Criterium plan question


I have a series of Criterium races rhat run every Saturday between early April and late August. As these are local to me, I am very keen to be attending a handful of those this year.

I’ve just started SSB2, which means that including the 8 week Build phase, the Speciality plan will start bang at the start of the Criterium season.

Do you think I should incorporate the Saturday races into Speciality phase, i.e replace one of the workouts with an actual race or complete the plan and then start racing?
I am thinking of doing former, but keen to hear other people’s thoughts on this matter.


PS the so-called Crit races include 1.5minute climb and a short and sharp pinch at the end of each lap.

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Yes. :+1:

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Yeah, if you look at the Saturday workouts they are basically meant to be Crit specific simulations. This is probably the best day to replace with an actual race.

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There is nothing better than racing into form, if these are B or C priority races then you’re going to be in a great position for your A-races. Using races of any discipline during the build and specialty phase is highly beneficial.

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Racing is the best form of training. You’ll get a feel for how crits play out and be in a great place when it comes to your A races. Get stuck in!

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Agree with everyone else - absolutely.

I’d add that starting your specialty plan at the start of a race series that runs the entire summer is a good idea. You do not want to be finishing your specialization right at the start of a long race series. You should be in a good spot to gain fitness in the early part of the series and then crush some souls in the middle and later races

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This is my plan as well. I’ll wrap up my build phase right as racing starts here in Colorado. Then I’ll be doing the specialty phase while doing the early part of the season. Very excited for March to get here!
(my blog:

Thanks very much for confirming that!

Agreed, if you have a long season time it so that you have ~4-6 weeks before the end of the season, that way you use the plan and race into form, and then carry that form through the end of the season without trying to hold it for too long before you burn out.

Hopping on to the thread, I am in a similar situation to @SomeCallMeTim and would welcome people’s opinion please.

Some background. For the last 3 years whilst using TR I have gone through various cycles of SSBMV1 > SSBMV2 > Sustained Power Build MV > Century MV, as I enjoy cycling the 100-200 mile rides, but I have always been lacking in anything asking over 110%.

So my thinking was mixing it up this year by doing the usual SSBMV1 & 2, however this time Short Power Build MV > Criterium MV, however I have been advised that there is a local Crit series called the Odd Down Winter Series, close to me at Bath, UK, which runs for 6 Saturdays up until the beginning of March. Races are circa 45 minutes on a flat course.

Now as doing Crits was not part of the plan when I started Base (I have never done one before), I find myself only at the end of SSBMV2 next weekend which is when one of the rounds are on. So my question is what are peoples thoughts on doing the remaining rounds whilst I am on Short Power Build?

Also as the race is 45 minutes vs the 90 minutes planned workout, what do people think about the following day’s (Sunday) workout? Would it still be doable, or should I go for a lesser version as my legs would be too trashed?

From looking at the plan the Saturday workouts look a bit spikey so the race could probably be a good substitute, although it means I will miss the pleasure of doing the likes of Spanish Needle, but it would be good to hear from those who have maybe been there before.


Do the crits when you want and if you still want to log some miles, go for an extended cool down after the race. Most of my crit days are about 2 hours or so of riding. 40 mins of racing, half hour or so cool down, and about 45 minutes of warmup. If you want to do more, then like I said, log some miles after it.

As for the following day, I don’t see why not. I’m not sure what fitness level you’re at it, but for a lot of people, we race both days. Some weekends it’s back-to-back crits or a RR and then a crit or TT etc.

Think of the crits as training rides and you can substitute the crit in place of the workout. You don’t have to follow the training plan to a T. There’s something to be said about getting race experience, riding with the pack, handling, and all that other stuff. You won’t be as thrashed as you think you will be if you race well. So do the Sunday workout. If anything maybe bump down the intensity in the later stages of it.

Good luck and have fun.

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