I have an IM plan that I was using this year until my race was canceled and plan to use again next year. That race is about ten months away now, and will be my A race for the year. I feel like my bike fitness has plateaued, and I’m interested in trying to raise my FTP this winter. I was wondering what your thoughts are on the timing of that endeavor. Should I do the maintenance plan now and then attempt that or would it be better to do 6-8 weeks now designed around that idea followed by the maintenance plan? I’m still 7 months out from my B race for the year, and I have kept relatively fit (biking and running) since my race was canceled.
I recommend that you split the next 10 months into two seasons. The first 4-month season is dedicated to cycling FTP. The second 6-month season is your IM.
For this next 4 months, a dedicated cycling plan is a good idea (80/20 does not offer one yet) as long as you can still swim and bike to not lose those skills.
The 80/20 Maintenance plan is just 3 months long, and I don’t like repeating that one. So, maybe a dedicated cycling plan for 2 months, with a side hustle of swim and bike, and then 2 months of Maintenance plan.
The Maintenance plan can be turned into a “cycling” plan by performing the high intensity intervals at the upper end of the zone. There is a huge difference between completing the Maintenance plan at the low end of >Zone 3 vs the high end of Zone 3 and above. If you really bust out those cycling intervals, your FTP is bound to increase. You really can’t pull this off safely on both bike and run, you need to choose which one is the chosen one, at least week-by-week, and the other sport is done low to mid Zone.