We can't race every day, but regular work on and off the bike is critical to weekend success. A good training routine includes clear, achievable goals, balanced exercise and equal emphasis on sprinting, climbs and endurance. Of course, consult your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.
Plan your work - Developing a training schedule will help keep the focus on your goals. The race season is long, so don't overwork your body too early in the season. A good schedule will run over the course of several weeks, include a variety of intensities and skills. Another element of a good schedule: Rest days!
Stay balanced - Cross-training is an important part of any cyclist's routine. Cycling works specific muscle-groups and ignores others. Weight-training, running and other athletic activities can all help maintain the balance in your body and help prevent injury.
Be Flexible - Stretching is critical to building strength and preventing injury. Cyclists must pay particular attention to low-back, hamstring, calf and quad stretches. If you're so inclined, yoga can provide improvements in flexibility and strength.
Practice what you race - Road races include sprints, climbs and long, hard efforts. Any good training regimen will include some of each of these, too. Group rides are great opportunities to work these skills - and even simulate race conditions. Unless you're a crit specialist, sprinting should be only one part of your training program. Avoiding hills and endurance rides will reduce your ability to stay in the peloton during road races.