What is Best Training Programming for Track Disciplines?

Hi all,

I’m curios in your suggestions/opinions on how to program my training using TR
for endurance track events like the individual pursuit (ca.5min all out effort).

What would be the best suited plan or workouts to target the pre-dominant energy systems?



@MNGL I would recommend the following training plan progression for track cycling:

  1. Sweet Spot Base
  2. Short Power Build
  3. Criterium Specialty

@MNGL I would agree with @Ian on the first two plans but I might suggest that if at all possible that you modify the criterium specialty porgram. The reality is that as a pursuit rider you are working at max VO2 essentially and I am not sure that the criterium plan has enough focussed direct work on that.

You want the ability to perform at maximum for that time. Repeatability is less of a concern, or repeatability with little recovery. As a pursuit rider previously I can highly recommend a LOT of specialty work in this area (anaerobic and vo2 max) with lots of recovery in between sets and intervals. Highly productive work in the specialty phase is crucial.

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Thanks for the input on this one @Lawrence that is a very good point! The criterium has a lot of 4-5 minute VO2 max interval workouts which is why I suggested the criterium plan. I believe I have also heard Coach Chad talk about people using the Gravity MTB plan to train for track cycling so I took a look and compared these two plans to see which one would be better for @MNGL. I still think Criterium is the best plan to follow for this kind of track racing, that is if he wants to follow a plan.

As a track athlete, which plan would you choose for pursuit?

Criterium Plan: https://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/plans/175-criterium-mid-volume

Gravity Plan: https://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/plans/196-gravity-mid-volume


I think a mix of the two would actually be good but if going with the plans “as is” the mid volume criterium is likely better suited than the low or high volume. The high volume has a lot more repeatability at shorter intervals later on in the plan and I would suggest it should be the other way around unless tapering. Without changing the workouts in the plan I would highly recommend that you increase the recoveries and ensure the quality is there especially in the longer intervals. The addition of some “starting strength” on the bike would also be suggested. This can be difficult to replicate on the trainer but is doable. We use weighted sleds on the track from a standstill since it’s available to us.


@Ian and @MNGL as pe above the pursuit is very similar to a time trial except that it is done for around five minutes and has some very particular issues associated with it and the time at that intensity is critical, just as the time at threshold is for a time trialist. Lumping in with just Track or criterium can be problematic in that regard. My .02

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Thanks for the insight @Ian and @Lawrence. I’ll try to work in your suggestions into my upcoming training blocks.

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I race track, focusing on the scratch, points, elimination, and madison. I also like the kilo. My goals for the season include lapping the field in a mass start race, helping my teammates, winning something in Trexlertown, and a strong showing at U.S. Elites or Masters Track Nationals. I’ve started in on the same SSB - Short Power Build - Crit Specialty suggested above. I’m wondering about when and how should I incorporate max sprints and standing starts?

I’ve had success in the last two years with structured training (not TR) because it built up my weakest areas - repeatability and muscular endurance. I still want to maintain and improve natural strengths of a fast sprint and a big anaerobic engine. Any suggestions for how to tweak the plan to do this?

I also love Russian Steps. I created the workout for myself in the workout creator, but wasn’t sure what to make the ftp percentages for what’s only ever described as “all out.” Does anyone do this workout? How do you incorporate it into your program?