A proper training plan starts with selecting the right goal. But what if your goal is still far away or you haven't decided yet on a goal for next year? In this article we talk about selecting the right goal(s).
We're often asked how long an ideal training period in preparation for an event should be. The answer is actually pretty simple: as long as possible! Put differently: you should never stop training and getting ready for your next big goal as training is all about consistency. You're not just getting better from week to week, but real structural improvements come with training month by month and year by year.
Having said that, what if your goal for the summer is 9 months away? How should you structure your training plan? Our advice is, depending on your fitness level right now, that you start with the "stamina builder" or "FTP builder", if you haven't been working out for a couple of weeks. These plans are really "building plans" to create a good base level. If you are in pretty good shape you could start with working on your weak spots, for example with "improve on short climbs" or "improve on long climbs". These plans are what we call the 'improvement plans'. After an "improvement plan", the next logical step is a "peak plan", which would bring you to your specific goal. If you started with a "build plan" then you can go for a "improve plan" or a "peak plan", depending on how much time you have left before your big goal. Please keep in mind that the ideal length of a 'peak plan' is between 3 and 5 months.
After you have accomplished your big goal and finished the plan, you can restart this cycle or maybe go for another "peak plan". Be careful with doing too many 'peak plans' back-to-back. After a couple of those it's smart to take a small break and restart with a 'build plan'. So whatever goal you have, choose your next training plan wisely and continue to improve your ride.