Advice on self created training plan

Hi

I’m a new subscriber to TR in the last few weeks and since all my planned goals for this season seem to have gone up in smoke I’m going to have a crack at creating my own training plan. Just wondering if some of you knowledgeable folks could give my plan the once over and let me know if I’m on the right path or not.

Bit of background: Started getting into road cycling last Jan after deciding to step back from CrossFit due to injury. Bought a Wattbike Atom and spent most of 2019 smashing myself multiple times per week on the Sufferfest. Raised my FTP 70 watts during the year (180-250) but ended up burned out by December from all the intensity and took 2 months off the bike. Got back on early this year, repeated the same process, ended up back at a 250 FTP and teetered on the edge of burnout again after a few weeks of fun but undisciplined Zwift riding.

After some thought I’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion that my aerobic base is absolutely minimal and I can only build myself up so high with intensity without plateauing at my current FTP. Every longish outside ride over 2 hours sees my performance dramatically drop off after the second hour which only reinforced my suspicions.

I obviously could just follow a TR plan which I’m sure are excellent but I kind of feel like experimenting a little bit so I’ve come up with the following plan to remedy my lack of aerobic base.

4 weeks on 1 week rest repeated for 3 cycles

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: VO2 indoor 1 hour ( follow progression up to mebe 5x4 mins)

Wednesday: Zone 2 commute 1.5 hrs total

Thursday: Zone 2 Commute 1.5 hrs total

Friday: Sweetspot (follow progression from 2x15 @ 93% up to 1x90)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Zone 2 outdoor (4-6hrs depending on family commitments)

Hoping that this will help build out my aerobic abilities and allow me to grow past the current plateau.

I’m obviously a bit of a newbie so my idea of a plan may sound laughable but any help or critical thoughts would be appreciated.

Sorry for the long post.

Just got done doing something very similar…monday off, tuesday hard start VO2max, wednesday ~1hr endurance, thursday 1 hour threshold interval, friday off, saturday 100+ miles, sunday 2-3 hour easy.

3 weeks on, 1 week off. It was good for 30W when I did it.

Just make sure that VO2max & sweet spot workout is always progressing vs the last week.

Cheers

Glad to hear I’m not going completely off the map then.

To be honest I’d be over the moon if I ended up with a 30 watt jump but I’d settle for just being able to ride at a steady but quick(ish) pace for 3-4 hours without coming to pieces.

Well now you have to start thinking about nutrition, too!

Set a timer on your bike computer that beeps every 20 minutes. Eat 25g of carbs every time you hear the beep.

I think your plan looks pretty decent, but I’ve been cycling for years, and did 1x90 @ about 85% - so under sweetspot - and it was incredibly hard. Maybe build up to 3x20 in the first block of 4 weeks, 4x20 in the second, and 3x30 in the third.

Make sure you’re getting the right fuel for these rides. At 250 FTP, a 4-6 hour ride will burn a LOT of carbs and calories even at lower intensity. Plenty more threads about this, but you should be eating a BIIIIG breakfast, and taking plenty of fuel with you.

Thanks for the input. I think the sweetspot progression you mentioned there sounds good. If everything is ticking along and yielding results I might keep adding 4 week blocks and see how far I can push into the longer intervals

Going to have to give the nutrition some thought. I bonked incredibly hard once whilst ski touring and it’s not something I fancy repeating, haha.

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Looks fine to me as your TiZ is OK… IF you control those commutes as easy Z1 or Z2 efforts And keep out of Z3 and higher. That’s where your plan is going to blow apart.

Others addressed the sweet spot time. You’re scheduling a lot of time on the bike, so you have to make sure most of it is easy or else you won’t be able to go hard. I’d rather see you shorten the Friday effort and make it threshold time (harder) personally. Rather than aiming for 90min SS, Build to 60 min threshold time in intervals of 10-15 min or so, and do the rest Z1/2.

But really you’re going to succeed or fail on this plan by your ability to control your commutes and keep your easy rides easy.

Thanks for the insight.

I was wondering about whether SS vs Threshold progresion was more suited to the Friday. Food for thought but at least I can play around over a few blocks and possibly do a SS into Threshold as they progress and see how it works out.

I’m useless at going easy as my little unstructured foray into Zwift proved to me. Really would like to see some improvement though so need to suck it up and get some discipline, Haha.

If you have any interest in busting through plateaus and avoiding burnout, you must be disciplined. Otherwise you’re going to rewrite the same story you described above over and over. If you can’t be disciplined, frankly you have no business writing and executing your own training plan. Commit to it!

Something else you could do to help aerobic … Running.
Not hard but on rest days go for a jog. You burn a lot of calories and if you train correctly, will help you gain aerobic fitness.

Good luck

Running can inhibit recovery for new runners though. Wouldn’t recommend that as a recovery activity unless you’ve got background with it.

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True. I just took it that he might have some running experience since he has done crossfit…

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plus, if you can work some running in, it probably does help bone density…

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Is your performance declining in endurance rides because of an increase in heart rate? have you verified if your nutrition and hydration strategy is correct? If yes, you do not have a strong base and that is what seems to be leading you to a burnout every time you smash yourself up with high intensity efforts. In order to build a solid aerobic base the long way, you need to train in zone 2 and lower end of zone 3 for about 15 to 20 hours per week which I am pretty sure won’t be sustainable based on your current level of fitness.

I also think that it would be difficult to achieve the progression based on your plan as VO2 and Sweet spot are focusing on entirely different energy systems. VO2 max workouts are focused on maximum aerobic uptake and sweet spot workouts are focused on improving your muscular endurance. You could maybe take workouts from sweet spot base low volume 1 and add it to your calendar. Sweet spot base 1 is focused on you getting used to long intervals. You can also integrate the weekend workouts to your Sunday endurance ride. Then repeat the same process with sweet spot base low volume 2. So your workout days will be on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday(workout+endurance).