I’ve set a couple of goals / challenges for myself for next year.
- 100/1000 challenge: do a solo ride of 100km and 1000 metres of climbing in the shortest possible time. Start and end point have to be on the same altitude.
- Climbing hour: climb as many metres of vertical ascent as possible in one hour. Only the climbing time is counted, not the descent. Apart from the descent, there should be no additional break between the ascents, and you need to use the same climb to accumulate the vertical ascent.
- 1km challenge: ride one km as fast as you can from a standing start. The route must not have any descents. In order to rule out tailwind influence, you need to do ride the route in reverse direction within 30min of the first attempt . The time for both attempts will then be averaged.
- 20km individual time trial: on a course with laps no longer than 7km do the smallest number of laps that add up to more than 20km.
- Local KOM ride: look for a Strava segment in your area and set a new PR. You should try to go for the KOM. The segment must be on a climb with an average gradient of at least 4%, it must be at least 400m long and you need to have ridden the segment at least 20 times before in the past.
- A day in the alps: do a single ride with 4000 metres of climbing.
- Long group ride: ride at least 150km with three other people.
As they require some rather different capabilities, I wonder which plan to choose. I am currently doing Sweet Spot Base Low Volume II but have stretched the plan so that I only do two TR workouts per week. I tried doing three TR workouts per week but this burns me out if done over a longer period of time (more mentally than physically, I guess).
Ideally, my week looks like this:
Monday - off / yoga
Tuesday - TR workout
Wednesday - easy ride + suspension trainer strength training (gyms are closed)
Thursday - TR workout
Friday - easy ride + suspension trainer strength training
Saturday - long ride (Z2) or climbing a long virtual climb (Z3/4)
Sunday - long ride (Z2, fartlek with some climbs based on how I feel)
Every fourth week is a rest and recovery week without structured training for me. I usually do a ramp test then but might switch to a 20min time trial in order to train for challenge #4 (20km ITT) while testing. Otherwise, I just listen to my legs and take it easy. I will probably alternate the longer “climbs” with some 1km efforts on Saturdays.
At the moment, I plan on doing Sustained Power Build after the Base phase (can’t argue with sustained power :-D) but what should I do then?
I should mention that I live in a rather flat area and I guess that even the 4.000 metres of climbing would probably take place on a shortish climb (200m of elevation gain maybe?). I also think that I might do this on a MTB rather than a road bike.
Thank you for your ideas!
That’s quite the list and I’m impressed you’re going for all of them this season. Since so many are / can be solo events I would schedule them in a way to peak in a couple of groupings.
Sustained power - #2, #4
Short power - #3, #5
Rolling road race - #1, #6, #7
Maybe put three events on your calendar (say TT, crit, and road race) separated by at least four weeks (six may be better) and see what Plan Builder gives you.
Let us know what you decide - I’m curious now!
Sorry for the late reply and thank you @rkoswald
My original idea was to do all challenges in one week (stage race style), but I might have got carried away there. I am not finally decided though, and the order in which the individual challenges are done should be decisive.
The idea of scheduling them apart is appealing, but I guess that I’d need more than 4 weeks in between (take away 1 week for recovery and one for tapering and you’re left with only 2 weeks of specific training). It might be possible to do something in May, July and September though. For numbers 6 and 7 I would not need specific training because I have not set a time goal. However, #6 will be significantly more challenging if I have to do it locally with 20 or so hill repeats.
I’m not done thinking, but the good thing is that for now base training is the way to go anyway.
…will keep you posted.
Your first five challenges are all TT style races where the goal is to empty the tank. Doing all those consecutively probably won’t give you your best times.
Also, since they’re all TTs, the climbing aspect is kind of inconsequential. It’s all going to boil down to consistent pacing at your highest sustainable power.
Thanks, and best of luck!!
Agreed. If I did them in one week, the aim would rather be to find out what I can do under these circumstances. The only one where this doesn’t apply is the Strava challenge.
I don’t know if the TT and climbing aspects are that mutually compromising though. As I would basically compete against myself, the climbing efforts would be time trial style as well. I feel that it is rather the quite different length of the efforts that should be difficult to address with the same kind of training.
Well, I have given this a bit of thought and came up with the following.
- I assigned dates and priorities to the seven challenges
#1 100/1000 challenge: A2, 12 Oct
#2 climbing hour: A1, 3 Aug
#3 1km ITT: B4, 25 Jul, 18 Jul
#4 20km ITT: B2, 25 Jul
#5 local KOM: B1, 11 Jul
#6 4000 metres of climbing: B3, 29 Apr
#7 social ride: C1, 23 May
- I ranked the challenges just in case I have to adjust for or skip one of the B priorities.
#1 and 2 are the most appealing for me, so they become A priorities. Also, with one of them being later in the year, there should be a better chance of maintaining or re-building form and (more importantly) keeping me motivated.
- The longest challenge #6 is set early in the year so I can build on the endurance needed there.
#3-5 are thought to give me some race pace toughness for the first A priority. I will do the KOM first as I will be freshest, then do the 1km as I should be able to recover quite quickly from that one (despite probably being sick at the side of the road) and then the 20km time trial as this could also serve as a sustained power workout. I will then have two weeks of structured training with no challenges before the first A priority.
- I scheduled the climbing hour as a XC Olympic event, as the repeats on the relatively short, steep climb I will use probably rather closely some XC races. I will probably do this on the road though. The 100/1000 challenge is scheduled as a rolling road race.
- Last but not least, I will give Mid volume another shot because this best resembles the volume I usually do (with some leeway for the occasional recovery ride). However, I plan to be kind to me when I need to do an easy extensive outdoor ride instead of an interval session at the weekend.
…and this is what Plan Builder gave me:
- Sweet Spot Base I Mid Volume 6 weeks
- Short Power Build Mid Volume 4 weeks
- Sweet Spot Base II Mid Volume 6 weeks
- Short Power Build Mid Volume 8 weeks
- XC-Olympic Mid Volume 8 weeks
- Sweet Spot Base I Mid Volume 1 week
- Rolling Road Race Mid Volume 8 weeks
- Sweet Spot Base I Mid Volume 1 week