Choosing Off Season Plan Question


Wrapping up Foundation plan here this week and planning ahead for my off season plan. I race cross country mountain bike, for reference, Comp level. I will turn 50 in 2020 and this will be my 4th season racing. Last season I reached an outdoor FTP of 324 at just under 180 lbs (+/-) utilizing FastCat plans in the spring and summer, but not off season plan. I just rode a lot on the trainer and outdoors on fat bike.

I see 2 plans to choose from: “Resistance Training + Sweet Spot” (16 weeks) or “18 Weeks of Sweet Spot”. Plan to start one or the other Nov. 4 or Nov. 11. Either plan will take me basically to the end of February/early March. First MTB races, weather depending, start middle April here in the midwest. I will do 2-3 winter, fat bike races during the winter for fun but plan to basically stick to the plan (FTFP). :grinning::

Curious which plan would be better for my situation. I have weight lifted for roughly 35 years prior to taking on cycling as a serious endeavor, so have quite a bit of experience with gym work; definitely not a beginner to that environment. Thank you.

You should probably do the Resistance Training + Sweet Spot. You should start November 11th. Make sure to give yourself a 2 week off season break. Not sure if you already did or not.

The resistance training plan will give you the strength training. This is a great time for that! The best part is you have experience with weight training so you will be more than comfortable in the gym. But with our plan you will get cycling specific workouts and on the bike workouts that go with the weight training.

I would most likely add on either our sweet spot 2 or 3 plan to go with this plan. Just so you get a solid 12 weeks of sweet spot in for a base.

Then you can complete our XC mountain bike plan to get in intensity as the early season races start!

1 Like

Hi Jake,

The plan I was going to choose is Resistance Training + Sweet Spot.

I was under the impression by the description that it came with resistance training and the cycling workouts. I haven’t purchased the plan yet so I guess that might help clarify things (seeing it in TrainingPeaks). Plan to start Nov. 11th per your suggestion. When would I add the additional Sweet Spot plan(s) that you refer to below? I’m sort of unclear on that part.

Thanks for your help.

Oh we have an 18 week sweet spot plan and than there is the resistance + sweet spot.

If you purchase the resistance + sweet spot like you intended to, you should go with the mountain bike marathon plan to follow.

includes the 10 weeks weight lifting for cycling + Sweet Spot Part 1

18 Weeks of sweet spot does not include the weight lifting

Sort of a related question. I’m already starting to think about training for 'cross next season.

Last year in the off-season (starting end of January) I did the resistance training for cyclists program - it was awesome and translated into gains all season.

Since my focus is cyclocross with a sprinkling of spring gravel events and mtb races that I train through, I’m thinking about a more cyclocross-specific off-season plan. What’s the difference between the off-season cyclocross training plan and the secret training off season strength plan (aside from one is 12 weeks and one is 24). Or, does is make sense to do the general resistance training program like last year and move into 'cross specific stuff in the summer?

Our cyclocross off season training includes some of our running workouts and a few more cross specific workouts as opposed to the general resistance training. Both will have the same weight program though so you will have the gym workouts that you completed this past season.

Another sort-of related question: I’d like to get on the 16 week weights plus sweet spot plan but I’m coming off a terrible year with a big crash in May and a bout of mono which I’ve just about recovered from. The year before that was way too work and little time for training. I’m back on the bike and I want to get serious again. My CTL is near the bottom but it’s slowly climbing.

My question is: is this a good plan if I want to build up a strong base for next year? Don’t have a specific race in mind – I’d just like to get a bit competitive again and get to shine a bit on the group rides come spring, and maybe race again in the late summer. Is the 16 week lifting plan a good option for getting back on my feet? I’m thinking long term here and I’ll most likely keep on going with other plans in spring and beyond.

Grateful for any insights!

Yes. The 16 week resistance plus base is a very good long term plan. Start off by building strength and then move onto sweet spot and building up your aerobic engine.

After that you would want to do our sweet spot 2 and 3 plans to continue to build upon that aerobic engine with some advance sweet spot training.

After that is when you can do some interval training or race/event specific training to get in that top end.