I'd love a plan that was between SS Base and traditional base

You could also try a different FTP test that isn’t so vo2 max dependant.
Another possibility for the increasing fatigue is to insert more frequent recovery weeks.

So interesting, I think this is key thinking about it. I wasn’t cheating on my FTP number but I always knew I couldn’t actually hold my “FTP” from my ramp test for an hour. I’m going to substitute my actual hour FTP in as my FTP and get back on the SSB plan and see how that goes.

Hi could you describe the differences between Traditional base and SS base a bit more? What is the differences in number of days / volume / intensity between the two ? For example 2 week day rides is very low…

My humble opinion, TR has too much of intensity during the SS phase. The overs and unders are too early in the season. My suggestion is to replace them with something at true sweetspot.

OTOH, I am thinking of going with the polarized method and doing a lot of Z1/2 and mixing in with Vo2Mx and higher at a ratio of 80-20 or 90-10.

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I agree with you. I don’t use any pre-built TR plans specifically because of exactly this. It better suits my schedule and past fitness gains by doing a nice mix of the two, but not so strict on the sweet spot, while at the same time not only doing LSM (long slow miles).

Some of the higher intensity can definitely cause problems like on the low and mid volume plans, but as long as you don’t add additional high intensity workouts to it, I don’t see that as too much of a concern. I say if adding workouts to the low and mid volume, the added workouts should be LSM or close to. Just imo

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I just switch out the Sat 2 hr indoor for a 60-80 mi zone 2 outdoor!

I’ve gone full polarized. Lots of top end of zone 2 for 1hr 15 mins and longer on the weekends. Seems o.k. I do a fast group on Saturday that has a couple of V02 max efforts in so thats the only intensity I’m doing. I may change this by the end of February. So far it’s going fairly well. It’s pretty boring though…

I did this last spring (late start to base season). I did 12 weeks of 10-13 hours per week of LSD (under 125bpm for me) and my Saturday group ride which can have 20-30 minutes of threshold and 20-30 minutes at SS. I was also tacking on an extra hour to that Saturday group ride so I was getting at least one 3.5 hour ride per week.

I bumped my FTP by 20-25 points and by week 8 I was breaking all of my Strava PRs on key segments where I track my fitness. More than numbers, my endurance and “durability” (as Seiler says) improved greatly. I could be in hour 3 of a ride and still feel great.

The other thing is that my HR at all my sub threshold wattages went lower. Before, my group may have been motoring along at a good clip and I’d be at 145bpm which is my low sweet spot but after my polarized base my heart rate was more like 135bpm putting me in tempo so that it was much easier.

Nice, yes it works, it’s just a question of time and boredom! I think 2 months of it is definitely a good thing.

Glad to see polarized is working well for you guys.

I go with a mix between the two, but primarily my training in the base phase (first 2 out of 3 period at least) is LSD around Z2.

The adaptations have been studied more so for LSD and Z2 aka “typical base training” than that of sweet spot and are more proven for endurance athletes at the top end of the sport.
I do still throw in 1-2 “Intervals” (threshold, tempo, or sweetspot) each week on the same days as I go to the gym. This has done well over the past several years of training.

For those with hardly any time though (≈5 hours), the best “bang for their buck” may very well be sweet spot work and try to add on miles when time clears up

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Started long base in late August with a lot of aerobic endurance rides, and 5-9 hours a week. Didn’t see any real gains in aerobic base until hitting sweet spot and mild vo2 work. I’m a diesel, have seen similar in previous seasons.

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I meant to ask the other time you mentioned it earlier.

Would you say that the TB experiment was a “loss” and you’d have been better off with SSB 1 and/or 2?

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Like I say, there’s a good mix between the two as I have been doing.

I’m talking potentially going pure SS if you only have <5 hours per week (so don’t mix anything). But if you have more than 5 there is some benefit to throwing in some Z2 “traditional base”… Granted, everyone adapts to exercise stress differently and this is key to remember when choosing any plan.

I’ve been tempted to do more of a Sweet Spot base this winter. I’m waivering though and I’m not sure. The polarized proponents would say that you get the same benefits riding at aerobic threshold as you do doing SS intervals but you avoid the fatigue. The Coggin chart with the arrows claims faster adaptations at SS.

I might mix it up in the form of 6 weeks LSD and then starting to add in some tempo/SST and then build for the next 6 weeks.

I don’t think so, hard to say though, there’s only one of me so no control group… Maybe depends what kind of rider you are and what your weaknesses are. I’m really anaerobically inclined so it’s been good for me to get some aerobic base I think. 75% of max heart rate as a ceiling type rides. The chain gang felt really easy last week until the break went and I couldn’t go with it whereas I usually could always go with it on normal SS program. I’m hoping that the old idea of wide base pyramid will mean that when I add more intensity later in the year, the chain gang will feel easy and V02 max and threshold after that will be at a higher level. We’ll see… It used to work for me when I raced 20 years ago (though that was on 20 hours a week…)

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I’d really like to get Inscyd testing done. I also raced 20 years ago and I was a sprinter type. I was good at crits but I was never a climber. There are guys in my club that drop me on climbs but they get shot out the back when it’s fast and furious on the flats whereas I’m comfortable on the flats taking pulls at the front.

Take a look at my calendar for how I adjusted SSB1 to follow something like what I think you’re after

My season started the week of January 6 (no ramp, self adjusted FTP from 325 to 280 after taking 4 weeks off the bike)

The gist of it is that I went from 3 days of intensity in the TrainerRoad SSBMV1 plan to just 2 days:

  1. Moved my Over/Under Saturday ride to Tuesday (you’ll see I’m doing -1 variants for time)
  2. Moved my Tuesday Sweet Spot day to Thursday, but am focusing more on interval duration (progression: 3x12 > 2 x 20 > 3 x 15 > 2 x 25 > and so on)
  3. 60 min of endurance on Wednesday
  4. 90 min of endurance on Saturday
  5. 60 min of endurance on Sunday

Right now I want to emphasize working my AeT (aerobic threshold) and introduce a bit of muscle endurance with the SS/T workouts.

Very interesting, also looks a bit more fun than my 1 hour at constant 75% max heart rate…

It’s just enough weekly intensity and I am starting to enjoy 60-90 min zone 2 rides. I find that if I try to do 3 SS/T workouts in a week (standard TR Base 1) that I’m just too fatigued. Background: 3 years on TR, FTP peak of 325w (4w/kg), 35 years of age, race CX and a bit of gravel.

Happy with TB 1 and TB 2. The problem was a poorly executed detour between TB 2 and my heavily modified SSB. Here is estimated aerobic capacity:

The dip was my fault. Win some, lose some. Learned a few lessons at the school of hard knocks. Fitness age over last week has me 20 years younger, and I haven’t finished working on aerobic capacity.

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