Road Build-Peak-Race Period (Advanced) HR 12hrs/wk.

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 11:01

This advanced road cyclist Build-Peak-Race periods training plan was designed by Joe Friel to prepare you for an A-priority cycling road race in the last week of the plan. It is based on the the principles described in his book, The Cyclist's Training Bible. It is best started 11 weeks prior to your A-priority road race.

This plan is intended for the cyclist who has many years of racing experience but is short on time to train with high volume. To start this plan you should be able to train about 12 hours a week. Over 11 weeks you will develop race fitness by doing weekly high-intensity workouts mixed with recovery rides. Weekly volume remains at about 12 hours per week (except for R&R periods in weeks 4 and 8 and when tapering). In this plan there is considerable emphasis on training intensity. Intensity is described in terms of heart rate so a heart rate monitor is required. (There is a similarly titled training plan that uses power instead of heart rate). Strength workouts are also included each week.

It was designed using the TrainingPeaks "workout builder" format. This means that the daily workouts may be uploaded to a device (heart rate monitor, trainer, app, etc) so that you may closely follow the details of the ride during the workouts. For more information on compatible devices and apps and how to export the workouts from this plan to them go to (Uploading the sessions is not required to use this plan.)

The plan uses common cycling language to describe the workouts and is easy to follow. By the end of 11 weeks you will have excellent fitness and be ready for your A-priority road race. Your bike power zones should be set before starting the plan. (For a detailed description of how to set your zones go to

When purchasing this plan if you check the box to share your email address with Joe Friel when prompted you will receive two follow-up emails from him with more information about your plan and you will also be able to contact him should you run into a problem. Your email address won't be used for anything else. Also, after your event please provide feedback on how this plan worked out for you.

NOTE: If in the first two (2) weeks after buying this plan you decide it isn’t the right one for you, contact Joe Friel ( and he will help you make the right choice and a swap - at no cost to you (assuming they are the same price).

Sample Day 1
Strength Maintenance (or day off).

Strength Maintenance (SM).

Warm-Up 5-10 minutes. Then do 2 sets of Strength Maintenance (SM) weight lifting. First set is light - 12 reps with 15 repetition max (RM - a load you can only lift 15 times) load. The second set is heavy - 3-6 reps with 6RM load. Cool down 5-10 minutes spinning on a stationary bike in an easy gear/resistance at high rpm. This should be a brief workout. For details such as the exercises to do and how to do them, turn to Chapter 12 in The Cyclist’s Training Bible.

If you've not been lifting weights prior to starting this plan it's best not to start now. In this case take Mondays in this plan as rest days with no workouts.

Sample Day 2
ME2. Cruise Intervals 1.5h (4x8 min) HR.

BT: Cruise Intervals. Warm-up about 20 minutes. Then do 8 minute intervals, 4 times building to heart rate zone 4 on each (you may only get to z3 depending on your fitness--more fit, lower HR). Recover for 2 minutes after each. Get about 30 minutes of high-intensity intervals today. Stay aero on each work interval. Smooth pedaling. Cool down.

Sample Day 3
AE1. Recovery Spin 1.5h HR.

Very easy recovery spin on a mostly flat course (or on indoor trainer) in small chain ring. Heart rate in zone 1. Light on the pedals. Comfortably high rpm focusing on pedaling skills.

Sample Day 4
AnE3. Anaerobic Hill Intervals 1.5h (15min) RPE.

BT: Anaerobic Hill Intervals.
Warm-up for 40 minutes gradually building intensity. Then go to a moderate to steep hill (6-8% grade) that takes 2-4 minutes to climb and complete about 15 minutes of total climbing time today (for example: 7x2, 5x3, or 4x4 minutes). The recovery after each climb is the time it takes to descend (less than the duration of the preceding climb). The intensity for each climb should be a perceived exertion of 9 on a 1 (low) to 10 (high) scale (heart rate doesn't work for this session as it rises too slowly). Alternate standing and sitting on each climb based on how you feel. Cadence is comfortably high. Cool down for the remainder of the ride.
IF NO HILL AVAILABLE: do the same workout only on flat terrain with 5x3 minute work intervals and 2 minutes of recovery between work intervals.

Sample Day 5
AE1. Recovery Spin 1.5h HR.

Very easy recovery spin on a mostly flat course (or on indoor trainer) in small chain ring. Heart rate in zone 1. Light on the pedals. Comfortably high rpm focusing on pedaling skills.

Sample Day 6
AnE3. Racelike Ride 2.5h HR.

Racelike Ride.
+++OPTION #1
BT: Group ride. Ride how you feel today: If tired, sit in at heart rate zones 1-3; if fresh, ride race efforts in all zones. Ride smart. Or do the following alternative workouts.
Long Climbs/High-Intensity Ride.
BT: Ride as hilly a course as is available to you, preferably one with some long (6+ minute) climbs and varying grades. On the short climbs ride aggressively going into heart rate zones 4 and 5. On long climbs practice both seated and standing positions. If you don't have a course that takes 2.5 hours, repeat sections of your hilly route. Cool down for a few minutes.
Racelike Ride Solo.
BT: Warm up by gradually increasing the effort for 15-20 minutes. Then randomly do long (10-20 minutes) tempo efforts in heart rate zone 3, muscular endurance efforts of 5-10 minutes (heart rate zone 4), anaerobic endurance efforts of 30 seconds to 1 minute in zones 5a to 5b, and short sprints at max effort. Recover between these as you feel like it but emphasize endurance. Cool down for a few minutes.
+++OPTION #4:
BT: Do a C-priority race today. If you decide to do a B-priority race instead you will need to reduce the training load for the 3 days prior to the race.

Sample Day 7
AE1. Base Maintenance 3h HR.

Base Maintenance Ride.
Ride on a flat to gently rolling course. Get at least 50% of ride time in heart rate zone 2. Avoid 3-5 zones. Keep the 2-zone effort steady and continuous. After the ride confirm that you got at least 50% of the ride in zone 2.

Joe Friel
Joe Friel Coaching

An endurance coach since 1980 Joe Friel has worked with triathletes, cyclists, and runners around the globe. He trains coaches and assists various national federations and national Olympic team staff. He also consults with professional athletes and sports-related businesses. Coach Friel occasionally offers personal camps and seminars for clubs and teams. He has authored 17 books on training including the best-selling Training Bible series. For more info go to his blog at