Too late to start?

I have raced some endurance events this year with good results. I don’t have a power meter (yet) and.base my training off of heart rate. I have good endurance (12+hrs) and good sprinting power (~10 seconds). I base my sprinting power on our clubs fast group ride where we sprint to stop ahead signs. I’m usually at the first or second position in those cases.

I had one of my A raced in late June which I completed my goals for and did better than I expected. I have raced a couple of endurance mountain bike events and did well at those also.

My next A race is at the end of September (mountain bike 12 hrs). I now have the drive to really crush this one. I feel like my training has been sufficient, but I’m wondering what it could be if I were to start trainer road between now and then. I have 9 weeks until race day, with a couple of races in there.

Should I start on a trainer road plan, what should it be? Or should I just keep training as I have been and “figure it out”? I typically do 2-3 endurance rides per week and 1-2 interval sessions per week. I have a hard time finding sweet spot using my heart rate.


Jacob - welcome!

My 2 cents is that it’s never a bad time to start structured training but I don’t think in 9 weeks you will really see the fruits of it for the race you are targeting unless your training has been genuinely poor (but that doesn’t sound like the case based on your anecdotal information and your account of how you train).

You’ll need some form of power measurement to make Trainer Road work - even if it’s just a speed sensor and a dumb trainer so you can use TR’s virtual power feature.

If I were you, I would do what you’ve been doing up until your event for the simple reason that it seems to be working and 9 weeks out from my A event isn’t when I would change my whole training protocol.

Once that is past, get your equipment squared and be ready to jump into Trainer Road with a commitment to a strong off-season of structured training and you will be an absolute monster come spring. Sweet spot base is the place to start - and don’t convince yourself that low volume = low results. It can be very, very effective if you squeeze every last bit of benefit out of the time you spend on the trainer and then supplement with core, strength, nutrition and proper recovery.


Not an answer to the question you’re asking but…I can’t think of a worse thing to sprint for than a stop sign. Maybe a blind railroad crossing?

Sprints are to a stop AHEAD sign. It’s a couple hundred yards before the stop sign.



If you’re new to trainer work in general, TR might not be too bad with some SSB work in there.

I would expect an FTP increase, but there is something to be said about the trainer - it’s different than road riding. There is no letup in the resistance on a smart trainer and for me - it helped me sustain the same power for longer periods of time.

I have a Kurt kinetic trainer, but I don’t have power on it. So I’m used to riding the trainer especially in the winter.

I have a lot to learn about trainer road. I love the podcasts but I’m ignorant in the terms.
SSB is sweet spot base?

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Getting a power meter would be best of course. It is a game changer.

I also have a Kurt. The inRide3 sensor gives you a fairly accurate power reading for about $50. Easy install. Great way to train with power without going deep into your pockets.

I have the older gray model. I’ll have to see if the sensor will work with it. I have seen the power vs speed curves in the manual so most of the time I look at the speed and heart rate to guess where I should be. I’d really just like to save that $50 and put a power meter on my crank.

I had a KK trainer and had no problems with it at all.
The benefit of getting a smart trainer or PM is that your FTP will probably be more accurate.
However you can train perfectly well on a KK using virtual power. The only difference is that a smart trainer will ensure you hit the interval targets ( in erg mode) whereas nothing stops you easing off when in non smart mode.

That is a game changer in my view.

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Okay I am back. I did a trial with virtual power on my Kurt kinetic and it seemed to be okay. My trial was at the end of the season and I didn’t have the drive to fully explore it. I did a ramp test and maybe Baxter and then stopped.

I now have 31 weeks to my goal event. I’ll just be updating here to provide some accountability for myself.


Welcome back :smiley:

If you haven’t seen it already, check out the Plan Builder for designing a plan for you season up to your goal event.

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I loaded the plan builder and am in low volume ssb1. Week 3. The workouts seem very doable. Should they be? Will it really hit when I start ssb2 and go over threshold?

Just wanting to get an idea if I should push up the intensity.

I had it in my mind that I would be sore after every workout

Awesome. I retested after ssblv1 and gained 5.8% increase in ftp. Beyond that, I’m seeing much better Heart rate recovery for threshold efforts

I also like the calendar and plan builder, which I’ve used to change up my year already