Help me schedule my end of season break

Hi all,

My turn to ask a question super specific to my circumstances.

I built my 2022 training around summer events and then cyclocross season. Ive just finished my last A race of the cross season and have 3 weeks of no racing, then 2 or 3 final weekends of cyclocross.


My A race for this summer is early May. I want to prepare well for that with a big block of (non TR) high volume base and then plan builder. That doesnt give me a huge amount of time!

Im hoping to take 1 or ideally 2 weeks off the bike before building up to my race, so which approach should I take:

  1. Take 2 weeks off now and race my final 2 or 3 cyclocross races during my off season/base phase.

  2. Continue training now, and race my final cyclocross races, then take 2 weeks off, therefore shorterning my prep for my summer A race.

I should note that motivation is very high at the moment so I dont think my body needs a break at the moment, but i dont want to blow up mid-season either.

And you might question which is more important, my cyclocross or my summer A race. I think theyre both equally important so would take whichever approach has the biggest benefit to one, and the smallest detrimental effect on the other.

Thanks for reading this far!

If you want to do both, I think you have to accept that you will hamper your prep for your A race I’m afraid.

Based on your weeks outlined above, I think if you take option 1 this will mean that you won’t start back training with your ideal HV base block until somewhere near w/c 8th March which will leave circa 8wks before you May A race…this is going to be challenging to fit in a “traditional” lead up approach to periodisation.

Couple of follow on questions:

  1. What is your A race in May? Road, gravel? What distance/ terrain etc?
  2. What is your training looking like between your recent cross races?
  3. What do you consider a big HV base “block” - eg. duration etc

I ask these are there might be a way to manipulate things. Eg. start your base now to maintain gains from your prior cross races to take into your remaining cross races. Then take time time off. Not sure, just initial thoughts to help the discussions.

Thanks for your reply.

Option 1 would actually see me do my cyclocross races during my off season/base period, so that HV base block would actually start end of jan/start of feb but with a couple of cross races on the odd weekend.

Answers to your questions:

  1. 110 mile 12,000 ft road sportive. Plan builder would have me do some sweet spot base and then sustained power build and climbing road race.

  2. Training between cross races is 7-9 hours per week which is 2 of the intensity sessions that TR gives me on LV plan builder and the rest z2. Sometimes one of those TR sessions is swapped for a zwift race.

  3. Im gonna experiment this year. Was hoping I might try and do 4-6 weeks of 15 to 20 hours per week just z2, then start sprinkling in TR sweetspot workouts after that.

Im open to starting the base block now. I could do that, train through my final cyclocross races, take a break after the races, then get back in to base again after my break?

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Sorry yep I meant option 2…I think :laughing:

Yep looking at it in the round I think this is what I would be doing. I would perhaps start to phase out the intensity between cross races and replace with longer z2 work and built from the 7-9hrs up to perhaps 12-13 hrs for remainder of cross season if you can with intensity from the races. I fear otherwise jumping straight into 15-20hr weeks after a break will be too big a leap but then I don’t know your normal volume outside of racing.

Having just completed 7 weeks of z2 with one intensity session a week (via zwift race) and having seen great results from it I’m aligned to this approach.

Once you complete your base I would see how you come out the other side. It’s an experiment as you say but you might have a different opinion/ approach to consider to that which plan builder currently suggests.

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Sounds sensible, appreciate your input!

I guess I’ve been slowly moving away from TR plans over the last 12-18 months. After crashing and burning multiple times during the build phase, I’ve started to experiment with more non-TR HV z2 and then only 2 intensity sessions instead of 3. I still like to use plan builder for the hard stuff, but I’ll just delete one of the workouts, which usually leaves me with 1 vo2 workout and 1 threshold workout during build. This feels much more sustainable so far.

Last year I probably neglected intensity a bit too much, did loads of z2 and then found my top end lacking during the race season. Thats why this year I want to try slowly introducing sweetspot sessions back in to my base period. So hopefully I can do 4-6 weeks of pure z2, then 1 SS workout per week for a few weeks, then 2 SS workouts for a few weeks, before moving on to build.

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Just to make sure I understand you correctly, where in this plan are you suggesting that I take my 1-2 week break?

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After your cross season finishes.

With the approach being you have started to increase volume from in season racing volume (7-9hrs) to 12-14hrs (via increasing z2 work and dropping some of current intensity) so that when you resume training after your time off, the gap of going from 7-9hrs now to 15-20hrs then will be bridged somewhat.

This is tying to make the best of both goals/events and most likely not optimal - but you know that :laughing:

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Thank you! :slight_smile:

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Yep I did the same about a year ago and ventured from the nest on my own :laughing:

This is where I was/ am most of the time but I do build the blocks and workouts myself now. This approach is most sustainable for me on 12-16hrs which is where I am normally at now.

Yep agreed. My z2 experiment was recent but including intensity of some sort was key to me. I don’t have an experiment to compare to without some level of intensity but the results are here if you are interested.

Take a view when you come out of base. My original plan was to do SST but that’s has now changed.

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You’re in shape now… and racing. I would take a break after the last race.

3 full months is plenty of time t9 get fitness back and be in peak form. What are you worried about here?

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if you’ve just completed your A race, traiinng has probably been fairly tough leading up to the race. Why not take a week off now (TR would probably give you an recovery week anyway if you used plan builder). Work up towards your next block of races, then take another week off in place of a recovery week after those before starting to build up to the summer event.

that way you would get 2 weeks off, just split across a couple of periods, without too much compromise

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I wouldnt have 3 months. My last race is end of feb. Then 2 weeks rest takes me to mid march. Which gives me about 7 weeks of prep for my A race.

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I started coming to a similar conclusion last night. Ive had other life stuff going on this week so its become a very easy candidate for a week off. I think i’ll continue to take the rest of the week off now. Maybe I’ll assess my motivation/the weather/my hunger for cyclocross glory this season and then decide whether to stay off the bike for a further week or get back after it and take another single week off after my last cross race.

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Classic case of “receiving advice is only as good as they day you get it”. Keep evaluating and listening to your body and make informed decisions. Wood for the trees and all that :+1:t3:

How important is your cross season, or the last races of it? I usually consider my cross season over at the start of the year, and if there is the odd race in February, I’ll just do it for fun, without stressing about being in shape etc. But if you’re racing for a series win or something like that, that might not be an option.

Also I find that doing the odd cross race during base season is good - a reminder for the legs and lungs how to work hard. Riding z2 the next day is usually ok too, another hard session would be a different matter!

Easy to forget to factor real life in to training sometimes!

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I like to do well but im certainly not contesting any overall results.

I thought about sprinkling in intensity to this years base, so I think youre right, and i’ll try and do my remaining cross races for fun, as the only intensity in an otherwise z2 only block.

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Ok missed that… yeah, that’s a bit short and I see the conundrum.