Appropriate plan to prepare for track 3K IP event in August

Hello Sufferlandrians,

I am in the process of planning my summer training now that I know race dates. My “A” event for the summer is a 3K IP at our local velodrome. It will occur the 3rd week of August. I was originally planning to go the customized training route via a 12 week Sufferfest plan however, I will be on a two week family vacation that will fall in the middle of that plan. Thankfully I will be doing rides on vacation (MTB) but the rides will be sporadic and unstructured. Also, most of the riding will occur above 9,500 feet. Last year I noticed a hit to my leg strength after vacation due to cardio limitations of riding at that altitude.

When I return from vacation, there will be exactly 6 weeks until the event in August. Going to plan B via a standard plan, Power Builder peaks my interest. The main reasons are the 6 week length, because it appears that it might be the type of training that I need leading up to the 3K IP, and the outdoor ride day would fit with me wanting to ride at the track once a week. My goal for the 3K is 3:50-ish.

A bit of background on where I currently stand…I started my first plan at the end of October last year. I was ID’d as a sprinter and my weakness was sustained efforts. I did not have a chance to do the follow up 4DP in January thanks to a nice case of Covid-19. After taking 6 weeks off, I restarted training from scratch the first week of March via the All Purpose Road plan. The results from the April Half Monty put my FTP at 300 (originally 246 in October) and my MAP at 384 (was 312). My LTHR is estimated to be 173 and max HR is 187. My AC and NM numbers have not been updated since the baseline test but a recent standing start workout put my 5 sec best at 1,280. I do strength training twice a week per the timing in my plan. I will note that my strength training differs from the plan because I prefer heavier lift sessions at the gym given the importance of power for the 3K start. My main lifts involve squats, trap bar dead lifts, and single leg press. I also do core/push up work along with yoga.

So, is Power Builder the route to go for my A event? Considering the event lasts roughly 4 mins, would a couple of MAP blocks be something to consider instead?


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how long does it normally take you to “come into form”? I.e., in the past, if you start slamming down MAP and AC workouts, do you improve quickly and plateau quickly, or does your condition come up more slowly but continue to improve?

Being new to structured cycling training, I do not have a good cycling reference to answer your question. Looking back to my days as a runner, I would say that I used to progress at a relatively constant pace once high intensity training started.

Hey, that sounds like a great event and it sounds like you’ve been training pretty consistently recently too!

To answer your question about how to get there, i would say the power builder will be good. Pre vacation you could build power by doing the 4 week building block with AC/NM focus? How to Use the New Building Block Training Plans – The Sufferfest

You also mentioned the customized plans. As this would be customized to you, we can make sure to leave that 2 week gap for your vacation within the 12 weeks covering you for 14 weeks. Alternatively if you want to discuss your training in more detail, this may be the best option for you:

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Coach- thank you for the input! I think doing an AC/NM block before vacation is a great idea. Also, it’s great to know that a gap can built into customized training. Now it’s time for me to make a decision. Hmm

I will add onto what @Coach.Rupert.H just said with what i would do if this were me, although every body is different and your mileage of course may vary (and that’s really the beauty of the sport, it accommodates a great variety of physiologies, really).

  • I would definitely do the NM/AC focused block before vacation
  • I would continue to build up volume of lower intensity rides, including long rides; basically, continuing to bake the cake.
  • immediately upon coming back from vacation, i would do a shortened tempo block of just two weeks, then do a MAP block to lead into the race
  • followign coming back from vacation, and this one, at least for me, is critical, i would keep doing the longer low intensity rides but make them veerrrrrrrry slow, like no such thing as too slow type slow
  • by the time race rolls around, would be simultaneously in-form and rested and ready to absolutely crush it for a few minutes (FTP might have dropped, but 5 min power should be higher)

Rationale: First, i’m one of those people where anaerobic capacity is relatively strong and while i get faster from endurance training, if i ride too hard and too long and with too little glycogen, the AC gets ground down. The downshift in intensity of the long rides helps make sure that doesn’t happen. This is the difference between how a marathoner trains vs. an elite miler. For this, i’d be more like the miler.

Second, for this duration, AC can be important (especially for those people who have to rely relatively on it). See here:

So whatever i do, i want that AC to be strong, even if sustainability suffers a bit as a result.

Finally, I also tend to get fast after only a few weeks of doing intervals. A six week block would be unnecessary, 8 weeks would be probably too long. 4 or 5 weeks is probably perfect.

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Great information devolikewhoa! I especially like the energy contribution component. A 3K IP, at least duration-wise, is similar to a T&F 1,500.

I have a clarifying question on what you shared…you suggest doing the shortened tempo block and then the MAP block after vacation. You also mention long slow rides post vacation (bullet 4). Are you recommending that I add in slow rides on the off days listed in the MAP block training plan?

Sorry brother was super busy with work for a ew days.

Also, sorry for any confusion: was not necessarily saying to add long slow rides in the off days, but rather, i’m not super specifically familiar with each of those plans so i was rather saying, these are the type of boxes i’d be looking for my plan to tick, if it were me. So if there were no longer rides outdoors in the plan, i’d probably look to add some, but i’d be careful about adding them during off days and would probably instead replace a shorter, harder weekend workout with a longer, easier outdoor ride


Thank you for the clarification, much appreciated.