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Structuring Your Build Phase

Pinnacle Training Guides

In the most recent blogs we have touched on the importance of a sound base and what it entails. For a re-cap on the base 8-12 week base phase - . Before you make the ever so important decision to depart from base training and embark on the build phase of your training, be sure that you have made the necessary gains. This evaluation process is rather basic and rarely touched on. Given the majority of your work up until this point has been steady state, you can easily pull data to evaluate your efficiency factor and pin point aerobic decoupling. You need to show signs of improving fitness by identifying particular trends reflecting gains in aerobic efficiency. For more insight specific to these practices-

Build Phase- What is it, why it’s important, and how long/how much?

Assuming the necessary work has been put in and the adaptions have occurred, the next phase in the periodized training paradigm is the build cycle. One of the core concepts associated with this part of your training is that the workouts now begin to address weaknesses and mimic the demands of the races you are targeting. In the previous phase you were simply training to train. Now you are training to race. The importance lies in the fact that what you do during this phase will have a major impact on how you fair once faced with repetitive lung searing attacks and continuous efforts tipping well above your FTP. In addition, this phase should begin roughly 12 weeks prior to your “A” rate race and last about 9-10 weeks. Bear in mind that a typical taper and peak process generally lasts 2-3 weeks.

As the build phase begins to take action, your strength plan will take a back seat to the race specific training. You will now transition into the maintenance phase of the strength plan in turn allowing the proper recovery needed to sustain a more intense training load. Do not underestimate the stress associated with LT, VO2, and AC based efforts. Some classic pitfalls associated with the build cycle are:

• Neglecting to regularly test FTP, meaning you could possibly be training the wrong ranges.
• Not decreasing the overall volume when the intensity increases. Pinpoint ideal TSS/IF per week prior to constructing weekly training load associated with the build.
• Racing too often early in the season in conjunction with the race specific efforts.
• Not staying true to the maintenance phase of the strength training. If you don’t maintain it you will lose it.
• Riding too HARD on recovery days and going longer and harder than necessary on the endurance rides.

Start gradually with fartlek rides and gradually bring in LT and VO2 based intervals. As your EF factor trends positive, begin to lengthen the intervals and implement different variations. Stay consistent, it will take time to see trends. This phase is not any more complex than the base phase when done properly. Get it right and you will pin a number on confidently and be race ready. Miss and you will be left at the mercy of those fitter and faster than you. Unsure if you are taking the right steps to make this year your best, email me

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