Help choosing plan for non-racer

Listening to the podcast it seems everything revolves around planning and tapering for A-races. I cycle for fun and have no desire to race. I do half a dozen metric century events and another half dozen imperials, I want to do a few 300km rando’s as well.
Nutrition is fine, I can ride all day, I guess if I have a goal it is to cut time off of my centuries so I can hang with faster groups or recover better for back to back events. Since my rides are all over from March through October I can fit in all 3 phases that will end right around my first ride. But then what? Cycle back and forth between build and specialty?
I am doing Sweet Spot Mid 1 now, Sustained power is what I had planned next followed by Century in the specialty. Or should I just do Century year round?

While Virtual Power seems great and consistent my number is WAY higher than reality so I don’t really want to set FTP gains as a goal.


Edit: If it matters I haven’t been cycling long, but my schedule allows for me to ride basically as often and as long as my body will tolerate.

I think your Sweet Spot Base, Sustained Power Build, Century Specialty makes perfect sense. If you follow your suggested plan to finish Specialty at the start of your series, I think the Rebuild option (repeat Sustained Power Build and Century Specialty) can work. The one thing might be a bit of boredom from repeating the same basic plan.

I would avoid simply repeating Century Specialty as that would likely be super boring and not really the way I think they envision stretching a plan.

Another option is to shift your plan a bit and consider having the Century Specialty start at the beginning of your “season”. That way you can get more from it over time and into the bulk of your season. Then do a rebuild to stretch for the ending.

That could mean you need to add some work on at the beginning of your plan if you want (since it means shifting 8 weeks forward in time). You could pick a unique option like General Build as a lead-in to your official SSB start.

I just think some variety along the way might be more fun and possibly beneficial to your fitness too. As such, maybe try the General Build and 40k TT or something else for your Rebuild.

SSB, Sustained Power and Century seems to me like solid approach. I’m in the same boat as you in that I am not targeting any specific events or dates, just generally want to be a stronger rider. I do SSB 1&2 and then pick a Build and Specialty combo that makes sense. I did General Build + Rolling Road Race last and now I’m doing Sustained Power + 40km TT. When I come off speciality, I can feel that I have more strength in certain situations like establishing a break in a group ride after Rolling Road Race that I couldn’t do before. I’m just ending SSBII now and I can feel that I don’t have that same explosive 2-3 min power that I did a few months ago. I imagine after 40k TT I’ll be able to ride for 20-30 mins more strongly that I used to and cause damage to the groups I’m in. I think this makes me a more rounded rider, allows me flexibility to pick plans that suit my interests or target performance in a certain area.

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Thanks I will look into those. I saw the plans but did not see the link to “learn more” so I am reading up on rebuild now. Makes a lot more since once you find the resource!

What do you think about, from a timing perspective, picking one of these events and just treating it as my A-race? That will at least give me a way to map and time everything. There is one that stands out above the rest in terms of difficulty mainly due to elevation.

Thanks for the reply, maybe finding some of these “feelings” you mention will motivate me to want to do some racing or group rides. 40k TT sounds pretty fun.

Yup, I totally think picking any one (early, middle, late) as your A-event is a great idea. Throw the plans into the Calendar with a first guess and Push or Pull to see what that changes for timing.

I think that “tougher” one makes perfect sense as the A. Set it as your completion week so you have taper going into that one and you can add after with a Rebuild if it isn’t the final one of your season.

I have to say that I love stopping at traffic lights and have the group roll up collecting themselves and saying to me “dude, I had trouble just staying in your wheel!”. Very satisfying and rewarding for the hours put in to build that capability. You can not cheat, fake or buy fitness, you have to earn it.

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I’m in the same boat as you, but with less time and fewer rides on my calendar. I worked out my own approach similar to what everyone else is endorsing here and it has worked fairly well.

I started with SSB, did General Build and expect to finish Sustained Power Build the week before the ride I’d call my A-ride (high priority, want to do well). SPB is proving harder than GB. Based on what I see/feel in my performance, I suspect I need to build more base fitness.

I worked the plans to end just before rides by repeating plan weeks or constructing weeks from TSS targets, similar weeks in other plans and workouts that looked interesting. I think that flexibility to fill from the workout library and use the plans as models is a key benefit of the training product here.

I’m planning to take a few weeks easy in early November, with some extra focus on core and flexibility while still doing lighter workouts or outside rides, then start SSB Low Volume 1, adding an extra endurance workout and a long weekend ride, and do a full SSB Mid Volume cycle before moving into another build phase before the late spring/early summer rides start.