How to properly start into the off-season?


the last two years I was using my indoor trainer with trainerday.
I used some plans generated by Coach Jack and in this time. However I felt like the way I used and constrained thoss.plans was not right.

Today I made an FTP test and would like to properly use Coach Jack to get into the off-season.

I thought about using a kind of base plan to improve my endurance. Then when the new year kicks off I would like to start the build phase to get into the upcoming outdoor season with an improved endurance and climbing abilities.

Am I right with this concept?
How would I construct such plans within Coach Jack to maximize the outcome of the efforts?


Hi Mathias, I would set a spring event date goal and jack will create base+build+peak. This is traditionally the best way to reach peak performance in the spring but the problem is each person is a bit unique and does a bit better with taking control of this process and adapting it it. Personally I would do this below (do 3 different plans, one for each block)

  1. HR Zone 2 for 3 months starting right now and do as much as possible, train while fasted as much as possible. Very gradual warmups. Try to work your way up to 10 hours a week of zone 2 even if that includes some form of rucking/running or other low intensity endurance work. Fast walking to work or park farther and walk fast… But as much cycling as possible is best.

  2. Serious Italian Build period for 3 months

  3. A peak period that aligns closer to your goals, I like big climbs peak block for about 2 months.

Getting this serious aerobic base will create huge benefits for your build and peak periods.

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Thanks for your recommendations @Alex

Now I finally have something I can truly work with

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That’s 95% of what I was planning :wink:

  • 10-12 weeks Z2 HR based (almost strictly, both running and indoor cycling for a total of 10-12 hours/week)
  • An initial build period with SweetSpot and SFR on the bike. A second build period with SFR and over-under work. Running will remain mostly Z2 but every now and then a ‘performance’ run to track progress. Genre 1, 3 or 5k performance run. Given the fact that there will be multiple ‘Brick’ sessions during this period, doing 2 higher intensity sessions should not be a problem. But I will strictly follow ‘feel’ over ‘plan’.
  • Peak will not really be planned, it will just happen when the outdoor season starts.

And the hours will gradually increase when riding outdoor to be ready for my main events in May. Those are long days in the saddle.

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Perfect plan!!! :slight_smile:

Hi Alex.
I have signed up for the Etape du tour in July. It’s a tough course and I want to train right for it. Your reply above is the kind of advice I am looking for. I have been researching what’s best at this point and I’m totally on board with zone 2. I will be doing some strength work 2 days a week for the next 2 months and solid zone 2. Any other advice or tips on training plans is appreciated. I’ll be keeping on eye on this thread for any other tips. Love this app.

Cool, happy you found us!!! :slight_smile: And I am excited about your trip, it sounds hard. Yes for now sounds like you have a good plan. I would say my advice above is good. As soon as you can just focus on the weekly long ride. As you get closer to Peak Season I will ask Coach Andrea what he suggests, just remind me. The fundamentals are the same but once you have your great foundation, then that peak period is what drives your final race success.

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Never heard of ‘SFR’ - what is it? Thanks!

It’s a strength endurance workout. It’s very low RPM 35-45 RPM, that is much higher torque than any workout you have likely done. Unless you are super muscular (think squats) it’s best to start out easy. It won’t feel like much but you might be sore the next day.

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Hi @Alex
would you recommend to do an FTP test every month or so to adapt the current running plan to the body adaptations?

This is something I was aksed by a friend I recommended Trainerday. And then I realized that my current plan until first of May works on my current FTP and not on an updated one.


Hi, I would start with a ramp test and if a person is mid-build period or late build period but feel their FTP is increasing quickly then monthly is probably good otherwise every 6-8 weeks should be fine. And once you start getting to a place it is stabilizing for the season, you can do it more rarely.

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