Fitting in Sustained Power Workouts in Race Season

Bit of a conundrum as to how to structure my training weeks during my Road race season with respect to sustained SS/Threshold work.

Typically doing 50-70 mile (so 2-3 hour) RRs on Sundays during the summer, and need to treat them as ‘B’ races to be anything more than pack-fodder (and I’m targeting a category upgrade), so I lose Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon as training days (Rest or Easy/Openers/Race/Rest) and have Tue/Wed/Thu to do most of my training.

Physical requirements

  1. The races often have short climbs so require decent repeatable anaerobic & VO2 Power but can also be attritional on the more rolling ones.
  2. As a rider who does better in attritional races and breakaways, I find maintenance of sustained power(~1/Week) is an important part of my best race form, and that I need to keep working it or it goes away and I’m pack-fodder due to a very average sprint.

So i’ll be following the Rolling road race or Criterium plans for most of my season. Neither of these have much sustained work. There’s no threshold or SS work in the low volume plans, and only a Sunday SS in the Mid/High volume, so by default I’ll be losing that on most weekends. The Climbing RR plan doesn’t have enough anaerobic work.

The Question
How to best structure Tuesday-Thursday when I have a Sunday race? I can probably manage 2 interval days, 3 back-to-back might be doable once or twice but would kill me in the long run. I’m basically trying to pick 2 of the 4 interval workouts from Mid/High volume, but one has to be the Sunday SS, so its 1 out of 3. My other idea is to shorten the taper to my 2 A races and spend more of the race season in the build plans?

I typically have up to 2-3 hours a day to train on Tue/Wed/Thu. Which workouts from those plans should I keep, and which should I drop?

Are you sure Sustained Power Build is optimal? Given the highly dynamic nature of racing Short Power Build might be a better choice.

I would front load the week doing the harder intervals Tuesday and/or Wednesday and save z2 aerobic work for closer to weekends since they aren’t very taxing on the body.

If the races tend to have a lot of short climbs then I would guess you’re amassing a lot of time at VO2 Max already, so for the remaining interval session (assuming one is SS) I’d pick one of the sprint or anaerobic sessions. Maybe alternate from one week to the next.

Another thought is trying to fit in 3 intervals as well as your race by doing the sprint and anaerobic sessions on Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening (gives you ~36 hours recovery), then doing the less taxing SS workout on Friday morning which still gives you best part of 48 hours until you race. That should be enough recovery for a B race, SS is supposed to be at a level you can recover from for the next day. Can always start off with a high tempo or lower end SS workout and build up. Depends on your season goals, may be worth sacrificing a bit of B race performance in the interest of better performance for an A race down the line.

Of course the other option is just go on an early solo break and get a couple of hours of SS work in the race :wink:


I’d challenge this assumption - if you’re treating them all as B races you should, at least for some of them, be training right through the race day. You can’t always have an easy day before a race day and a recovery day afterwards if you’re planning to race throughout a long season.

I’d go a step further and talk about structure for the entire week - you need to find a way to deprioritize some of these races so you can build throughout your race season.

I’d suggest something like this if you wanted to focus on sustained power build while racing B races weekly

Tuesday - off
Wednesday - over/unders
Thursday - endurance
Friday - endurance
Saturday - low volume VO2 - 30-45 minutes but intense (opener workout of your choice)
Sunday - Race
Monday - sweet spot

Increase duration of the over/unders and sweet spot intervals over time

Drop one of the endurance days and insert as a rest day if this is too much volume total for you

Assumes flexibility on your 2-3 hours being only Tuesday-Thursday, but shifting your rest day to Tuesday from Monday will give you a better chance of compliance


I have a similar conundrum, as my A Race this year is an endurance event.

After listening to a lot of TR Podcasts and Dylan Johnson (YouTube) I settled on the Tues/Wed & Thurs approach. Threshold and above on Tues, SS on Wed and endurance on Thurs. I’ll then throw in a 30 minute primer on Friday, if I’m racing on Saturday. Sunday is long endurance ride which is nice and slow.


Thanks for the replies so far, keep the ideas coming!

This makes sense but have tried this before and my Monday compliance was awful. I tend to go deep on the Sunday, a lot of the time I don’t even want to look at the bike on the Monday.

Not on sustained power build, just talking about fitting in a weekly workout for maintaining sustained power… and what to prioritise in the realistically single intensity session I have left over.

For 80%+of races the climbs will be 1-2 minutes, so they’re very anaerobic early in the race, and not long enough to generate a lot of VO2 time later on.[quote=“cartsman, post:3, topic:30043”]
Depends on your season goals, may be worth sacrificing a bit of B race performance in the interest of better performance for an A race down the line.

I’m in more of an ‘Every race is a B race’ mode, trying to accumulate points. I’ve planned 2 A races, but they’re not the be all and end all… would rather put some good periods of form together.

I can sort this conundrum out and hang on to another 20W of FTP from the build phase my SS power should be good enough to do that now and then. It isn’t quite enough to be out front for a long time at the level I’m racing at right now. Bit of a chicken/egg situation I guess.

Saturday races would solve a lot of my problems, sadly almost all road racing here is on Sunday, which takes out the possibility of a big ride on the other weekend day as you suggest.