Training for no races?

I have decided to not enter any ultra races this year due to life commitments so I’m just going to stick with TR all year along with some outside rides. Im on SSB2 at the minute and im near finished it. My base (2 x 30mins ss) would be fairly strong whereas Vo2 stuff would be my weak point but i am reluctant to go to heavy on vo2 and above threshold stuff in case of burn out, even though its my weak point. Just wondering what plans to go for and in what order.

Do base and build on repeat and choose whichever build suits the riding that you’ll be doing


For how many hours do you train each week? Do you ride on the road or MTB?

I would focus on outdoor rides. Maybe work on your bike handling. Go ride somewhere you haven’t been before. Go for social rides and so on. Focus on what makes cycling fun! Then add 2-3 structured training sessions focusing on VO2 and threshold.


Take the opportunity to address the weakness.

SSBLV and MV plans have Vo2 Tuesday’s. I believe it ends with 6x3 min. After the first cycle just keep going but change the Vo2 day to keep increasing duration.

I would also stretch the long SST day. Instead of 3x20, do 2x45 and work your way up to 1 x 60, 75, 90.

There are plenty of workouts in the library to select from but if you need help any number of forum dwellers could assist.

If you cycle plans over and over that is fine but likely plateau, get bored and never really stretch those VO2 days or deepen the base. Might as well address some weaknesses and build a deeper base.

FWIW, I think a long period of time not focused on racing but building for future success is one of the best things a weekend warrior can do for themselves. Have fun!!

On edit - every now and then a 2-4 week short power block will mix it up and hit other parts of the power curve.





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Definitely take the time to address your weaknesses. Especially if you are going to get back into racing after this year and you find that those weaknesses are hurting your race performance. With respect to being worried about burnout from doing VO2…Most people worry about that because they don’t want to peak too early or run themselves into the ground before an event or season. But if you don’t have an event that don’t worry about it! Find the difference between being productively fatigued and borderline over doing it and then back off. You’ve got this whole year to try new training modalities and find what works for you, what you like, and what stuff you need to work on.

That’s actually where I was nearly all last year – two rounds of spring sick that swept through my school erased everything but a race on June 2. So, I flogged myself for six weeks to get into condition for it, did it, and then just trained to train – building, I hope, for this year.

I didn’t worry about spending extra time on weaknesses (1 min power). I just did as much volume as I could, and then did two VO2 + AC Build cycles, one in June, the other in August.

I’d say dole out the zone 5 and 6 intensity cautiously, in a couple of peak cycles, and then just do as much base volume as you can. more mitochondria for next year!

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Sounds good. Im doing bout 6 hours a week on TR at the minute. SS, THRES, V02, ANOTHER SS along with one strength and conditioning gym on legs. The last 4 years i have trained for 500+ ultra races but giving them a miss this year and hoping to try and get a little bit of speed to go with all the endurance.

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you won’t burn out on vo2max or threshold unless you do too much of it.

Hit a 3 week block that has 1-2 of those per week, then hit your rest week.

Cycle it once more, or change up the durations a bit. LIke do longer vo2max or shorter micro burst workouts depending on what you did in the initial 3 week period. This will keep things fresh (mentally important for those really hard sessions) and challenging and you’ll make gains without crashing and burning.

Good luck!


Pick something fun like a fondo or century to train for so you have a goal.

Would raising your ftp after 6 weeks or so not be the same as lengthening the duration of the workouts. For eg if i build my SS workout up to 3 x 30mins by the end of a 4 week or 6 week plan would doing a ramp test not mean that it would give me a higher ftp but then i would need to go back to lets say 10 to 15 min SS intervals or maybe im wrong. Advice appreciated :+1:t5:

I agree about the boredom. Interested to know how many cycles you think it would take to plateau given short and sustained build plans are quite different.

Probably three or four. What I was thinking was rather than chasing just FTP up, chase the intervals longer too.

FTP up is the only variable if sticking to stock plans. But if you start to lengthen the intervals that gives you another, very useful, dimension to play with.

If you do that and also throw in some short power build weeks you can work the whole power curve, have some extra variety and build durability too.

Hope that helps.


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Thanks Brendan. I like the idea of 3 week vo2 and threshold and one week off but I’m wondering then when you say to up the duration which i understand but would i not be as well doing an ftp test and doing the same duration again but at a higher power output( providing my ftp had increased. Not questioning you but just trying to gather knowledge bout it all. Thanks.

questions are great! I always encourage them!! But thanks for being nice and not snarky.

Sure, you could do that as well, but there are other ways to track your FTP, and it’s not just about FTP. If you go longer, that means you’ll also be able to eventually do your 20min FTP multiple times. Repeatability is very important.

You can see FTP gains in the histogram of watts from hard group rides or solo sessions if you can REALLY flog yourself once the weather gets nice (if your weather is nice now i’m envious).

Remember that FTP # is not everything: you want to be able to ride LONGER at FTP, Repeat your FTP interval in same session, and continue to work on other aspects like surges and bursts (or FRC: ability to ride above FTP).

Does that help?


Yeah i get ya. So i have built up my SS intervals to 2 x 30mins and i keep training there’s no reason why I cant build it up to 2 x 45min or 3 x 30mins working at the same ftp. It sounds like a good way of changing things up. Yeah bursts and sprints are something I’ve done very little, I haven’t done a full build plan yet so I think there are more of that stuff in the build plan.

awesome, good luck! let us know how it goes!

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Will do, thanks again.

What did your vo2 cycles entail? and what is AC cycle? Thanks.

I’m 53, so I back off on the amount of zone 5. A VO2 block for me would be to go out two days a week and do 4, maybe 5 repeats of a 4min hill. Or, I would do a fartlek ride where I accumulated 16-20min of “go as hard as you can” in 3-8minute chunks. Everything else zone 1-2 (5 zone system).

An AC (anaerobic capacity) block would be 1, maybe 2 days a week of hitting 1min as hard as I can, then 4min recovery. 8 of those is plenty for my middle-aged self.

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