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TBC/ Cycling: Power-Based Road Build-Peak-Race Period (Intermediate/Over 50) 12.5hrs/wk


Training Bible Coaching

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12 Weeks

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Plan Description

This road cyclist Build-Peak-Race periods training plan differs from the other plan with a similar name only in that this one uses power to prescribe workout intensity. You must have a power meter to use this plan. If you don't have a power meter use the other Build-Peak-Race plan for intermediate riders over 50.
You should know your FTP and have zones established (using the Coggan system). For more information on how to do this go to and below Joe Friel's picture find and download the PDF titled 'Using Heart Rate, Power & Pace.' Follow the instreuctions for setting up your power zones.
This plan was personally designed by Joe Friel to prepare you for an A-priority road race in the last week of the plan. It is based on the the principles described in his book, The Cyclists Training Bible. It is best started about 12 weeks prior to your A-priority road race.
This plan is intended for the over-age-50 cyclist who has been racing for two or more years. To start this plan you should be able to train about 12 hours a week. Over 11 weeks you will increase your weekly intensity while volume remains at about 12.5 hours/week (except for R&R weeks every third week). There is an emphasis on hill work. Strength workouts are included each week.
The plan uses common 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.


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
12:27 hrs 4:30 hrs
0:55 hrs 1:00 hrs
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
12:27 hrs 4:30 hrs
0:55 hrs 1:00 hrs
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Power Meter

All supported devices

Sample Day 1

SM, 2 sets

Warm-up 5-10 minutes on a stationary bike. Then complete 2 sets of strength maintenance (SM) weight lifting using the exercises listed under Comments below. The first set is light (12 reps with a load you could lift 15 times). The second set is heavy (3-5 reps with a load you could lift 6 times). Complete both sets of each exercise before moving to the next exercise. Cool down for 5 minutes by spinning in an easy gear/resistance at high rpm. For details go to Chapter 12 in The Cyclist's Training Bible. (If you've not been lifting weights prior to starting this plan then don't start now. Make Mondays a rest day instead for today and all coming weeks of this plan.)

Sample Day 2

Easy ride

Ride PZ1-2 gradually increasing the intensity as you warm up. Ride on a mostly flat course. The effort should be low. Pedal lightly with a comfortably high rpm.

Sample Day 3

CI, hill

BT: Hill Cruise Intervals. Warm-up for 20-30 minutes gradually building intensity. Then go to a moderate to steep hill (6-8% grade) and complete about 30 minutes of climbing. The climbs can each be from 4 to 6 minutes long. Do enough to equal about 30 minutes of climbing today. The recovery after each climb is the time it takes to descend (less than the duration of the preceeding climb). The effort for each climb should be PZ4. Stay seated on each climb using a gear that creates a cadence of 60-70 rpm.

Sample Day 4

Recovery spin

Go for a very easy recovery spin on a mostly flat course (or indoor trainer if no flat course available) in the small chain ring. PZ1. Light on the pedals. Comfortably high rpm focusing on pedaling skills.

Sample Day 5

Form sprints

FORM sprints. Warm-up and then do 6-8 x 8-12 second sprints. Slight downhill or with tailwind. Emphasize FORM--not power. Take 3-5 minute recoveries after each form sprint.

Sample Day 6

Group ride, how you feel

BT: Group ride. Ride how you feel today: If tired, sit in at PZ1-3; if fresh, ride race efforts in all zones (PZ1-7). Be smart. OR DO A RACE TODAY. (NOTE: If your group rides on Sundays or the race is on Sunday swap the Sat-Sun workouts for this and all following weeks.)

Sample Day 6

Long climbs

BT: ALTERNATIVE WORKOUT. Ride as hilly a course as available to you, preferably one with long (6+ minute) climbs and varying grades. On the short climbs ride aggressively going into PZ5. On long climbs practice both seated and standing staying around PZ4. If you don't have a course that takes 2.5 hours, repeat sections of your hilly route.

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