Pro/Elite training

I’m far from pro, but I’ve never been more fit in my life for the same reasons. Really sucks that it took a deadly pandemic.


Not sure where to put it but since these are quite advanced coaches this may be the place. Loved this episode. Especially the remarks on/recommendations for older athletes. A little bit counter to the current trend.


Very good podcast. I listened to it 3 times throughout the day today.

I just listened to the podcast as well.

It’s interesting. It sounds like they are constantly dancing around threshold - from below, from above, over unders. It sounded like they are doing some kind of threshold stimulation 2-3x per week.

Does anyone prescribe cycling training like this?

yes, this is somthing I noticed as well when looking at some Sunweb pros on Strava: their low intensity rides are really low (compared to most other teams/pros). And often ERG mode like

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I listed to the podcast, to me is more clear and clear that periodization is key, but that all training methods work and you will get fit with whatever you do as long as you always try to progress a bit each time.
Another thing is which training method is optimal… but I have seen on Strava pros doing high endurance rides (say 75-80% of FTP), and this guy is saying is better to do at around 55%.
In any case he says that by February there is in every session at least some intensity.

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Those sessions will be fitted into the bigger training plan. None of them are a breakthrough sessions for that magical fitness gain.

This is my lot in life as well. I’m curious if everything still going well this year for you? Also what are your main criteria for feel, just the total package? Legs? HR?

When does one perform testing in this type of training block? Probably either day 1 or day 26?

Thanks heaps for sharing this. Very interesting to hear about the low carb rides that he does.

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5 posts were merged into an existing topic: The NON time crunched cyclist thread

I don’t know, I don’t really test. I rather pay attention to how my training develops. How the intervals progress.

I don’t think testing is a topic in the book either (if I remember correctly)

Matt’s coaching business, PurplePatch Fitness (and therefore likely him) recommends testing FTP after A. When starting a new program, B. When you take a break (week long or greater), C. When you feel workouts are easier, and D. Quarterly (every 8-12 weeks).

This is more standard though for athletes who are actively coached. A good coach might not need to have the athlete test every 4 weeks, because they’re constantly getting and giving feedback and making training adjustments. The coach knows when an FTP might need to be adjusted and can make the necessary adjustments. And like @sryke said, how the training develops.

TrainerRoad on the other hand is your coach. You’re not giving anybody feedback and many athletes don’t recognize when their FTP is too far off, so the 4 week FTP makes sense

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This is a great book. One of my favorites for training and balance between what actually matters in sport rather than focusing just on the training.
I think the entire passage is important here regarding why he doesn’t like recovery weeks:

The classic way of setting up training progression is to do three weeks in a row of hard training, or progressively harder training week over week, followed by one week of recovery. This program of training hard, then recovering for an entire week makes it easy for coaches to build training plans and allows athletes to easily identify each week of training as a “build week” or a “recovery week.” When it is put into practice, the athlete completes too much training with accumulated fatigue, and other training opportunity is wasted by overrecovery. Not only does this formula absolutely fail to achieve my magic word of training success, “consistency,” but also I believe it contributes to a higher risk of injury. In addition, it does not take into account an athlete’s resiliency or speed of recovery, let alone how that athlete absorbs workload.

In Week 1, following a prior week of recovery, the athlete is fresh and demolishes training sessions with gusto. An effective training week.

In Week 2, the athlete is still able to absorb and manage the workload; the progressive sessions are challenging, but the training week remains effective. Fatigue accumulates, as by the end of the week the athlete is likely 14 days into an overall build (not all days are high load).

In Week 3, the biggest training-load week is under way, but many of the training sessions are completed with massive fatigue, not with optimal performance. The athlete is hanging on, desperate for the upcoming rest but determined to finish the block. There is little emotional capacity to focus on form, and aches and pains creep in from the accumulation of fatigue. Training becomes ineffective.

In Week 4, the athlete is so physically and emotionally spent that they fall into the recovery week with delight, often wanting to escape the torture of that last daunting week. The athlete bounces back and feels fresh after three to four days but keeps recovering for the full week to ensure readiness for the next three-week cycle. An entire week of desperate recovery results in ineffective training.

And so the cycle continues, with about half of the total training opportunity providing effective training. The other half is marked by the great peaks and valleys of fatigue that limit triathlon performance. Our mission is to find rhythm and consistency. While you should accumulate fatigue, and you will endure days (or even blocks of days) of feeling tired, the highs and lows created by this approach are what we want to avoid.

There are multiple routes to performance, but I suggest that you abandon this outdated approach and get in front of the fatigue with regular short breaks for recuperation and recovery. These minibreaks can be one to four days of recuperation—just enough to prevent the accumulation of too much fatigue, which leaves the athlete desperate for recovery and devalues training for several days in a row. Because our mind-set is all about achieving long-term consistency and accumulating as much effective training as possible over an extended period, properly integrated minirecovery is critical.

Of course each athlete will respond to training, as well as recovery, in a different manner. Certain trends and generalizations do occur that apply to most athletes, and we use these to build the main framework, but we cannot declare any one method to be the Holy Grail. There must be some flexibility and ongoing assessment in the execution.
… After completing the block, the athlete would go on and repeat the pattern for one or two more cycles of training.

He then offers two more training blocks, one for the resilient athlete – where you do 3 sets of 3 days on/1 day off, followed by 2 days light, and then one last long/hard endurance session – and one for the fragile athlete – 2 days on/2 days off followed by 3 days easy with an optional endurance ride on day 2 of 3 – of course, an individual might need something more… well, individual.

I often see in age-groupers and amateurs that they are either going too hard so by the time they reach recovery week, they’re on the verge of over-reaching/training, or they’re going too easy that the recovery week is practically wasted training days. Note, this isn’t everyone, but a common trend. I’m sure this has been discussed countless times in this thread, and I apologize if so as I’m a new forum member. There is a reason most pros don’t take “recovery weeks”. Rather, a mid-season break in some circumstances, and an off-season break. Depending on how they feel, their coach might prescribe a few extra recovery days especially after a hard training or racing block, but the workouts are structured so they are always getting enough adaption without overdoing it and being sore for a week. The discipline this requires is something I believe any amateur could look up to.


This bloke is like the Terminator. How is he so good across so many different facets of cycling?!

I’d love to know more about his training and what he does. I remember someone somewhere in the TR threads posted something about his training but I can’t seem to find it.

I’m guessing, a wild guess at that, that he would be doing a polarized program? Lots of Z1 and lots of Z3 stuff (as per the Seiler model)?

He also seems to be a bit heavier than most riders - 187cm and 78kg. Wonder what his diet is like. You hear a lot of people wanting to drop weight to improve w/kg etc. but Wouts metrics scream “raw power over weight dropping” is a better option?

Riders like Kuss have been going up climbs at 6w/kg on most occasions, Wout has stayed with them for a fair few of those. Taking this into account and Wouts weight of 78~kg… That’s roughly 470W!!! About 1700KJ an hour!!

Safe to say he has to like his carbs :joy:

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silly numbers. Cant imagine how crispy their legs are for this time trial.


Didn’t someone say his FTP is about 450W? He might also be a bit lighter at the moment, ‘grand tour weight’. So not unfeasible for him to go with them.

To be honest, to me it mostly shows that raw power is a bit undervalued among cyclists. It’s not all W/kg - if you have enough W, you can make up for a lot of kg too.

Regarding training, I’m sure there is something about it out there, I haven’t looked. I wouldn’t think it’s polarised though, or at least not in the original sense. I’m sure he does a ton of volume, and necessarily a lot of it will be z2.

His team are INSCYD partners, so I would guess that his training is at least informed by the metrics in there. Though I would think he has his own coach, and is not just following the INSCYD model.

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