How to train for a whole race series, with multiple "A" races only 5-6 weeks apart

My primary aim is a race series. I want to do well at each race, and place well in the series overall points table. I just tried the plan builder for the first time (currently nearing the end of SSBMV2) and found that it won’t allow two A events to be closer than 8 weeks apart.

As such, I don’t really know how to target my training towards these weekends, as genuinely none of them is any more important to me than the others. They’re all A-races to me… a common problem around here, I bet!

The only way to differentiate that I can think of is that in my sport of downhill, confidence plays a huge part. So maybe one of the earlier races should be my A race, as if I do well at that it’ll help me do well at the following ones. But then it gives less time to train between now and then.

There’s 5-6 weeks between each pair of races, and the first one is the last weekend in March.

I’m currently in the last “work” week of SSBMV2, with the taper week happening over Christmas, and then starting SPB on 31st Dec.

This only gives me 13 weeks to do 16 weeks of SPB & Gravity speciality, so if I aim for March 29th as my A race I need to drop 3 weeks out of SPB/Gravity.

Also, realistically once April comes around and the weather improves I won’t want to be on the trainer as much; I don’t have a power meter so outside workouts are out as well, unless I go for the fairly-woolly RPE method. I’m guessing I’ll “just ride my bike”, and structured training will take a back seat. Maybe a couple of trainerroad sessions per week and the rest of my riding time just outside on “normal” rides?

Any suggestions welcome!

Pick one of the those races, make it your “A” race (I’d probably recommend the last race in the series, or the one you know you have the best shot at winning). The others should be prioritized as “B”. Just because its “B”, doesn’t make it less important or signify that you don’t want to win it - you should still go all out and rip the legs off your competitors. Even “C” races are not unimportant - you should go all out for those and try to win them, too!
Labeling them as A, B, or C, merely helps organize your training so that you “peak” for the most important race. You can’t maintain a peak for long - you HAVE to prioritize. That doesn’t mean you won’t be in GREAT shape for your B races.


Oh, and the latest podcast talks about this. So don’t take my word for it, listen to the TR gang. I think if you really tried building a plan that prioritized them all as “A”, your training plan would give you too much taper prior to each race, and you wouldn’t be getting as fit as you could have been getting as the series progresses.

How long does this run until?

If all of the races are equally valuable to you, I probably wouldn’t pick as the “A” race one that requires shortening your training.

Start of September, five races

That’s a long season, so you have enough time to have two “A” races for scheduling purposes: peak for one, then rebuild and peak for a second.

You might try putting your second race as your first “A” race (so that it doesn’t require cutting short the Build / Specialty phases) and then put your last races as your second “A” race.

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Sounds good to me, thanks.

that is the issue, but what you can do is make the first one an A race, but just taper like a week into it, then have a really big week or two after the event, then slowly reduce volume and then intensity, tapering into the second event.

that way you’ll be running as best you possible can be for both. In essence, you’re not having an A race but an A series…not uncommon and totally possible, just need to massage the schedules.

good luck!


As far as the plan builder goes, its worth lnowing how A, B, and C events are treated. It’s not neccessarily how important they are to you, but more what type of fitness they require and what theu take out of you. The plan builder obviously makes sure your plan targets your last A race, so fits it into the available time until that. Apart from that, it will give you a taper week before and a recovery week after an A race, but for a B race it will only give you the day before, no long taper. There is nothing stopping you from dropping a few more workouts for extra taper, or after for recovery, even if you’ve called it a B race.

With that in mind, I’d probably call the first race your A race, and afterwards make your own plan. Maybe an ultra-condensed base-build-spec cycle of four weeks. Have a bit of recovery after the race (or not, depends what it took out of you), then spend a week getting some aerobic endurance in, then two weeks of ‘build’ sessions, before another taper and the next race.

What I’ve learned from my cx season is that it’s not a good idea to try to do the speciality plan during the season, it just doesn’t work and you’re missing out on some session that were thefe for a reason.

A good way to think of planning a race series is considering when you want to be building fitness or being fresh (less fatigued). If all the races are “A” races it would mean that you would taper into them and trade some fitness for freshness. Well if you’re constantly tapering to be fresh for races then that means your fitness is decreasing or at best stagnant.

I race an XC series (10 races) starting in late April to mid September. So I plan to peak in early August which gives me about 4-5 races that I’ll be either just approaching my peak or just coming off a peak. I’ve found that leaves me the most fit when those that have peaked early in the season are then either burnt out or too fatigued from a long season.

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