Skip specialty as non-racer?

Hello fellow members!

In trying to research my own answer on whether to do specialty or not, I’m getting mixed signals.

My outdoor riding consists of commuting and the occasional rambling around local roads. No events. TrainerRoad for me is just about increasing my fitness & FTP at the moment.

AACC has mentioned the idea that specialty doesn’t build you up so much as hones the blade. There has also been the occasional mention of skipping specialty in certain cases.

Enthusiast specialty also seemed to counter this, as there’s a specialty plan for someone that doesn’t race.

Should I skip specialty as a non-race that just wants to get faster?

ps, the terms of searching this are pretty general, and I didn’t find specific answers. I’d welcome a link if there’s someone that’s already answered this question for someone with no future plans to race

The main reason someone in your situation would consider including a specialty plan would be the mental and physical variety. If you aren’t getting burned out doing base and build over and over again then you can safely skip it


Well put. Specialty shakes things up a little bit, and eventually leads to a reduction in training stress which can force a peak. Everyone can benefit from this, even if you’re not competitive. Base->Build->Base->Build is a grind. I’m in my second build without a specialty/peak phase this year, and the first round wore on me. I’ve had a number of “life” breaks, so it’s sustainable for me, but I don’t think I would still be as motivated after 40 weeks of grind if not for baby break, work break, etc.

Specialty for you could be “play time”. It could be a time for you to explore a certain type of event, even if you don’t participate in one. The crit plan, for example, has race simulation workouts in there you could play with. The TT plan has practice TT-type workouts if you care to bludgeon yourself that way.

The best part about not competing is that it doesn’t really matter - do what you want to do and have fun with it. There’s literally no reason for you to worry about what’s “the best most optimal plan”. As long as you’re having fun and stay motivated while doing the work, you’ll get faster.