Just signed up for the coaching subscription after posting my questions in another forum section here. So in summary:
- I’m a relatively fit 45 year old that started to cycle in Aug last year.
- A mate convinced me to register for the STB GRVL black course
- I’m just about to finish a free 3 week training plan in training peaks.
- I’ve purchased the SS1 FasCat plan (intermediate) and start that Monday 2/10
- Advice already provided was that SS1, SS2, the 6 week climbing plan followed by SG gravel plan would be a good schedule for me.
- In my TP account you’ll see a SG gravel plan in there that was provided by SG after registration. That starts on 6/8.
- The concern I mentioned in my other post related to whether I’m doing enough work on endurance/base building (or whatever you call that!) so I’m ready for the gravel plan so I can get ready for a 12 hour day. My longest ride so far has been 3 hours. Quite a few 2-2.5 hour rides done.
- The advice given was that I should stick with the intermediate SS1 plan and add some ‘blocks’ to the weekend through this subscription. So here I am!
Welcome to being a subscription athlete.
So to get started since you are fairly new to riding I think being conservative with your ramp rate is a good idea. In that way sticking to the Intermediate plan was the right choice for sure.
I do think adding a few longer days will help you out. We don’t need a ton of these in the early months nor do we need to add on by much, as this will be more important later on and also as the weather gets nicer. But having a few here and there I think will help. The biggest thing for now though for you is consistency. Remember we still have 7 months to work with.
Ive added a few hours here and there to help build out your endurance. These are going to be in the Sundays of week 2, 3, 5, 6 of this first plan. The goal on this first block is not to instantly jump in and attempt tons of 4+ hour rides but instead use this time to build up to doing a 4 hour ride with purpose.
That way in SS2 you are just building on that and then again with the hill climb plan and beyond.
One other thing of note is in our Gravel training plan we do “race simulation rides” where you are pushing to experience a portion of the demands of what you will have on race day. So for Steamboat for example its duration and then also elevation gain. I think this would benefit you greatly. Just something to think about.
Now FTFP and this will be a really good foundation put down!
That’s awesome - thanks Isaiah!
I just had a quick look at the changes. All makes sense to me. Looking forward getting into it next week and seeing how it all goes.
I did notice some gravel simulation rides when looking at your other plans. I can see me just deleting the current steamboat plan in there and lining up the plans you’d recommend. Will look at that closer to the end of SS1 as we plan out the rest of the preparation.
Hi @Isaiah - I’m just starting my SS2 plan this week and have a couple of questions!:
As above you added some hours to endurance rides for my SS1 plan. My most recent weekend rides were a 3h (group SS) and 4h (z2-SS) ride. With the first weekend of my SS2 plan, the Sunday ride is back to a 2h endurance ride, and the Sunday rides are generally shorter than the Sunday rides I did during SS1. Should I tweak my SS2 Sunday rides to maintain the volume of training I’m currently doing?
I did my FTP test inside and I’ve certainly found the weekday SS workouts (which so far I’ve done on a trainer) challenging. However with the weather improving I plan on getting outside for some of the weekday workouts this week and moving forward. However, my most recent 4 hour Z2-SS ride had 4 x 18 min SS intervals and I was towards the top of my SS power zone, and towards the bottom of the SS HR zone. I want to make sure I’m working hard enough this week during the outside workouts. Should I just work at the very top, or a bit over the top of my current threshold or SS zone (depending on workout) and see how I feel after the first week? Or something else?
Firstly nice work putting in the work! Solid CTL rise and you have been sticking the the plan👌
Looking through your data I think its time for you to do another test. The trainer will always be a bit more challenging but your HR to power still looks good and warrants the need for a new test. If at all possible I would try to accomplish your test outside. If that is possible the 4th is a good date to give it a go (warm up and then do the test, then add on the volume ride after). You want to do it on the 4th or the 1st (if during week is better) so that you are fresh and can give it 100%. I changed it in your account.
But to test this first I changed tomorrows threshold workout for you to a 2 x 10 tester workout from the 3 x 10 steady threshold. I put in the notes of what to do with that information. Its a great tester/guide to your 20min test.
As for the volume side the key is looking at your ramp rate in your CTL. When you started SS1 your CTL was 25 and you ended last week at 55, so over the course of six weeks thats a ramp rate of 5 which is great. With your A race later in the season I don’t think it is worth it for you to push beyond that. With how you have SS2 right now you will round out the plan at 70CTL which then is a ramp rate of 2.5. While that is less then the original ramp rate you are also throwing in more intensity within the plan so you want to make sure you are able to manage recovery as well. Through this next plan you will consistently be doing higher volume weeks then you have done so far (your highest was last week of 11:30) and that combined with added intensity will be plenty to keep building you.
That said I have added in a little more time as I think you have the time to handle it, but you want to view your training is a steady progression to steamboat and not a quick ramp and then a following simmer/burn out. I now have you set at 3.3.ramp rate (still super quality).
Keep crushing it Ben and let us know how the test goes!
Thanks for the thorough reply and the insight! All makes sense. Thanks also for the adjustments to my plan in TP.
I had a look at the ride for tomorrow. That will be good for me as I’ve never tried any kind of all out effort over 10 minutes nor tried to pace a 20 min effort either. I’ll certainly need this kind of practice for the field test. I’ll look at doing the field test on the 4th as you’ve planned and will let you know how it goes!
Hi @Isaiah - just following up!
So I pushed my SS group ride on the weekend and had some really good SS intervals that were actually at threshold according to current FTP of 212 (set on zwift ramp test) but with HR in SS zone. So this morning did another zwift ramp test and that set a new FTP of 234. So really happy with that improvement from SS1 plan!!
You have a field test set up for me on Sat so am going to use that new FTP to as a guide to target around 250 for my 20 minute outdoor test and see how that goes.
One question: initially when I purchased and added SS2 to my calendar, you went in and moved around some things (like regen weeks etc) but you also added a field test on May 2. So now I have a field test this Sat, Apr 4, and then another one in 4 weeks. I assume that’s not the intent and the May 2 one is probably not required anymore and I should do something else?
Nice man!! Thats killer. Good luck on the test.
I agree the test on May 2nd will likely not be needed. You will want to access if another test is necessary at that point but I rarely have an athlete test in that quick of repetition unless its obvious that they need it.
I plugged in a different workout for you. Since that is a rest week its pretty simple.
I’ll be back towards the end of SS2 to assess how things have gone and to work out the next training plan to line up.