Recommend a plan for me?

I’m a 35 y/o guy who came back to cycling this past summer after non riding for 5 years. I’m new to the Sufferfest and I’m new to indoor cycling in general. I’ve been doing 10 hours/week on average of cycling and around 150 miles/week. I’ve taken the last two weeks a little easier though I do have Full Frontal scheduled for tomorrow. After that, I’m not sure where to go.

I’ve never done a structured training plan, but I’m excited to get started. Motivation and consistency won’t be an issue. The first Full Frontal I did a month ago classified me as an attacker with a strength in repeated efforts and a weekness in VO2/MAP. My goals are still crystalizing, but I know I want to get out and race, I just don’t know enough about it to fully clarify my goal. There’s a “tour” some competitive locals organized this year that I’d like to top a stage on, and getting my 5 sec above 1200 would be cool (currently at 900+)

I was going to do all purpose road then power then speed demon, but maybe I should do a building block in MAP before all-purpose? Maybe that Transition “up” plan would be a good starting point. I am going to keep a mountain bike ride and gravel ride in my weekly schedule for at least the next month.

Any tips would be appreciated. I’m just new to, and ignorant of, all of this. Thanks

Welcome! I was in a similar position back in March so I will tell you what I have done and maybe it will help you on your journey. I am primarily MTB with some road. I ride a 50 mile MTB race once a year and also some shorter MTB sprint races. I never trained in an organized fashion but always had it on my list of things to do. I would just go to classes at the gym to lift and do cardio and then ride MTB with friends. I would show up to the 50 mile race and do okay because of my overall fitness but knew that I could get faster with a plan.

Starting in March I selected the pre-season MTB and am now finishing the in-season MTB. I am getting more of the saddle time that I had always thought would take me to the next level and doing some yoga and strength too. My quick burst abilities and sustained efforts are definitely better than previously.

The plans will be programmed for your strengths and weaknesses so you can definitely select a more general plan and still expect to see a variety of workouts to enhance your attacker status and also work on increasing VO2 Max as well. The transition plan might be a good idea since you are coming back into the sport but I bet you would probably be fine just starting one of the longer plans as well. I have learned to just trust the plan and focus more on showing up and doing the work and letting the results come.

There are some other threads that discuss race nutrition that you might want to check out as well if you are heading that way. For racing it is always good to pre-ride the course when allowed and also to simulate your pacing pre-event so you have all of that dialed in ahead of time…

Anyway, good luck and hope that helps!


Thanks for taking time for that response. It’s much appreciated and helpful

A 50 mile mtb race sounds intense, man! Awesome. I’ve been doing the yoga sessions, too, but will definitely incorporate strength when I start up the plan. I think I’ll take your latter suggestion of skipping the transition plan and dive into the all-purpose road.

Thanks for the heads up on race nutrition. Nutrition in general is an area I need way more education on.

Very helpful reply. Thankyou!

Welcome! Thank you for being part of the community! I would agree with @JSampson regarding your training plan strategy. I have a couple of additional suggestions for you before you embark on your journey.
First, be honest with how much time you have to dedicate to your training and don’t overcommit. Don’t try to “make up” workouts, if you miss a day just move on and take it from there.
Always fuel your workouts adequately! Just like driving a car running on fumes will not perform adequately, your body is the same.
Recovery days are your most important days and you need to take your full recovery weeks! It takes your body 3 days to start the adaptation process for full recovery and growth. Don’t cheat your body out of the growth it has worked so hard for in your training. Always take a recovery week between training plans for mental and physical rest and recovery!

You may find the following links to be helpful for your preparation.

All the best!


Hi, Coach Simon! I appreciate the response and tips. The recommendations from you and JSampson underscore that I need to take rest days and nutrition much more seriously than I have been. I’ll start by exploring the links you posted. Thank you

Quick update: I just did the 4DP test again (did it on Oct 8 when I first got my Kickr Bike), and got some nice gains. A good portion of those NM/AC gains could probably be explained by actually being somewhat rested this time and not crazy fatigued, but I’m happy with the results after 1 month of The Sufferfest. The extra watt on NM to get me to 1000 would’ve been nice :slight_smile:

Still an “attacker”, and I need to work on my focus and knowing how to pace a longer effort better. I’m going to take this week to relax, read up on nutrition, enjoy the beautiful weather on my mountain bike… and then the all-purpose road plan. Very excited to get going!

Coach, I’m looking at the 12 week, intermediate, all-purpose road with strength and yoga. I was initially thinking advanced since I average 10-12 hours/week of saddle time, but wanted to keep some hours open for unstructured rides outside…maybe some mountain biking during the week and road/gravel riding on the weekend. Does that jive or would it throw off the training?

Thanks again

1 Like