Disaster : how fit should you be to participate?

Disaster looks like a great challenge, but I’m wondering if I’m fit enough to try it (or if I will be)

Just like with computers, what would you say minimum requirements are ?

What about for the lighter, shorter versions of Disaster ?

It’s not a good idea to do it at all, generally.


I did a COVID-isolation week that included Rockhouse, Disaster, Cartago, and Cathedral. In hindsight it was basically an indoor training camp. Anyway, that week was 1,000 TSS and I had been averaging 450-500 TSS per week heading into it. I found Rockhouse more challenging than Disaster, but I had been doing General Build and Sustained Power Build leading into that week.

If you want to work your way “up” to Disaster, there are -1 and -2 versions that you could try first. How is your fitness base? What is your longest ride indoors so far? Which workout was it? What is your nutrition plan? Which TR plan are you following?

Oh I’m fairly new to all that. I started Base I low volume in June and I’m starting Base II this week, at low volume but with 4hours outdoor per week on top of that.

My FTP is 152, which is low (2.3 w/kg), but up from 139 when I started !

I’d say my max is 2hours on the bike outdoors (50km) and I stick to the 90 minute workouts max from base plan

I m aware it’s out of my comfort zone (I’m 43 and a beginner, but eager to learn and ride faster), but was wondering by how much exactly

1 Like

For sure, start with Disaster -2. It is actually a decent workout on it’s own, and can give you a taste of the progression in the larger ones.

They are not “easy”, but the “hard” parts are mostly centered on the VO2 section and the Sprint/Sweet Spot section.


Hmm, if your longest ride has been 2 hours I’d probably go for one of the minus versions- at this stage increasing your mileage by >50% would be challenging even without those kinds of efforts.

From memory LV base does include some higher-intensity stuff, and doing 90min-2hr sessions from SSB will definitely aid you in terms of muscular endurance, so I’d say you’re looking pretty good for -1 or -2. Or you could certainly work towards the full version depending on how big of a goal it is to you. Good luck in any case though, they’re all a pretty big achievement!

1 Like

-2 is a great place to start. Two hours long and, as Chad says, a great test. It’s hard, but not too daunting.

Are you planning on the September Disaster or the annual December one? Or both?!

Every year we’ve done Disaster, I’m coming off SSB II and find the full version manageable with good fueling. I also do -2 at the end of Base I as a little tune-up and find it requires more mental focus than physical at that point.

As to your FTP, congrats on the gains! The beautiful (maybe not the right word :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) thing about Disaster is no matter your FTP, it’s equally hard for everyone. We did a group Disaster a few months ago and had a range of FTPs. We all hurt and enjoyed it just the same!

Happy to help with further advice if you’re interested!


I did the -2 version of Rockhouse back in March/April. For an 1h35m indoor ride, it was pretty engaging and entertaining. It was certainly challenging but nothing that will set you back a week(s) if you take it on. I’d look to swap it out for one of your longer weekend rides, if you’re doing those indoors.


You could absolutely do the -2 variant, no problem. It’s fun (I SAID WHAT I SAID). FTP doesn’t matter, I did -2 in December last year at 148 and this year at 202. It all scales. It’s an impossibly fun experience to do it with a group, so big recommend from me :smiley:

If you haven’t done much threshold or sprint work, the harder variants would be a rude introduction and a real endurance stretch, but it can be fun to find those edges too! You might surprise yourself. I’m planning to do -1 for the first time in September, and the full version in December. I don’t know if I’ll survive, it’s gonna be an adventure.