8 Week Muscular Strength Climbing Foundation Plan (W1)


Sarah Matchett

All plans by this Coach


8 Weeks

Typical Week

1 Custom, 6 Bike, 1 Day Off

Longest Workout

3:00 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling road cycling intermediate masters power based

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This 8 week plan is designed to be the first installment of your power building program.

If you meet the targeted weekly TSS you should gradually raise CTL 20 points over the next 8 weeks.

This plan focuses on heavy gear work emphasizing muscular strength and endurance. You''ll also focus on putting more "work" into the hours that you ride by avoiding zone 1 as much as possible. .

This foundation program is designed to set you up for your next 8 weeks where you really focus on boosting your FTP power with more and more threshold miles.


Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 06:41

Sarah Matchett

Betera Coaching

USAC Expert Level 1 Coach

Online Coaching, Group CompuTrainer Classes

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

1 min Heavy "climbs" and Tractor Pulls

WU: 10 mins. Once you hit zone 2 - your goal is to never drop below 60% of FTP until your cool down while hitting the cadence goals below:
MS1: Complete the following 1 min climbs all at 90-100 % of FTP while hitting the cadence Goals.

The goal is to "climb" seated in tempo zone 3 and then ride a bit easier AND raise cadence of the recoveries.

So 1 min 50 - 60 rpms - heavy seated climbing
1 min lighter spinning recoveries but! Don't let power drop below 70% of FTP even on recoveries.

Rest 2 mins in Endurance (NO ZONE 1) then repeat MS1

MS3: Complete 4 x 30 second Force Reps. Shift to a HEAVY gear and slow down to almost a complete stop. then acellerate to 50-60 rpm and hold for 30 sec. make these HARD, strong, seated efforts. Recovery 1 min in Endurance Zone 2 in between.

CD: 10-15 minutes of easy pedaling in Active Recovery

Sample Day 2

Endurance Zone 2 ~ 45 TSS - outdoor option

Zone 2 is your all day pace - the foundation of your aerobic engine. Choose flat roads for consistent pedalling (avoid prolonged downhill sections and sustained climbs)

Zone 2 = 56 - 75% of your FTP & 69 - 83% of your Threshold Heart Rate

Can ride up to 90 mins if you have time

Sample Day 2

Endurance ride with high cadence focus - Indoor option

For the Drill Set:

10x1 minute Fast Pedaling Efforts (FPE) (for th FPEs keep a light gear but spin the legs at 100+ rpms. If you start "bouncing" in your saddle, add a gear. BUT, it's super important to keep your upper body relaxed on the bike)

1 minute at "comfortable" cadence after each (find the cadence that feels most natural to you)

Main set:
2x10 minutes at 5 rpms higher than you usually ride. Effort should remain in zone 2. Do not look at power! Your only focus for these is the rpm goal.

5 minutes easy after each (find your most "natural" cadence for this recovery interval)
Ride how you feel for the remainder of the ride.

Sample Day 3

Tempo: 4 x 6 min ME Intervals 1x10 min Z2 at +5 RPM

Warm up 10 - mins building to zone 2

MS: 4x8 min steady climbs - if you don't have a steady climb - you can simulate it by choosing a heavy gear and keeping rpms under 75.

5 mins recovery in between.

Target: 80 - 90% of FTP on the climbs (these are NOT all out)

Recovery Target - nothing less than 60% of FTP AND keep rpms over 95 on the recoveries.

MS2: Finish your workout with 15 mins at high zone 2 AND riding at +5 rpms over your average RPM for the workout so far.

Sample Day 5

Weekend Group Ride - or familiar route field test

Weekend Group Ride

Don't worry about intervals, etc today. Work on sticking wheels for the duration. Climbing hills strongly, pacelining together in a group and even launching attacks or trying for sprints. Overall this should be 'moderately hard' effort and also a bit of fun

Sample Day 5

Familiar Loop = Field Test

The goal for this ride is to test yourself on a familiar course that takes you 20 - 30 mins.

Warm up 15-20 mins building into steady zone 2 and getting to your course.

Once you're there, you're on - riding hard and steady trying to simulate a road race effort. Build each uphill you come to - really attacking the top third and rolling the downhill as if your life depended on it. Steady high tempo efforts everywhere else.

Use your average power from your hour power ride to guide you. You try to match or beat your power from that ride today!

Cool Down 15 - 20 mins easy riding after you're done.

Sample Day 8

2x9 min Tempo Climbs, 2x5 Sweet Spot

WU: build to Low Z2
The 7 min in z2 but building cadences as follows:
2 min 95 rpm
2 min 100 rpm
1 min 105 rpm
1 min 110 RPM

MS1; 9 Min Steady Tempo with Increasing RPM
3 min - 60 - 70 rpm
3 min -70-80 rpm
3 min - 80-90 rpm

2 mins z2 at 100 rpms then

9 min steady tempo with decreasing RPMS
3 min - 80-90 rpm
3 min -70-80 rpm
3 min - 60 - 70 rpm

2 mins steady z2

MS2: 2x5 min Sweet Spot
Choice RPMS and a Brisk pace
Should be at least 10 watts more than your previous 9 min intervals or 88% - 93% of FTP

Rest 3 mins in zone 2 in between

Finish with 5 - 6 Tractor Pulls

8 Week Muscular Strength Climbing Foundation Plan (W1)

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