Beginner training for 90km ITT, problem with timing of the plans

I have had a road cycle for a few years, but only last summer did I get more interested in riding and training. I bought an indoor trainer in the autumn, fooled around with Zwift for two months, and I have just completed SSB mid volume 1 + 2 using Trainerroad. I have progressed quite well, having started with an FTP of 250W (Zwift ramp test) and progressing up to 292W after SSB1. I would estimate my current FTP to be about 300-310W, but I can’t be certain without doing a ramp test again. Aside from the FTP improvement, I’ve also noticed that my general aerobic shape has gone up, and I haven’t found the mid volume plan too taxing. I have worked out in the gym for years, am 190cm at around 85kg weight, 25 years old.

My fiancee convinced my brother and I to compete in a “group triathlon” at the end of July 2022. My fiancee will swim, my brother will run, and I’ll cycle the 90km distance. Since my brother and fiancee are great at running and swimming, they think we’ll have a shot at medaling at the event if I can cycle the 90km flat course in 2h50min or less. I haven’t ever competed in cycling nor used a power meter outside before, but I’m quite certain that time should be doable if I could put up an average of, say, 240W in the competition.

My main problem now is that I have no idea with how to time/periodize my training leading up to the triathlon. I would now be starting a general build or sustained power build, but I fear if it is too early to do that now given that the goal competition is still 5 months away. Should I now just do the base programs again and then do build + specialty in the summer? Or would it be a better idea to do the build now anyway, and maybe then do another base + build afterwards leading to the goal event? I must say, I’d really like to do the build now, given that I’m very motivated and eager to do those harder, more improving rides.

Thanks for the advice!

If youve done enough power meter rides you could use TR AI FTP detection tool (Its in accounts>early access and I think it needs 12 power meter rides. Once enabled in the career tab it gives you the option to select the AI FTP detection instead of a scheduled ramp).

I know you say its still 5 months away but I would use Plan builder to build you up to it and let it do the thinking.

The Plan Builder feature exists for just this purpose. Although I would suggest backdating the start date of plan builder so that it picks up the SSB you have just done.

One open question is how you classify your A event (how it is classified will affect the specialty plan PB gives you). As it is a pure 90 km time trial, the half-distance tri plan is not really appropriate. 90 km kinda sits between the the 40km TT plan, and the century plan, so you might want to look at these two side by side, and perhaps modify whichever you select to incorporate some elements of the other. If you forced me to choose between the two, I would probably choose Century, as the extended sweet spot efforts in that plan are probably a better fit for the demands of the event than the thresholdy TT plan.

240-250W should give you a better time than 2hr50, especially if you can buy/borrow/steal some clip-on aerobars for your roadie.

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Thanks for the replies. I just tried the FTP detection tool and it set my FTP at 304W; however, I’ll probably still do the test today, anyway.

Regarding the plan builder, I just tried it and it suggested that I would do SSB 1 & 2, then sustained power build, then 40K ITT specialty. It just seemed a bit unmotivating to start again at base after 16 weeks of it… But then again, I suppose doing lots of base isn’t bad for me!

Good to hear that that wattage could be enough for my goal time. I haven’t really ridden a bike outside after I really “learned” to ride a road bike in these structured rides - that is, learned to stop coasting and ride at a good cadence and steady power output, learned to eat carbs during rides etc - so I have no idea what the wattage/intensity would account to. I am planning on buying aerobars to clip on the bike.

Did you try ‘backdating’ the plan? On the ‘Start Date’ tab in plan builder you can set the date in the pay for when you started to SSB plans. Whatever it spits out might not be perfect be might be a bit closer to what you want.

I tried doing this, but got this error which I have taken a screenshot of:
Näyttökuva 2022-2-28 kello 15.23.27

Hmm, I’ve always heard to do that as the main suggestion from the guys on the podcast. Might be worth shooting a message to with that screen shot and see if they have a suggestion. But I agree with you that another 12 weeks of SSB might not be the most motivating or beneficial thing.

I should maybe do that. I’ll do the FTP ramp test today in any case :slight_smile:


I’m pretty sure you can just delete the two SSB plans you have done. All the workouts you have performed will remain on your calendar, it’s only the plan itself that is removed and subsequently replaced with your planbuilder plan.

It might be an idea to verify this with support tho. Just to be sure.

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I just sent an email to the support team, I hope they can verify this.

By the way, I just did the FTP test – 304W, or a 12W increase! The FTP detection tool predicted this to a T :slight_smile:

I received an email from the support team about this issue. They said that I should delete the two earlier plans and do the plan builder after that. To my pleasant surprise, this worked wonderfully! The plan builder suggested I start out with a build phase now, then do 6 weeks of SSB1, and then move on to a rolling road race specialty phase. The rolling road race specialty might not be the ideal fit in my opinion – the workouts are mainly anaerobic/vo2 – but that’s what the support team suggested for me, so I’ll run with that.

Thanks for the help for everyone who commented! Much appreciated :slight_smile:

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