Training during the season - No particular 'A' Race


#1

I’m just mapping out my winter training for next years TT season here in the UK and am having a think about which plan to follow once the season kicks off around April time. I’m not targeting any particular ‘A’ priority race and will generally be racing 10 and 25 Mile time trials most weekends between April and September. I’m going to follow the Sweet Spot Base, Sustained Build and 40k Speciality plans from now until the start of the season but I’m not sure which plan to go for once the season gets underway. Any suggestions?

Thanks :slight_smile:


#2

I race TTs as a side-goal so my season and power profile will be different from yours, so take what I suggest with a grain of salt.

I think that doing the three plans you have laid out works really well for the starting point. However, I wouldn’t want to be finishing my specialization right at the start of the season. I’d instead want to try to increase my base and build time such that I was more or less starting specialization (or even being halfway through build) at the start of your race season.

I say this because in my experience coming straight off of something like Sustained Build will get you very close to race ready for time trials. The actual specialization required for TTs is so close to what I need to complete a TT of the distances you include that I’d have no problem finishing week 4 or week 8 of a sustained power build and feeling very race ready for time trials.

For me this is because high FTP and sustained power are what you need for most time trials.

By adding an additional base->build cycle you avoid peaking too early and can have an extremely strong foundation for your april->september race schedule and still feel race ready in April.


#3

Really good approach, @trpnhntr, because you’re exactly right: you’ll have already reasonably high TT fitness coming out of Sustained Build.

If, however, you want to run the entire BBS cycle leading into your first TT, you can just follow the taper weeks protocol and use any weekend (or weekday) TT’s in place of the scheduled workout.

This might require a bit of shifting things around depending on where your TT’s fall, how often they occur, and how fresh you feel going into them as well as how you feel a couple days past each one. But with an already high level of fitness, it’s likely you won’t require a lot of maintenance work outside of your actual time trials.


#4

Thanks for the replies. This will be my first seaon using TrainerRoad so all a bit new to me but loving the software and community.

I’m on the mid volume versions of the plans so I’m wondering if a switch to one of the low volume plans after the specilaization phase would work? As this would be more for maintenance is there a good plan that would fit the bill? I usually race every Sunday so could swap out one of the workouts for the race.


#5

I was in a similar position to you but took a slightly different approach although similar to what @trpnhntr and @chad suggested. I should say that I am primarily a long distance triathlete so all the TT’s I rode were training rather than a focus.

I followed the base and sustained power build high volume up to the season last year coming into the TT season and raced twice a week through the year, a 10/15/25 midweek and a 25/50/100 at the weekend. My feeling was that the races I was doing weren’t dissimilar the the training in some of the TT and Triathlon plans so I didn’t want to replicate that elsewhere in the week so I cherry picked from some of the other plans rather than follow one completely.

What I ended up doing was working my way through the Tuesday and Thursday workouts from the Climbing Road Race plan, one per week, and a longer endurance ride alongside the races and any easy 30 minutes before my interval run each week.

That gave me 5 rides a week roughly as…

Tue - VO2 Max session from the Climbing RR plan
Wed - Midweek 10/15/25 mile TT threshold work + WU+CD
Thurs - Volunteer - easy 30 mins as a WU to a run
Friday - Long endurance ride - longer if the weekend TT was a 25, shorter with a 100 mile TT
Sun - 25/50/100 mile TT + WU and CD as generally Sweet Spot/tempo session

The days sometimes changed but for a lot of the race season it worked well. Because I was only doing one of the two sessions it took most of the TT season to work my way through the Climbing RR sessions.

I felt that given my racing was a lot of Sweet Spot/Tempo/Threshold work that wasn’t something I needed to replicate in training and the variety of adding in the VO2 Max stuff from a different type of plan was a different stimulus both mentally and physically.

Obviously you are focussing on shorter distances than I race but there are lots of ways to use the training plans within TR to your advantage rather than feeling you have just to follow a single plan. Inevitably the plans are aimed at a single race or goal rather than something like the UK TT season which means racing a lot over a 4/5 month period knowing that a PB often relies on a fast course and weather conditions combining. That could be an any point in that year and you never know when!! You’ve just got to be ready to take advantage whenever it comes.

I’m sure that following one of the existing plans as written could work well but there a loads of ways that you can manipulate them to suit your racing schedule and could also fit in with your idea of maintenance during the racing season.

There are plenty of workout progressions within the existing TR Training Plans for you to take and work with as bases for you own personal trajectory and is one of the real benefits of the TR plans, system and workout library.


#6

Thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply @JulianM . Really interesting to read through your approach and with a bit of modification I’'m sure something similar can be made to work for the shorter distance TT’s I tend to race. In line with what @trpnhntr and @chad suggested I’ll look to extend my build so that it ends at the start of the season in early April. I’m then thinking I’ll move to a low volume 40km Specialty TT plan and swap out the weekend ride for a race moving the other two days as necessary maybe adding openers and even something easier like Taku or Petit midweek.

Tue VO2 Max from 40km TT Plan
Wed Easy Endurance - Petit / Taku
Thur FTP Intervals from 40km TT Plan
Sat Openers - Truuli
Sun Race Day - Warm Up (Cajon)

Just need a way to work in that midweek club 10 that always seems to crop up! :slight_smile:


#7

You’re welcome. I reckon that would be great. I’m lucky that I live near the A3 so can ride a midweek TT on a fast course.

TR is a huge resource and rather than asking what training plan should I do as is often done, it’s better to ask how can the existing plans be fitted to my circumstance or race schedule. I’m not suggesting my way is the right way, more that there are lots of ways to make the existing training frameworks more personal to you.

They are fantastic both for the off season or when you have one particular goal race or event but when you are looking a season things can go a bit wonky. Whether it’s a 4 month TT season which rewards being at 95% fitness for the duration so when that float day comes along you can go well or a crit series that races on a Thursday evening twice in June, 3 times in July and the the final 2 in September after a summer break, seasons often don’t lend themselves to preprepared plans.

One thing I’ve suggested to @Nate in another thread is that providing blank 4/6/8 week that we could create personal training blocks and apply to the calendar would be an awesome addition to TR. A catalogue of @chad’s workouts searchable by progression so that you ask for something along the lines of ‘3 week hour tempo progression’ and would be offered the many progressive series that already exist within TR. That might provide very strong competition to other online training software for both coached and self coached athletes :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

There are plenty I think that exist behind the scenes as well from old archived plans - there was as series of long ‘sub threshold over unders’ (if that’s even a thing!!) called Icefall, Meteorite and I forget what the other one was which worked well a few years ago over a few weeks before a couple of 50 mile TT’s.

With the huge workout library there are loads of options that you can adapt to fit your race season as you see fit.


#8

Defintely one of the big draws of TR for me was the plans but as you say mixing and matching as circumstances change allows flexibility. Add to that the calender, community and podcast etc. and it’s a real winner. I had a bit of nightmare season last year and ended up training myself into a deep dark hole by July trying to plan everything myself and frankly overthinking and overdoing it. Hoping that keeping it simple with more structure, less junk and leaving some of the planning to Coach @chad will turn things round. :smile: