Planning 9 months ahead

Hi all,

I joined TR a month ago leading up to my vacation last week. Purpose was to do some climbs in the French alps, so TR suggested a 4 week custom sustained power build, from which i had the feeling i benefitted quite a bit during my rides in the mountains.

Last ride was on Thursday, and now TR has scheduled an active recovery week this week. So, looking to the future, I want to do the Marmotte once again next year as my main objective, and so presumably I have 44 weeks to plan before the event. Obviously, the objective is to bump my FTP (now 287 for 71 kg) and to work on my sustained power on climbs since i’m having trouble keeping 90% of my FTP for longer than an hour.

The plan builder suggests the following phases: SSB1 - SSB2 - Sustained PB - Climbing Road Race - Sustained PB - Climbing Road race (total of 44 weeks).

Does this look suitable for me? Is now a good time to slow down a bit and actually start ‘Winter training’ already, or should I throw in an extra block of build phase and specialty phase, so I can start with a traditional plan 28 weeks before the event?

Thanks in advance!

I would go with the suggested plan. If you didn’t have any upcoming events now, I would start building up from the SSB straight away.

Just to say 90% FTP for an hour is actually quit good. If You think TT effort is about 95%.

Back to the Plan , Yes it looks about right. The only thing to remember is you will want to stick in some Road effort at some time, where you just swap out the TR plan to outside. Or Just go and ride a hard 3 - 4 hours.

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Personally I would not go for sustained power build, as it generates a lot of fatigue but do not help a lot with sustained power (personal opinon and experience). I would reomove weekly vo2 max workout and do O/U and threshold workouts. And before that would do Vo2 max block. If you want to have weekly vo2 max, at least I would change suprathreshold workouts for real threshold progression like 3x15, 3x20, 2x30, 5x15 etc. Do them just below ftp (97-98%). But this my personal experience and mileage my differ.

What kind of training helps you to bridge the gap between 60 minutes @ 90% of your FTP to 90 to 120 min of your FTP?

Doing longer efforts @90% or more threshold. If you can ride 60 min@90% you can do 2x40@90%. And progress by holding this 90% for longer in single intervals. Or introduce more intensity and progress with threshold and then your stamina and muscle endurance will definitely increase.

Any effort at 90% FTP is the sweetspot as you know from TR. So Longer and longer sweetspot intervals and shorter recovery will stress your system. The thing to remember is FTP is about the maximum effort you can sustain for about an hour. I am sure i have read somewhere the range of sustaining FTP is 45min to 1hour 15min. So 90 to 120min at FTP is probably the unreachable goal. But 90% of FTP is probably achievable. On a 2hour 30min cycle I can get about 85% of FTP for the whole ride. But it takes a huge amount of focus and i would say that is a tough ride.
Next weekend i am doing my first Audax of the year 307km, and will be riding at 65% of FTP because that will mean finishing. So Intensity factor (IF) points the way.