Training for a season of crit races

We have a local motor race track that runs crit races once a week from May through to late August. I’ve never raced before but really fancy giving it a try next year. I’m going to go all in with my training, starting with sweetspot base 1/2 followed by short power build and finally crit speciality; all mid volume as I know that the high volume will be too much to fit around work and other commitments.

I’ll be able to race up until the middle of July so expect to enter 8-10 races in total. I want to be competitive in as many of these races as possible so am just wondering when it would be best to schedule the end date of the Crit plan. Should I schedule the end of the plan to fall at the start, middle or closer to the end of the racing block?

I’ve currently got the plan finishing after the 2nd race of the season with the intention of repeating the final 2 weeks worth of the plan until the last race. Would this be stretching the peak too much? Would it be better to plan to peak in the middle of the block of races instead?

Any suggestions and advice would be most appreciated.


I’d suggest having the build phase end the week before the first race. I find that specialty phase is all about sharpening your fitness and tapering for an A race. If you do this too soon you will burn out mid season.

One other thing, if you are going to repeat a week of specialty phase repeat week 6 while subbing races for workouts. Week 7 and 8 are taper weeks which will make you feel great for one race but cause a loss in fitness.

Thanks for the advice! I might have started my base training a little too early if I should be finishing build just before the 1st race.

No such thing as too much base. Just add in another round of SSB2 before or after build.

Thanks again. I was just thinking the same thing. Might it be worth starting with the lower volume plan or just double up SSB2 as you suggested?

I’d suggest laying it out so you are into your crit plan by the time of the first race. I’m on a similar summer schedule to you (our races are every 2 weeks though) and I am starting base on Nov 13, same as I did last year.

You can hold crit shape for a LONG time. But, if you spend the 1st half of the season getting dropped because you have no high end short term power all while trying to do short term high end power workouts on your non race days, you won’t have as much fun as you could.

Also, do regular group rides all through your training. TR is a great training tool but there are a bunch of things you will need to do (or not do . . . ) in a crit to be successful, both mental and physical, that you can not learn on a trainer. Technical and tactical group riding skills need to be honed on the road in tight quarters.

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Thanks for advice dude!