What are your stats? Racing cat, training load

Hey guys, I did a quick search and didn’t see much in the way of my question. Although, I do feel like I’ve seen something similar on the forum before.

I know… apples and oranges and individuality and all that stuff… I’m just curious to hear what everyone does to compete in whatever category/specialty they race in.

I’d like to find out

what type of racing you do

what category you race in

how many years you’ve been training and your average CTL coming into racing season and maybe even how long you hold your highest CTL.

For starters:

I’m mostly a mountain biker, but I do have some gravel races planned this season.

I’m “Sport” category/Masters for MTB (AKA Cat 2)… which is weird to me because I’m not close to cat 2 in any other riding sport… Im pushing 3.5 w/kg.

I’ve been training for about two years and my first season of racing was last year. I’ve been a solid mid-packer but hoping to podium in a race this season.

My CTL has been hanging in the low 80s with 8-9 hours of training per week with the occasional outdoor ride. I’ve been in the low 80s for about the past month. I feel like this is my current max with the fatigue I feel like I’m carrying. My first MTB race was just postponed by 2 weeks. It was going to be next weekend, so now 3 weeks from now, so I’ll be in the 80’s for around 6-7 weeks total.

I am a road racer in Ireland. In my early 20s and ride in cat 2 and have been riding for the past 7 years, and training and racing for the last 4 years, 2 years unstructured and 2 years structured. i have swam competitively before that for 10+ years which I think has helped my cycling a bit.

Last year and this year I am coming into the season with a CTL of roughly 90, but it effectively higher this year as my ftp is higher. Races start first weekend of march and my target event is a stage race in mid april, which I plan to be at about 95 for.

I generally find if I push more than 90 for an extended period of time I will probably get sick, I think that is the current upper limit for me given my circumstances with work and life etc.

Training weeks usually consist of interval on tuesday, easy hour and half wednesday, intervals thursday, 2hr cafe spin on friday, 3-4hours fasted on saturday and a fast 5hr group spin on sunday. I am on a high volume type of plan, on a just finished general build.

Road racing in Ireland seems to be completely different to the US, crits are rare and most races I am in are 1/2 only and at least 70 miles which seems to be the opposite to the US road racing. Here there is a 3 week period over summer when criteriums are the main thing going, the rest of the year it is long road racing. I also race cx in winter which i should probably focus on more than road racing as I have done quite a lot of technical mtb stuff and feel i might have more potential in cx but I enjoy it less so…

Anyway, hope that is interesting, will be interesting to see what other people say, I feel the average level on TR is quite high, especially on the forum as it filters even further to those who are actively interested in training.


Whatever the lowest category is, that’s what I am. :smiley: Mostly because I can’t be bothered to upgrade. I’m not even sure how to do it. Most of the local races…I can wile my way into the cat 2/3 races if there are ppl there I want to race against. And every year there is a new crop of youngsters that can kick my arse a plenty in the C race.

Unless you’re getting paid…we’re all the same category racer. :wink:

Although, you MTB folks have skills that I don’t, for sure! One thing at a time, though…

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MTB is my primary discipline. I’ve been racing Cat2 for the past three years.

Last year was my first year of actual structured training. With my work schedule it made it difficult to run a very high CTL. I carried only ~60, but I maintained it for several weeks. My avg all season long was 52. It was enough to get me to 4.1 w/kg.

This will be my first season competing in Cat1. My hope is to do my regular low volume plan due to work and hopefully add in a weekly hot lap with my team to build tss and see how it goes. I’m starting to ramp up right now by doing LV General build and adding in additional rides as time allows.

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Raced cat 5 CX the last 2 years. Moved to cat 4 after this past season, and started structured training after a short break.

Hoping it makes a difference for next year lol :slight_smile:

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I started riding in 2011 at the age of 24 and took up attempting to race the next year, I didn’t manage to finish with a pack until the 2013 season. Just before the start of this season I got my Cat 1 upgrade on the road (my only cycling discipline). So it took me ~8 years to go from Cat 5 to Cat 1.

I usually train 10-15 hours a week with most weeks being around 13hrs.

Arizona has two road “race” seasons, the first is the USAC season which runs from Jan-June the second is the fall fondo or charity ride season which runs about Oct-Thanksgiving. So our off-season really is during the summer. Depending on which season we’re talking about my CTL usually goes from between 75-90 up to 100-105 for about 2 months. Back in 2017 I did manage to get my CTL up between 110-120 for two months, but I was pretty fried at the end of those two months.

Just a note I just started using TR this December, previously I did all my intervals outside.

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5’9” 156lb 301 FTP although I have my skepticism about that number since I’m not sure my dumb trainer is the same model TR has in their database.
Initially wanted to train for ITT but I’ve searched and searched around my area for them and their only appears to be two of them per year. TT scene isn’t big here but crits are, so after my base phase is done I’m signing up for races and will run the short power build LV.
Been cycling for 3 months, only seriously started training since January
Currently doing SSB LV1 week 3 with supplementary rides bringing my TSS up to about 400. Goal in first race is not get dropped although it seems more than likely :grimacing:

I’m in the UK and race mostly crits. Hold a Cat 3 license so my events usually include Cat 2/3/4 riders, depending on the organisers. This year I’ll race around 12-15 crits and 3-4 road races. There will also be a couple of century rides thrown in for pleasure.

Plus racing, my typical week sees me on the bike for around 6 hours. Don’t have the time for much more. My TSS is usually around 360-400 and my fatigue rests around the 70s, according to Strava. Sorry but I don’t know what CTL is…

I’m 41 and this is my second year racing. That said, prior to racing, I was doing the regular Saturday drop ride with the team I now race for.

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It sounds like you’ve definitely got a nice foundation with the swimming history and previous riding. I’m a bit jealous… always wish I’d been more active the past decade or so to give me something to build off of, haha.
I’m glad you mentioned your CTL in relation to your current FTP. I always forget about that and sometimes it feels like I’m a bit stagnant compared to last year. Definitely good to keep in mind! That seems like a solid CTL to me. I’ve been mostly doing more intense workouts and just taking days off when needed, but I’m thinking of doing more zone 2 to just kick up the TSS a bit… a bit up in the air about it right now though…
I did CX for the first time this past season. It does transfer to MTB quite well.
Thanks for the detailed response! - oh, what’s your w/kg?

Haha, it sounds like we’re in the same boat @Brennus! My goal last year was to finish races and I was a mid-packer in the bottom cats/age group. This year, I’m hoping for… maybe one podium in age group races. I think it may be a bit a stretch, but ya gotta have goals, right?!
So, what’s your training history, w/kg & CTL coming into the times you usually race? Thanks for the response!

Whoa! Alright, I gotta know more here…

What’s your training/riding/activity history?

I’ve been racing Cat 2 also, but have battled to get to 3.5 w/kg. Could be weight related. I’m around 192 lbs (87 kg), so it takes a little over 300 watts to get to 3.5.

Man, if I could compete in Cat 1 with 52 CTL, I’d be ecstatic! Good luck moving up in the ranks @heypoolboy78! That’s exciting!

I’m racing road in the US as a cat 3… I came into 2019 with a CTL of around 80, and I’m hovering in the 90-93 range at the moment. My first A race is a stage race at the end of March and I’m aiming for a CTL of around 95-97.

I’ve been riding bikes for about 3 years, started structured training about 2 years ago, and started racing at the beginning of 2018 as a cat 5. My starting FTP “untrained” in 2016 was 269w @ 239lb (108.5kg) and my last FTP test in April 2018 was 394w @ 210lb (95kg). Haven’t done a formal test since then, but my weight and training volume are about the same. I started riding bikes in 2016 as a means of getting out and losing some weight. I was 315lb (143kg) in Feb 2016. My background is as a collegiate rugby player, who retired from the sport and kept eating like he was playing…I ended up putting on about 60-70lb after I quit playing rugby in 2010.

Since the beginning of the year I’ve been doing a cycle of 2 weeks at ~650 TSS, 1 week at ~850 TSS, then a “rest” week at 550-600 TSS on the bike, training at somewhere around 12-15hr/wk on the bike + 1-2hr/wk lifting weights in the gym.

More zone 2 never hurts, more manageable stress is great for the adaptations, I am currently at 4.4w/kg with a threshold of 327, aiming for 350 by my goal event, but we will see.

Congrats on the Cat upgrade @earena! How did you get to Cat 4? Podiums? Points?

Do you have a target CTL for the coming season to stay competitive? I loved racing CX last year until it started raining :stuck_out_tongue: I’ve definitely got a lot of room for improvement in the slick stuff!

Looking forward to hearing a few more details on your training history and plans! And give an update when you get some results too! I’d love to hear about it!

Some of the CTLs mentioned here are way higher than I’d expect…

Anyway, I race XC MTB cat 2, 4.1w/kg at the moment, CTL about 65 at the moment (last year at this time CTL was 49).
On General Build MV 3rd week this week, planning to wrap that up, have my first race of the season, then decide what comes next (likely a block of HV Sweet Spot, then Short Power build -> XCO Specialty)

I’ve only been riding for ~7 years. I’m 41, 6’2" and race weight last year was 194#. I barely broke the 4.0 barrier. I do not have a pm on any of my mtb’s, so my tss for those rides is purely estimated.
Last year I did SSB 1&2, SPB, then Short track xc specialty. All low volume plans, but most weeks I would also add in 2 mtb rides of 1-2 hours each.
Keep in mind, I’m also in Illinois. Not a hotbed of mtb semi-pros. My upgrade was forced due to placing 2nd overall in Cat2 last year. It has yet to be seen if I will “compete” in cat1. Lol! My training volume is increasing. I’m still doing a low vol plan, but adding tss “filler” rides on 1-2 days a week right now. Our weather has been terrible, so I haven’t been able to do outdoor rides much lately. I’d love to push my ctl up this year and see if there is a difference.

my current ctl is 81 at the end of SSB2HV (TSB is +6), starting sustained power build HV tomorrow! Primarily a CX racer but would try to get into doing some more road racing depending on how my fitness allows me to stack up against others.

Last June I reached a peak of just over 100ctl before a big vacation I had where I did an epic ride. Did one road race and one crit but otherwise just rode for enjoyment. I then did CX training and my ctl gradually declined from like 75 in late August to 50 at the end of CX season in early Dec. Looking at it now (it’s my first time looking back at my PMC) not sure if it’s really a great idea to let the CTL fall like that during race season but I felt good and did well for me. But I might want to re-examine how I approach the upcoming season

I don’t find CTL to be very useful to me to be honest, but I guess I’ve been fortunate where I’ve had sustained FTP increases for the past several years, which makes it far less useful.


I race mainly on the road but also on the track with a “when it fits” attitude.

Road: I am a Cat3 and over the past two years I have entered more important races in the neighborhood of 80 CTL. Last year (2018) was extremely unstructured for me and I only really started to race at a quality I was happy with at the very end of my season, I achieved through “old fashioned” training. That being said, I got my best results to date at the Gateway Cup on what was, quite frankly, unimpressive power.

Track: I am currently a Cat2 and 2018 was a completely different story for me on the track. I started the year as a Cat3 and won something like 13/16 races I entered. I had no difficulty finding my racing legs despite the horrible quality training I had had up until the beginning of my race season that year. I only “tapered” for one race, which was my first as a Cat2 and also the biggest in my area. I didn’t expect results, it was mostly just a valuable learning experience.

2018 w/kg:
5sec: 16.31
1min: 9.2
5min: 5.09
FTP: 3.73

Yeah, for me a high CTL just allows me to ride more without being buried, after like 70 or 80 I really start to feel like I can do a lot of the stuff I want to do