Have to cancel my A Event so ... **What is the best road speciality plan for general fun, fitness and variety**

Much to my disappointment I have a work trip booked in which means I will miss my A race - the HR Alps :frowning:

Training has gone great up to this point - (SSB followed by SPB x 2 and was about to move to speciality … ) but now feeling a little lost but keen to keep training.

What is the best road speciality plan for fun and variety - as I have no specific aim at this point other than staying fit? I love training inside and am taking my trainer away for my work trip.

What do you guys/gals think ?

2 points

  1. I would like something varied but not too draining as I will be on a work trip,

  2. should I maybe simply return to base again with higher FTP ?

Thank you in advance … if were able to transfer my place for HR I would do so gladly …

Ohhh condolences, how disappointing! I hope you get to pick up another HR or go next year or something.

If you don’t have any specific goals in mind, it might be worth browsing through the plans to see if anything catches your eye. Have you looked at Cross-Country Marathon? It’s not a “road” plan, but it seems pretty varied without being suicidal. Or you could do Climbing Road Race and pretend you’re in the Alps!

If you wanted to back to pushing up your capability you could go do another base/build cycle, but since you just did SPB twice that might be crushingly boring, heh.

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Go touring in the Alps when you’re next free, there is no equivalent indoors!

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I think this depends on what your goals are. The intention of Speciality is to sharpen the edge of the fitness you’ve built based on the specific needs of your event. So, now that your event has evaporated some options are:

  1. Pick another A event. This is probably the most obvious one. Having high level fitness is amazing, so look through your calendar and pick a backup A event and then reshuffle your training to align with that
  2. Keep increasing your fitness. I personally don’t have any A events, I just like to be as strong as possible all year around. So, my training schedule is just SSB I --> SSB II --> Build (Sustained) --> SSB I --> etc. Since I’m not trying to peak for anything, I just skip Speciality and return to Base. I’ve found good consistent gains from this approach.
  3. Just pick your cycling strength that you want to do more work in and do the Speciality that aligns with it. If you’re trying to put out power over long durations, do Century. Want to establish a break or smash it up small climbs, do Crit. Whatever you think looks most enjoyable.
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I’m sorry to hear that - that sucks, after you’ve invested so much in it.

My priorities before deciding on a training plan would be:

  1. Find a new job
  2. Find a new A race

Then pick a new training schedule based on that.

(The new job is optional, but recommended.)

In a similar situation, I returned to Sweet Spot Base. It backs you off, lets you keep building fitness without blowing you up. I’m in the same boat as you now, where my A event was canceled AND I’m going to be away from home for quite a while. I’m too close to other events to effectively do build -> specialty. I’m planning to do a full build again, and after that I might just do maintenance, or I might do Rolling Road Race, or I might do Century or something else before shutting it down for a few weeks.

In any event, I’ll follow this and see what others think.

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Pro tip: if your boss is a cyclist (mine happens to be), and you have good rapport with them, tell them when your A event is and talk about your training :slight_smile:

Mine has actively avoided scheduling work travel around the event, since he knew it was important.

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Sorry to hear that.

There must be another A race you could try a week later?

Or you could just send me your fitness:sunglasses:

thanks this is super helpful

do you find that returning to SSB is less strain than Build ? - i have done the build 2x through now, and while my ftp has shot up it definitely is a tough block (easier 2nd time round btw! i think more mentally prepared!)

i ask as i want to keep fit and strongg and keep burning those kj’s but don’t want to burn myself out whilst i am working …



sadly am self-employed so i AM the boss - but the opportunity that has come up in the states is too good to pass. - i live in UK but will be in LA and so not sure how good the riding outside there is so even if i could i wouldn’t be very road ready for HR , so planning on lots of trainer time … shipping my kickr over!

LA meaning Los Angeles I assume?

LA has incredible riding. PM me if you need some routes for while you are here.

Way less stress. And plenty of work. It rejuvenated me, reset my base level to the heights I achieved in build and now I’m better ready to consolidate gains and build higher.

Given your target type A event, I would put together a customized plan for this interim period that focuses on adding fatigue resistance to what you have built so far. The goal would be to be able to hold your FTP for longer periods of time (i.e. moving your PDC curve to the right) by increasing Time to Exhaustion (TTE). There’s a great WK04 video by Tim Cusick on Building Fatigue Resistance that describes it in detail (Google it; I’d add the link here but it takes a lot of space).

To put togehter such a program, what you would do is extract workouts from SSB, import them into Workout Creator, and progressively increase your Time in Zone (TiZ) for each of the training levels at and below threshold (i.e. SS, threshold, O/Us). As an example, below is a screenshot from a spreadsheet I use to track TiZ (increased TTE from 35mins -> 1:04). Green is sweet spot, yellow is threshold, blue is lactate threshold (O/Us), and pink is VO2.

[the “-m” designates that I have “modified” the original workout]

This is essentially what I did. I had roughly eight weeks to revisit base, so I smashed parts of SSB1 and SSB2 MV together, working up in intensity and duration along the way. I haven’t edited any workouts, haven’t felt the need to given the volume in the library already, but I have adjusted to some -1 or +1 versions.

If you don’t want to fully customize, you could run weeks 1-4 of SSB1 followed by weeks 3-6 of SSB2 as an example. Odds are you don’t need to ease your way into SSB2 quite as much having done two builds.

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