Prioritizing long term improvement over this season's race results?

I am a 20 y/o cat2 road and track rider with the ambition to go pro. For the last couple of years, my race schedule has been 90%+ crits and track races with the occasional RR or TT (this is super typical for the midwest). The conventional approach to this season would be something like SSB->Short Power Build-> Crit specialty.
As crits extend in duration from 60 to 90 minutes and road races are commonly 80-100+ miles in the upper categories It seems like my training should change to accommodate these demands. So my question is along the lines of whether it would be beneficial to switch to “engine building” training to improve FTP, TTE, Tired20 (20-minute power after 2000kJ (or 3000kJ) of work) rather than being the sharpest crit racer I can be.
I still plan on racing mostly crits in 2020 with as many RR and TT as possible, this is mostly due to my university schedule. I will prioritize gaining experience in the 1/2 races over going for points in the 2/3’s so that by the time I am ready to be a cat1 I will be accustomed to racing on that level.
Is there an obvious direction to take my training in for the development I am looking for? Also, is it reasonable to stop focusing so much on short power to grow sustained power two years in advance of a season focused on road racing?
I am considering traditional base, sustained or general build, then rolling or climbing road race.

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I wish I could tell you exactly what to do. I am nowhere near your level. But I can tell you that looking long-term is a great plan. Looking 2 or 3 years ahead will give you an overall goal and will help keep short term things in perspective. Like @Jonathan’s 2 year goal for Nationals, I set a 2 year goal in triathlon. This year was much more of a build and gain experience. Next year I will do my best to apply the lessons learned and build on that base.

At 20, you have a lot of options in front of you. Aiming to go pro, you need to be able to compete at that level. Somewhere, there is a discussion about someone who was in a similar situation. The article discussed showed what the rider needed to do and his coach focused his training to be able to do that. Took a year-ish to develop that. Someone here will probably link to that discussion.

Good luck.

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From the standpoint of the general stress-adaptation principle the body will adapt and stop responding as effectively to the same type of stress. So incorporating a different focused training period in your training may bring very good results. Also it is never a bad thing to have a big aerobic engine.

Thats the idea!

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Here’s a link to an article on a riders 4 year plan to get a World Tour contract. The specific training may not be relevant but the process is. He and his coach identified the milestones he needed to achieve to be in the hunt for a World Tour gig, both specific power achievements and performance results and then set about developing a training and racing plan to tick them off the list. That’s what you need to do. Figure out what the pro teams are going to be looking for and then structure your training so eventually you can do enough of those things so they want to pay you to be on their team.


this is very wise

YES YES YES YES YES THISSSSS. Just did mine, failed the second

what’s your power profile look like? If you are cavendish style, this might not be wise…you still need to be able to ride long miles, but the sprint is where it’s at. If you want to alter your training phenotype, then yes.

And let’s define pro…world tour? If so, 100% need to change. They want to see stage racers and guys who can TT and RR. Crits are useless to get a contract; ask any of the american guys looking around right now.

Good luck dude!


@bhrylski Also pursue the discussions around VLaMAX and VO2Max in terms of development.

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Here are my MMP and PD charts from WKO4 for 2019


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Any tips on how to train this in particular?

PD curve profile, the one that shows w/kg

The “official” Tired 20 definition:

the peak 20-minute power an athlete can produce after 2,500 kilojoules of work has been completed.

Depending on how you accomplish that 2,500 kJ of work — in a race, in training, what kind of training, etc. — your T20 might come in at differing values.

Read the Will Barta article @STP linked in post #5, it will give you some ideas of how his coach organised these sessions (e.g. 5 hours of Z2 work with 3x20min@FTP mixed in, last 1x20 after 3,000kJ).


Like this?

is this past 90 days?

see the drop after 20m or 30m… you want to extend that curve next to 40m, then 1h, eventually out to 2-3h. If you can do 2 x 20m sweet spot no problem, work the duration out to 30m all the way to an hour. Then link up some together with just 5m rest between, 3 x 40m…you’ll set a new lifetime 2h. Build from that.

You want to be able to ride long and hard if you want to survive in a break, and then as you mentioned before, the tired 20 needs to be a tired 30, and also think of just tired “any interval that you could win with”.

Get tired and do race winning intervals (200% FTP sprint for 30s, 3m @ 100-105% (or whatever you can muster), 10s ALL OUT to the line.

Those race sims will help you massively.

Good luck man.



This is for 2019 year to date

then definitely start going longer; you haven’t all year.

That all sounds reasonable to you?


When is the best time to impliment this type of training?
I’m guessing it could be put in at any time, but would it be better suited in the base or build period?
I mentioned being interested in the traditional base HV plan, would you reccomend this or should I go for SSB HV?

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work up to it towards the end of base, then on the weekends during build (jan / feb, assuming you start racing in March)

i dont know details of trad HV vs the SS but if it has more base for now and ramps up the intensity later, i’d do that. too much sweet spot over and over can make athletes plateau too easily


Living proof. I will, however, argue that your metrics will plateau only if you are doing the same SS over and over (e.g. 3x12min). You can progressively build your muscular endurance through progressively longer intervals, but doing a lot of work at that same power range may not increase FTP.


totally. also just working same energy system in my experience leaves riders flat without much growth.

How do you build or plan a workout for Tired20?

I usually use TP to build a workout so I hit a target TSS with some power goals in mind now. I use WKO to review data but I haven’t seen a way to know the amount of work (kJ) ahead of time.