How much time to spend in Specialty during the race season

Approaching the race season which has quite a bit more on the calendar compared to last year.

Lots of B races and only one A race just because the A race I chose does fall right in the middle of the summer so other races I would have chosen are too close.

One thing I was a bit alarmed by is how much time TR wants me in Specialty this year, I mess around with the plan so maybe its my fault but my A race is June 30th.

TR wants me too start Specialty April 22nd (I swapped these anaerobic workouts to VO2 because I leave for a trip and am away May 2nd to May 11th), leaving me with:

Start Anaerobic May 13th( B Race), 20th (B Race), 27th (B Race), June 3rd, June 11th (B race), June 18th (B Race), June 25th (A race), July 1st Recovery

July 8th Build, July 15th Build, July 22nd Build, July 29th recovery

Start Anaerobic Aug 5th (B race Aug 11th), Aug 12th, Aug 19th, Aug 26th (recovery), Sept 2nd, Sept 9th (B race Sept 15th)

14 weeks of specialty from May 13th to Sept 15th (including the 2 recovery weeks).

To compare last year

4 regular season Races, A race was supposed to be Sept 17th but was cancelled
3 back to back weekends of CX (Oct 28th to Nov 12th)

Specialty July 24th to Sept 12th 3 weeks, 1 recovery, 3 weeks.

Felt peaked Aug 22nd to Oct 25th.

I worry that spending so much of the season in Specialty rather than base and build will make me peak but also stagnate me a bit. Any thoughts? How much Specialty is too much?

I think everyone is a little different and you should try it and see how you respond. Plan builder basically has me doing VO2 max and anaerobic workouts weekly for several months (aside from rest weeks) and I’ve found that it burns me out every year. I’m not using plan builder anymore.

This is driven by answer to Plan Builder about your experience level:

You can get little creative there, depending on your goals. For example, I am at around “Intermediate” level. But because I’ll go through focused VO2max intensive block between base and build, it makes sense to shorten Sustained Power Build with another VO2max progression and extend 40k TT Specialty instead that focuses more on threshold intervals i.e. I am going to answer to that question “Expert”. YMMV.

1 Like

I prefer 3-4 weeks of Specialty leading into an A race.

I think I probably put intermediate, definitely not Expert. Have been on TR since 2022, riding since July 2020.
Thinking I may benefit from more time in build than a very long Specialty phase as I would think I have more room to grow my FTP.

1 Like

Another factor can be frequency of A and B races :thinking:

In any case, if in doubt, contact with TR support: they can either give rationale for generated plan or help you to update it if something is unexpected indeed.

The past few seasons I have found that a full Speciality block leaves me feeling significantly less fit than when I am in base and build. I know that it is supposed to have a drop in overall TSS, but it has felt like way too much of a drop for me. I’m also considering messing with my plan so there’s more base and build. :man_shrugging:

1 Like

Yes, Plan Builder is a useful tool of convenience rather than an oracle with divine knowledge. If experienced and you actually know what type of plan you want to create, then just manipulate your plan builder inputs, or revert to a more manual approach, to get the shape of plan that you’re seeking.

1 Like