Guidance on Training Plans for SBT GRVL

Morning all!

This post is to inquire about which Training Plan(s) would be best for my level and my goals for 2020.

I am heading to Steamboat (SBT GRVL Black Course) August 16, 2020. This is my only goal for the year other than riding and maintaining good health and fitness.

I am a 43 year old male. I ride 100 miles per week on average (2019 was around 5000 miles). I am in the weight room 2-3 times per week. I include additional core work at home 2-3 times per week. This is mostly year round. Although later in the summer I tend to drop to 1-2 times a week with weights/core and an increase in mileage from riding (to as much as 200 miles a week).

I finished the Festive 500 on December 31st, which led me into a week of no training. I am coming off of one of my two annual weekly exercise breaks. For the time being, I am heading back into the weight room 2-3 times a week and between 50-100 miles a week on the bike (weather dependent). An occasional swim may occur on days of inclement weather…

I would like to have a rest week about half way from now until SBT GRVL. A break from Base to Race, etc. One or two smaller breaks may be necessary due to family obligations.

Other than that, just looking to have a great time in Steamboat and would like to arrive as prepared as possible.

Thanks for the guidance on training plans. Cheers!

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Awesome @Dinan - we will for certain see you there!

So, good question, we recommend 3 phases from now till Aug 18th for the SBTG (you’re already lifting weights)

#1 sweet spot base build - for ____ weeks , till you get to the start of #2 :point_down:
#2 hill climbing intervals - for the 6-12 weeks prior to SBTG
#3 our SBTG gravel plan - start July 6th, 2020 for a gravel specific build + overload > taper > peak for

Have fun and good luck - come say hi to us at the FasCat booth in the expo area the day before!

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Thank you for the reply, Frank.

I see there are three Sweet Spot training plans. Is there a particular Sweet Spot plan (or progression of plans) that I should target for the base building / weight season until Hill Intervals start? Each Sweet Spot plan appears to be six weeks in length.

Factoring in the six week SBT training plan starting July 6th, I have about 24 weeks until the start of that plan. Is there an advisable way to carve up that 24 weeks with the other plans you suggest? There will be a planned rest week (June 29-July 5) going into the SBT plan.

Side note - I plan to start the Sweet Spot training on the Basic plan to couple with time in the weight room. I strive to progress to at least the Intermediate plans for Hill Intervals. Perhaps even the Advanced plan for the SBT plan (if family time allows).

Thank you for the guidance.


Sweet Spot Parts 1 > 2 > 3 - that is the progression.

We do not recommend trying to do two plans at once.

Thanks, Frank. I will give these plans some further thought. I tend toward well-rounded fitness year round. I am disinclined to cut out strength training so far out from my event. :thinking:

You bet, give this a watch for additional perspective:

Thought I would jump in on this thread!

As I mentioned in another thread I’m singed up for STB GRVL black course. Still pretty new to riding so I know I need to improve FTP and endurance (current FTP 203 and am comfortable on 2-3. hour endurance rides).

I’ve bought the SS1 plan and am starting that on Feb 10. Would you recommend the same SS1 into the hill climbing intervals plan and then into the SBTG gravel plan for my situation?

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Yes I think that would be a great option for you.

See you at Steamboat Gravel!

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Thanks @Isaiah!

So I’ve purchased the SS1 plan and am starting that on Monday (2/10). Based on the above advice I was going to then do SS2, followed by the climbing interval plan and then the SB gravel plan.

However (and apologies if this is a dumb question!) - after looking at my SS1 plan (intermediate) and screen shots from the other plans, it looks like the longest rides are about 3 hours. I’m concerned that I won’t have built up my endurance enough for a 10-12 hour day at steamboat (or built up enough to jump into the longer rides in the gravel plan).

So am just looking for advice if my above plan is good to go or if I should modify what training plans I’m looking at. Thanks!



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No dumb questions!

Generally if you have more time to train then yes use it! For jumping up hours (ether with switching out your plans to the Advanced version or upping your hours in your intermediate plan) you need to juggle your age as well as time available. So what is your age and do you have 12-16 hours a week to train and then add some in there for recovery?
If you are a masters age, with a full time job, as well as other commitments I would stick to the Intermediate plan and add on to the weekends if you can and in the correct manor to the builds. We can help you out with this if you want to do the subscription option of our plans.

If you have a pretty free schedule and can take on the recovery portion then I can trade out your plans to the advanced version.

In general we believe that the Intermediate version of the sweet spot plans then paired with the gravel plan will get you ready to take on and finish the gravel black route.


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Thanks again for all advice, and quick responses! Based on the above, and being 45 with a full time job, the best plan sounds like sticking with the intermediate plans and adding to the weekends (I can make that work).

I’ll look at the monthly subscription to lay all this out and get dedicated advice, plan adjustment.

Thanks again!




@Isaiah - I just subscribed to a coaching subscription as recommended. Thanks!

I assume I should take my specific question over to the coaching subscription section once Fascat has accepted me adding the help@fascat email address in training peaks as my coach?

That is correct. Head on over to the subscription section. I updated your account so you should be good to see everything. We are all linked up on TP so you are good there as well.


@Isaiah my question is a bit similar to Ben’s with a twist. I had started the CTS training plan that SBT GRVL makes available and am roughly halfway through. I then learned of FasCat and purchased SweetSpot 1.

I thought to start it this past week but noted that the overall distance was less and the intervals were taking me back a step for the CTS plan. So, I stuck with it this week.

Now have read this thread and noted the build of the subsequent plans to have me ready for SBT in August. I am doing the Blue course and on my long ride yesterday completed 80 miles on a 5 hour ride. While I see the benefit of the sweet spot approach, I’m concerned about losing the endurance and maybe fitness I have gained.

So, long winded way of asking, am I over thinking this and should just look to modify a plan by adding miles on the weekends, perhaps should have chosen Sweet Spot 2 instead or stick to the plan and allow it to do its work??

Appreciate your guidance - Bishop


Welcome @mbbastien - using proper periodization you don’t necessarily need nor want to be belting out 5 hour rides in February. May-June-July yes.

Think of your preparation like walking up a flight of stairs one step at a time.

Similarly use the PMC chart in TrainingPeaks to manage your training load and CTL to always be moving UP.

You don’t want to raise it right away and then struggle the next 4 months to hold it there.

Start gradually and build up. Timing is everything :sunglasses:


Thank you Frank! Appreciate your comments and guidance. I will readjust and get started with week one of Sweet Spot 1. Thanks, again!