Win a 3-day stage race training approach

Hi All,

I’m targeting the Killington Stage Race in May. It’s a three day stage race. Here are the race characteristics–it’s pretty balanced:

-Stage 1 is a rolling road race (35 miles)
-Stage 2 is a road race (65 miles, 6,000 ft climbing) with a mountain top finish (final climb is 12-15 mins)
-Stage 3 is a gradually uphill time trial (~1%) (winner does it in the ~22-25 min range)

To do well, I’ll need to not lose any time on stage 1, and then climb and time trial really well on stage 2 and 3. I’m curious about the best training approach. I’ll need to be able to produce really good power for 15 - 25 minutes to be good on the mountain stage and time trial stage, but also be able to respond to heavy accelerations on stage 1.

Given this, any advice on the best training for time trials and climbs? I’m thinking Sweet Spot Base High Vol, Sustained Power Build High Vol, and Climbing Road Race High Vol, but am concerned I’m not addressing the need to race fatigued over 3 days with this approach, and am favoring climbing rather than time-trialing specificity when I really need to be targeting both.

Thanks!

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That’s a lot of high volume. Have you done a sustained training program in the 500+ TSS per week range yet, successfully?

My second thought is that you probably want the ‘General Build’ cycle, you aren’t training for a many many hour gravel race or ironman. I did the medium sustained build and probably wouldn’t do it again. I found it boring/repetitive.

I wonder if the rolling road race plan might be a shade better than the climbing, since you’re doing short climbs. I mean, the second stage might have a large emphasis on climbing. FWIW I’m not a climber nor will I be one, so you can probably disregard this paragraph. :slight_smile:

My main suggestion would be to be cautious on the volume. The high volume plans are very taxing compared to the medium volume plans.

The power requirements for a ~15 minute climb and a ~25 minute TT are pretty similar. The specificity comes more down to position, you need to be doing enough training in both TT and road position to be effective in both. And possibly some time on actual hills as well (or with a book under your front wheel or a Kickr Climbr), climbing a gradient can slightly change the muscles you use.

Is the race always won on days 2 and 3? Day 1 seems to be a recipe for a break to stick while everybody is trying to conserve energy for the other days. Also seems like the kind of race where having a team would help hugely, particularly with conserving energy on day 1 and with delivering you to the final climb on day 2 as fresh as possible.

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i did the Green Mountain Stage race this past year. its the same area and i believe it may use the same roads. i did ssb hv, sus build hv, climbing road race hv. reflecting back id go with general build/ rolling road. this is what im going with for 2020 (again targeting green mountain) the climbs are pretty big but i think the climbing rr path is more for 45min. or an hour climb. at green mountain even the app gap summit finish was around 30 min total but the climb is kind of split up into 3 ten min sections separated by little false flats

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I think the plans you’ve picked out are correct both for the TT and for the likely decisive moment of the race (final climb on day 2) as both require consistent longer duration power. I wouldn’t be at all concerned about the power demands of the TT as they dovetail nicely with the needs of the final steep climb on day 2 and the more gradual grinding climb that is part of the circuit race on day 1

I’m not sure you need the HV plans since it seems you’re racing one of the lower categories (distances are increased for the higher categories) but if you do the HV plans you’ll have to learn how to quickly recover from large 3-6 day blocks anyway so that aspect of stage racing shouldn’t be problematic for you

You’re likely better off with MV but it would depend on your training history and ability to put together an extended block in the 600 TSS/week range without the wheels coming off

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KSR is my A race this year, too. My plan is SSBMV 1 > SSBMV 2 > General Build MV > Rolling Road Race MV. I think Sustained Power and Climbing RR might be too much.

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really fun race, great weekend! All the best and hopefully there isn’t snow this year :wink:

Brendan

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If you can do high volume all the way through, the racing shouldn’t be overly draining (more than usual) on you.

You’ll probably do less work over those three days than a regular block in high volume.

That doesn’t mean you’ll win but I bet you’ll feel good over the three days if you hydrate and eat well.

I also like your plan Progression; is choose the same progression if I were you.

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Super insightful. VT climbs are usually broken up into stages, which I think calls for the ability to ride well above threshold for 5-10 min blocks of time, recover, then do it again. Thanks for the tip!

Thanks for the comment. My background is in longer events where my training volume is high, but lower intensity. To your point, I am concerned about the number of hard days in the plan, and lack of development of the aerobic side of things. I may keep the volume, but focus on a longer endurance ride on the weekend and peel off some of the intensity to balance it out a bit more.