A training plan will guide you, push your limits to the precise amount (never too much or too little) and in the end, help you reach your goal in peak form. But picking the right plan can be tough due to the overwhelming amount of options to choose from.
As a result, we’ve been hard at work overhauling our training plans and the training plan selection process. From now on, we’ll make it easy to answer the “Which training plan should I follow?” question.
If you’re looking for how to prepare for a Gran Fondo or how to train for a season of road racing we’ve got you covered. Want the perfect Leadville 100 training plan or a training plan for a triathlon? No problem!
New Training Structure
We’ve started by breaking down your training plan into three different phases; Base > Build > Specialty. Each one of these phases is composed of smaller training blocks.
These blocks are cumulative in nature, meaning that having completed your base phase, you will be prepared for the blocks in your build phase, and after that is completed you will be ready for the block in your specialty phase, leaving you in peak form for your goal event.
Here’s how to plan your training with this new structure:
Pick your Phases
After you have your timeline established, it’s time to pick the phases for your training plan. While they all follow the same Base > Build > Specialty progression, there are different options within each that will allow you to prepare perfectly for your event.
Base training focuses on establishing or refining the aerobic foundation of your fitness. There are two different routes:
- Sweet Spot Base: Sweet Spot Base is composed of two six-week blocks and is the choice for the majority of us as it is ideal for those who have a reasonable amount of time to train but acknowledge that training isn’t their sole responsibility in life.
For multi-sport athletes that are running or swimming or for the cyclist who’s race season is just a few months away Sweet Spot Base is perfect as it builds a base in less time. If you are looking for something more engaging and challenging than traditional base, Sweet Spot Base will definitely get you there.
- Traditional Base: Traditional base is composed of three four-week blocks and spends a lot of time at lower intensities focusing on increasing your technique and efficiency as you improve your aerobic capacity.
Traditional Base is great for people that have a lot of available training time in their schedule and have a long time until their goal event. It is also ideal for those who have been training for a long time and are beginning to see diminishing returns from their training.
Regardless, Traditional Base will require significant time as you build your base, but will pay off with a solid platform of fitness to build on.
Once you’ve selected your base phase, the next step is to select your build phase, and this depends on the type of effort you’ll have to put out in your goal event. Regardless, these build blocks will focus on raising your FTP and your ability to maintain efforts at or around FTP for specific amounts of time.
- Short Power Build: This is the build block for cyclocross racers, short track cross country racers, short duration track events or any other event that sees you putting out high amounts of power for short durations.
- General Power Build: For the majority of competitive cyclists, mountain bikers, and short distance triathletes the General Power Build is perfect
- Sustained Power Build: For those planning to race half-distance or greater triathlons or duathlons, cyclists preparing for a gran fondo, or for those preparing for any long and challenging event, this is your build.
With your base and build blocks in place, you’re ready for the keystone of your training plan; the specialty phase. This final training block will bring you to peak form in preparation for your goal event and cap off your training plan.
Picking which specialty block is best for you is as easy as targeting your goal event. We’ve tried to account for the majority of events, and while there may be exceptions, most cycling events should fall under one of these categories.
Having laid out and followed a training plan with the appropriate Base > Build > Specialty phases, you will be prepared to PR at your goal event like never before.
The goal with all of this is to make you faster, and simplifying the planning process and creating goal-specific training blocks is a great way to do it. The only thing left for you to do is all the hard work. 🙂
Click here to check out the new training plans!
Q: I don’t have enough time to complete all three training phases before my event. What do I do?
A: It may be best to select a different event that is further out, or just start your training plan from the base phase and enter the event knowing that you will not be able to reach peak form in time. Don’t worry, properly following a training plan will pay off in massive fitness gains, which is more than can be said for cramming for an event. Or, you can just invent a time machine. 😉
Q: I am in the middle of one of the existing training plans. Where did they go?
A: Don’t worry, they have been archived here so you can stay on track in your current training regimen. If you are looking for them in the desktop app, they are at the bottom of the list and have been prefixed with ” (Archived) “.
Q: Some of the links to the phases are dead. What gives?
A: We still have some specialty phases that we are working hard to finish. As we complete them, we will update the links. Stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for news on when we finish certain blocks and phases.
Q: I don’t see a training plan that lines up with my goal event. What should I do?
A: Think of the effort you will have to put out in the event and pick a training plan that builds the type of fitness you’d need for that event. If you can’t find what you are looking for, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you on the right track.