What You Get
You get the same downloadable pdf as the standard pdf version, but also get the Training Peaks version of the program to load into an online Training Peaks calendar to more easily keep track of your training schedule. The workouts are set up with training zones on Training Peaks and downloadable as .fit, .erg, .mrc, and .zwo. I have the workouts set up in Training Peaks to follow either a power zone or heart rate zone, depending on the workout type, but you have the ability to toggle them to your preference.
Ideal Target Race
Your ideal target race goal should be approximately 6 to 8 hours to finish with the focus of the training being on endurance, climbing and dialing in your ideal race pace. I have provided a Program And Workout Modifications section with recommended adjustments to this training plan for target races that could take you 8+ hours to complete or races with faster paces and minimal climbing.
Who Is This For
Existing back of the pack age group rider looking to chase down the mid pack racers or current recreational rider wanting some serious structured training for a good finish in their first endurance race.
Racing During The Program
Race simulation rides are included in the schedule every weekend throughout the back half of the program so you can dial in your race pace on terrain similar to your target race or do some actual racing.
Test sessions, either off-road time trials or threshold tests are scheduled at the ends of recovery weeks and are ideal sessions to swap for weekend races throughout the training program.
This program is 18 weeks long and broken down into 3 periods and 1 race week. The first 10 week period is for building base endurance and force before moving into the next 6 weeks that builds up your race specific fitness. These periods are followed by 1 taper week and your final race week. The max individual workout/ride length is 4 hours and 40 minutes. I have provided a Program And Workout Modifications section to account for some varying endurance race lengths, pace and individual athlete situations.
Training Period Description
The program assumes the existing intermediate mid pack racer has an existing level of base fitness going into the program.
Weeks 1 through 4 – Base Period
Spend most of your time building a solid endurance base while building up your max ride length.
Weeks 5 through 7 – Base Period
Start building endurance in zone 3, which is most likely the zone you will spend a majority of your time during long distance races and continue extending max ride length.
Weeks 8 through 10 – Base Period
Dive into hill repeat work during the week to build climbing strength and start building long climbing endurance on the weekends.
Weeks 11 through 13 – Build Period
Add some power work to support short climbs, fast starts and bridging gaps on race day while continuing to build force with hill repeat work. You will also start race day simulation rides on the weekend to start dialing in race day nutrition, get comfortable riding race pace on race type terrain and prepare yourself for higher intensity.
Weeks 14 through 16 – Build Period
Increase length of power output, build endurance at higher intensities while getting comfortable going above threshold for short periods and increase time at race pace.
Weeks 17 – Taper Period
Tapering down to race week with limited endurance riding and the focus being on maintaining performance of race intensity built up in the previous 8 weeks.
Week 18 – Race Week
Ride time will be short this week, but will still include 1 race intensity ride early in the week. By the end of the week, you should feel very dialed in and ready to race.