Planning a season longer than 120 days?

Hi, what’s the best way to approach a season where I want to build up for longer than 120 days? My target event isn’t until November this year, and I want to start training for that in May. Previously I’ve followed a plan that had a base period of 4 months with a build period of 2 months, but with Xert I don’t think there’s any way to handle a target event that far out.

Thanks Guy. For an event that is that far out, there isn’t a strong reason to start structured training immediately. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to have structure leading into the event and should take the opportunity to train and ride for fun. You can certainly follow the XATA advice to improve but do recognize that many months of structured training isn’t really necessary. The value today’s workout has on your fitness in November is negligible.

Thanks. I’d really like to believe this (!) but it still seems counter-intuitive when you hear about pro riders doing massive base ride in Dec/Jan when they want to peak in July. Doesn’t a shorter season go against most coaching advice?

How many hours a week are you planning on training? Pros need time to get to the most out of 20+ hours a week… and they’re pros trying for every last ounce of performance. Considering the math of exponentially weighted moving averages, the XSS you have added today has very little effect in November. Our recommendations aren’t based on some other hidden benefit that isn’t measured.

I normally get up to 12 hours max. I guess if you are ramping up to 20+ hours a week there’s an argument that you need a longer runway? I just find it interesting because the idea of needing a 3-4 month base seems like accepted wisdom everywhere else.

(Back of a napkin calculation) If you’re at 12 hours max, you can probably realistically get to ~60x10=600XSS per week or TL of 600/7 = ~85. If you’re currently training half these hours, that’s a TL of ~42. Difference is 43. At a Ramp Rate of 3, thats ~14 weeks for a complete training program. Now if you’re aiming for 100TL and you’re starting untrained, then that’s a different story. That’s 33 weeks of total training time, assuming Ramp Rate of 3, or 7.5 months. 3-4 month base might be recommended in that case.

Pro riders put in massive early season hours mostly at low effort AKA polarized training. This old school method works well for pro level athletes whose full time job is to ride their bike.
For the rest of us 8-12 hours/week is the norm. The structured training movement evolved to meet the needs of time-crunched athletes.
Xert is a hybrid polarized system that doesn’t require a high level investment in time.

Xert also isn’t rigid system like other training programs that plot workouts for weeks/months in advance. While you could do that with the Planner it’s not necessary to get results.
You’ll understand more how Xert works (and why) as you monitor your Progression Chart over time.
Theses articles explain the process –

I wouldn’t describe the 120 days as a season. More of a cycle designed to move you from base phase to build to peak to taper. Rinse and repeat as needed.