I’m struggling to stick with my all purpose 3:1 cycling plan after just 2 weeks. My 4DP has identified weak areas of MAP and FTP. Yet my plans have some really weird stuff thrown in and some of it makes no sense- days back to back of lengthy and high intensity stuff, prioritising workouts to NM and AC where I’m much stronger. Add in work commitments and weekends where I’d struggle to get anything done(visiting sick mum 110 miles away) and I’m considering just binning the plan, and then setting 2 SUF interval sessions early in the week but use the filter to pull out MAP heavy ones to start with and then bring in more MAP/FTP mix. Between these I could do recovery rides on RGT during the week and some Z2 3-4 hr rides when I can over the Thursday(off) and/or Sat/Sun- either indoors or out just choose to suit the shte Scottish weather? Just feel the plan I’m on isn’t really working and I’d rather have a bash at something I can work around my life and not get pssed off at myself if I’m falling behind or doing a workout that seems like it’s really not doing much (I’m good with say 1hr Z1 recovery rides though, they make a big difference to how my legs feel!!!)… Any thoughts on this?
Hey @Bazzerro ,
You definitely want to make the plan work around for you. Designing your own plan is not a bad idea. That said, you want a variety of workouts so you’re constantly adapting to different stimuli. In addition, a lot of rides focus on multiple energy systems which will benefit your strength and weaknesses (I’m looking at you Shovel among others). Most of the training plan will depend on your goals. Give it a go and see if your ideas work. You’ve got to be motivated to train the way that increases your commitment and enjoyment. Keep in mind the coaches can customize a plan for you or give you guidance via a chat. Happy training!!
Thanks Spencer, I’ve already cleared the calendar and started a plan (The shovel is on Thursday next week!), and I guess I’ll need to be wary of not just choosing ones that I “like” and fall into the trap of repeating them… and as you say try and mix it up for cadence too. I’ve learned that my endurance rides “pre-indoors” have actually all been smack bang in the Tempo zone, so I’m trying to include at least one long one a week but vary the HR/Power and the cadence so it’s not just an ERG slog… Quite good that you can take SYSTM workouts into RGT too for that. My goals are for weight loss in conjunction with generally better fitness and stamina. My level of fitness isn’t bad at all it’s the power to weight that really needs addressed…more lower Z2 may be needed for that…
I’ve had good success with the approach in the past.
Let Full Frontal tell me where my weakness is (always either FTP/MAP) and then pick one workout targeted on the weakness and another that works both FTP/MAP per week. Fill up the rest of the week with lower intensity work and repeat.
New test every 8-12 weeks to see if your weakness is still your weakness or if you now need to focus another area.
Thanks all, some good tips here, I finished the TT plan two weeks ago and wasn’t too sure where to go from there so for an interim few weeks I did the week with the UCI last week and this week I fitted in the January challenge which will end on Sunday. My main goal for next year will be my clubs short (10-25 mile TT’s) and to do well ( keep up with the younger ones) in the weekly club runs (fast group). My weakness, which this seems to affect a lot of us, is my MAP compared to my FTP but I do like the short A/C and NM workouts so I suppose I want to be a good all rounder (which is what my last FF told me I was). I think too that I can tweak some of the plans more to my goals or just make my own based on 2 x Zone 2 around two hours each… 1 x MAP… 2 x A/C/NM and two days off/strength training that I have been doing since I started Systm. 3:1 ratio (even though I am old I seem to be able to cope with this ratio) and on the 4th week cut everything by 50%
Yep, that sounds good, my weakness is MAP/FTP but the advice is on the results page is you need to get the MAP up and the FTP should be then easier to increase(makes sense)… The workout “Butter” was never included on my original plan yet looks like the ideal candidate for what I need… I’ll try this MAP TO MAP/FTPand throw in some randoms to keep it from getting stale.
I’ve been doing my own plan since October now. Also weak on MAP but want to work FTP. I started with one MAP a week, and the rest zone 2 and building hours up over three weeks. 1 recovery week. Since then one MAP focussed session and one shorter FTP session (1 hour ish)with the rest zone 2 for 3 weeks and then week off. Now moving to a MAP/FTP in the week, with a longer FTP session at the weekend (ISLAGIATT/Cobbler/Blender) with the rest zone 2. You can play around with the type of MAP workouts too, such as micro intervals vs longer efforts. The recent podcasts on 4DP and especially MAP and FTP would be worth listening to.
It’s certainly working for me but I also know it could be better, so once I’ve finished this block I’m planning on taking a mini break then going to the TT plan.
I’m doing similar. Working on a 10 day cycle where I get in 2 MAP sessions, some z2, an OL/AWW/ProRide to mix it up, a recovery day, a rest day, a z2 run and a shorter run with a bit of speed work. Since I’m no longer mentally bound to the 10 day cycle, if I find that I need an extra recovery day I listen to the body, push everything out a day and carry on. It’s early days but seems to be going ok so far (with the occasional work/life related hiccup that I can’t avoid).
Building the plan is a fun exercise.
When I was primarily a running I started creating my own workout plans. Like @leebo said, once you start doing it you may find that creating your own plan can actually be quite fun. And it’s not really as difficult as you may think. And you don’t have to start from scratch.
Since I started SUF I’ve mostly been riding the SUF plans, but slowly migrated into modifying them. And starting last year I’ve essentially been doing my own plans. I have back problems that are often aggravated by riding hard MAP workouts. So I often have to modify my plans depending on how I feel day-to-day and week-to-week.
At the beginning of the year I was trying to ride every workout on the standard plans. But it just wasn’t working for my body. So over the course of the year I began modifying the plans more and more.
I have an annual mileage goal that I broke down into a weekly mileage goal. I then created a simple spreadsheet to determine how to break that weekly mileage apart by day into a pattern I can repeat each week.
(e.g. M: 25 miles, T: 10 miles, W: 15 miles, Th: 5 miles, Fri: 25 miles, Sat: 40 miles)
And then do SYSTM Yoga M, W and SYSTM Strength T, Th on one week, then swap them and do them the opposite the next.
Initially I planned to ride Z2 rides on certain days, HIT rides on certain days, recovery rides on certain days, and endurance rides on Fri & Sat. But the longer I got into the plan the less I liked following that pattern. So I started mixing it up.
I added the GG200 plan with a 3 week ON 1 week recovery schedule. This gives me a good base for my plan so I don’t end up riding the same workouts over and over. I can choose to keep the plan workout, or substitute my own. Personally, I want to do more Zone 2 rides while keeping in 1 or 2 HIT rides in my ON weeks. But also allowing myself to do recovery rides on the days I choose rather than sticking to the plan religiously. So on a day that calls for 25 miles I could either ride a Z2 ride, a long hard workout like Cobbler or ISLAGIATT, or a short HIt session with a long Z1 recovery after. Or I could swap it with the next day depending on my schedule and how I was feeling. And if I rode more miles than planned one day I could ride less on a day later in the week. Or I could ride more miles than planned in an ON week while riding less than planned in my recovery week.
So some weeks my rides match the GG200 plan almost exactly, while some other weeks I may only match the long Saturday endurance ride while substituting in my own rides on all the other days.
I also find that some days I want to do workouts with intensity, but with a little more recovery than is found in some of the SUF workouts. So I’ve used the workout builder in Zwift to make modified versions of some of the SUF workouts where I’ve include some additional recovery that I know I need (I’m not getting any younger). I really like a good 90-120 minute workout, but also like to do more MAP and Sweet Spot workouts (not at the same time). So, I will sometimes substitute in one of my 4 or 5 custom workouts.
All in all I’m basing my plan on the sound exercise science from Wahoo as the basis for my plan and 4DP as the basis for my workout targets. And then it helps me mentally by not being rigidly fixed to the plan. And helps me physically by being able to push when I am able to and recover when I need to and do the workouts that help me the most to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself.
At the end of the year I lost weight, managed my back issues, and had my personal best FF and HM test numbers despite.
Looks like you have covered everything!! Think I need to work on my planning!! cheers
A lot of good advice on here, I’m going to take it in 2 week blocks. My cycling until this year began has never been structured but my biggest battle is accepting that a workout of an hour is as valid as a 2-4hr ride I normally do outside… (RGT has a 100km/750m elevation ride tomorrow in a group I usually ride with since getting the trainer and WahooX… Might just do it but have to keep sub 132bpm/150w so not sure whether I’d complete it in the 4hrs to keep Z2!!!)
IDK if it’s been suggested, but an option to consider is the General Fitness 4 week Building Blocks plans. There are 6 categories to choose among, Recovery, Base, Temp, Threshold, MAP and AC/NM. They each have a variety of types workouts in them, but the overall focus is on the stated category.
What ride is that. I did an hour long “just ride” yesterday thinking it would be a breeze and that I could keep in Zone two (Max HR 117 @160 watts ) and there was a long 15 minute climb up to 10% that took me up over 420 watts ( 7 watts per kg) in places. Ended up average NP 181 watts over the whole ride… Check out the terrain first!!
All the rest was solid stuff, but now you’re just showing off!
Great work though.
It’s a “Kings’nQueens” one 1900 hrs UK time on Saturday in Events. That elevation isn’t too bad if it’s gradual, but won’t find out until on the start line what the profile is like, could be 90km flat and a mad climb lol(it’s a magic road in NZ this week), I’m setting the trainer to ERG most likely anyway. It’s a group ride sort of, I usually go at my own pace but I’ve also got a magic road of Namibia Skeleton Coast at 100km I made with just 280m of ascent, might be better doing that as I think the event organiser has to finish after everyone else…might be a bit peeved if I’m cruising along in Z2 lol…decent folks on it not fair to be keeping them back!
I put a 4 week one in and it gave a month of short MAP plans/Z1+2 Recovery but just one 3 HR endurance ride in the month… Not what I’m looking for really…
Yeah. May def not be what you want. With their specific focus, they won’t have that degree of variety within each one. What I’ve done it switch among them. 4 wk map, 4 wk threshold, 4wk tempo…
Hey! I just signed up for that ride. I’ve never done a group ride on RGT, so I’ll have a learning curve. Good to know I need to not test the patience of the organizer, as I was planning on making it a Z2 ride thanks for the tip!
You’ll be fine
Just go at whatever pace suits it is allocated for the 4hrs, some folk sign up for it and just do half, some just do the 4hrs regardless of how far they get and folk sometimes “teleport” around including I assume giving a mini peloton draft to anyone who may need it… I did one at Xmas, dropped after the first(of 3) 34km laps and just had to go my own pace…might see you there ( I’m the Scotsman, should have tartan team kit lol)