You have invested in a solid base training phase, and over the last 3 to 4 months you focused on your strengths and weaknesses, and prepared your body for the higher intensities and the season. Up next is the build phase.
The goal of the second phase is to prepare you for your specific race requirements. During the build phase at least 2 weekly workouts should be specific to your goal/event, and all of the other workouts during the week are dedicated to recover and maintaining the more basic forms of your cycling fitness.
Tip: If you are not training for a specific event, then your primary focus for this training phase would be to increase your threshold power.
Where to start?
Typically in cycling your build training phase starts 2 months before your race season, the duration is generally 6 to 8 weeks of focused specificity and quality workouts to improve your fitness. Longer than 8 weeks, and you will start to loss the gains while creating a high fatigue cost.
Adequate recovery is a must.
To get the most out of the build phase, it is important to get enough recovery to generate the power and speed that are similar to the demands of your goal or event. Look for good indicator of recovery – positive attitude, feelings of health, motivation to train, high quality sleep, normal resting and training heart rates and balanced emotions.
Don’t forget about raising your FTP with dedicated FTP-level workouts.
Functional Threshold Power is the single biggest predictor of success in cycling, and during the build phase one can become so focused on the short intervals and forget to continue to building Functional Threshold Power.
Sample Workout: 4 minute threshold intervals.
This format, rather than 20-minutes sustained, typically yields a higher average power output for the work segments.
Do this on a long 2 to 4 percent grade hill, on or off road, with little to no traffic and stop signs or on an indoor trainer. After a good 20 minute warm-up, do 5 to 8 repeats of 4 minutes at threshold power or Zone 4 power with 1-minute recoveries.
What the threshold intervals should feel like: Race pace, continuous sensation of moderate or even greater leg fatigue, deep and shortness of breathe, difficult to hold a conversation.
What comes after the build phase?
Up next is the peak phase, Here volume is reduced, and your workouts simulates intensity and condition of goal event but are not as long as the race/goal duration.
Hope you found the article useful, thanks for reading.