"A" race this weekend but starting a new training plan (new user)...Thoughts on how to do it

Ok quick (ha ha right) intro. I’ve been a cyclist for a good while but divorce 3 years ago took me off the bike for a couple years and resulted in a lot of weight gain. Last year I discovered my fleet of bikes again and Zwift, at the same time I bought my girlfriend a bike and she joined me on my rides. Year later I’m down ~50 lbs (currently 213 down from 262) and MUCH MUCH more fit…great. I’ve listened to the TR podcast for some time and love the info but felt that I wasn’t good enough to bother with TR. Well the raise in price got me to jump in (before it happened), girlfriend did too. So I’m just getting started.

I did a FTP test on Friday and was going to start SSB low vol 2 this week (felt low vol 1 was too little TSS)…but my “A” race is on Sunday (10/7) so I wonder if I should just push my start back to next week.

The race is a hill climb TT that’s 5 miles in length. It’s hosted by my father as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity so I’ve ridden it over the years to support my dad. Well last year I was 72nd out of 78 finishers and, well I’m too competitive for THAT to be ok. Last year’s official time was 41:11. A month ago I tested myself on the course and did it in 31:30, so all that weight loss and riding is paying off. I want my official time on Sunday to be under 31…beating 30 min would be awesome.

So do I do a couple of TR workouts this week? Or just start next week? My plan (as I set it up on yesterday) has me doing Ebbetts tomorrow and Kaweah on Thursday. I would go total rest on Friday and some sort of leg opener on Saturday.


Additional getting started question: is doing SSB low vol 2 and then SSB mid vol 1 followed by a build plan a decent path? Or should I structure this another way. Main goals are weight loss and continuing to build strength. I do want to try my hand at road racing next year but also know at 45, 5’9" and 213lbs I’m not winning any races. I want to drop another 20-30 lbs and build my FTP to the point where I’ll be able to start to be competitive in my age group.

Thanks for reading this far. :+1:t3:

Hey there!

That’s awesome to hear about the progress you’ve already made with weight loss and power without structured training! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish once you’re using TR!

First, your race this weekend is too soon for you to really see any benefit from training during this week. However, we also want to make sure you don’t wear yourself out before your biggest race of the year, so perhaps try a workout Wednesday and a dialed-back version on Thursday to make sure you’re not actually fatiguing yourself before the event.

Second, the SSB plan is supposed to go in order. The whole phase is 12 weeks, made up of the two 6 week blocks. Because of this, we recommend starting with SSB 1 before moving on to SSB 2. If you’re not seeing enough TSS (and trust me, the structured training TSS is not created equal), you could start with the Mid Volume plan.

If I were you, I’d do a couple of non-strenuous rides this week to keep you primed, then start on SSB 1 (either low or mid volume depending on your time commitment) next week.

Hope this helps!

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Thanks for the response Larry. I was starting to wonder if anyone would chime in. So blow away everything I’ve done and restart. Is there a way to start a block and not have the 1st workout be the ramp test? We’ve both already done that and don’t really need to repeat.

Any non strenuous workout suggestions (specific ones we could do)?


You can start the plan “early,” or just skip the Ramp Test workout. I’d recommend Pettit (60min) or Taku (30min) as a shorter option.