first time TR user (thanks @stevemz) and about to complete my first block of training, as i did a speciality build for sprinting (i realize i probably did this in the wrong order, but i was eager to get off Zwift and do structured training!). my last week of the block is next week and think i’ll do a rest week thereafter, but starting the week of 2/11/19, i want to choose the next block.
get FTP up for race season in NYC (we have a cat. 5 team where a group of us should be leveling up to cat. 4 as the first race starts end of March). currently at 219 and curious what the new FTP will be post sprinting. would love to get 250 as a stretch goal.
hold solid power in 1 min sprints (i tend to fall on the last “push” of the race, and why i choose the sprint plan to start)
improve power output on sustained pushes, i.e. 5 mins
i really love climbing (and have gotten much better) but i notice that i’m a weaker cyclist all around the flats for power compared to heavier riders in the team. i’m 148 lbs or 3.27 w/kg FTP.
The training block that generates the most FTP gain is usually the “Build” phase. However, unless you are coming into it with significant fitness, it’s usually recommended to do “Base” first and then Build.
You say that your race season starts at the end of March - when does it finish?
If you’re going to be racing all summer, then maybe the answer is to start with Sweet Spot Base 2, then a Build and finally re-doing the speciality plan. I said SSB2 as SSB1 has very little VO2 or anaerobic work, and you could probably use some of that when your season starts. This would mean that your training would deliver your best fitness in 3 - 5 months time, so it might not help too much for the early season races, but could really deliver in the summer when everyone else has worn themselves out a little!
I agree with @DuncanM23 that starting with Sweet Spot Base 2 would be the right choice.
Keep in mind that you’ll likely struggle a bit more with the sweetspot/threshold intervals compared with someone coming in from SSB1 and don’t be afraid to dial back the intensity 2-3% depending on the workout.
In one of the recent podcasts, Coach Chad called out SSB2 as the one block that he wants people to not skip, since it covers all of the major energy systems (and hits a wide variety of different workout types as well, from criss-cross, sweet spot, over-unders, threshold, and a new VO2 max progression as well). It’s really a great “pre-build” block and I’d highly recommend it.
My first XC race is at the beginning of March and although I’m not using the training plans currently, my training has been very similar to how SSB mid 2 is constructed.
Also something to consider is that you are currently Cat 5 and all you will need is to finish getting your 10 race finishes first - results won’t matter until you get up to Cat 4. So don’t try to peak early this season. You will sacrifice some of your short sprint power for a bit - it goes away faster than other zones if you don’t train it - but you can build it up again quickly (and higher) later. Do SSB2, then Build, then Specialty, at which point you’ll be in good shape when you enter the Cat 4’s. Not sure why I’m telling you this, as I’ll be competing against you in the Cat 4’s in NYC