Plan builder and 24hr solo race

I am entering a 24hr race solo in Nov 2020. I have done a number of 24hrs race before (5) and have used the Chris Carmichael Time Crunched Cyclist (TCC) plans successfully for these types of races. I am not a a competitor, but just someone who likes the challenge and aims to finish at least in the top 50% of my age group. I have been using TR for a couple of months now and am thinking I might use it to plan out my year with PlanBuilder, rather than the TCC workouts. But I have a few questions:

  1. What type of race do I pick for Plan Builder? There doesn’t seem to be anything specific to 24hr racing. I was going to select XC Marathon, as that seemed the most likely given what I’ve read in other threads, however I also considered Gran Fondo or maybe stage race?

  2. One thing I notice from the TCC that I think is missing in the Plan Builder (happy to be proven wrong either that it doesn’t exist, or isn’t needed) is that for the long races, they scheduled some weekends with up to 10hrs riding over the weekend. Even though you were doing a TCC style workout, the idea was that at least for a couple of weekends near the peak of your training, you should get outside and do 5-6hrs straight on the bike to just get some saddle time, dial in your nutrition, clothing, bike fit etc with some efforts that more mimic the race. These would not be done in TR, but something that would be scheduled for outside, and are just Endurance Miles, as they are termed in TCC parlance. It would be great to see something like this in TR, which would only show up when you pick 24hr race as a specific Event Discipline in the list in Plan Builder perhaps?


I am very curious about responses to this one. I am in a similar situation with a 24 hour solo race coming up - and also a gravel stage race. For both I couldn’t really find good events to pick in the plan builder.

I’m fairly new to TR but I’ve done several 24hr races. I’ve decided to go with TBHV 1, 2 and 3, SSBHV 1 and 2, sustained power build HV and then century HV. I’m done with TB and I’m in week 4 of SSBHV1. So far I like how TB had so much form work and my self selected cadence has ridden significantly. SSB is building on TB with good muscle endurance. Nothing about my fitness feels like it’s stagnating with so much base. There is progression every week.

With plan builder I put in gran Fondo as the event and gave it the date I started SSB for my training start date. It spat out what I had picked for my plan, SSBHV, SPBHV and century

You may find this thread of interest:

Is this a solo 24 hour event, or a relay?

If you are racing solo, then I would recommend selecting the Gran-Fondo race type since this is based solely on steady, consistent efforts.
If you are doing a relay, then XC Marathon would be your best choice because it will provide some additional punch since your time in the saddle will be in shorter bursts.

This Help Center article may also be a useful resource for you if you’d like to customize even further.

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I have a 24 hour race coming up in early February (4th time doing it). Here is the plan I followed. Although, I did supplement with some longer outdoor rides. For example I have a 12 hour ride planned this weekend. So far it seems to be working, I have the highest FTP right now that I have ever had… I used a coach last year for the race and to be honest I feel stronger this year. After looking back I felt the coach actually over-trained me.

Sweet Spot Base High Volume I - 6 weeks
Sweet Spot Base High Volume II - 6 weeks
Sustained Power Build High Volume - 8 weeks
Century Specialty Plan High Volume - 8 weeks

Hmm, yeah. Dunno whether the Plan Builder is already this intelligent. I mean, it’s a good start but as I come just from having a first look at it I found what I expected. That is - it’s ok but seem to have the same shortcomings as every plan builder I dabbled with in the last years (yes, years - as such stuff by far is not new): You enter some type of rider type or target discipline and maybe some info on your “experience” / training age or whatever and then the most important part: how many hours per week you have to train.

And then, just like any other such plan builder, it gives you a more or less fixed framework of workouts per week and “smears” the hours rather equally across the week. And it seems like Trainerroad, like all the other dumb training plan builder, can’t fathom the fact, that folks have not only time but want to ride on the weekends. And that at least one really long ride per week (4 hours, better 5 to 6 hours) is really benefical for all rider types. Let alone for endurance and ultra endurance type of riders. Say, people who target an epic alpine marathon, a nine hour + MTB race (yeah, I know, @Nate_Pearson rode Leadville only with short rides - but even he would have benefited from a few low intensity long rides. He might even - or I’m certain he would have coped way better with the effort and didn’t fall into such a deep fatique hole after his event), 24 hour or even longer races. They don’t have to ride each weekend day 10 plus hours. But what I want from such plan builders is (regardless of targeted event), that it would ask me, how long I want to ride on weekends.

When I enter, that I have 12 hours time per week I don’t mean, that the plan should steal me 2 hours per day for every day but one per week but that I want to ride 2 hours on tuesday, 2 hours on thursday and the remaining time on the weekend. I might concur to a 5th day per week if the plan intelligence can put forth a compelling argument for this. But don’t give me that standard "user entered week volume in hours / 6 days) average sauce.

I guess this is only in part an answer to this 24 hour issue and moreso a general critique towards the plan builder.

But I have faith in the Trainerroad crowd that they will improve on this. :slight_smile:

It’s a solo race. I had read that article, which is where I got the idea for the XC Marathon as the specialty, but you’re now saying that the Gran Fondo is more appropriate, which is fine. The thread that @SeeEl linked to was pretty interesting as well. It doesn’t answer my plan builder question but does seem to anecdotally agree with my assertion that there is benefit with riding some big hours on the weekend, not necessarily for the fitness, but more for dialing in the bike etc.

After a bit more research, specifically looking at the century ride plan, and reading the notes (which I never realized existed) I can see that they do mention being able to do longer rides on the weekend, but it mostly seems to be around week 3. So these sort of recommendations do exist contrary to my original thoughts above, but they’re a bit buried and it’s not totally clear when the appropriate time is to do them.

I guess what I would like, if I was to suggest a change, is a specific 24hr plan in plan builder (which I assume would be modeled on the Century plan) but with more explicit indications that doing a longer ride on the weekends is appropriate and when those rides should be (can I do them every weekend, is there a weekend where I should stop doing them etc?)

When I did pick the Century plan, mid volume, I did end up with something that I think is appropriate to what I am looking for, it would just be great to have it more explicitly indicated

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