Cat 1-2 Build-Peak-Race, HR or Power, ~18hrs/wk.

Average Weekly Training Hours 15:46
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 15:46
Training Load By Week

This category 1-2 Build-Peak-Race periods training plan was created for the serious and highly advanced cyclist by Joe Friel. It is designed to prepare you for a category 1-2 road race using the principles described in his book, The Cyclist's Training Bible. Start this plan 11 weeks prior to your A-priority race. It may be repeated for each subsequent A-priority road race during your season. It also prepares you for time trials during the build-up to your road race with optional workouts. To start this plan you should be training about 18 hours a week, preferably having finished a base period. Over 11 weeks you will increase your training intensity while volume decreases slightly. The exceptions are the R&R weeks every fourth week when volume and intensity are significantly reduced for 5 days culminating with a hard group ride or race at the end of the week. The plan uses common language to describe the workouts and is easy to follow. To gauge intensity for the workouts you may use either heart rate or power. All workouts are written for both. By the end of 11 weeks you will have excellent race fitness, good form, and be ready to for your A-priority road race. Your bike training zones (heart rate and/or power) should be set before starting the plan. (For a detailed description of how to set your zones go to http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/11/quick-guide-to-setting-zones.html.)

Sample Day 1
0:30:00
Strength Maintenance (SM).

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. 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 turn to Chapter 13 in The Triathlete's Training Bible. Or go here: http://www.trainingbible.com/bkp-all/pdf/Triathlon_Strength_Program.pdf. (If you didn’t lift in the base period then omit this workout and take a day off.) Exercises: 1. Hip extension (squat, leg press or step up), 2. Seated row, 3. abdominal with twist, 4. upper body your choice (lat pull or chest press), 5. personal weakness (hamstring curl, knee extension, or heel raise), 6. standing row.

Sample Day 2
2:00:00
Racelike Ride.

Racelike Ride.
+++OPTION #1
BT: Group ride. Ride how you feel today: If tired, sit in at heart rate or power zones 1-3; if fresh, ride race efforts in all zones. Ride smart. Or do the following alternative workouts.
+++OPTION #2 IF NO GROUP RIDE:
Long Climbs/High-Intensity Ride.
BT: Ride as hilly a course as is available to you, preferably one with long (6+ minute) climbs and varying grades. On the short climbs ride aggressively going into HR zone 4 or power zone 5. On long climbs practice both seated and standing. If you don't have a course that takes 2 hours, repeat sections of your hilly route. Cool down for a few minutes.
+++OPTION #3 IF NO HILLS:
Racelike Ride Solo.
BT: Warm up by gradually increasing the effort for 15-20 minutes. Then randomly do tempo long (10-20 minutes) efforts in zone 3 (HR or power), muscular endurance efforts of 5-10 minutes (HR or power zone 4), anaerobic endurance efforts in zone 5 (HR or power), and sprints at max effort. Recover between these as you feel like it but emphasize endurance. Cool down for a few minutes.

Sample Day 3
2:30:00
Easy Ride.

Easy Ride.
Ride in heart rate zone 1 or power zones 1-2, mostly 1 zone. Flat to gently rolling course. Low effort--light on pedals. Comfortably high rpm. If feeling ok today also include a few, very short (3-6 seconds) sprints with good form. Otherwise, just ride very easy.

Sample Day 4
2:00:00
Cruise Intervals.

Cruise Intervals.
DO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING OPTIONAL WORKOUTS:
Option #1. BT: Hill Cruise Intervals. Best on road bike. Warm-up about 10 minutes. Then climb a 6-8 minute hill (4-6% grade), 3-4 times building to high heart rate zone 3 by the top or climb in power zone 4 (preferred). Get about 24 minutes of high-intensity climbing today. Stay seated. Smooth pedaling. Recovery between reps is your descent time. Keep it short. Cool down in zone 1 for the remainder of the ride. 

Option #2. BT: Flat Cruise Intervals. Best on TT bike. On a mostly flat course with no stop streets and light traffic or on an indoor trainer warm-up about 15 minutes. Then ride 3 x 8-minute intervals building to high heart rate zone 3 or in power zone 4 (power preferred) with 2-minute recoveries in between. Cool down for the remainder of the ride in zone 1.

Sample Day 5
2:00:00
Recovery Spin.

Recovery Spin.
Do a very easy recovery spin on a mostly flat course (or on indoor trainer) in the small chain ring. Heart rate or power in zone 1 only. Light on the pedals. Comfortably high rpm focusing on smooth pedaling skills. Upper body "quiet" with legs spinning easily.
OR, take the day off if very tired. Be ready for tomorrow which is the more critical workout.

Sample Day 6
4:00:00
Race or Racelike Ride.

Race or Racelike Ride.
+++OPTION #1
BT: Race. Do a C-priority race today. Get in about 4 hours in the saddle including warm-up, race, and cool down.
+++OPTION #2 IF NO RACE:
BT: Group ride. Ride how you feel today: If tired, sit in at heart rate or power zones 1-3; if fresh, ride race efforts in all zones. Ride smart. Or do the following alternative workouts.
+++OPTION #3 IF NO GROUP RIDE:
Long Climbs/High-Intensity Ride.
BT: Ride as hilly a course as is available to you, preferably one with long (6+ minute) climbs and varying grades. On the short climbs ride aggressively going into HR zone 4 or power zone 5. On long climbs practice both seated and standing. If you don't have a course that takes 2 hours, repeat sections of your hilly route. Cool down for a few minutes.
+++OPTION #4 IF NO HILLS:
Racelike Ride Solo.
BT: Warm up by gradually increasing the effort for 15-20 minutes. Then randomly do tempo long (10-20 minutes) efforts in zone 3 (HR or power), muscular endurance efforts of 5-10 minutes (HR or power zone 4), anaerobic endurance efforts in zone 5 (HR or power), and sprints at max effort. Recover between these as you feel like it but emphasize endurance. Cool down for a few minutes.

Sample Day 7
5:00:00
Base Maintenance Ride.

Base Maintenance Ride.
Ride in heart rate or power zones 1-3, mostly zone 2 on a flat to gently rolling course. Low effort. Easy pedaling with a comfortably high cadence.

Joe Friel
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Joe Friel Coaching

An endurance coach since 1980, Joe Friel has worked with triathletes and cyclists from all over the world helping them achieve their race goals. He also trains coaches around the world and has consulted with national federations and national Olympic team coaches. Coach Friel offers personal camps, and seminars for clubs and teams, and consults with professional athletes. He is currently not accepting one-on-one coaching clients.