Training to reflect the event

i train to race. i do structure with constant effort, intervals etc. the normal TR work. the power graph is yesterday’s race. 1 hr 45 mins. today i’m sore. training efforts rarely make me sore, and racing makes me race fit.
with the concept of specificity, should i/ we being doing some level of on/off training similar to the race above. should i do more of this 15/15 etc work more often??

I think specificity is massively underrated. We get all hung up in the physiology and training models (wich is great ; I love science), but after all the best predictor of performance is performance itself.

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we get all hung up on FTP and i get it, grow the engine, time to fatigue etc. add to the load over time. then comes the race, and the demands are so much higher. you go hard, recover, coast, firm , hard recover, and you repeat until the end. if you are lucky, your system copes.

training is so gradual, smooth and friendly, even when doing under overs. racing is savage. maybe a building process of more race specific work is what i’ll focus on for next year. the question is when, how much, how hard and for how long. rather than calling it speciality, i’ll call it race build!

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I like to go on a hard group ride (46 kph average) 2/month. In the group ride the goal is ussualy to drop eachother / Hang on as long as possible.

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Specificity is key when you’re trying to perform as best as you can during certain races. It’s important to think of what kinds of efforts you’ll have to do in the race(s) you’re targeting, and then select a training plan that reflects the demands of your event(s).

I noticed you’re on a Polarized Base plan at the moment. POL workouts can be a great way to build your fitness up in general, but they’re typically sessions that focus on sustained power. Based on the power graph you’re showing from your recent race, it looks like POL Base workouts may not be ideal training for the racing you’re doing.

If you’re looking at TR plans, the Rolling Road Race or even Criterium plans would probably be a better fit for your events (if the races you’re doing mostly look like the power graph you’ve shown us).

The good news is that the POL efforts you’ve done in training have certainly helped increase your fitness! The big aerobic engine you’ll have built up will serve as a great foundation for on/off type work at higher intensities.

As a general reminder, you should increase specificity in your workouts the closer you get to your goal event(s). That’s why we recommend doing a full cycle of Base > Build > Specialty phases. Base will be the least “focused” in terms of race-like efforts, Build will push your fitness along with higher intensity than Base, and Specialty will sharpen you up with workouts that will most closely resemble your race(s).

Hope this helps! Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.


I think if you are in a position to materially raise your ftp, you should do it. Other than bike handling skills, there are few things in cycling that aren’t aided by a higher ftp. All those surges are a lot easier if they are 120% of ftp instead of 150%. But throwing lots of training at five more watts of ftp when you could be focusing on specificity is a mistake.

Nothing wrong with specificity, but just food for thought:

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cheers Zac. i’ll certainly change up the plan over winter, trying to build short power repeatability. i think i race a lot. 16 individual open road races since march and a few tuesday evening worlds. i do notice that a break from racing does drop my sharpness and repeatability, whereas a solid steady winter was better for early season TT’s on the road bike.

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