I had planned my training around 3 A-events next year. It looks like the first of those is going to be cancelled, so I need to rethink my schedule. All events are sportives rather than races, but I’m entering them as I want to push myself and do as fast a time as possible. They range between 100 and 200 miles in distance.
My plan was to do Sweet Spot Base I &II, then Sustained Power Build, followed by the Century specialty plan (all mid-volume). I’m currently in the middle of Sweet Spot Base 1. This would have led me up to my first A-event, and I had then planned to repeat the end of the Century plan in the run up to my second A-event.
This first event no longer looks like it’s going ahead, so I need to work out how to rearrange my plan to incorporate an additional 4 weeks before my first A-event of the year. I’ve included an unstructured week at the end of each training block to allow me to assess where I am fatigue-wise and adjust accordingly, so I have up to 7 extra weeks to slot in an additional block. So, do I:
a) stick with the current plan and just ignore the fact that the first event isn’t happening;
b) add some Traditional Base onto the end of Sweet Spot Base II in order to push my first peak to the date of my first event;
c) ditch my unstructured weeks and fit in another Sweet Spot Base block somewhere (if so, SSB I or II and before/after Build?);
d) start the Century plan at the time already planned but then restart it half way through so that I have the full run of 8 weeks leading up to the first event;
e) something else!
Any thoughts and reasonings would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Robert, that seems like a reasonable idea. That would still give me the 3 blank weeks that I have scheduled in between blocks to give me some wiggle room for unforeseen events as you suggest.
I wonder if it might be more beneficial to add in some weeks from the General Build plan, rather than repeating the last weeks of Sustained Power Build, in order to give my training a bit more variety and target VO2 max a little more than Sustained Power Build does. If so, should I go for the first or last 4 weeks of GB? Or perhaps I should stick with SPB as it’s more targeted to the events I’ve entered. Maybe I should do half of GB first, then follow it up with the full SPB in order to increase specificity as I move towards the events.
My only concern with sticking in additional Build weeks is that it might be too big a block of Build in one hit. Having said that, I do have the unstructured weeks to allow some rest between blocks if required.
As you can probably tell, I tend to overthink things! I imagine I’m in good company among fellow TR users for that though!
I’d tend to largely agree with @RobertSims Leave yourself some wiggle room for the inevitable life issues than will get in the way. For me it’s highly unusual to go that long without something impacting training schedules be it injuries, illness or other life events.
What you can do if everything goes to plan, something I have done when I found myself with a 4 week block before a race was to create you own 4 week block, based on the demands of your upcoming event using parts of existing TR plans. There are so many sessions to chose from it’s relatively simple to find workout progressions to fill a 3 week (or longer) block and then maybe repeat the taper week from the Century plan, or probably any of the other Specialty plans if you fancy something slightly different. As long as you don’t stray too far TSS wise from what you’ve been doing up to that point it should work well.
I thought I’d come to a plan that I was happy with given the above replies, and had been planning on doing the following:
SS Base 1 => SS Base 2 => General Build Wks 1-4 => 1 Wk unplanned => Sustained Power Build => 1 Wk unplanned => Climbing Road Race
My second A event is only 3 weeks later, so I’d planned to follow up the first A-event with 1 Wk unplanned followed by weeks 7 & 8 of CRR.
To throw a spanner in the works, my first A event is always oversubscribed and places are allocated in a ballot. However, I won’t find out whether or not I’ve got a place until I’m well into the Sustained Power Build block, giving me few options for rescheduling. Therefore, if I don’t get a place then I have the following alternative plan in order to peak for the next A event:
SS Base 1 => SS Base 2 => General Build Wks 1-4 => 1 Wk unplanned => Sustained Power Build => Century Wks 1-4 => Climbing Road Race
However, I’ve just been listening to Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast 134 where @chad and @Jonathan suggest that it’s hard to build fitness for more than 8 weeks, and that more than 8 weeks of specialty phase is likely to upset the balance of refining speciality fitness while hanging on to other areas of fitness.
So, that leaves me with 2 main concerns regarding my current plans:
Is the switch in Build phase training plans (General to Sustained with a week of unplanned in between) enough of a change to allow me to extend the total amount of Build, or should I extend the Base phase by 4 weeks (if so, with what?) and just do the Sustained Build?
If I don’t get a place on the first A-event, is preceding the Climbing Road Race plan with 4 weeks of the Century plan a bad idea? If so, how should I plan to peak in time for the next A-event 3 weeks later given that I’ll already be in the middle of the Sustained Build plan (with one scheduled unplanned week in between Build and Speciality phases)?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I’m going round in circles with this!
Plan as if you’re getting into your first A event.
You’ve already built cushions into your plan for other various life events coming up. Don’t worry about planning for every contingency right now - if you don’t get into your A-event you should reassess then, not now based on the possibility of getting in.
You have a good plan based on getting into the event. Go with that until you find out you aren’t getting in. By that point you’ll have a lot more information on your training and on any life events that may have disrupted your training and can make (or come here for suggestions on making) a more informed decision on how to revise your training.
Planning for every contingency now is not time well spent…it just leads to a rabbit hole of, what if I get sick? What if I crash?
You have a really solid plan based on the currently available information - stick to it until that information set has changed and then reassess
You have a total of 12 weeks of build, up from the standard recommendation of 8. This will be problematic if you are already fairly well trained. If you have a relatively low starting point then you will likely see benefit from the extra four weeks.
That said - if you are concerned about it you could swap to do more base (I’d do 4 weeks of traditional base high volume, then your mid volume plans for SSB)
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