Century vs Climbing Road Race Plan - Thoughts/Experiences?

Hey all - This will be my third season using TR, so very familiar with the benefits and offerings of the program. For the past two seasons, I’ve done Sweet Spot I/II, Sustained Power, Century Plans, though my FTP has unfortunately remained pretty flat at around 200W (@ 172 lbs). My goal is to improve my hill climbing and get my FTP up, since I find myself being able to keep up with everyone on the flats but get dropped on those longer climbs.

My rides are generally 50-100 Miles in length and relatively hilly, the 100 miler would be ~8,500 ft for some ballpark. For those of you in the NY/NJ area, I’m talking about the GFNY route of 9W up to Bear Mountain and back. Most of the climbs range in length and steepness with my longest being about 30 min.

I’m curious if it would benefit me to switch to the general build, or even more so, change from the century plan to the climbing plan to get some more Anerobic/VO2 max efforts in, rather than the sustained threshold work.

Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated!


If you don’t care about surging you are on the right path. If you want higher top end you want some mix of the others.

Definitely what I was aiming for, need to get the overall strength endurance up. What do you mean by surging exactly (ie the short >FTP bursts?)

Do you think doing the general build would be better than sustained power or just switch to the climbing instead of century? What have peoples experiences been with general vs sustained builds? I’d hate to lose my ability to ride for extended periods of time, but suspect that is probably not an issue either way.

By surge I mean make those 150%+ 1-2 min efforts. Basically going from sucking a wheel to trying to drop them.

Doing the road race plans still works on your ability to hold a high percentage of your ftp. It just throws in some of the short effort stuff. The century plan is just 100% push up FTP and your ability to work close to it. Not doing sustained/century plans won’t detonate you long distance capabilities. Jus not push it as hard in favor of other things.

Thanks for the thought there, agree it probably makes sense to mix it up, especially since I’ve been flat on my FTP for about 2 years. Admittedly, I’m on the Low Volume plan and wish I could do the Medium, which would probably make the biggest gains, but unfortunately work/life just cant accommodate much more so trying to squeeze out the marginal gains.

How you’ve described is probably a nice change of pace as well, if it allows some adaptation to push up the top end. Feels that the century plan was just a lot of FTP maintenance rather than stretching to push it higher (not to mention the sustained plan and the century plan are a bit zzzzzzz with the longgg intervals).

Maybe it makes sense to swap out to general build and climbing road race this year and see how it goes?

Hi @bpmessenger !! have you seen any results of a better FTP? My father has the same issue, he rides a lot and well but never performs good on the FTP tests, so he’s been stable at 200-210 for a while.

Thanks in advance…

Glad to hear someone else has a similar issue. I am in the process of re starting my winter training so am currently focused on re building base again. I’m planning on working on the climbing plan as the winter progresses so hopefully will see better results.

That said, it may just come down to days on the bike and the low volume plan, but one would think there should still be improvements on low volume.