The Purple Patch training method is a bit different from others.
Rather than just dropping you either into a long, steep race build or a stagnant "base training" plan -- both of which are recipes for fatigue accumulation and underperformance -- the vast majority of your fitness and race-readiness develops from consistent training on our structured, progressive Purple Patch Baseline program.
Baseline is what you'll be on most of the year, even if you race frequently. It's the big engine that will drive most of your performance improvements. It's important to note that Baseline isn't "base" training. It's a dynamic, full-season structure broken into specific, targeted blocks of training. Those blocks evolve and build upon each other throughout the season to optimize performance improvements. We then empower you with simple tools and resources to customize that training, including short focused Race Builds that integrate with Baseline and ensure you're sharpened up for race day.
The Baseline structure is tied to the calendar year, so when you join Purple Patch, you'll begin wherever we currently are in Baseline. That's okay: it doesn't really matter where in the cycle you start (or when you race). What matters is committing to the structure on a longer-term basis so that you can progress through the entire cycle in order.
Random exercise = random results. The Purple Patch training structure is your antidote to randomness.
Let's talk about that structure in more detail. The below information holds true for both Baseline as well as most of our Race Builds.
TRAINING STRUCTURE OVERVIEW
- Each Week includes 7 days of training: 3 KEY sessions, several SUPPORTING sessions, strength training (which isn't labeled KEY, but is still a critical element of the week), and occasionally an OPTIONAL session.
- Every 3-week cycle forms a block: Work Week 1 - Work Week 2 - Transition Week. That rhythm repeats with each block, but the work evolves from one block to the next. Work Weeks 1 and 2 have slightly higher load and intensity; the Transition Week is a week of lower overal volume. During some parts of the year, Transition Week will finish with a race-simulation type weekend session.
- A group of blocks forms a quarter (roughly). Each quarter has a specific intent and focus for performance development.
- The 4 quarters form an annual training season that includes development, a build phase, race-specific work, and a post-season/prepatory phase.