This one’s directed at the coaches, but I’d gladly take advice/counsel from those with more experience with sufferfest than me (read everyone, as I just started):
I want to start a training plan to work on my weakness (sustained) but always want to incorporate strength training AND preserve the ability to ride outside on the weekends. However, the all-purpose plan doesn’t provide the option for strength training with the indoor/outdoor version. I thought about choosing the indoor only version and just riding outside on the weekends, but it seems like in this version of the plan the order of rides each week is different, with more focused riding on the weekends than in the indoor/outdoor plan. Is that correct? Do the coaches have a suggestion for how best to incorporate strength training with an indoor/outdoor plan? And is the all-purpose plan the best way to go (as opposed to power builder/volcano climbing or ftp building blocks)?
Thanks in advance!
Hey @cocoroco ,
Good questions. You would be the perfect case for a customized plan. You definitely want to pair your strength sessions with proper rides and you want to be able to recover and adapt without pushing you over the edge. There are a few options but would really need to know more about you such as experience, recent training history, time available to train, goals, etc. We’ve recently added an option for coaching contact.
Chat with a SUFCoach – The Sufferfest
Thanks for the response. I will consider a customized plan or a coaching chat, but I think I’d like to get at least one training plan with sufferfest under my belt before doing so. As far as background, I played soccer in college so am pretty familiar with strength training. As far as cycling, I’ve been doing informally since college and more consistently through grad school. Then I forgot about my bike for a few years (moved to the city, kids, life, etc.) but did continue playing high-level soccer together with occasional strength training and yoga. But I have returned to cycling now more seriously in the last 2 years or so and have ridden consistently (4500 miles last year, with a 10 week structure plan last winter). I understand completely that you can’t give me answer on par with the customized plans or a coach chat, but could you answer my question about the difference between the indoor+strength plans vs. the indoor/outdoor plans? Could I just add a strength plan to the indoor/outdoor plan? As I mentioned above, I am very interested in a custom plan or at least a chat but want to get started with at least one plan first.
I also have a sustained weakness and wanted to include strength/yoga work while riding outside as much as the plan and weather allowed. I ended up choosing the Time Trial plan (despite having no desire to actually race a time trial) and so far it has been great. All the yoga/strength work I can handle along with an intense focus on sustained efforts.
My plan ends right before the ToS, so won’t redo FF until a couple of weeks after the tour, but the increase in my ability to hang in there on sustained efforts has been noticeable. In any case, check it out and let us know what you end up deciding to do.
No worries. The indoor only plans give a bit more intensity while the indoor/outdoor plans offer a bit more volume. The strength training is the wildcard for the indoor plan which’s counteracts the need for more volume. Does that make sense? It’s all about absorbing the training.
Go with the indoor plan designed for strength and weekend rides as outdoor/ indoor options. Pay close attention to how you are recovering.
p.s. just saw Rob’s post above☝️. The TT plan would be a great option especially if you like a bit more volume.
Thanks so much! That is a great suggestion … One thing I’ve noticed for both the all-purpose plan and the tt plan is that, despite my weakness being sustained efforts, there is still a fair number of workouts targeted at neurmuscular and aerobic capacity. I think I’m being a little naive and assuming it would just be an onslaught of FTP-focused workouts (with recovery weeks of course), whereas probably the secret is in the sauce: how all of these workouts combine and build. It’s also possible that I’m just not reading the plans properly/carefully enough. It’s great to hear from someone in the midst of one of these plans though. Do you also have experience with the all-purpose plan? How did the experience/results compare for each? I know you haven’t finished tt yet but it seems like you’re already feeling some positive results.
Thanks for getting back to me, and for your thoughtful responses. And yes, that makes a lot of sense. I have the next week and a half to decide (my KICKR broke down and had to be replace), and it looks like I have two great options. For now, I’m doing some FTP-focused workouts (defender, butter, and to get to the other side, followed by some yoga and rest this week; maybe angels next week) and might do a half monty test (now that my ff numbers are a few weeks old) before jumping in on the 15th.
I also have a sustained weakness, and recently wanted to do an all-purpose plan with outdoor rides and strength. I ended up doing the Mountainous/Hilly Gran Fondo plan, which can incorporate strength and both indoor and outdoor riding. I posted about my results here. To summarise, it was great and I saw improvements across the board.
Yes, the plans do throw some curveballs (Violator, The Shovel) at you! Having said that, I do not think there is a better set of integrated plans than the ones here.
I have done the all purpose and the Hilly Gran Fondo x2 - all are great depending on what you are aiming to accomplish. As Coach Spencer says, it is all about “absorbing the training”, so following the plan is important. Resist the urge to drive yourself into the ground every single day and the results will follow!
Thanks … those are certainly enviable results! Congratulations!
This Hilly Grand Fondo plan seems like another great option. It seems like the indoor/outdoor plans that have strength as an option might be a better idea. Looking at how the all-purpose plan changes between indoor only with strength versus indoor/outdoor, it looks like many of the more specialized/targeted work gets moved to the weekends. I would be worried that replacing those rides with unstructured outdoor rides would be more detrimental than doing the same with the less specific outdoor rides prescribed in the indoor/outdoor plans.
Thanks for the follow-up. I don’t have a specific event in mind, but instead just hope to get stronger/faster (the real goal is to catch up to one of my riding buddies). Once the weather improves, I do like to get out on longer, hilly rides so the hilly gran fondo might make sense. But I like the idea of a plan targeted (even more so than the 4dp adjustments) towards my weakness, so the tt plan seems like a great option. And yes, whatever I pick I will try to stick to it and pay attention to my body. Our semester is starting soon and I’m teaching two new classes, so work will be pretty miserable for a the next 12 weeks. But I hope the structure of the plan will help me push through in both arenas.