Last minute entry to Nat Champs

Hi everyone,

Just found out today that the National Veteran (Master’s) 50 mile TT champs are happening close to me in a week on Sunday so decided to enter.

Obviously, given the current situation, all my A/B/C races and plans to prepare for them were cancelled, so not sure what category this is. But it’s a fast course and I want to do as well as I can, especially as this is likely to be one of the few races I do this year.

I’m not sure how to approach from a training perspective, though. I’ve been really pushing the training through lockdown, and have done a SSBHVI and II ‘-1’ (i.e. training for as much time as I have spare, which is ~10hrs across 5 days) and am now onto SPBHV (-1) which I am finding tough. This week is week 3, then next week is the recovery week.

What would people recommend so I’m in the best form I can be for that race? Reduce the duration of the sessions this week and do a kind of specialty plan week 7/8 next week? Or follow the plan for this week and add a bit of intensity into recovery week?

Thanks :+1:

If I’m understanding correctly you have a week before the race.

In a week you can’t build additional fitness, you can only taper.

Grab the last week from one of the TT specialty plans and hit a taper week (race specific intensity, but very low volume)

Try to be as fresh as possible for the event, don’t worry about trying to get last minute physical improvements. Your fitness for the event is already locked in, just focus on freshness

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Apologies - I wasn’t clear. The race is in 13 days’ time. So I have:

  • one week of ‘proper’ training (SPBHV wk 3 - which WILL destroy me…)

  • one week of recovery

My main concern is that I’m going to be so wasted at the end of this week that I’m not going to be able to do any other than recover in the following week. But, on the other hand, I want to keep progressing if I have chance.

Hope that makes sense - thanks for your advice :+1:

Honestly that still isn’t really enough time to meaningfully improve your fitness

If you want you could do some long race-like efforts early this week, but assuming you’ve been training reasonably hard the past few weeks you’re better off tapering for 1.5-2 weeks

Remember - training is damaging your body, rest and recovery is when you get stronger. Allowing yourself to rest and recover now will help you more than anything else. Maintain some intensity but drop that volume way down


I would use the week before a Taper to sharpen up. Also study the course, use bestbikesplit to look at power zones and what power maybe required. If you CAN ride the course (not at race pace)

With two weeks out you aren’t going to get any fitter, but you can get sharper, more in tune with the course and power is going to be required. Check equipment etc.

I would work on your flexibility too. Being comfortable in your aero position is going to be allow you to hold more power. A couple of weeks of really looking after yourself and you could feel a million dollars going into this event.

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Work on getting comfortable on what ever bike you use for TT.
You can improve mobility, comfort and flexibility in even 2 weeks.

You won’t improve fitness in the time you have left. If the week you have coming up will “destroy you”, don’t do it (I have made this mistake!).

You have just under two weeks left. You need to focus on reducing fatigue and increasing form. You can approach a small peak and taper. How I’d approach it would be this week reduce the overall volume to around 50 - 75% but maintain the intensity. Normally I would shorten my sessions, so if I were scheduled to do 6x 7 min efforts I’d do 3 instead. Next week I would ride easy Z1/2 for 30 - 45 min 2-3x then a session of 5x 1 min efforts with plenty of recovery the day before the event.

At this time it is about course knowledge and recon.

Where on the course is it worth or necessary to burn matches to get a good time? Any recovery opportunities? Any technical parts? What might the weather mean to strategy - wind/temperature?

Loads to gain I the above, likely nothing to gain through training, likely a lot to gain through being fresh and primed.