Maintainer: Category 4/5 (Road)

Average Weekly Training Hours 07:38
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 07:38
Training Load By Week

This plan is designed to be used during the racing season. The "racing season" is the period (or periods) during the year when you are primarily focused on competition. This could mean 2 races per weekend or 1 race per month, and everything in between.

Generally, a heavy competition schedule requires maintaining a plateau of fitness for a relatively long period of time. If you only have 1 or 2 competitions during the season, a peaking-style plan would be more appropriate.

The 2 big difference between the in-season "Maintainer" plan and the pre-season "Upgrader" plans, is that 1) you can't count on have the weekends free for longer training sessions and 2) you need to be more careful about balancing work and recovery for weeks with important races.

The "plan" is comprised of various weekly templates:

- race weeks (#1, #2, #3) - these weeks will manage training load so that you are fresh and ready to race to your potential, and varies depending on the number and timing of your races on the weekend

- training weeks (A & B) - these are to be used when there are no races on the weekend

- regeneration week - a light week to allow some deeper recovery, these weeks are important to insert every 3-6 weeks during the race season to maintain motivation

The idea is that you can use these various weeks throughout your competition period and organize them to work with your own race schedule.

There are no explicit "testing" weeks. You need to incorporate periodic "field tests" or rely on race data to make sure your training zones are accurate. Training zone accuracy is important so that the sessions impose the intended training stress.

Sample Day 2
1:27:00
85.5TSS
SPRINT EFFORTS: 15sec Leg-Speed Sprints

8 x 15sec w/ 5mins at Z1-Z2 between efforts
Gear should be small--39x17-15. These are seated efforts. Starting speed around 80-90rpm.
Rapidly accelerate up to max cadence and hold for duration. Goal is max cadence.

Sample Day 5
1:10:00
52.2TSS
RACE: Openers/Pre-Ride

This is a relatively easy ride with a few efforts to open up the legs for the race tomorrow. The routine is somewhat flexible and should be adjusted for residual fatigue, i.e., a little lighter if you feel tired.

The GOAL is to be fresh for tomorrow and open your legs and body up so they are ready do a good effort.


Ride should be at low-Z2 with the following efforts: 1 x 5min at low-Z4, 2 x 1min at Z5, 2 x 30sec at Z6+; 3-5min easy spinning between each effort

Sample Day 9
1:31:20
64.8TSS
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.

Sample Day 12
1:10:00
52.2TSS
RACE: Openers/Pre-Ride

This is a relatively easy ride with a few efforts to open up the legs for the race tomorrow. The routine is somewhat flexible and should be adjusted for residual fatigue, i.e., a little lighter if you feel tired.

The GOAL is to be fresh for tomorrow and open your legs and body up so they are ready do a good effort.


Ride should be at low-Z2 with the following efforts: 1 x 5min at low-Z4, 2 x 1min at Z5, 2 x 30sec at Z6+; 3-5min easy spinning between each effort

Sample Day 14
3:00:00
124.1TSS
ENDURANCE: Zone 2 workout w/ sprints (3hrs total)

Sample Day 16
1:32:40
87.9TSS
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 20
1:10:00
52.2TSS
RACE: Openers/Pre-Ride

This is a relatively easy ride with a few efforts to open up the legs for the race tomorrow. The routine is somewhat flexible and should be adjusted for residual fatigue, i.e., a little lighter if you feel tired.

The GOAL is to be fresh for tomorrow and open your legs and body up so they are ready do a good effort.


Ride should be at low-Z2 with the following efforts: 1 x 5min at low-Z4, 2 x 1min at Z5, 2 x 30sec at Z6+; 3-5min easy spinning between each effort

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.