Our Training Plans are Improving



Eclipse was hard too - I had to reduce power by 5-10% for the 2nd 20-min interval. Plus it didn’t help that my saddle is extremely uncomfortable in spite of trying a bunch of different bib shorts.


I think #2 is what I’m looking for. Do mid volume & move Saturday’s ride to Thursday. Thank you!


I’d actually like to hear more about this. If you can complete the rides and feel capable, are you still reducing the potential benefit of the rides by packing too many difficult rides into a week?


You did three KILLER workouts in a row. Here’s what could be happening:

  1. Your FTP is too low. I know you just did a ramp test but self adjusting is totally A-OK and recommended.
  2. You have an amazing ability to recover.

You could have a combination between the two.

Here are the options I’d consider if I were you:

  1. If you’re making progressing (IE getting stronger), I wouldn’t change a thing.
  2. If you’re not making progress, or not as much as you’d like, I’d bump up your FTP 5-10 watts and see how you go. We don’t need you to fail each workout, but some of those harder ones should be really hard.
  3. If you have time you could also do some of the “+” versions where you get more intervals and ride for longer.

Let me know what you choose to do, I’m interested!


Hey Nate, if you’re doling out advice, I’ve got one for you: I just finished week 4 SSB2 HV, and feel like both Wright peak -1 and antelope +5 were really easy (in fact my HR barely went into my threshold HR zone). Would you up the ftp going into week 5 or just let things ride and see how I handle the increased tss of week 5 and possibly test out an increase for the week 6 endurance stuff where it’s a bit lower stakes? I could see myself being able to do 290-295w, which is nuts because I’ve spent a whole year at 275 and thought my ftp gains were pretty much done


You’re so close, this is how sweet spot should feel too. Week 5 is SO MUCH SWEET SPOT.

I’d continue into week 5, then do the recovery week and don’t raise your FTP then! Wait for the ramp test.

We covered this on the podcast but it’s never a good idea to raise your FTP during the recovery week, it’s for recovering.

You should look forward to a nice FTP bump! I think you’ll bump higher continuing with the same FTP in week 5, fully recovering and being super fresh for the harder build phase.


Thanks! I resisted the same urge during ssb1 so I must have done something right!


Did you get a nice bump between the two phases?


Thanks @Nate! Honestly, I feel like I just have a good ability to suffer, haha.
I went from a 278 to 304 FTP test last time and considered lowering it, but wanted to give myself time to adjust first and ended up leaving it at 304. I couldn’t imagine increasing my FTP from there… I’m often at my limits and a lot of times wonder if I’ll make it through the first set of intervals… but decide there’s only one way to find out :slight_smile:
I don’t have time to add +versions as much as I’d like to (occasionally)
One of the big things for me with these rides is that I don’t decide on the day of one ride whether the next day will be a rest day or not. If I had to decide then, I’d almost always take the next day off… Instead, I set my alarm for the next morning as if I was going to do the next ride. If I wake up and feel capable, I go for it. I’ve also started eating before and during all the build phase workouts which definitely helps :slight_smile:
I guess my main concern is that I’m not doing something detrimental to my training by approaching the plan this way. Ramp test tomorrow, so I’ll find out! Thanks for your advice!


I went from 275 to 285 (although my ramp test gave me 268, I’m just bad at the higher end but I knew I improved), so 285 was an educated guess and it didn’t feel terrible so I rolled with it and like ssb1 it got progressively easier


Well if you’re doing the work, you’re increasing your FTP and you’re not burned out or injured I don’t see what the problem is. Keep doing it! 15 watt FTP bump is a big one!


@nate - which of the four difficult rides in MV criterium is best to substitute?


Look at them and think what’s keeping you from races…don’t skip that workout.


Hi, I really like that you have added the option for extending the warmup, but once you get past the warmup, It would be great with the possibility to shorten the time before first interval. In general I think there is way to long before intervals start. I know this is highly individual, but 5min. is to long for most I would expect. For me, 2min is would be perfect…longer…I find my pulse lower to much and I do not get a good result from first interval.
Just a thought, Kind regards JEppe


Try this:


@Nate just a quick update. I did my ramp test this morning and increased from 304-315 (~3.5%.) Previous increase after SSB II was 278-304 (~9%.)
For the first half of the MV Build Phase, I removed the Wednesday rides and condensed the remaining plan into 3 weeks. I’m gonna try to do the same with the 2nd half of Build Phase. That should have me finishing MV Gen Build right before my 1st MTB race of the year. I’ll let you know how the 2nd half goes!!

Just a little about me -
47 years old
I float between 190-195 lbs (~86- 89kg)
I got active just over 2 years ago. Literally, from couch potato/occasional weekend warrior to mountain biking 1-2 times/week. I found TrainerRoad when I realized I would never keep up with the guys I ride with by doing what I was doing. My first FTP test was 119.

Like I’ve said before, I think a lot of my initial FTP increases were just learning how to suffer.


As an untrained observer here, I gotta say that schedule looks a bit crazy to me. Too much intensity stacked too close. If it works, that’s great, but I am surprised that a Masters age rider can pull that off with so little rest.

You consistently have 3 “hard” workouts right in line in the prior 3 weeks. And it looks like nearly 5 in the first new week with only one (North Pack) being marginally “easy”. It makes me wonder if the FTP is too low, but what do I know?

Again, as a regular users here, that seems like a whole lot of stress and not much rest/recovery. I understand the desire to squeeze in some training to fit a timeline, but this could be a bit much? If you have done something like this in that past and grown from it, great and good luck. I will be interested to hear how this turns out in the long run.


Its working for him, hard to argue with that.

For context, there are a bunch of masters riders 50+ years old in our club (NorCal). Just went to Strava and pulled up last week for one of those beastly ride leaders: 210.8mi / 10h 40m / 11,342ft. And that is a typical winter week. Think he is over 60.


Thanks for your thoughts @mcneese.chad. I definitely understand the concern regarding the intense rides being stacked together. I do feel like I’m listening to my body though.

Like I said to Nate above, I don’t decide whether I’m doing the next day’s ride until the next morning. I set my alarm as if I were going to do it and decide at that time whether I’m feeling up to it.
So far, that’s working out to about 3 intense rides before needing a rest day.

I feel like my FTP is right where it should be, if not a bit too high. Many of those rides are incredibly tough, as I’d expect them to be - especially on fatigued legs.

I feel like I do the ramp test pretty well. My heart rate on this last one hit about 96% of my max (which I only ever hit outdoors.)

I did SSB Mid Vol II (minus the zone 2 workouts) in 6 weeks but incorporated 2 runs per week into that schedule for the first 2/3 of it. I always felt like I was hovering on failure on the tough workouts, which is where I feel like I should be for those.

Ended up with a 9% increase in FTP. That was kind of shocking, but the first half of General Build Mid Vol resulted in about a 3% increase in 3 weeks. Considering the intensity of the rides I’ve been doing, I think that’s reasonable and wouldn’t indicate too low of an FTP… IMO anyway :wink:

Regarding the coming week, I don’t anticipate doing all those workouts as currently listed. I regularly move workouts further out - like I said - if my body tells me I need a day off. Considering my current trend, I wouldn’t expect to do more than the next three… maybe four back-to-back.

I’m not trying to hit any scheduling targets. This first race coming up in a few weeks actually just announced it was on a few weeks ago, so that’s just how it’s working out. The first race of my actual series I’m targeting isn’t for a month later (7 weeks from now.)

I’ll be interested to see the results as well! Thanks again for your thoughts!


And those are exactly the types of athletes I look to and ask “why can’t I do that?” The fact is, maybe I can’t. But I won’t know unless I try.

When I started riding 2 1/2 years ago, I thought once or twice a week outdoors was extreme. Then I started training with Low Volume Sweet Spot and thought 3 indoor rides a week was sooo hard! Then I started condensing that into shorter time frames.

I’ve consistently thought I was pushing up against my limits and had to back track more than a few times from trying to go too far too fast. But I’m still curious to find out what I’m capable of, so I’ll keep pushing my limits to see. I may be reaching that limit soon… maybe I’m already there and don’t know it. Time will tell!