Is the Intermediate Plan for you?
If you can tick the boxes below, then starting with this plan makes sense. If you feel you’re a bit stronger than this, then try out our advanced plans. It you feel it’s a step to far, get started with our novice plan.
- You’ve been riding for a number of years, and have a solid fitness base, but it’s been a while since you’ve made a big jump in performance.
- You can hang with a fast moving pack, and take your pulls, but when the going gets tough, you’re just hanging on by the skin of your chamois.
- You’re used to consistent training: you’re comfort- able riding frequently during the week and getting longer sessions in on the weekends.
- You’ve started to drift from your once dedicated and motivated self…you need something that will get the body and mind back into a routine and get back to a focused athlete.
- You’ve done some sportives or races in the past and would like to see what kind of result you could get if you really put your mind to it and had that ‘top end’ intensity that the faster riders seem to have.
- You have limited time to train. If you want to keep your job and the family happy, you need focused, compact training sessions.
Still not sure? Check out the Q&A with Dig Deep Coaching about our plans >>
How much time this takes
Between 5 and 8 hours a week and 4 to 5 days (2 indoor, 2-3 outside) of riding from you.
How fit you need to be
If you’ve been training consistently over the past year or two without any major layoffs, you’ll be able to handle this programme. The first week has a lot of intensity in it, so ideally you’ll have been riding regularly (6-8hrs a week) for at least 8-10 weeks before you get started here.
Why you need this plan
Because, quite simply, you want to be faster, stronger and enjoy your time on the bike more. The workouts, and their particular sequence over the 10 weeks, each serve a specific purpose and are designed to take you from the plateau you’re at to a higher level of performance.
How the plan is structured
This plan has five key blocks, incorporating both indoor and outdoor rides.
- Weeks 1,2,3: Establish training routine, progressively more intense weeks and race simulation.
- Week 4: Recovery week to absorb work of previous three weeks.
- Weeks 5, 6, 7: Second three-week training block, including strength and max intensity boosters.
- Week 8: Recovery week to absorb work of previous three weeks.
- Weeks 9, 10: Final (painful) work on high-end fitness.
About the training sessions
The sessions are a combination of indoor and outdoor rides. For the indoor rides, the Sufferfest videos you’ll need to have are:
- The Hunted
- Hell Hath No Fury
- Local Hero
- The Wretched
- The Long Scream
- Fight Club
- A Very Dark Place
- The Downward Spiral
- There is No Try
Save 10% off the required videos at check-out when you buy this training plan.
BAD WEATHER? The outdoor rides generally require you to have a flat to rolling course that isn’t too challenging. If you’re not able to get outside for any reason, you can do the exact same workout indoors by reducing the volume by 25%. It won’t be nearly as interesting, but at least you can get the training in.
The plan is about 19 pages long and includes:
- Introduction and definitions of the different effort and workout types.
- Fitness test instructions so you can calculate your Functional Threshold Power.
- A zone calculator sheet so you can map your FTP to power, heart rate and recommended perceived exertion zones.
- An overview of the entire ten-week plan on one sheet.
- Detailed weekly overviews with daily workouts, explanations, tips and space for notes.
What you’ll need before starting the plan:
- You’ll need many of The Sufferfest videos. You can find out what ones you’ll need by looking above.
- Ideally, a heart rate monitor or power meter. Our plans are based on knowing your Functional Threshold Power (i.e., the effort you can sustain for about an hour without slowing down) and you’ll need to be able to measure your heart rate or output in watts in order to use these plans. We’ll ask you to do a fitness test (instructions in the plan) before you start week one. Of course, you can just do the plans based on our recommended perceived exertion levels, but you won’t be as specific as is possible when you know your FTP.
And, hey, are these the best looking training plans ever?