Early season racing during Sweet Spot?

Hey guys, I’m finalizing the timing of my training plans (10 week resistance, 18 weeks SS, 6 weeks intervals).

What kind of experience have racers had with a few early season races (late March-mid May) while still in the Sweet Spot phase? Obviously I won’t be fine tuned. I’m a Midwest Cat 3, I’d think the SS, Criss-cross, and Over-Under rides would still produce good fitness (and maybe upgrade points).

Will this turn me into the group ride hero? My main target races are Tulsa Tough, mid June, and another weekend July 10-12. I don’t want to peak too early.

I know I won’t be on peak form, but if most other guys aren’t either it just comes down to who’s fitter right? I wouldn’t sacrifice any training volume, but am still hungry for a few results before the meat of the summer rolls around.

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You will be fine for racing! You need to build that base early on to carry you through the entire year. If you started focusing on intervals, race and recovery scenario in March you wouldn’t make it to your A races with much fitness and could be burnt out on the intensity.

This graphs is just a great representation of what you are looking to do.


You will be in shape to compete in your early season races. Also you will get that race intensity from the early season races and even group rides that will carry over for the races in April and May. So it’s not like you will be going in with nothing.


Yes - per the “Group Ride Season” in the graph Coach @Jake posted above you’ll just use your races in place of the ‘sweet spot group ride’ on your plan or the ‘attack-esque group ride’ on your plan.

What you can still do is strive to achieve those TSS’s that are on your plan from your races. I say this because often times a 45-60 min crit will only produce a TSS of 80-90 whereas your training plan has 150+ TSS prescribed. So get in a long warm up and if you need to ride after your race (a crit, for example) do so in order to #FtFP!