As we move towards autumn what’s your current thinking on your plans for training though winter?

I’m conflicted, I did polarised last year, great for base and improved recovery for digs, however my top end diminished. Frustratingly so.

So I’m considering commuting through winter (1 hr each way) utilising zone 2 ( polarised) with a threshold and Vo2 max in the week to supplement my top end, alternatively I was considering a couple of 1 hr zwift races.

The thing is by commuting I can get 10 hrs plus of quality endurance plus a couple of hours intensity. Something I would find hard to replicate indoors.

I’m 56 and trying to mitigate the impact of my age and when I look at other riders in my club I probably have the shortest annual mileage. (2000 just).

The one thing I’ve come to realise is the gains, recovery and improvement all take so much longer!


I’m deeply curious about this, though I’m about 4 months away from my season being over.

I’m planning on taking an extended ‘offseason’ of getting serious about weightlifting and leaning out. I’ll take ~2 weeks off after the last CX race, then start lifting, and do basically whatever I feel like on the bike. Probably 2-3 days of zone 2, plus maybe a random workout or zwift race or something. I’ll start proper structured training again in maybe March.

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@slowmart do the commute route. Throw in a TR each week and some week end riding to keep you sane and you’ll be flying! Seems like every commuter I know is a dark horse.

As for me, It wasn’t a goal when I started this season but, I’m 8 points from cat 1 and would like to seal the deal as I’m getting old. Right or wrong I feel like it’s now or never with very limited racing here in Arizona (road) combined with some pretty heavy changes in the career next year.

I have a race late September and two in October (5 race starts). I plan on building TSS and work in the weight room for August. September I’ll start a structured interval plan to sharpen me up. Pretty tough with the heat but, it’s hard on everyone. No excuses. Gotta do the work. I’m up at 3:30am most days to beat the heat!


No big changes to my off-season….will finish my “races” this year after SBT GRVL. Then in Sept most of the group road rides turn to trail rides and, while fast and furious, it is just for fun.

Do that through October and then Nov 1, I’ll assume my residence in the pain cave to ride out yet another crappy Chicago winter. Traditional Base through the end of the year, maybe into January and then start building up.

My buddy and I who both DNF’d Unbound in 2019 have decided that we need redemption next year, so will probably focus a bit more on longer endurance rides across the winter since they are really hard to do outside in Chicago winters.

I plan to do the FasCat 10-Week Weight Lifting plan for the third year. I plan to use the help of the trainers at the gym to really focus on my technique. Hopefully the power will follow, but if not until next year then that’s fine. I also hope to add some base running in addition to the cycling.

I’m experimenting with JOIN Cycling right now and may run it in parallel with the FasCat plan to see how their Off Season plan compares to FasCat and TR’s base plans.

How is that Fastcat plan? I assume it’s designed to dovetail with some sort of riding as well?

I like this thread topic. Sorry this is long: How DO folks decide what to do all winter, especially for anyone whose Spring and Summer 2024 goals might be TBD at this point? I’m following an actual structured plan for the first time in my cycling “career” (3 years minus 8 months stuck on the couch with a back/SI joint thing.) I’m getting used to (and thoroughly enjoying) the indoor workouts and structure. But my plan ends in September and I’m already thinking “Okay, and then what am I supposed to do?” My main longish term goals are modest: 1) keep up with the big dogs on the group rides next year and 2) maintain a thigh gap this winter. Is it typical that cyclists do several months of base building in the off season/winter? I’m skeptical that 4 or 5 months of base building would put me in a position where I’m strong as hell by March or April. Am I missing something?

@Abe_Froman i like the plan. It has three phases of lifting - adaptation, hypertrophy, and strength - and roughly 6-10 hours of riding per week. The FasCat Forum link below gives a good overview. As others have stated, you buy the plan once and own it forever. I purchased it while FasCat was having a sale so I feel like I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth.

The past two years I’ve followed it with TR’s Polarized base and build plans. Not sure how I feel about the recent change to the TR Polarized Base plan having no VO2 workouts. Regardless, I’m discovering I respond better to volume and a polarized distribution of work, and the FasCat 10-Week Weight Lifting Plan and TR Polarized plans do this.

I continued plan builder following my last A road race in September through CX season and then in December started traditional base, did all 3 blocks and then started plan builder again. One thing I didn’t do last winter but would like to this winter as I’ve started this summer, is do that along with 2-3 days a week in the gym. Had my PL for Endurance in the 6s with success on workouts like Walker and Chowchilla. Would really like to accomplish Town Hill and Big Mountain this winter. Not really looking to do anything over 3 hours. Even doing Walker and Chowchilla again with my higher FTP would be great.

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I came back from a nerve issue that pretty much left me unable to lay down and lift my right leg. Took about 18 months to get back to where it felt normal. Not sure how long you have been on a structured plan. If you have not done any specialty plans I would pick one that resembles your group ride. At the end I would skip the last week ( usually a taper) and do a few weeks of Z2.

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The TrainerRoad polarised plans follow a 80:20 split, you need to supplement your zone two rides with vo2, threshold or even sweet spot.

I haven’t currently a subscription which means I can’t see the current polarised plan, however there have been some comments from the community here that vo2 workouts have been dropped?

If they have I’m not sure what’s behind this, compliance or lack of improvement?

As an older rider I need protect my Vo2 which means lots of meetings with the man with the hammer over this coming winter .


I have about 10 more TTs this year (the benefits of TT racing - pretty easy to recover from). I have stopped running 5k races as my results have been a bit disappointing (turns out it’s tough to TT and run at the same time when you are 55 - especially when you stupidly try comparing your performances to your 30 year old self!). That said I love running so after my last TT in the first week of October I’m going to cut the riding down to 3x 1 hour endurance on TR add in some gym work and push the running up to about 30miles/week to do 3 or 4 10k/10m road races in the winter. That should keep the endurance ok as I found that when I ran seriously I could go straight back out in the spring and ride 50-60 miles at 70% FTP with no issues. Did a 9.5 mile cut down tempo run last night so running ok at the moment - just find running sub 6 min/miles tough when I’m cycling a lot (without calf niggles). Not sure a sub 60 min 10 miler is available after a summer of cycling like it was 5-10 years ago but if I can run 61/62 mins for 10 miles and 37 and change for 10k I will be pleased.


I plan to do SSB mid-volume supplemented with endurance work to the tune of about 15h per week.

This year I did 15h-22h of endurance with a sprinkling of VO2 for about 3 months. I feel the base was fabulous, and the top end was quite good (PRs on both), but I really struggled to hold sweet spot/threshold. And I need a lot of threshold TTE as my task in races tends to be to pull at the front and bring back breakaways for my sprinter.

Curious to see how the new approach works!


Interesting, for me it has been other way around:

  • Couple years ago did over winter SSBHV. Felt strong but still had to distribute workouts into intervals (a la 4x30min)
  • Last year forced to do only very low Z2 (<60% of FTP) for 2 months, 16-20h/week. But as soon as could start doing SS/Z4 as well, went in couple weeks to PL 13 for SS (1x120min) and PL 8+ for Z4 (1x70min). Although have to admit, while TTE improvements have been really good, FTP increases in quite tiny steps.

Amen to that.

When you’re struggling through short intervals at a pace you used for half marathons…

In the same vein, I’m doing a summer of running, so when the weather will turn nasty (and that’s coming way too fast), I’ll flip over to the bike in the basement. No clue yet what the goal will be.

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At 48 and currently 4.5 w/kg I feel great out on the bike however the time and commitment to maintain this is not really sustainable going into next year.

So my plan is to commute to work 2 or 3 days a week (60km) at a decent Z2 pace and possibly one long weekend ride or an indoor workout when weather is bad.

After years of data gathered on my Garmin 1030 I actually pay pretty close attention to the training status and Vo2Max readings. So in a pretty unsophisticated and non structured manner I intend to loosely follow the recommendations which will probably mean throwing in a Vo2Max or threshold workout each week on top of the Z2.

When the winter proper closes in I may return to TR and do HV SS plans (Just the Tue and Thur workouts).





I’m 48, looking at my training and that of fast older riders I know (lots of them!) I’m increasingly reaching the conclusion that as you get older total volume/mileage is the single best predictor of fitness, or certainly for anything longer than a crit. As recovery takes longer so we can’t do as much intensity, so we have to compensate with volume. And equally we can’t just ramp the volume up like we could in our 20s or 30s so have to be consistent and get steady gains rather than quick gains. And by definition anybody who is consistently doing high volume has also through planning or experience figured out the right mix of intensity since if they were doing too much high intensity stuff it would make it impossible to sustain the volume. Every single fast older rider I know has basically structured their lives around doing consistent high mileage. 500 hours/year (which is about where I normally end up) seems to be at the low end of the spectrum!

So if commuting enables you to increase your mileage, and you’re also going to enjoy it, then I think that’s a great plan.


At 51, these are my conclusions pretty much exactly. The past three years I’ve been able to get to 300 FTP but no higher, then this year with a focus on volume (typically 10-12ish as much as possible), a few different apps (, Xert, etc.) have me around 319, and I still think I’ve got a little bit of ceiling left for this year. Switching to a focus on volume first has been kind of a revelation in terms of how I feel on the bike. I just feel much stronger and more confident on long, hard days with a ton of climbing.

So moving from this, my plan is to continue to maintain decent volume through the fall/winter (probably using JOIN, but we’ll see if something new and shiny comes along), but add in a fair amount of resistance training and a focus on weight loss. I think if I can work both the power and weight levers, I might be able to get close to 4.0 w/kg, which is something I didn’t think I was capable of. So we’ll see how plans/hopes go when life intervenes. Pretty cool stuff.


I’m contemplating moving to the Southern Hemisphere.

Seriously though when the clocks change my midweek group ride will cease. Power/performance wise going by the last couple of years that’ll be better for me and I will be relatively flying early next season before too much unstructured summer riding takes the edge of things again :joy: