Do you use a training plan in off season?

I have been using trainerroad for almost a year now and it worked great. But now I do not have any races/goals left for this year and the races/goals for next year are not yet determined.
What do you do? Do you still use a trainingplan or do you just do unstructered rides?
Any insights are welcome.


Determine when you think you want your (first) peak to be next year. Count back 28 weeks (6 months plus 2 weeks). That’s the latest possible start date for your theoretical plan, if you’re going to use Plan Builder to build a full base, build, specialty plan.

If that gives you, say, 5 weeks btwn today and your start date, maybe use the fitness you have now to ride unstructured for fun for 3 weeks, then have 2 weeks off the bike doing no more than moderate hiking, then you’ll be itching to get back on the bike.


No training plan for me in the off season. I still do long rides, and i do unstructured intensity, but no intervals. If i miss a day…what ever. I play around in zwift races and often strava hunt. Usually before i start training for the next year i will take a week off.

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I’ll probably use a training plan more religiously in the off season than on to get me fit for the on season. During the on season if I feel like I am doing enough with external activities including TTs I might not always stick to the plan.


Off season - no plan for me, just do whatever I want to do. Which typically looks like:

  • Stop racing around now
  • Couple of weeks off or not doing much unless I feel like it
  • A month or so of riding most days but going with the flow. Still have some decent race fitness at this point and weather (in UK) is often still decent in October so might do a bit of KOM hunting, some fast group rides, maybe a long epic ride while there’s still enough daylight, key is just enjoying being able to do what I want without having to worry about how it fits (or doesn’t!) into the plan
  • November and December I still don’t have proper structure but tend to get into the groove with good consistent Z2 training and some decent miles, very little intensity though. Good time to hit the gym and build some strength, or work on other things like mobility, flexibility, core
  • January is when I start what I guess you’d call pre-season rather than off season with a proper Base plan and starting to do some sweet spot and tempo work. Usually with a goal of building towards a main race or peak of form in around June. Usually do a handful of races in February-April to start sharpening things up

For the first time since starting structured training in 2018 I took a “proper” offseason last winter with time off the bike and a dedicated focus on weight training. I’ll likely do the same this year. I ended up following FasCat’s 10-Week Weight Training plan, which paired lower body strength training with what is effectively a Traditional Base MV cycling plan.

I need the structure of a plan to keep me moving so I’ll do the same this year.

Not really, FasCat has first 3 weeks with low cadence work, and the last 5 weeks have twice a week sprintervals. I’ve done TR Traditional Base MV a couple times and it didn’t have either of those.

Fair statement.

For context, below is my fitness chart from (roughly equivalent of TrainingPeaks’ Performance Manager Chart).

  • Seasons are denoted across the top
  • Red blocks are periods off of the bike or substantial decrease in volume
  • Started this past off season with about five days off of the bike (I planned to do more but couldn’t take it)
  • Started the FasCat 10-Week Weight Lifting Program mid-October.
  • Used TR Plan Builder to create a plan to my first A event around April
  • Instead of Sweet Spot Base I I switched to the POL Base plan, then continued with SSB II and build

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I’m wondering the answer to this too. I’m coming off 7 years of no exercise. Been commuting 10min for 5 months now. Did ramp test and TR put me at 262. I really want to train for crits next year, but seems like I’d be starting too early…

Thinking about doing SSB low volume 1 and 2. Before taking a couple weeks off and starting again.