All-Purpose Road over Christmas?

I’m looking for a bit of a sounding-board here as I commence training for next year’s events.

I’ve been really fit this year, did All-Purpose Road in Feb-April (including strength) which was great and laid the foundation for my ‘season’. However I was ill in September-October. I’m not out of shape, although my speed and power are definitely down. I’ve been following a transition off-ramp plan whilst maintaining strength training sessions as well.

I have an event at the end of February 2022, so I was thinking about starting the APR in early December to start preparing. However it’s likely I’ll have a couple of ‘soft’ weeks over Christmas. Plus, I don’t know if I’m mentally in the suffering zone right now!

So - should I do like a base / tempo block in December then a condensed event-prep plan (e.g. metric century). OR get off my butt and get into it, on the basis that the APR will deliver more benefits, despite the likelihood of not hitting all targets? I’m not sure what the relative outcomes might be I suppose.

Just don’t make me do The Shovel on Christmas morning.

Any thoughts, professional or otherwise, appreciated.

situation is similar to mine, so here’s what I’d recommend:

  1. do a 4DP week. This will not only update your numbers (possibly lower since you’ve been off) but it will also serve to get your head back into the game.

  2. Do All Purpose Road plan. This plan addresses all the energy systems and seems a bit biased towards sustained efforts which might have declined since the summer. Sure, it tastes awful, but it works.

Re the holidays, i think this is something you control. I would cut yourself some slack if you occasionally come up a bit short of the targets at this time of the year. There are actually a decent number of rest and low effort days built into that plan. Of course, the corollary is also true (just like in Half is Easy) :wink:


I’d agree with this. I always seem to have problems mid-plan, or start plans at the ‘wrong’ time (i.e. when I know things will get in the way like Christmases, holidays, bike crashes, those kinds of things…). BUT, you still get great training from them even if you don’t hit everything fully for 12 weeks.

Perhaps what you can do is look at your Christmas schedule and, err, plan the plan around it. So, say you know that the 24th-28th will be busy with family etc, then choose a starting date and 2:1/3:1 ratio that puts a rest week exactly over those days. Or, if you have some particular dates that you need to work around, just swap round a few sessions in the plan to make sure you give those dates the attention they deserve. Suffering a day later than it suggests really wont make much difference ultimately.

Personaly I’ve found that having a plan over a tricky period like Christmas can really help with the motivation. If you know in advance that you wont make 100% anyway,but will try as best you can, then it gives you something to focus on when you do have time. Prioritise the hard sessions over the recoveries (because not riding still gives you recovery, but only doing recovery rides won’t help much). A bit of stretching/yoga can help you feel like you’re keeping it ticking over.

This year I also expect a difficult week over Christmas in terms of finding time. I intend to hammer myself the week running up to it, and then rest and recovery. if you can’t beat it, join it.
I did 9 Hammers on 26th Dec last year. It was a welcome break from endless eating and drinking!

1 Like

Yeah, this was my hunch. Thanks for your input guys. 4DP 7-day starts tomorrow!


Would have to agree with Steve. Important to get an up to date measurement of your numbers, even if they’re down a bit, so that the training is appropriate and you’re not going too hard. I had 7 weeks off, came back to riding, forgot to update 4DP and died a thousand deaths during SUF Idol!
From there, taking the plan as it is, perhaps doing a half monty mid way through as improvements will initially come back quicker, and making sure to give yourself some slack during the holiday period. Missing a few days out of the whole 12 week plan is not going to set you back and will have negligible impact to your progress


So only 7 days until your FF, is what you’re saying. :wink:


1 Like

Mmm. Yep.

@Alastair_Mucklow The new Systm Road I believe has been re-designed with new metrics/targets on many of the workouts so you don’t end up smashing yourself all the time.

I did APR (advanced) last year and it was super hard and I struggled on many of the workouts (sometimes I had to really psyche myself up for it), but it worked.

Started this year on APR 2:1 high volume and the workouts have been manageable so far (I’m in second week).

Like you I was not sure where to start but knew I had to do the 4DP to find out where I was, especially as I had a new trainer too. With new 4DP figures I find it hard but very manageable.

As @WahooCoach_Corey stated, the new Systm appears to be all about ensuring consistency in training “what You Should Aim For Is Consistent Training, Quality Metabolic Stimulus, Focus on Proper Form and Technique for Efficiency and Injury Prevention, and Sufficient Recovery. Nail those things and I would bet the house that you will see consistent improvements”

So, on the new APR and targets, you are more likely to hit them especially with new 4DP metrics.
Good luck with the 4DP and the plan.

1 Like