2021 Training Plan Advice

I just brought the 18 week SS plan. What plan(s) or approach would you recommend in this situation? My fall ‘A’ event is Hincapie in Greenville, SC, gran route of 80 miles and 8100 feet of climbing. Do I need to get the climbing plan also? I will start training for this the first week of June.

I am familiar with structured training both indoors and outdoors. I can average 6-11 hours a week.


I have a very similar q. Also purchased the 18 week sweet spot plan, targeting long gravel events this summer with highest priority events CO2UT in May and BWR San Diego July 18. Plan basically matches what I’d plan to do myself if left to my own devices, but I do want to make sure my training prepares me for ultra long days and significant climbing

Some adjustments to the training plan I’m considering are:

  1. Stack the long rides on Saturday only to get a super long day (7-10) hrs with Sunday recovery or off
  2. Do some of the sweet spot intervals days up climbs

Any advice would be appreciated!

@frank.jones and @john.hancock

Great questions.

For both of you 100% go hit up climbs if you are able. Most intervals will be well done on climbs and the longer weekend sweet spot or TSS rides are also perfect to go get your body and mind used to the hills.

@frank.jones with planning out your build to your A event I would also jump on our climbing or fondo plan after the sweet spot plan. This will be your “switching from race to base” and will then dial in the specific efforts related to climbing.

@john.hancock since your first event is sooner (May) and I believe the 18SS plan will put you through that. Is the CO2UT your A race and then you are planning to second peak for BWR? or are you using the CO2UT as a builder and then BWR is the peak? If you are planning on a double peak I would actually advise you jump on our Gravel Training Plan to help prep you for the race six weeks out +/- the taper.
If you are planning on continuing your build out to BWR then I would just add on a little time to one weekend day each week to prep you for CO2UT. Don’t combine the days, but simply add on a little each week to one weekend ride to build slowly and not throw off the plan or ramp too fast.

Best of luck to each of you and I hope that helps!

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I did go ahead and purchase the 8 week climbing program. So, I would assume to maintain the 8 weeks, and then work backwards for the Sweetspot program? It’s a couple of weeks shorter than 18 weeks.

Thanks Isaiah, helpful.


I used to goto mountain bike races with a fella by the name of Frank Jones while I was in Raleigh, NC - any chance this is you ?!

Sorry, wrong Frank Jones but I am close to Raleigh (within 2 hours).
Haven’t done any mountain bike riding … just road. :slight_smile:

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Thank you @Isaiah for the advice. My plan is to build through CO2UT, focus on BWR. Heard on not combining the long days…but alas, if life gets in the way of me doing medium-ish Sunday ride per the plan after a Saturday long day, would you recommend that I do actually add on to the Saturday long day?

Trying to figure out how to max the plan for BWR without entirely abandoning the fam on weekends :slight_smile:

Totally understand having to juggle life and family. Thats a good thing!
With building through CO2UT then you could transfer some time over to Saturday, but just make sure to not overdo it and still keep in mind your overall build.
Another thing that I do with some of my athletes that need to free up Sunday is add a little time to Friday and then some as well to Saturday. This makes Fri/Sat a more prominent build and thus freeing up some or all of Sunday athlete depending.

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Great, thank you for the useful answers @Isaiah

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A follow up question since its time to plan out my remaining year. I am riding Hincapie Chattanooga May 1st. My initial plan was to take a recovery week afterwards May 2-8th (Z1 or low Z2). My two questions center around how to schedule the 18 week SS & 6 week climbing plans that I have purchased.

  1. How to structure this since I have 23 weeks to my next ‘A’ ride, Hincapie Greenville. 1) I could omit the free from structure recovery week. Then, start the 18 week & 6 week plan. I would not have a lot of rest for the field test. 2) I could keep the recovery week and start the 18 week SS on the plan’s second week instead of the first. 3) Keep the recovery week and cut the last week of the 18 week SS plan as I pick up the climbing plan. I see plus/minus to each. Any suggestions?

  2. At least in these two plans, a taper week is not included. Any suggestion on how to best set up the 5-7 days prior to Hincapie Greenville, Oct 23th?

Sounds to me like you already have a decent base if you are racing next week.
I would suggest starting the 18 weeks of SS in week 4. This would be a rest week for after you finish your race. Complete all of the 18 weeks of SS, then move onto the climbing plan. Complete that plan as written and then have a week to taper into the race. That will put you right at 23 weeks :slight_smile:

That puts me off schedule but I get your idea. Some clarity.

May 1st (Sat) — Hincapie Chattanooga
May 2-8 — recovery

October 18-23 — taper
October 23 — Hiincapie Greenville

Between May 9 & October 18th is my 23 weeks.

Ya, you are sorta dipping into custom training plan design covered in our 1 x 1 coaching .

You may edit your plan yourself per Lacey’s recommendation above but its hard because how a training plan lays out is so visual to balance all the rest days and race days in relation to the training in-between,.

We do waive the $99 start up fee since for all training plan customers.

One exercise you can do yourself - is enter all those events into your TrainingPeaks and then begin moving the workouts around with a simple left click drag 'n drop.

Hope that helps - the Chattanooga Fondo is going to be great - up Lookout MTN (I think)

Thanks Frank. Not trying to dip into a paid option.
I will play around with the plans. I have thought about the $39 option.
That does help. Looking forward up the mount. Pacing will be key for me. I have a tendency to go too hard early. I am determined not to do that. :slight_smile:

We will see how I have to adjust the plan now.

Last Saturday, 4 miles or so from the finish of Hincapie Chattanooga Gran, I hit a hidden pothole, crashed, broke a rib with several abrasions. Destroyed my Garmin and helmet. Amazingly, the bike is “fine.” I am going to have my mechanic give it a go-over next week.

Any advice or experience on broken ribs? My legs are fine, so my tentative plan is that no later than Monday I will do trainer rides for 2-3 weeks (easy to start) and see how it proceeds.

Sorry @frank.jones !! As with any injury let the pain go away before resuming exercise.

The thing with ribs as I’m sure you are now WELL aware of is that it hurts when you laugh, cough, breath & breath deeply. Talking at length is often painful and needs to be interrupted to take shorter shallower breaths.

So until you can talk in long sentences don’t try to ride. You cold spin out your legs in zone 0.5 for movement but any attempt to train meaningfully is secondary to giving yourself time to help and letting the acute pain go away.

Heal up and also if you don’t have any goal events coming up you can afford to relax more

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@Frank … You are entirely right that I am “WELL aware.” I am thankful that I can still talk in long sentences but laughing, coughing, and sneezing are out of bounds! No goal events until October so I am going to take it by the week. No riding this week. :slight_smile:

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