One of the best things that Bereda can help you figure out is the right time to start the training build up for the year. Knowing this, you can plan the offseason accordingly to have Fitness (CTL) where you want, when you want.
When Bereda builds a plan it looks at the target Fitness (CTL) values, training preferences, and starting values and produces a result that will be in the range of what you want, but will require a bit of manual editing to meet your specific style.
Here’s an example plan built with an ‘A’ race Fitness (CTL) of 100 (2-week peak: 10 TSB), starting Fitness (CTL) of 80, a preferred ramp rate of 2.0, and preferred weeks per mesocycle of 4:
The plan starts with 5 weeks of very light training to 168 points per week, which equates to roughly 3 hours a week of endurance riding (turning on intensity and hours helps make these conversions). That low training load drops Fitness (CTL) to 48.1 before starting the season’s build up.
Now, a low training load and a declining Fitness (CTL) isn’t a bad thing, it is the off-season after all, and just like Fitness (CTL) should drop at the end of a mesocycle during the rest week, Fitness (CTL) should also drop at the end of the season (a macrocycle) to recover fully before building up once again. The question is how much should Fitness (CTL) drop, and how much training should be maintained during the off-season? There’s often a balance. On the one hand, you don’t want to train too much during the off-season, not recover and burn out in the upcoming season, and on the other hand you don’t want to let Fitness (CTL) plummet and have a very large build to do to get back to your target Fitness (CTL) for race day.
One thing that will help determine when to start is periodization. If we take our example and apply a somewhat long but classic 2-week peak, 8-week build and 16-week base, we end up with one more mesocycle in Bereda’s build up than the periodization covers:
If we open up the meso box of “Meso 1” and merge it with “Meso 2”, we can get the Fitness (CTL) to drop steadily over the entire off-season to the start of “Base 1”.
Now, instead of off-season training loads of 168 points per week, the plan shows weekly values of 346. That’s equivalent to 7 hours of endurance riding per week and much more in the range of what we want for this athlete. However, we would like to allow the athlete to have a couple of really light weeks as they’re just finishing their racing season and need a break from training. We could just drop the first two training load bars of “Meso 1” manually (and all the others would adjust), but we want to define two different mesocycles. The first mesocycle will be a “Transition” period, and the next will be the “Preparation” period.
In order to set this up, we first have to split “Meso 1”, shown below:
Then slide the division so that we get a 2-week mesocycle for the Transition period:
Finally, we drop the Fitness (CTL) point at the end of the 2-week mesocycle which greatly reduces the training load. We stop when we find a nice balance between the Transition period’s training loads and the prep periods training loads. Just make sure that the Fitness (CTL) point leading into Base 1 in fixed in place so it doesn’t move.
Just apply the training periods to finish and we have this, a well thought out off-season that sets the athlete up well for the season ahead.
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