Have I chosen the wrong follow up plan?

I am mid way through 18 weeks of sweet spot and I am loving it! This is the first time I have ever used a structured plan and, after having a couple years of cycling dictated to me by injury, I have seen huge benefits. So much so, I went ahead and purchased a follow up plan ‘intervals for road racing’ to take up off the back of this one - hoping to see continued growth.

I notice however that my CTL will drop if I take this plan up. I am due to finish 18 weeks of sweet spot at 80 CTL. After a rest week I would start the next plan at 70CTL and then slowly decline down to 65CTL. Is this normal or have I chosen the wrong plan? My aim for the year is to peak late June, I would finish intervals for road racing mid April and I wonder if I should still be building at this point in the year?

Complete noob so any advice appreciated.

I have the same observation. SS Base Intermediate takes my to CTL to 80 and the end of the plan and the A event, after 6 week Fondo Intermediate plan, is 68.

You really would like your peak CTL to be 2 - 4 weeks before your A race. Then you begin your taper, race specific efforts and rest becomes more important so CTL will drop.

Looking at the weekly TSS going from the Sweet spot plan to the interval plan is the first 2 weeks of those is considerably less. The sweet spot plan is all about raising the CTL and building fitness. The interval plan is not.

Going from sweet spot to the Fondo plan you could add a little TSS in the first two weeks but the goal is more towards putting in big weekend simulation rides and you want to be ready for those.

Going from sweet spot to the interval plan you want less TSS overall in the interval plan because you want to be fresh for the high intensity efforts. Those take a lot to complete and you want to be going full gas. So the duration and overall TSS is less causing a drop in CTL.

After completing a race specific plan and first goal races it’s good to circle back to 6 weeks of sweet spot 2 or 3 plan to raise the CTL back up before a mid to late season push.

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Thanks for your response. So if I want to continue to raise my CTL for a period what would you suggest?

It’s tough because Sweet Spot 3, the end of the sweet spot 18 week plan is the highest CTL building plan. So ideally now you would be completing our Strength and Resistance training program that would give you 10 weeks of on and off the bike strength training before starting the 18 weeks of sweet spot.

If you are in a colder climate and will be doing a lot of indoor riding you could do the shorter road race and criterium plan before the final 8 weeks of the sweet spot plan. Just short and intense rides. This way you are not cutting down your longer weekend rides due to riding indoors. Then after this 6 week plan you can finish the last 8 weeks of the sweet spot plan. Building up your CTL.

That is just one suggestion.

Also - for these ‘advanced’ questions that require custom solutions ,I would encourage you to consider hiring a coach where you will get a custom training plan designed by your coach, after talking with your coach, based on exactly the ‘timing’ you mention above. ‘Timing is everything’ according to our recent podcast:


As a self coached athlete with our training plans, you have all the tools, but I do want to point out the difference between following a training plan and one on one coaching.

I would suggest hiring Coach Jake to customize your training plan OR you will want to edit it yourself using the principles of our training plan with your goals and knowledge.

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Thanks @Jake .

In my case the fondos are races, particularly the second A event, Whistler Fondo a UCI event. I complete these 100+ miles (160 km) in under 4 hours . This is my concern with lower CTL leading up to these points in the ATP.

I will adjust the load after the end of last SS cycle as you suggest. Should the TSS continue to climb or level out for those 2 weeks of the fondo plan?

I’d say it depends @bruce.law on many factors that you should make the judgement call after your A event.

Emphasis on after because so much will happen in-between now and then I keep time frames like that open with the athletes I coach. Then we talk, consult, circle the wagons and make decisions. Right now it does not matter.

We also don’t have a two week plan after your A race :slight_smile: You are getting more in to the coaching or coaching subscription realm.

Thanks @FRANK, I realize that the time for those kinds of decisions is a little way off and is academic at this point.

@Jake made a suggestion regarding the couple of weeks after A and the beginning of the next race 6 week build leading to B.

I think you may be right about coaching. I’m going to search other threads to determine if the monthly coaching or the subscription is best for me.

Thanks again.