Scheduling training for a 40km TT

I have a 40km TT next year which contains one 5-6% for 6km climb, and I have essentially 11 months to train for it.

Currently in my training calendar I have put 2 lots of base training up front (with a 3 week no riding break - family holidays in between), then build -> specialty (exactly the 40km TT specialty), 2 week break, then the same build -> specialty again. Is this the right way of scheduling training? Or should I do different build/specialty block to include climbs as well? All training are LV only due to life restrictions.

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

I’d stick with the 40k plan.

Reason being, that climb would take me (3.8w/kg on a TT bike) about 17-19 minutes. That length of interval I’m only going to be able to go a little bit over threshold, 105% at most. And that isn’t even taking into account the other 34km you’ve got to ride.

Maybe substitute a couple of sessions for outdoor practice close to the event, to get used to climbing that kind of gradient on your TT bike in aero position? Assuming you’re doing it on a TT rig, of course.

I’d stick with the 40k Speciality plan as well. Eleven months is a very long time to train for one event however.

Looking at your timescale of two Builds and Speciality I’d be tempted to do a different Build and Speciality plan the first time around, if nothing else just for a bit of variety. The final build I’d do the Sustained Build and 40k Specialty but why not do a Short or General Build and a different Speciality Plan in the middle. Mentally it may break things up and train some different energy systems before focussing on the main event.


I can’t offer much help regarding the training programs to follow as I am a new user and I’m following Sweet Spot Base mid volume at the moment. I have exciting targets in mind for my Time Trials next year for both 10mile and 25 mile (40 K).

What I can suggest though is that you do some other time trials before your Big Race if you don’t already plan to do so.

Simply doing some TT’s will really boost your experience beforehand. In other words don’t just do loads of training and then ride your first TT in your main race. Practice a bit beforehand. The more the merrier.

Also, if you get the chance to ride the course beforehand so you can decide where best to put in the effort, you will greatly beneift on the Big day.

Do well.

Thanks all for your response :slight_smile:
@martinheadon I’m getting a new aero bike for the event, but won’t be riding the TT rig. I did a few simulations on BBS, and the TT bike doesn’t give me much of an aero advantage at my aim power. And even then, I am not sure if I can even hit that power by then! My current FTP is 157 (untrained, unfit), but aiming to do 250+ by that time. A TT bike will give me 1 min advantage (in best case scenario according to BBS).

@JulianM I’ve scheduled in 2 lots of sustained build and 40k specialty plans. And I aim to get the best FTP I can possibly get based on my life restrictions. By doing the other shorter/general builds, will that be more beneficial to my FTP?

@colinio I don’t think there are much events like that where I am, and even this 40km TT is not really a TT, it’s a leg of a relay triathlon race, so another person does the swim, another does the run. We have clubs around the place but they rarely do TT events, maybe 10km runs once a year or something. I have scheduled in recon rides so that would be fun.

Not necessarily better or worse but just different as much as anything else.

Personally I think that a build and specialty plan is plenty for a focus on a single goal. If it were me I think I’d not look forward as much to repeating what I’ve done before as much as seeing different sessions come up. The principle of specificity also comes into play and to focus on the specifics of a goal event too early can sometimes be counterproductive.

It might be different for you of course but for me I think I’d appreciate the variety.

The base/build/specialty, followed by a “rebuild” of redoing the build/specialty plans, is a common approach to peak for multiple events.

However, from the sound of it, you have exactly one goal event, so you don’t need to peak for a race and then recover and repeat. In that circumstance, and knowing that you’re trying to maximize your sustained power for somewhere in the range of one hour… I’d recommend the other common approach for filling out that much time: lets of base.

Starting with traditional base, you can do I, II, and III in 12 weeks before your 3 week holiday. That is a lot of low and slow work, but it should do wonders for your aerobic conditioning. To change things up and subject yourself to different stimuli, you can follow that up with Sweet Spot Base I and II, for a total of 24 weeks building a monster aerobic engine. However, at that point it’s probably time to change up stimuli again.

After that I would try to do an extended Sustained Power Build of 12 weeks (do the first 4 weeks, then do the first 4 weeks again, then do the last 4 weeks), include a couple weeks of buffer to rest and recover as needed, and then do the 8 week 40km TT specialty plan.

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FWIW I think that @matthew.weigel has a solid approach.

The one thing I’d marginally disagree on is that by the time you get to Traditional Base 3 it is certainly more that low and slow. I’m in the last week of that currently and there’s a good amount of threshold, tempo and sweet spot work :grinning::open_mouth:

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Watts per $ or £, you could save a big chunk of time then with a set of clip on aerobars and a half-decent skinsuit. By the time you’re doing 200+ watts, that will make a huge difference. Seriously, you’ll feel like you’re flying…

@matthew.weigel solid advise there thank you. The only problem is I am not able to always commit that much time each session to do the workout, on the weekends, sure, but not during the week. How can I modify sweet spot instead?

@martinheadon That’s the plan, sell the TT bike. Get an aero/everyday bike, and chuck on some aero bars. What skinsuit do you recommend? I’ve been thinking about the endura D2Z

I’d agree with @matthew.weigel, if you have one event there is no need to do 2 specialty phases. Those are designed to purposefully lose a little fitness but gain form. There’s no need to lose fitness with no event coming up (in your specialty phase 1).

If you’re going for the best skinsuit regardless of price, the Endura certainly sounds fast. It’s up to you whether you think it’s worth the money for just one race. I’ve had good results with the Bioracer Nopinz for about half that price - - you’d have to check whether you can get it in America though.

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@martinheadon thanks for the suggestion, I’ll look into it. I’m actually from Australia :slight_smile: