Masters aged groups are among the most competitive that cycling has to offer. Between the changes in life and the level of competition, masters cyclists face unique challenges. Plan Builder can help you overcome those challenges by taking out the guesswork of your training. These tips for masters nationals can help you with one of the biggest races of the year.

Unique Needs of Masters Cyclists

As a masters athlete, your needs progressively change as time goes by. Training in your twenties is different than in your forties. Yes, you are older, but life has changed too. As you get into the middle stages of life, family and career responsibilities tend to reduce the amount of training time you have. Plus, rest, recovery, and nutrition become even more critical. 

But with these changes come the benefit of experience. Masters aged athletes are usually well versed in being able to know and understand their bodies. Over time, masters have learned what works and what doesn’t. This wealth of information can help you maximize the training time that you do have. 

Key Tips for Masters Athletes

  • Plan Builder will incorporate structure into your training while allowing you to plan with your schedule. Structured workouts make the most out of your time and hard work.
  • Include strength training. This will improve your performance on the bike as well a improve your general health by preserving muscle mass and bone density. 
  • Double down on recovery. Take extra rest days as necessary to be ready to nail your next high-intensity workout. 

2020 Masters Road Nationals Course Tips

Time Trial

  • Distance: 40k
  • Profile: Even though the course seems flat with just over 600 ft. of elevation gain, pacing will be tricky because of the hilly canyon at mile 8.5. The last 12 miles steadily drag uphill. 
  • Technicality: With two 90 degree turns shortly after the start, the course is straightforward until the turnaround at kilometer 20 and ends with a 90 degree right turn with just under 1km to go. Riders may face a cross/headwind on the way out and cross/tailwind on the way back in.
  • Rider Type: Riders with high FTPs that excel in threshold efforts will do well on this course. Aerodynamics and high power will be a key factor. You will definitely want to plan for a negative split with the course profile.  

Road Race

  • Distance: 52-65 miles depending on age group
  • Profile: The course is largely flat with one significant climb. Each lap features about 530 feet of climbing.
  • Technicality: Currently the course features Mountain West gravel in a 4.5-mile section each lap. This could change before race day but for now its possible you may ride close to 22 miles of it over the course of five laps.
  • Rider Type: While a road race can play out in a multitude of ways a rider that can limit their loss on the climb and power on the flats will do well. A pure climber will have a chance to break away on the climb but the final ascent is far enough from the finish line to require a significant time gap to stay away to the finish.


  • Distance: 1.2 miles 
  • Profile: The crit course is largely flat with a short hill reaching 4.9%, before the third corner. It has four 90 degree turns with a chicane heading into turn three. 
  • Technicality: The course is not overly technical. All four corners feature wide roads providing multiple line choices. 
  • Rider Type: This course will suit a typical short power rider. With the small hill before corner three, a rider that can punch up it and carry speed through corners will do well. Additionally, Cedar City can be a windy place, so even though the crit seems simple, it could prove complex and favor a tactical or protected rider in the event of wind.

Plan Builder for 2020 USAC Masters Road Nationals

Plan Builder is an automated planning tool that creates a custom training plan built around your needs. Using your current training load, experience with interval training, and goal event, Plan Builder will give you the optimal training plan. Here are a few examples using USA Cycling’s Masters Road National Championships in Cedar City, UT:

Bill, aged 54, is currently training six hours per week and has an advanced level of experience with interval training. His goal race is the nationals time trial and has been training for one month.

With Bill’s levels of experience, he will benefit most from additional Build Phase training while completing the Sustained Power Build to prepare for holding a high level of power for the TT. 

Jamie, aged 46, and targeting the Road Race is training ten hours per week and has an expert level of interval experience.

Jamie will benefit the most by focusing on the Speciality Phase because of their experience with interval training. In this case, we have trimmed the Base Phase to maximize the Climbing Road Race Speciality Blocks. 

Michelle is 38 years old and is training four hours per week and is new to interval training. Michelle wants to compete in all three events but is prioritizing the criterium. She started training two months ago.

Being new to interval training, Michelle will get the most from the added Base Phases throughout the plan, but spend some time in the Short Power Build and Criterium Speciality Blocks.

Plan Builder will take into account your specific needs and build the perfect plan for you. Once created, you can customize the plan to fit your life. Drag and drop workouts on the fly, change indoor workouts to Outside Workouts, adjust plan volumes, and much more. If you are a masters athlete and want to make the most of your hard work, let Plan Builder create the ideal training plan for you.