24 Hour Race Plan Feedback (We need some ultra plans....)

FEEDBACK PLEASE - I have raced several Ultra’s and 24 hour races in the past but always with a coach, going to try and use TR’s plans exclusively this time while adding my own longer rides on the weekends. I am use to heavy TSS weeks. My next 24 hour race will be in Feb of 2020. Here is the training I was looking to use the plan would start August 1 of this year.

As a side not I have used the workout builder quite a bit in the past as well.

Sweet Spot Base High Volume I - 6 weeks
Sweet Spot Base High Volume II - 6 weeks
Sustained Power Build High Volume - 8 weeks
Century Specialty Plan High Volume - 8 weeks

Would like to hear some feedback. If this works I am planning to Race the Natchez Trace 444 in the fall of 2020 and will use something similar to the above.

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You may find this article quite useful in your preparation for your 24 hour event :slight_smile:

In general, your outlined training plan is exactly what we would recommend, perhaps with a couple longer weekend rides thrown in just to familiarize yourself with the demends of sitting on your bike for that long :+1: .

Good luck with your preparation!


@coolbrezusa How did your training plan work for your 24 hour race? Earlier this week Leadville was cancelled and I registered for a 24 hour RAAM qualifier. Very curious how adapting TR to train for NT444 went.

I am not using a TR plan for Natchez ( I hired a coach), but I did use TR for my last 24 hour RAAM Qualifier race in Feb of this year and honestly it worked out well. I did high volume plans, the only changes I made where I road outside on the weekends. I used Saturdays for longer rides from 12 to 16 hours increasing as the event approached. I finished the event strong and with no real issues as far as power or abnormal fatigue.

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@zbuttar here are a few suggestions that you might find useful!

Look at last year’s iteration of your target event. Identify riders that seem to perform well. Stalk their strava accounts. I find that many ultra riders are without guile when it comes to training data. I followed Andew Willis for quite some time and learned a lot…so there is a 24 hour national champ who has data available.

Also, consider getting out & riding with the rando crowd in your area. For no other reason than rando folks are usually a delight to ride with. The conversation is never boring! Ultra cycling is as much an exercise in mental fortitude as anything else…randonneurs may not be on the cutting edge of cycling performance (but also may be!) but they know how to mentally suck it up and ride through.

Finally, I hesitate to offer you advice because I haven’t done a 24 hour event. But I have won & podiumed in 12 hour ultra events. In general my approach was to do one VO2max workout (sometimes a crit), one hour of threshold work, and one century+ ride a week…then use additional z2 as needed to steadily ramp up training stress. Start tapering 2 weeks out (60/40/race). In the 1st week of february I won a 12 hour time trial comfortably enough that I was able to stop racing and start drinking beer at the 10:45 mark…so if you want to examine my calendar for the few months prior to that, all my data are available for review.


As a fellow Texan, I am also guilty of Strava-stalking Andrew…lol. And you’re right, the ultra crowd is pretty open-book on Strava when it comes to training. Fewer ultra-distance training rides than one might expect.

It seems the SST base, SPB, and then maybe Century or a custom specialty block with increasingly long duration SST intervals, combined with some reasonable long Z2 rides on Saturdays here and there can lead you to a pretty good place for ultras 24 hours and less. I’m more or less going to follow that progression for awhile.


Tell me about your weekend rides:

  1. How long was your Z2 ride?
  2. what was your longest ride 2 weeks before you key race?
  3. what did you do on Sunday?

I TOTALLY buy into the TR method and did the same as you regarding high volume SSB I, SSB II, (I also repeated SSB II) and now am in Sustained Power.

My “plan” is to stay on my TR high volume sustained power build and century but add in a Z2 ride after the Saturday intervals. For example: this Saturday it’s 5 hours. The first 2 will be my TR workout (whatever is on the plan) followed by 3 hours of z2. Sunday I’m blowing off the intervals in lieu of a recovery ride. Each week progressively build the long ride.

There are a ton of Andrew Willis’s on Strava. Do you have this strava link?

GREAT suggestion! found last years winner of the race to get an idea. thank you for the tip - https://www.strava.com/athletes/6372132

Not quite the same event, but I followed a similar strategy to you plan and that did well for my 2 everestings, both about 30 hours. (Which sounds really, really slow these days :slight_smile: )

My event was on 2/8, I did a 13 hour ride on 1/5 and an 8 hour ride on 1/18, 2 weeks before my longest was around 3 hours.

@GregElwell Check this out.

Thanks, @Triathlete!

The core of my training is SSB1 HV. The key debate I am having right now is whether to move onwards to SSB2, and hence put in any VO2max, or to avoid anything north of threshold. Its a debate I continually have with myself, partly because of the demands of these races (ie no effort exceeds 90% FTP) and partly due to my own capability (for better or worse, I have stronger anaerobic capacity than average).

Quite simply, I’m not sold on the benefits of training above threshold (ie VO2max) for 24h races, or any steady-state races above 4h. This is my personal view, and is skewed by what I think I need, and I may regret saying that!! However, I would be really interested in other views.

There are good examples on strava and interviews with top 24h racers who do a bunch of shorter, more intense training - so maybe the skill in all this is judging what we individually need to work on.

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I’ve learned the TR way: you need VO2 max to increase the cap of all energy systems below it, including FTP. Higher FTP eqauls higher Z2 zone for the 24 ITT.

I’m not backing off any of the high volume sustained power build and century specialty plan.

I read yesterday of a guy who did a 24 ITT using TR and adding on Z2 rides on Saturday. I think his name was @coolbrezusa Of all the approachs that feels the most solid. Provided you have effective recovery strategies in place - I’m 53 years old and my DNA report says my recovery is for :poop:- I tend to view everything thru the lens of “…how long will I need to recover…”

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@zbuttar just want to add one psycological thing…I think your target race is a morning start, correct? Psychologically that’s tougher than a midnight or evening start. The witching hour is especially tough, I hear. Depending how serious you are about the event you might consider doing an 11p to 4a ride just to expose yourself to that.

On the other hand, if you’re just there to have fun, you can take a 60 minute nap during that time! Ha!

And I just want to stress one more time: I am not a 24 hour guy. Yet. Those ppl are a special breed.

As a side not I was 52 on race day this year…

As a side not I was 52 on race day

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Yes my race is a 7 am to 7 am and I have plans for doing multiple night rides for that reason. My Intention is to qualify for RAAM and for that I need 400 miles in the 24 hours. I’m not sure how much napping I’m going to be doing… but if there are successful qualifiers who see this thread and want to correct me… I’m an open slate!

that is awesome!!! Look forward to hearing how Natchez goes for you this year. If you’re on Strava my profile is https://www.strava.com/athletes/17285421

Crazy I live in Austin and have raced with him but had no idea of this. Haha, thank you for sharing.