New to TR - 5 weeks to race day

Hi guys.

New to TR and have 5 weeks to Le’Tape Australia (175km, 3000m elevation)

Should I start SSBI/II or Specialty?

36yo male. Started cycling in March. Have just completed 14 weeks of Sufferfest plan with approx 400-500 + TSS per week. FTP ramp tested at 240 (up from 184 in May).

Feeling fit and healthy, and conscious of a 1-2 week taper.

Is there any benefit in chasing increase in fitness/speed/FTP now?


I don’t know the Sufferfest plans very well, have you been doing much base work? I.e. longer intervals and workouts at sweetspot or below? Or mostly shorter, more intense workouts? Is all your training indoors or have you done some longer outdoor rides as well?

If you feel you’ve got a good base and that having the endurance for a 175km ride isn’t going to be a problem, then would suggest doing a Sustained Build plan. That should give you a bit more of a boost in FTP and probably more importantly increase the amount of time you can ride at higher intensities which will help you get over those hills.

If you haven’t done a lot of base work and are feeling quite intimidated by what is presumably going to be ~6 or more hours in the saddle then I’d do a Sweetspot plan.

Either way then would strongly recommend supplementing the plan with a long weekly ride if possible. Ideally build up to getting in a ride of 4-5 hours before your event. That’s going to help not only with your fitness but also with having the confidence to know you can do it, with figuring out nutrition plans for the day, with finding a pace you can sustain, and with picking up on any discomfort issues that might not be apparent during shorter rides.

Other thing to think about away from just fitness is how much group riding and outdoor riding have you done? I’m guessing not a huge amount if you started cycling in March and have been following an indoor plan. The day will go much quicker (literally!) if you’re able to hang with groups for as much as possible and benefit from a draft. But that means being comfortable riding with other people and knowing basic group etiquette so you’re not a danger to yourself or others. So if that’s not you at the moment it would be a really good idea to find a friendly local club who welcome newcomers and can get you up to speed.


The normal advice is to start at SSBI and just get through as much as you can by event date.

I’m not familiar with Sufferfest, but if you feel that you have built up a solid base through that program, then aiming at Sustained Power Build might be a better option. Forget Specialty at this stage.

You may not get much of an increase in FTP now, but with 4 solid weeks you can probably extend the time you can hold sweet spot, which will definitely be a help up Kosi.

LÉtape is probably less demanding of a long taper than Fitz’s Epic, Three Peak, Alpine Classic (all longer with more climbing).


Cheers guys.

Not too much base work in Sufferfest. Mainly lots of FTP and MAP intervals. But feel I have a decent base. Been doing lots of longer 3-4 hour group rides on weekends also.

Just completed a 175km ride in just under 6hours av spd 30km/hr which felt not easy but very manageable.

Looking to target Alpine Classic and/or Peaks also so keen to improve as much as possible over the coming months.

Might look at a build and see how it goes with view to start a full cycle next winter

@mcalista would you suggest more sweet spot sessions for Kosi prep?

Or try and punch out as much threshold workouts as body can handle?

Mindful of ensuring sufficient recovery and not loading up with too much fatigue in the next 4 weeks

For what it’s worth I feel like the TR workouts are much harder than the previous Sufferfest workouts I have been doing.

FTP was set at 219 on Sufferfest.

Just did Ebbets which is meant to be a sweet spot session but it nearly killed me