I am finishing the Italian Plan what should I do next?

A bit out of topic, though not that much :stuck_out_tongue:, next week will be my last week of Serious Italian plan, what plan would you advise, to migrate to a “build” phase ? I think that the SFR plan is a kinda “base” phase (according to intervals.icu, my weeks were classified as “threshold” weeks, that is only Z1/Z2+Z3/Z4, no Z5) !? I’d like to add some HIIT or VO2Max workouts, don’t know where to start…

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: My experience with Trainer Day so far

The serious Italian is better suited for a build phase then a base phase but the question is how are you feeling? At the end of a base phase you should be very hungry for harder work. You should most feel like you did not do anything but maintain. What is your goal and desired timeline?

And don’t worry even if your base was not a base and you don’t feel rested a very short base period now can rectify that.

Oh, as the first weeks were kinda easy, I believed that it was mainly a base plan, with some specific work different from the usual plans, thanks to the SFR workouts (making it somewhat “attractive”/less boring, during those long months of Winter on the trainer).

Sure, I’d like to do some “harder” workouts (I was doing a lot of HIIT the last two years, so I’m missing that !), but I also believe that this plan brought me more than only maintenance. Again, probably because of those last two years, where, I believe, I lost a lot of endurance: by following the Italian plan, he helped me to get back some endurance. During the last month, the long Z2/Z3 rides became way easier than at the beginning of the Winter !

So, I’m planning to still work on the endurance, but I’d like to give it a pinch a high intensity, to be able to tickle my previous PRs on local segments by the end of the Summer. Segments somewhere between… 30s and 1h ! I guess that, by continuing the work on the endurance, I should start with the goal to improve my times on the longer segments, and progressively hit the shorter ones by slowly adding HIIT/VO2Max workouts ?

I’m feeling good, no need for any rest - for now. :+1:

I am not a VO2max expert but I think 60 at 40 years old is pretty good genetics (maybe not pro level but still great) and weighing 50kg is good genetics for a hill climbing cyclist as well. :). Let’s see what your build and peak periods do. If you continue to gain, which you should then you might be beating your fast friends :slight_smile:

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So really it’s all about working backwards from your target date. Really you can only expect about 4 months of gains without needing a base or resting period. If you start pushing hard now in 2-more months you are at the end of your growth period and starting to get tired and less motivated.

For outdoor northern hemisphere riders it is much harder to take it easy in the spring. So you have to work around your own life and limitations. If you know you cand do a hard period now, and then do a base period and start the cyclce over again in a few months. Then go for it. It is very unlikely you can push hard from now to the end of summer and still be motivated and in top form.

I am not directly answering your question yet. Just try to feel out what you want to do.

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Yeah, I’m planning on doing longer rides this year, compared to what I’ve been used to do during the last few years. When I say “longer”, I’m thinking about the time spent on the bike, not the distance: in 2020/21, I did most of my rides on the same flat road, because of the high intensity intervals that were impossible to do on hills (because of the downhills, not because of the climbs !). So this year, I will do more “adventurous” rides, to improve my general endurance, and hopefully after some time, I would be able to titillate some PRs if I progressively add some intensity. Well, that’s the plan, now I will see later how things turn in reality…

PS: BTW, I will cancel my subscription for the outdoor seasons, but I will be back next Autumn/Winter ! I appreciate the work you do with TD and on the forum, and using TD with Coach Jack this Winter was a “lot of fun” :slight_smile: It made my training during those long boring months quite more pleasant an easier than usual.

Generally there is no reason to do higher intensity now. That will give you short term benefits but will not aide in long term benefits and has the risk of causing you to peak too early. Higher intensity increases the chance of injury and illness as well so could derail your season.

I would focus on endurance work until you are about 4-8 weeks away from a key event (period) and then add intensity. So just get out and ride your bike and have fun. If you want to add in one day week of shorter duration higher intensity like HITT or something that should be a reasonable compromise. If you prefer to peak in about 8-weeks from now, and then just try to hold on to what you have through the spring/summer that is a more typical race season but you are a bit ahead of schedule at the moment.

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So I would say what you did was a build period and if you started a build followed by a peak it would likely be too much. But you will know how you feel. To answer your original question, a natural progression after the Italian is an 8-week peak plan of big climbs. Or a custom plan that has a Dynamic Force workout which is a VO2max version of SFR. So it will continue building on your SFR strength and give you some higher intensity like you want. Keep doing your long rides like you have been doing. Then the third workout is up for grabs. Could be a HIIT but I would probably do threshold blocks if you want to keep with more variety during your week and have a natural plan extension to the Italian.

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Thanks @Alex .
Yesterday, I finished my last SFR workout (still have a few other workouts to do this week), I started with an “Interval Intensity Level for Block” of #3, so yesterday was #18… What level I should choose if I go with another plan (big climbs or dynamic force), to keep improving, no regression, while making it sustainable ?

Very glad we could be a part of your winter.

So not sure if you read this but CJ plans are $4 / month while you are following it but rather than close our system down like orther platfoms do we prefer to just trust people. If someone really can’t afford it and needs to pay $4 for 16 week plan well so be it we just hope that is the minority. So if you want to start a new CJ plan please continue to support us until your plan is done :slight_smile: but if you are just going to have fun outdoors or follow something else then have fun during your outdoor season :slight_smile:

Regarding your question. I realize I need to make some fixes to make a smooth transition from a build period (Italian #18 qualifies for this) to the right level of peak plan (climbs or custom for example). Right now the alignment is a bit off. This is rather tricky but we can start with your case as the base line. I will be doing an update this week and let you know.

I decided to split this into it’s own topic as it is probably interesting in itself to some people.

Well, as I will do longer rides outdoor, with some profile variation (I live in a hilly place), I think that it wouldn’t be easy to follow TD workouts, by taking into account 1- the estimated time of the ride vs the time of the workout in TD, 2- the up and downhills on the road vs the power required to do the intervals (try to push some watts on an -8% slope = insanely spinning ! and potentially hazardous !), and 3- I want to record my routes outdoors, which TD can’t do yet (and it would be a pain to record my metrics on one app, the route on another, and to try to synchronize before sending them on web services (Strava, RideWithGPS, …)).
So, yeah, I’m trying to figure out how I could follow TD instructions while riding outdoors on routes that can’t match what I’m supposed to do. But I’m also aiming at doing “freer” rides this year, where I will go on the “feeling” on segments, on climbs, … Not sure - well, don’t know ! - how I could use TD in the middle of a ride.

Just checking. You were asking about next CJ plan so I was not sure. Outdoor takes real dedication to try to do quality intervals. You can use it with a Garmin or Wahoo bike computer. I am not in love with that experience but it is popular. I personally suggest using the “top tube” approach like many pros do, which is just write down your main intervals on paper or in message format and do your best to follow them. So the plan is more on paper. Hill repeats are good for say 10-30 minutes of your ride. Really with CJ plans only the main work needs paying attention to not the secondary (just stay in approximate zone).

So in your case after #18 threshold progression you could do #7 threshold blocks. You are just trying to do 3 intervals at 4 minutes each of threshold. This might be 3 hill repeats.

We just did an update that now I think intensity level #7 would be good for you of big climbs for 8 weeks.

Question: is it possible to “play” a workout on TD, if it’s not connected to the BT sensors ? So that I could record my rides with another app (Xert - I renewed my one-year subscription a couple of days just before I found TD+CJ !, or Wahoo Fitness, or Jepster, or RideWithGPS, for ex.) while TD would show the target and time of the current interval ? With the Pause/Skip buttons to sync the intervals with the segments/climbs on my road ?
Otherwise, I guess that I could go for a digital “top-tube” strategy, simply by writing the intervals on a note/checklist in Google Keep or any alternative… I already have several apps running on my phone when I ride outdoors: Youtube (Vanced), Xert, RideWithGPS for the navigation and radar warnings, so, I should be able to manage one more :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, if you have no devices connected to our app it has a simulation mode that looks like ERG, but will work as a play mode. I remembered you were a Xert user, I remember now about your 1-year. I was hoping my developer would have Ant+ done sooner so we could get to this outdoor mode, but seems like that is a few months out. Yes digital top tube might be reasonable as well. You don’t have to do any of this, only if you want to follow a CJ plan obviously :slight_smile: and it makes sense from a work flow. We are going to work on send out notifications of todays workout to an app like Telegram or SMS so you could get this simple text format of your workout as a notification.

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Oh well, I may extend my subscription (hum hum… renew it :sweat_smile: ) to try that Big Climbs plan: the workouts look interesting, I’ll just have to find short climbs to do the “dynamic force” intervals…
BTW, those workouts are quite short, do you think that it would penalize their effect, would I do them somewhere in the middle of a longer ride ? I mean, if I go for a “free” easy 2h30-3h+ ride, would it be detrimental to insert a 1h15 “Threshold Block” at the beginning/middle ?