Upgrader: Category 5 to Category 4 (Road)

Average Weekly Training Hours 07:59
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 07:59
Training Load By Week

This training plan will prepare you to make the jump from Category 5 to Category 4 for ROAD events. The plan will develop all the elements you need to place well and score points to upgrade to the next level.

Obviously, you'll still have to execute a smart plan in the races to actually finish well. Only the strongest can outride all competitors using brute force. Be smart in the races and stay close to the front, always "within striking distance". Never waste your energy and time your efforts for maximum impact based on course, terrain and the actions of your competitors.

Ideally, you'll complete this plan just prior to the racing season. Once racing starts, you'll be racing on the weekend and then need to training differently mid-week to make sure your fresh enough to give it you all on the weekend. Check out our "Maintainer" Training Plans for in-season maintenance of your racing form.

Start the plan on a Monday!


Sample Day 2
1:20:30
77.3TSS
TESTING: Field Test (short power baselines)

See details in graph.

Don't get stressed about these. Simply psyche yourself up to go hard. Nothing more than hard efforts, do you best and ignore any judgment of the outcome.

Sample Day 3
1:30:00
44TSS
Active Recovery

This is a relatively easy ride, but longer and slightly more intense than a pure recovery ride.

Heart Rate, Average Power, Normalized Power should be in the lower half of Zone 2. This means that the ride is steady and most of the time you are in low Zone.

This is a good ride to go out with friends and be social, no hammering!

Sample Day 4
1:41:00
90.2TSS
TESTING: Field Test (2x8min efforts)

30-45min progressive warm-up (as if you were warming up for a short TT)
2 x 8min ON at "best effort" with 10min OFF at Z1-2
30mins at Z2

Threshold Power can be estimated by multiplying the best 8min Average Power by 90%. Compare this value to the value calculated in the upcoming 30min field test. These value may not be the same.

As you might expect, a larger anaerobic contribution is made in the shorter field test. The longer test may also be affected by a limitation of muscular endurance (not necessarily aerobic capacity). If there is a "big" difference between these numbers, it might be best to use the lower value until you have a little more training under your belt.

Deciding which value to use as your threshold is a matter of some debate (and yet another standard is to do a 60min field test and use your average power from that effort). Don't get distracted from the purpose of the field test, it is primarily to establish reasonable training zones, not establish an 100% accurate "best effort" for some arbitrary duration.

Sample Day 6
1:30:00
44TSS
Active Recovery

This is a relatively easy ride, but longer and slightly more intense than a pure recovery ride.

Heart Rate, Average Power, Normalized Power should be in the lower half of Zone 2. This means that the ride is steady and most of the time you are in low Zone.

This is a good ride to go out with friends and be social, no hammering!

Sample Day 7
2:00:00
108.4TSS
TESTING: Field Test (30min effort HR/W)

30min progressive warm-up (as if you were warming up for 10-20km TT)

30min best effort. The goal is the best steady output you can hold for the duration. Don't start out strong and then fade. Try to use a stretch of road with minimal interruptions. A gradual climb is good if you have one (3-5% steady grade).

Your average Heart Rate for the last 20mins is a good estimation of your Threshold Heart Rate.

To estimate your FTP for Power Zones:
1. Take your "best" 20min Average Power during the test and multiple by 95%.
2. Put this number in TrainingPeaks as your Threshold Power.
3. Use the Coggan formula for setting your zones.

Note: while 95% of your 20min Power "may" not accurately reflect the Average Power you could sustain for 60 minutes (FTP), this doesn't mean it is NOT a good number from which to calculate training zones. In my opinion, training zones calculated from this higher "threshold" value are better attuned to your limits.

Sample Day 9
1:14:00
90.5TSS
Technique & Sprints

Warm-up: 10mins
Hi-Cadence: 2 x 2mins at 110rpms (2min rest b/w)
Single-Leg: 5min R, 5min B, 5min L, 5min B
8 x 15sec SPRINTS full recovery b/w ~3min
Cool-down: 10mins

Sample Day 10
1:30:00
44TSS
Active Recovery

This is a relatively easy ride, but longer and slightly more intense than a pure recovery ride.

Heart Rate, Average Power, Normalized Power should be in the lower half of Zone 2. This means that the ride is steady and most of the time you are in low Zone.

This is a good ride to go out with friends and be social, no hammering!

Jeff Winkler
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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.