This criterium Base period training plan was designed by Joe Friel for the UNDER-age-50 rider. The most significant difference between this plan and the similarly titled one for the over-50 crit racer is that R&R weeks are planned every third week for under-50 instead of every third week for over-50s.
This plan is based on the the principles described in Joe's book, The Cyclists Training Bible. It is best started about 23 weeks prior to your first A race of the season. Following this 12-week plan will get you ready to start the 11-week, over-50 CRITERIUM BUILD-PEAK-RACE PERIOD PLAN which specifically prepares you for your A-priority race.
You must have a heart rate monitor to follow this plan. All of the workout intensities are based on heart rate or perceived exertion.
This plan is intended for the cyclist who has been racing for two or more years. To start this plan you should be able to train about 8 hours a week. Over 12 weeks you will gradually increase your weekly volume from about 8 hours to 11 hours including bike workouts of various types, cross training in the first few weeks, and 1 to 2 strength workouts each week. The exceptions are the R&R weeks every third week with volume significantly reduced for 4 to 5 days and self-testing at the end of the week to measure progress.
On day 1 of the plan you are provided with more getting-started information and Joe Friel's contact in case you have questions about your workouts.
The plan was created using the TrainingPeaks "Workout Builder" format. That means the workouts may be uploaded to a device (heart rate monitor, indoor trainer, etc) or third-party app to help you follow it precisely. The format also makes it easier to visualize what the workout will be like. For more information on compatible devices and apps and how to export the workouts from this plan to them go to http://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000325647-Structured-Workout-Export. (It's not necessary to upload the workouts in order to use this plan.)
Besides training hours this plan also forecasts what your Training Stress Score (TSS) will be for each workout. Of course, it's likely that your workout TSS will be somewhat different when you finish the workout. Besides workout duration, TSS also takes into account what the intensity of your session was so it's a better predictor of performance gains than is workout duration.
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.
Strength: After warm up do 3-4 sets of AA. Cool down with 5-10 minutes of spinning in easy gear/resistance at high rpm. For details go to Chapter 12 in The Cyclist's Training Bible (or go to http://www.trainingbible.com/bkp-all/pdf/Cycling_Strength_Program.pdf).
Isolated Leg Training (ILT) on indoor trainer. After warm-up alternate 20-60 seconds with 1 leg/foot only--the other on a chair. Get a total of 7-10 minutes of ILT on each leg in this workout. Alternate legs as you feel like it. Comfortably high cadence. Focus on eliminating dead spot at top of stroke by pushing toes forward in shoes at top. Since you're training the nervous system, heart rate and power are not important here. Effort should remain low (about 4-5 on 0-10 RPE scale.
Your choice of mode: hike, XC ski, snowshoe, run, row, aerobics class, stair climb, etc. Anything except cycling. Can combine 2 or more modes into one workout (good idea if you haven't run in some time). Easy to moderately hard effort (RPE 3-6 on 10 scale). Avoid anaerobic effort.
After warm up do 3-4 sets of AA. Cool down with 5-10 minutes of spinning in easy gear/resistance at high rpm. For details go to Chapter 12 in The Cyclist's Training Bible (or go to http://www.trainingbible.com/bkp-all/pdf/Cycling_Strength_Program.pdf).
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.
Spin-ups. Best done on an indoor trainer.
After warming up for about 10 minutes slowly begin to spin-up to max rpm over a 30 second period. When you begin to bounce on the saddle, back off on your cadence and then hold the high cadence for several seconds. Recover completely and repeat several times. Stay RELAXED! Power and heart rate are quite low and of no consequence for this workout. Ride how you feel keeping it easy to moderate. This may be done on indoor trainer or road.
Your choice of mode: hike, XC ski, snowshoe, run, row, aerobics class, stair climb, hiking (with heavy backpack), etc. Anything except cycling. Can combine 2 or more modes into one workout. Easy to moderately hard effort (RPE 3-6 on 10 scale). Avoid anaerobic effort.