Training for 2020 Race Debut

Hey everyone, so after doing just 13 weeks (SSB1 and 2 and half of Build) of TR last winter, my results outside in the spring and this year have been awesome, able to ride hard much longer, and hang on the front pack at our local amateur crit type ride. I’m interested in doing some road racing next year and wondering what program I should stick to, some say just to do SSB1&2 and Build, some say to also do Specialty.

I started road riding in 2016, got a power meter in 2017, and my FTP back then was in the 230s, whereas my last ramp test in spring was 290w and I’m able to hold an NP of a bit over 300w for a bit over an hour. For someone who is not a total newb to faster riding and indoor training, what would you recommend, so I can start my training far enough in advance to be ready to race in the Spring?

I wouldn’t wait till spring. If you have events that interests you yet this year, I’d sign up for those. You have more than enough fitness to keep up. I would think the race experience would be a lot more valuable than training till spring to raise your FTP a bit. You can/should probably do both, but IMO the experience of racing is more important once you’re got a basic level of fitness established.

General training plan advice is pretty plain. Pick an A race, and work back from there to figure out when to start base. And pick the build and specialty plans that best line up with your A race. You should plan to work through all three phases though, such that you finish specialty so it lines up with your A race. I tend to like planning about two weeks of unexpected time. That gives me some room in the schedule in case I get sick/injured/busy/etc.


I only bumped my FTP from 268 to 290 coming into this year but feel like I gained a ton in endurance and the ability to recover at a much higher workload, so not only am I faster than my friends up a hill, I can get back into a decent power at the top when they have to recover. This is mostly what I’m trying to build on, if I can also gain 10w and lose 10lbs I’ll be all set.

Season here is wrapping up and honestly I’m a bit fatigued at this point from mostly hard riding this year, and my fitness is definitely tapering a bit. When I first came outside this year I was holding 262NP for 2.5 hours and 292 for 1.5, I can still do close to that but not on the same level

I completely agree with this point. Not only will you benefit from the race experience but you’ll have a much smaller mental stress level going into next season.

Might be just how my brain works, but the mental stress of racing after a long build up is a lot, if it were further my first ever race I’d be putting a ton of pressure on myself and it would stress me out unnecessarily.

As such - go out and race right now. Go out and race a few late season races right away and you’ll know better what you want to do next spring


I’ll see what I can still do this year, the Tuesday night hard group rides have been my “races” so far, but they aren’t an official thing, and they get riders of very varied fitness levels, so sometimes I feel like the strongest guy, and other times I feel like I need to reconsider if I should be riding LOL

that type of progression with SSB 1 and 2 makes sense, although i wouldn’t do massive loads of Sweet Spot too early in the winter before it’s time to get to racing. Utilize tempo as well beforehand and raise things up over time.

Nice work on 300W for over an hour NP!