Serious Winter Training

Hello, all!

I’m looking to see if someone can help me look at my current training plan that I have set up for this winter season coming here in the US.

I took an FTP test this evening and I’m down to 160 from 180 because I haven’t been riding as much in the last couple of months.

I’m looking to generally build my fitness on the bike, as well as building for longer rides that are 60+ miles long and some centuries.

Starting this week, I have the following blocks scheduled.

Sweet Spot Base I - 4 Weeks
Sweet Spot Base 2 - 6 Weeks
General Build - 8 Weeks
Specialty Century - 8 Weeks

As far as scheduling goes, I can train any day of the week for as long as needed. My job is M-F 8-5, so evenings and weekends are always free.

My current off days from training are Tuesdays and Thursdays which I will use as days either not riding the bike at all or doing super chill winter group rides on the gravel bike.

Do these blocks sound like that they will help me? I think that they do, but would love to get other people’s opinion.

Thank you very much!

Based purely on the distances you mentioned, I say this is a solid approach. Don’t overlook your endurance work though. If you’re able to carve out a 3-4 hour window once or twice a month, get outside (winter weather permitting) and get a long, slow ride done. These rides will help you get your nutrition dialled in for those Century events.

Bigger question for me would which volume plans, your age, recovery plans etc. You mention some loose goals but you also want to set some specific outcome and process goals to keep you focused and give you a way to track progress other than ramp tests.

You mention you havent ridden much for the last few months and there is a real risk that jumping in to a 26 week plan will simply burn you mentally and physically if you don’t get it right.

Depending on your age and recovery abilities, (work and life stress also very important to consider here) you may want to add aditional recovery weeks every 3rd or 4th week, or simply spend time doing other forms of training to break things up and add fun etc. Do you live somewhere where winter sports could be an alternative at times for example? 8-5 is still obviously a full time job so must also be factored in to a realistic plan, along with social life, sleep, nutrition etc.

There are countless threads on here of people burning out and ending up worse off in a few months time, so be realistic. As said above you should add or swap in some easy endurance rides (depending on your volume) and make sure you aren’t trying to do 4 sessions of intensity per week for 26 weeks etc etc.

Good luck.

Hearing your story, I’m wondering if you wouldn’t benefit from a full SSB1 and SSB2 compared to the focus on build and speciality now. If using plan builder, you could try if setting the “beginner” option would do that directly for you.

there is very very good fitness gain from a full sweet spot base progression over 12 weeks, and you can easily race off that fitness - you don’t have to complete build and speciality too. the workouts will leave you very well prepared for longer rides.

do you have a specific event on the calendar? do you just come off some plan? could you do a 2x20 at ~90% sweet spot today easily (eg Eichhorn)?