The first offering in our Road Specialty category are 3 new training blocks (low-, mid- & high-volume) aimed at riders targeting rolling road races.
As with any road race, the nature of the demands are highly varied and it’s for this reason that these 3 blocks have a relatively wide target.
Rolling Road Race Demands & Training
Since rolling road races are typically about riding Tempo within a large-moving field anywhere from 2-5 hours at a time, explosively initiating and anaerobically marking attacks, and chasing down breaks or accelerating up short, rolling climbs at high percentages of VO2 Max power, each Rolling Road Race block largely addresses these top-3 different types of high-end fitness.
The intent is to refine your top-end form in time for A- & B-priority events while also retaining low-end aerobic Endurance with doses of easy to moderate maintenance workouts, i.e. Endurance & Tempo.
The overriding intentions with any Specialty block are to further refine the more specific fitness you carried out of your Build block while maintaining the more general aerobic fitness you gained over the course of your base conditioning and that certainly holds true here.
Specialty Block Structure
Riders are advised to precede this block with a General Build block which itself should be preceded by 6-12 weeks of Traditional or Sweet Spot Base training.
Then, the first 6 weeks of the 8-week RRR block are dedicated to maintaining a pretty even stress/TSS load (with the exception of the Recovery Week) and then dropping the volume & TSS sharply during your Taper Week while maintaining the intensity, and with it, your high-end fitness.
Then, you’ll move directly into your Race Week(s) where you can repeat the week’s format for as many weeks as your racing schedule dictates, substituting weekday training races and weekend races for indoor workouts whenever applicable.
It is necessary, however, to limit just how long you plan to hold this peak fitness since most riders’ form begins to deteriorate somewhere in the 3 to 6-week range, although this range often sees outliers on both ends.
As with all TR Specialty blocks, the ideal scenario sees riders reaching the Rolling Road Race block with progressive Base & Build conditioning in the bank, so to speak.
And ideally your events are far enough out that you’ll have time for a thorough build-up to your specialized training, but often enough events crop up early on the ol’ race calendar meriting a more contracted timeline. Here are a few of the most likely scenarios:
- 28 Weeks Out: 12 weeks of Sweet Spot or Traditional Base conditioning + 8 weeks of General Build conditioning + 8 weeks of Rolling Road Race specialization
- 22 weeks Out: 6 weeks of Sweet Spot Base I + 8 weeks of General Build + 8 weeks of RRR specialization
- 14 weeks Out: 6 weeks of Sweet Spot Base I + 8 weeks of RRR specialization
Additional Block Progressions
We also recognize the widest reaches of the spectrum which see last-minute riders as well as riders with double-peak aspirations who map out an entire training season with time to spare.
With regards to the former, riders can always dive straight into a Specialization block but your level of raceday fitness is likely to match your level of preparation – so be realistic with your expectations if you’re only allowing for 8 weeks (or less) of training prior to an important event.
And with regards to the latter, feel free to follow one iteration of the Rolling Road Race block directly with another (unless you plan to follow another Specialty block) but do your best to insert 1-4 weeks of Traditional Base conditioning between them.
- 8-Weeks Out: Up to 8 weeks of Rolling Road Race block
- 36-Weeks Out: 12 Weeks of Base conditioning + 8 weeks of General Build + 8 & 8 weeks of Specialty blocks
Timeline aside, if you’re keen on becoming a versatile, well-rounded road racer with marginally greater focus on short power than sustained power, the Rolling Road Race blocks are ideal for your specialization needs.