7-week Preseason Plan (ROAD)

Average Weekly Training Hours 11:06
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 11:06
Training Load By Week

This plan is designed for the USA Cycling racer who focusing primarily on the Road Season March - September.

This a plan to transition you from the off-season to the early competition period. Ideally you would begin this plan in early January and complete it by early March. Many locales in the U.S. start racing in March and important events will begin to appear on the calendar.

You will not be peaking at the end of this block, but you will be ready to race. After this block you should employ an "in-season" block that balances volume and intensity with your weekend racing schedule.

Sample Day 2
SPRINT EFFORTS: 20sec Normal Sprints

8 x 20sec MAX effort Sprints. These should be done in a large gear.

Starting speed should be reasonably fast: 18-22mph. Accelerate hard out-of-the-saddle, then sit and spin out the sprint.

Full recovery (~5min) between sprints.

Sample Day 3
"Effort Endurance" Intervals (shorter)

Lots of shortish efforts in the Z5-Z6 range. Layout of efforts is not critical, designed to be easy to remember. Work around traffic signs/signals as best you can.

Priority is building "effort endurance", not peaking the efforts themselves.

Sample Day 4
ENDURANCE: Low Zone 2 Ride

Sample Day 5
RECOVERY: 1hr easy spin

Sample Day 6
"Sweet Spot" Blocks 5x10

5 x 10min at "Sweet Spot", 5min OFF at Z2
Precede with warmup, end with cool down.

Sweet Spot is 85-90% of FTP, or right at the transition between Zones 3 & 4.

Sample Day 7
"FATMAX" Endurance Ride

"FATMAX" is the intensity that maximizes usage of stored fat as a fuel source. Statistically, it is at 70% of FTP. This is not a difficult intensity to maintain, the goal is to maximize time at that level.

Sample Day 9
SPRINT EFFORTS: 10sec "Acceleration Phase" Efforts

8 x 10sec Start Efforts w/ 5mins at Z1-Z2 between efforts. This are often most productive if done on the same stretch of road (or a loop with recovery stretch)

Starting speed is near zero and effort is done out-of-saddle for duration. Gear should be large, you should just get on top of it at the end of the effort.

Goal is to maximize force on the pedals. Requires efficient technique and maximal muscle recruitment.

Jeff Winkler
Winkler Cycling

Over the past 25 years, I have coached athletes to multiple State and National Championship titles in the disciplines of Road, MTB and Cyclocross. I have worked with all levels of individual racers from novice to professional and have coached collegiate, club and amateur teams.