Plan your Annual Training

Success for Tomorrow Starts Today:

This Fall & Winter is the perfect time to start planning and training for next season. You along with your coach can design an annual training plan (ATP) detailing out next season’s goals by working backwards from your "A" race (or time frame). Your ATP details out every aspect of the plan, including races, training phases, power tests, recovery weeks and a cycling specific resistance training program.

For endurance athletes coming off the summer season and a post season break the Fall and Winter is a great time to think, plan and begin executing.

Reasons for designing the plan at the end of the season:

  1. Season is fresh in your mind
  2. Can manage offseason breaks and holidays
  3. Undergo a weight loss plan
  4. Plan for Cycling Specific Resistance Training

1. Fresh in Your Mind

With the season fresh in your mind you will be able to know what has worked, what hasn’t and have a good understanding of a training schedule that works with your life’s schedule. Look back on this year’s training and look for trends. We use your Performance Manager Chart to track your CTL to TSB with peak power performances.

This example shows the numerous peak power numbers in the spring. First during the build up from the winter and then again after this athlete took a vacation. Later on in the year he didn’t hit as many peak numbers. From this we can take that he should plan an early summer break and build back up for the mid to late summer. This will give him another solid rest period which gives him the freshness he needs to be at his best. We can put that in his ATP. 

The other thing you may want to consider is where you live and the winter you experience. Maybe it will be more beneficial for you to do intensity early on the trainer as those can be short and intense and than do a longer base period as the spring approaches and the weather is nicer.

2. Manage Offseason Breaks and Holidays

By designing your annual training plan now, you are going to be able to manage your offseason breaks better. Can you take off 1 - 3 weeks, can you manage to fit in multiple breaks, how do the holidays fit in? After a long racing season the last thing an athlete will want to do is train more, however this maybe a good approach, especially for those in northern climates who are about to face a winter on the trainer. So we can plan a short season ending break, plan a fall foundation program while riding weather is still nice and then plan a longer offseason break as the weather turns and daylight is cut way down. By doing this you can get a jump start on your next season. You can keep your CTL up a bit so you don’t have to scramble to get so much come January when it’s snowing. Plus it’s a great time to focus on strength, skills, your pedaling and maybe even a weakness like properly fueling during your rides.

3. Weight Loss Plan

Weight loss: nearly all of us will benefit. There is a good time for this and a bad time to lose weight. You do not want to be cutting weight off as you are training hard and need the calories for recovery. Look to do this during the fall, or early in the base season. If this is one of your goals set target weights in your ATP to track your progress and manage your weight. We can help! Read more about losing weight and You can also purchase our Winning in the Kitchen Meal Plan if you need more guidance!

4. Cycling Specific Resistance Training Program

Most athletes always want to start coaching in January when racing can be only weeks away. This does not leave much time, if any at all for a cycling specific resistance training program (you need 10 weeks). Resistance Training needs to be completed in the early portion of the off season so that you still have time to put in a good base. The ultimate goal is to increase your power output! By planning the resistance program in advance you will be able to make sure you have ample time to switch focus to base and intervals before the racing season.

What FasCat Plans are recommended for the offseason?

If you are starting your off season between August-October, our recommendation is the new💥 30 week off season plan. This plan includes the following:

After these 30 weeks choose an interval plan that is specific to what you are training for! For example, a fondo plan if you are training for a fondo, a gravel plan for gravel or a hill climbing interval plan with an event with a lot of climbing! If you want to simply 'get faster' and raise your FTP choose our sweet spot part 4 polarized training plan. If you are getting a later start to your off season, say late November-January, you can opt for our 16 week Resistance Training + Sweet Spot which includes:
  • Resistance Training for Cyclists (10 weeks)
  • Sweet Spot Part 2 (6 weeks)

After you complete these, you will be ready to jump into race specific intervals! However, if you do happen to have extra time to build your "base" before racing starts we recommend doing Sweet Spot Part 4.

How to Start Building Your ATP:

The best way to start building the ATP is by starting backwards from the date your goal next year.

By working backwards you can include an overload and taper. Tapers require 2- 3 weeks before your A race, but need to follow 2 - 8 weeks of an overload period. An overload phase includes race specific intervals that match your goal and then you can go from there including intensity, base, resistance program, off season, fall foundation and end of season recovery period. Read more about Off Season Training HERE.

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About Jake Rytlewski

Jake Rytlewski grew up racing in Michigan at 15 after his Dad picked up cycling as a hobby. Not being able to clip in fast enough before being dropped he quickly found solutions such as double sided mountain bike pedals and track standing. Coaching was always in his blood. He accepted a cycling scholarship to Marian University in 2002 and while there spent a summer racing in Belgium and signed his first pro contract. Jake graduated in 2006 with a degree in sports management and continued to race as a pro for 9 years. He joined FasCat in 2013 and has been coaching full time since. Currently Jake is living the dream in Indiana raising his 3 kids, coaching others to make them faster and to reach their goals and racing in the full time Dad category on Zwift.

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