Plan Your Training for the Year

How to Plan Your Training for the Year

The two most important training phases to improve endurance and power output are:

#1 Aerobic Endurance "Base Training"

#2 Interval Training 

Base training includes zones 2, 3 (tempo) and our favorite sweet spot. To 'do' base training you need six weeks, to build a bigger base, set aside 12 to 18 weeks.

Interval Training includes intervals in zones 4, 5, & 6 or "Full Gas" as hard as you can.

The sooner you get started the faster you can become.

The bigger the base you build and the more intervals you perform the faster you will ride.

An example of these two phases paired together for the next 4 and half months would be to spend the next 16 weeks building your base and then 'switch from base to race' with 6 weeks of interval training. Combining the two together adds up to 24 weeks of high quality training that will increase your endurance and FTP anywhere from 3 - 25%**.

**more if you've never followed a structured, science based training plan & less if you are already 'well trained.'

An example of using our training plans as referenced above would be following our all new 16 weeks of sweet spot plan and then choosing an Interval Plan specific to your Goal event.

If you goal event is coming up in less than 18 weeks you may do one block of base training and one block of interval training. Similarly for 24 weeks to train, you may elect to build base for 16 weeks and then move onto 6 weeks of interval training. Its most important to do both phases!

There are lots and lots of individual possibilities and permutations specific to your physiology, strengths, weakness. Some athletes need to work on their base more than high intensity interval training. Others may benefit from concentrating on less base and more intervals. Certain races dictate more base training (like long distances) while other dictate more intervals (like criteriums and cyclocross). Again, the most important thing is to plan for both phases before your goal event.

We've written and podcasted about these before:


Don't Forget Your Nutrition

Weight loss: nearly all of us will benefit. If not, then fueling your workouts and optimizing your recovery are essential. Base training is an OK time to lose weight but not during your interval training. Proper cycling nutrition begins by 'Winning in the Kitchen'. Read more about losing weight using your powermeter. You can also purchase our Winning in the Kitchen Meal Plan if you want more guidance!

Have more than 24 weeks? You are still in your 'off season' :: Read more about Off Season Training HERE.

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About Frank Overton

Frank founded FasCat Coaching in 2002 and has been a full time cycling coach since 2004. His educational background includes a Masters degree in Physiology from North Carolina State University, pre-med from Hampden-Sydney College. Frank raced at a professional level on the road and mountain bike and currently competes as a "masters" level gravel and cyclocrosser. Professionally Frank comes from medical school spinal cord research and molecular biotechnology. However, to this day it is a dream come true for Frank to be able to help cyclists as a coach.

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