Finding Difficulty to Stay Motivated During Specialty Blocks

To start of: I do love indoor/structured training. This particular offseason I had did several rounds of high volume, polarized base/build training (~12 hours/week) and the results have shown. And anecdotally I do love longer zone 2 rides: indoors and outdoors.

Now it is time to ramp up for racing season and I have two peaks scheduled:

One for the end of May (I am still deciding if I want to do the Killington Stage Race)or if I want to stay local and do a couple crits).

The other one is slated for Labor Day weekend where I am planning to do the GMST which is my super A event of the season. Peppered through my season are B/C events: local crits, gran fondos, and one day road races.

I love threshold and zone 2 works out hence why I am gravitated to polarized training. But now that I am starting a rolling road race specialty phase I am having trouble finding motivation to do the prescribed three high intensity workouts per week. Here is my current week:

Monday was supposed to be a rest day but since I didn’t ride the day before (Easter) I figured I would do a Zwift race.

Tuesday: prescribed Anaerobic workout but I got busy at work so I had to skip.

Wednesday: Two hour Endurance, no problem.

Thursday: VO2 Max. Diamond Valley Road +1. It was a toughie but I crushed it with a rating of “hard”.

Friday: Two hour endurance, no problem.

Today is Saturday and I am really struggling to find motivation to do Broken Finger. I am not afraid of intensity but part of the motivation problem is I am afraid three days of high intensity per week is draining. I think another aspect of the motivation problem is I am more eager to ride outdoors and the weather here in Pennsylvania is very meh and riding on the trainer is becoming less desirable.

I understand I need to hone in my top end fitness for the racing I plan to do and I don’t want to lose the momentum from the training I already have done but a combination cabin fever and facing three intense VO2 workouts per week has me apathetic.

Looking for tips and encouragement on how to proceed. One ideaI had was to move some of those high intensity workouts outdoors assuming I can find a good training climb, etc.

Masters Rolling Road Race?


I was also going to suggest editing your plan to a Masters plan. That way you only get 2 intensity days and get more endurance work.


Good calls. I am relatively new to specialty phases so two days of high intensity per week might be the play for a bit.

FWIW physically I feel good. I think mentally I am struggling to process the change between polarized to specialty to training in terms of cadence, etc.

I don’t think you are alone in struggling with speciality phase. There are a few threads with similar feelings. I don’t know if I have successfully made it through a speciality phase yet for various reasons. It tends to feel both very intense, and yet not enough volume so you also lose some endurance/threshold fitness. Switching to two intense days and trying to find a good outdoor spot to do the workouts should help. That’s also my goal this season!


I’m another that hasn’t made it through a Specialty phase in years. I would always end up overcooked and burnt out by the time I got to my big event. The last couple years I’ve just decided not to do it and work on volume instead of intensity. I want to teach myself to focus on staying consistent with my training rather than trying to overdo it and ending up taking time off.


Agreed. Specialty phase leads to lack of motivation to train :frowning: