness and mental wellbeing
This 12-week plan takes on the train smart ethos so not only gives you all the training sessions needed to achieve your individual cycling goals it takes a holistic approach to improving on and off the bike. Going through the plan with the community environment of the Ride Harder academy and with the support of Ride Harder head coach you will be held accountable and committed to completing the plan.
Pedal like a Pro and gain a CAN DO mindset while building base fitness
Alongside setting your personal training zones during the first phase of the plan, we will be learning healthy habits to help you as a cyclist in the long-term. The sessions will work on improving your pedal stroke and other techniques to make you more efficient as a cyclist. We will also go deep into the mindset during this period to make you think like a cyclist with a positive ‘can do’ mindset!
SMASH your previous Functional Threshold Power (FTP)
The next phase will look at not only increasing your threshold power, but also the ability to hold that power for longer periods. As intensity and volume of training increases, the Academy Community is there to give you the motivation & encouragement to power through this middle block. We’ll also learn what food to eat on and off the bike to improve your performance and recover faster.
RAISE your cycling fitness ceiling to never seen new heights!
After achieving a good fitness base, this block is where you will push your fitness ceiling higher with targeted intervals. As the sessions increase further, we continue to focus on the train smart fundamentals of conditioning, such as wellness and nutrition.
The end result? A fitter, faster cyclist who has developed the knowledge and healthy habits to Live Longer & Ride Further.
Every year I get feedback from my graduates which helps me develop and shape my plan every term for maximum results.
Going through the plan within the community environment of the Ride Harder Academy and with the support of Ride Harder head coach you will be held accountable and committed to completing the plan.
What our graduates say
“This is the first structured training plan I have done. I have found James to be both knowledgeable and full of encouragement … It has made me accountable for my own time and training management.”
I can feel and see the difference in my riding
Great way to keep up with fitness during the dark winter months.
“The Winter Training Plan has delivered great improvements and new techniques which have been extremely useful for racing and fitness level.”
“As a returning participant of the winter training plan, I would still definitely recommend it. A well-constructed plan to keep you motivated during the winter months.”
Hard work but totally worth it for the results!
I would thoroughly recommend Ride Harder, you won’t regret it!
“I’ve been cycling for many years and the Ride Harder program has re-energized my love for it! I had been in a rut with my riding; The Academy has definitely helped me take it to a new level.”
Still Want To Use Zwift?
Don’t worry all the training sessions can either be downloaded for Zwift or even linked to your personal Training Peaks account so you can just log on and your session will be ready for you.
Meet The Content Providers
Founder & Head Coach
I am the founder of Ride Harder, which has improved the comfort, and performance of hundreds of riders. My group-coaching programme has educated riders of all abilities with many moving onto my individual coaching services. I am passionate about making riders faster on the bike from whatever level they are starting from.
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Josh holds an undergraduate and masters degree in Strength & Conditioning science. He currently leads S&C for girls sport and football academy at Langley school along with leading physical preparation for Norfolk netball academy amongst other private ventures.
Jason holds a masters degree in Sport & Exercise Nutrition. He works with committed and dedicated athletes, from recreational to elite level, who wish to promote both their health and performance.
Happier Healthier You
Jane is the owner and founder of Healthier Happy You – a bespoke service designed for each individual to ensure a personal service provides the motivation, encouragement, simple and enjoyable ideas and accountability to get you from where you are now (A) to where you want to be (B).
Fitness Coach at PEAKFIT
Scott is a Content Creator and Head Coach of PEAKFIT, which aims create awareness through fitness, inspiring, empowering and challenging individuals to reach their highest potential. Scott holds a number of qualifications across many fitness disciplines, such as CrossFit, Weightlifting & Nutrition
Yoga Instructor – KWC YOGA
Katrina is a vinyasa yoga instructor, and has been a practitioner of yoga for over 9 years.
Her classes are designed to provide a space for self-exploration, and to promote both physical and mental growth.
Katrina’s Yoga classes focus on alignment, awareness, and the connection of breath and movement in a dynamic practice that builds strength, flexibility, and improves mental clarity.
aka The Mind Coach
As The Mind Coach, I help athletes with any aspect of mental training. I’m passionate about helping everyone develop the mental strength and skills they need to train and perform at their best.
I am a qualified Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner and a qualified NLP Sports Practitioner. NLP is a powerful method that draws on the mind-body connection to tackle limiting beliefs and behaviours replacing them with new thinking and behaviour that becomes automatic.
Who is the Academy NOT for?
If you are looking to cheat and get fit fast then I would just suggest you download the biggest, toughest training plan and kill yourself in training! This method can work in the short term however can lead to injury, sickness, mental struggles and never wanting to get on a bike again!
If you are looking to enjoy cycling for the long term and improve year after year then this plan is for you! It will teach you the basics and improve overall health, happiness and mental wellbeing.
All you need is come with an open mind and be prepared to think outside the box when it comes to training.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You ThereMarshall Goldsmith
Are strength sessions included?
From experience, most people have not developed basic movement patterns so the focus of the academy initially will be looking at more mobility than actual strength.
Everyone wants to go to the gym and push big weights but most people would benefit more from improving their flexibility and range of motion first. They learn the movement patterns needed before adding weight.
Basic movement patterns are essential to allow you that range of motion while riding. Adding some strength and stability will improve your pedal stroke and limit your risk of injury which will result in time off the bike.
What do I need?
It is recommended to have a turbo trainer to complete the plan although it does not necessarily need to be a smart turbo. You will however need a Heart Rate monitor as a minimum. I use the Wahoo Tickr and has £10 off at the moment!
The plan has been written using either heart rate or power so you are able to use any turbo to complete the plan. I would always say that power is the ultimate metric to use to gain the most from any training plan if you have a choice. It is worth spending as much as you can afford on a decent turbo trainer as this is a great tool to improve on the bike and will make indoor training more pleasant and quiet!
If you are stuck on what turbo trainer to buy then I have listed my personal recommendations below:
Money no object
This is the daddy of direct drive trainers, all singing all dancing!
Best value for money
The cheaper version but still does everything. It is just slightly less accurate and max power wattage is less but still does 1800w which is more than I can push!
This is still a great turbo but is not direct drive, it is a wheel in option. Again less accurate/power and will ideally you will need a spare wheel with a trainer tire on it.
How many hours per week are needed to complete the plan?
The plan is based on around 5-7 hours per week with the option of additional sessions if you are able to complete. This is a full periodised progress training plan so some weeks will be less and occasionally slightly over. The key workouts will be indicated to you can make sure these are completed.
Can I train with my mates?
There will be an option of a longer ride at the weekends which can be down with your friends however there will normally be an objective of the ride so will not always work well with others.
Can I change the days of sessions?
The sessions are designed to be done in the order that they are set to meet the training adaptations that we are trying to achieve however you are welcome to move the sessions to suit your own work/life as long as they are in the same format and order as prescribed.
What if I miss a session?
We all know that things crop up in our day to day life so missing just the odd session will be fine. The plan is taking a long term approach to training so missing a session is less important than if your were embarking on a short term plan.
Can I train for triathlon while completing this plan?
Yes, you can and this will be fine through the early part of the plan although when the intensity increases you may just want to stick to the main core workouts each week and miss some of the extra sessions depending on your time available.
It will be down to you to manage time and how you spend it on all 3 disciplines. The downside of the academy is that it does not look at your fitness history/volume so will not neccesarily target what you are missing fitness wise across swim, bike, run. A 1:1 triathlon is always going to be the best option however the cost would normally be much greater.
Can I do more riding than is on the plan?
Yes, this is fine if you normally ride more, however, I would look to make this progress through the entire 16 weeks. You are looking to build fitness throughout so I would not recommend riding loads in week 1 and then nothing in week 2 for example. Make sure you get the key sessions in and refer to the focus of the week with your additional riding.
I am keen to make this more of a framework for your training rather than forcing you to stick to it religiously. It needs to fit in with your lifestyle so you will have the flexibility to do more or less than is in the plan as long as you are consistent.
There will be themes each week to introduce into your training which will not only increase your power but efficiency and speed on the bike.
How many sessions per week are there?
The plan is mainly based around 2 indoor sessions and 1 longer ride with the option of additional sessions for those who have more training time available. I also give an optional shorter indoor session that can replace the longer weekend ride if the weather does not allow riding outside. There are some additional strength & conditioning sessions that are around 20min each and some personal development work which I would set aside 30min per week also
Do I have to complete the whole plan?
It’s your choice, but the plan is designed to guide you through a full periodisation cycle. From building your base fitness through to racing.
When will the plan start?
The start date is the 16th October of 2023.
What devices are compatible with TrainingPeaks?
TrainingPeaks is compatible with hundreds of devices, mobile apps, and 3rd party Software. The main ones include Apple Watch, Garmin, Wahoo Fitness, Polar and TomTom. Check out the TP website for the full list.
What is the money-back guarantee?
We are so confident in the plan, and it’s ability to make you faster. Therefore, we are happy to offer a money-back guarantee. This means if you have completed the plan and are not faster then we will refund the cost.
I’ve done the academy before, is it still worthwhile?
I am a great believer in going back to basics at the start of each winter and build from there. Far too many people smash it at the start of Autumn and then you have nowhere to go. You are looking to build fitness week on week, month on month, year on year. This means you have to often go back before going forward.
Each year the Academy gets better with what I learned from the previous year. There will be more content, new sessions and of course the all-important community aspect. If you have done it a few years ago then you will see a big change to the programme!
Is it 1:1 Coaching?
Although I have access to your TrainingPeaks account and can look at the completed sessions this programme is not 1:1 so will not be reviewing them individually. I will aim to check in personally but encourage questions to be directed within the Facebook group. This way it will help others.
Why not just download the Ride Harder Plan?
The real value in the Academy is the community that it creates and that you become part of. We all know someone who has downloaded a training plan and started super keen only to give up after a couple of weeks, this may even be you!
Going through the plan with the community environment of the Ride Harder Academy will ensure that you stay motivated. With the support of the Ride Harder head coach and the team, you will be held accountable and committed to completing the plan.
You will have access to the private Facebook group along with weekly group rides hosted on Zwift and Zoom plus Q & A’s and virtual meetups. There will be an opportunity for merchandise so will feel really part of the team.
“I have found the Academy different in that I have less direct contact with you but being part of a larger group all trying to improve is great. I have made less use of the Facebook page than others, preferring to just get on with it and only reach out if I need advice, although the initial Tuesday web chats were helpful in establishing the degree of flexibility with the sessions. Certainly, I have found the power pedals make a difference - for example, I know that as I tire during higher intensity session if I was to maintain my HR then my power would decline but with the pedals, I maintain my power and my HR increases - so I work harder. I must admit I had expected the Academy to require fewer sessions per week than the 1:1 program over the summer but in hindsight, I know that starting the summer as fit as I was at the end of last summer will only mean I am that much fitter for the rides in the coming summer.”
“Being a first-timer on a training plan I had nothing to gauge it by. But after a steady start it gradually built up over the 16 weeks & it worked very well for me. I have definitely noticed the improvements & would thoroughly recommend this plan. Looking forward to summer 2020.”
“It seemed like a big leap for me to go from cycling for fun to full-on Academy hardcore training with all it's associated jargon of FTP's, Threshold Zones and ERG. But I have to say, it's been the best decision of my cycling life to do this. The sessions are progressive and I loved the simplicity of how the IT worked to track progress and ensure accountability to do the sessions in the first place. 100% I would not have made the advances in fitness and benefit from targeted variation in exercise zones, should I tried to do this on my own accord without a plan or support from James and fellow Academy riders. If you've been umming and ahhing over doing Academy training I would thoroughly recommend Ride Harder and just taking the plunge, you won't regret it!”
“I started working with James at the very beginning of Ride Harder as I wanted to add some structure to my bike training through the winter as I moved towards Triathlon more seriously. I consider this one of the best decisions I could make, as James’ approach to the first of the Winter plans was superb and shows in the way it has grown to this point. My Triathlon path has developed through Ride Harder, as I became a part of the full coaching offered. During my time with James, I found him to be highly professional, massively knowledgeable, always looking to add to is knowledge, not afraid to make mistakes to grow and a great communicator. In addition to this, he has and still does remain a great source of advice and support to me and my endeavours for which I am very grateful. I am now self-coached but without the knowledge I built in the time is spent with RideHarder, I feel this would not be as successful as it has been. My season this year has seen me go to Challenge Roth and set a new PB of 10:32 at the Full Distance, something I am very proud of and feel I can improve further. One last point to add, James is also my bike fitter of choice. I feel this is not a one-off thing and having a consistent point to come back to has been great. Thanks for all of the support over the years Ride Harder!”
If you are not faster after completing this plan then you are entitled to a full refund with no questions asked so you have got nothing to lose!