Built a plan for the 2020 racing season that leads me all the way up to the Gateway Cup weekend, Labor Day weekend. Criterium racing being my singular focus, I was hoping for some input on what I’m planning. For reference, I’m a mid-pack Cat 4 racer, 6’2" / 205#. I’ve always struggled with the repetitive efforts that are required in Crit racing, so together with a focus on skills, pack placement, etc, I’ve designed the following plan which is basically two full training cycles.
SS Base 1 => SS Base 2 => Short Power Build => Specialty Criterium => SS Base 2 => SP Build => Specialty Criterium
The end of the first cycle puts me to the start of my local weekly race series and the second cycle leads up to a 2-week taper for Gateway Cup. Any thoughts? Thanks!!
Are these efforts below/at or above threshold? If the former, you’ll want to focus on building TTE; if the latter FRC. If both, you could focus on TTE for your first buildup and layer in FRC during 2nd buildup.
TTE, of course, is Time-to-Exhaustion - how long you can hold your FTP. It is the best achieved through progressively increasing your time in zone (TiZ) for each of sweet spot, threshold and lactate clearing (over/unders) intervals. While the TR plan will build this progression in, I found I could improve over it (getting my TTE between 60-65mins) through this approach. And the results is that (along with the skills training you mention, such as picking good wheels to follow) is being able to keep your I.F. down and HR at or below LTHR prior to the final sprint.
FRC, if you aren’t familiar with it, is functional reserve capacity - how many Kj of energy you have available above FTP. Training FRC will allow you to stay with the repetitive efforts above threshold and contribute to the final sprint. FRC is similarly trained with progressive intervals at threshold, lactate clearing and VO2Max.