Thanks for sharing your experience. I think this perfectly captures the issue.
I have used TR off and on for about 18 months, today when listening to the podcast i realized you shouldnt do sweet spot base 1 and then do build base i always thought that There was 6 volume alternatives and not 3.
Hope my training benefits from doing the full base.
@tobiasgabrielsson To your point, when I first started TR they had “maintenance plans”. These do not have to be done in order. In fact, that are just two variations or options on the same idea. That’s what I thought the other plans did because I just happened to have read the description of the maintenance plans first.
So @mcneese.chad has got a really good feature request here, IMO.
I definitely agree with adding better terms to explain the progression but SSB is good as 2 blocks. I use this specifically as I train throughout the year but only do part 1 once and part 2, 2 or 3 times per year. As the guys were talking about on the most recent podcast, it really is considered Build Lite and is the best prep for the build phase.
This is a tricky one, on the podcast it was mentioned that out of all the phases, base 2, is the one they would prefer you not to miss, and I totally get that. So why not have it as a section in its own right that emphasises it’s importance, such as
Maybe they all need some element of rewording?
Or go the other way and be completely non specific
The most recent example of confusion:
- “Hey all, question. Made a bit of a mistake signing up for a plan. I am doing SSB2, because I thought I had a choice between 1 and 2 (slightly more hours and TSS in 2)…”
Yeah. I skipped part 2 of SS base and went into Build because I thought part 2 was just an option or variation on SS base part 1. Did it have a different name a few months ago?
Not sure why it’s broken into 2 parts. If they are meant to be done together and in order, seems like there is no reason to break it in half. It’s really just one 12 week block.
The name is the same as I have seen it for over 4 years. It is broken to allow options for starting at SSB 2, if someone has a some base already. There are likely other reasons, but they said it is split intentionally.
Not to put the cat amoungst the pigeons but I still have to constantly remind myself about things like:
Tempo, Sweet Spot, Threshold, VO2 max etc etc…Oh and somewhere there is endurance etc. and Zone 1, 2, 3 etc and renamed duplicates of these.
If you asked me to explain these right now I wouldn’t find it easy, just that it gets harder the more “up” the zones you go etc.
Why is the plan called SSB (Sweet Spot Base)?
What does that even mean? What is a Sweet Spot mean to represent? A steady progression, or something one finds comfortable etc…
It seems to be unnecessary jargon which the average cyclist (non-TrainerRoad, non-sufferfest, non-Training Peaks person) wouldn’t really have a firm grasp on IMHO. Many of my fellow club cycles might have a rough idea but not precisely emough.
If someone comes up with something to fully and SIMPLY explain all the various zones they could right a book and start a business.
Gulp. Awaiting a good bashing down.
I think it’s fine to start pretty much anywhere, especially if you’re bringing fitness in. When you’re just starting, you’re just checking things out anyway, and it doesn’t really make sense to commit your yearly plan to a platform until you’ve decided you like it. Most of us aren’t going to happen to start up at the correct part of the offseason to time SSB1 anyway. I started on a specialty plan, since I was late in my season, and wanted some of that type of training.
No bashing on this Forum. We are all here to help each other. We all have things to learn no matter how knowledgeable we think we are.
In terms of general recommendations, I would suggest reading: Joe Friel’s “The Cyclists Training Bible”. Even if you don’t read the whole thing, there’s a good introduction and it makes for a good reference book.
On a more advanced level, particularly on the technical terms, is Allen & Coggan’s “Training and Racing with a Power Meter”. Dr. Andrew Coggan is the world authority on power training metrics and is the developer of most terms that Trainer Road uses, such as Normalized Power (NP), Intensity Factor (IF) and Training Test Score (TSS). It’s not a light reading, but a great reference book at minimum.
Most of Andy’s terms (plus more) are also explained in detail on the Training Peak’s website (just Google the term you want to understand) as Dr. Coggan worked with TP (and it’s predecessor for many years) as his metrics are implemented in TP’s Premium product and WKO4.
btw: Relatively recently, it was Dr. Coggan that developed the training zone, Sweet Spot, and defined it as 88-94% of FTP and sort of overlaps the traditional Tempo and Threshold zones. It was part of his upgrading of his power zones from the “Classic Coggan Levels” to the “Coggan iLevels”.
As you will learn, it can quickly get confusing, and I haven’t even begun (ATL, CTL, TSB, FRC, TTE, Stamina, and it goes on). But the good news is, that if you follow the TR plan you will be safe, and if you ask questions here in the Forum you are sure to get help.
Once again Bobmac you have shown how much of a Gentleman you are
I must say that I have found this forum incredibly useful and friendly with barely a hint of “taking the p*ss” or criticism of others. It is incredibly refreshing after having spent some time on various other cycling and triathlon forums which shall remain nameless.
Another option is to alter the prominence of the workout plans. Seeing as TR recommend sweet spot base 1&2 for 99% of athletes it would make sense that they should stand out more?
I also find the plan descriptions and week tips very useful but some of them, especially the tips can be a little hard to find
Have to confess that as a 4th year tr user id only ever done one 6 week block of base and then into build. It was a chat in one of the forum threads where I realised " s@£t there’s two base blocks "
I think the person that we all need to really thank for that is @mcneese.chad. He has done a fabulous job at setting the tone for the discussions. You can have all the written rules you want, but unless the tone is enforced, it won’t happen. What is particularly refreshing to me is to read the thread on FTP improvements. As you can imagine, it would be a great opportunity for people to brag about their accomplishments. But the opposite has occurred where people well on the left side of the bell curve are equally, if not more, supported than folks on the right side. Fabulous Forum!!!
It’s already the very first option in the Base Phase section. With Traditional Base at the very bottom, and all the Tri versions in the middle. Not sure the pure “base” selection needs any more than that?
The most common issue is people jumping around and not doing the SSB 1 & 2 sequentially, as intended by Coach Chad.
I appreciate the props, but there are many, many others who are also doing a great job here.
We all try hard to discuss the core issues and related merits of them, as opposed to personal slights and attacks. I do step in if and when those types of issues arise. But they have been few and far between, which is one of the reasons this place is so great to visit.
The people are just plain awesome. The wealth of knowledge and willingness to share it with others is something that really sets this group apart. A truly great place to spend time and learn.
I’m thinking more use of comic sans
Ok, not really that. But we all know there is confusion over SSB Regardless of where it sits on a list and maybe some sort of emphasis to embolden it to help.
That said, it’s probably best if feedback and suggestions are prioritied from those who misread the workout plans, it’s hard for us to look at things with ‘fresh eyes’ when we already know how they are supposed to sequence.
Precisely the reason I started this thread. The progression makes sense to me and I don’t even give it two thoughts now. But I know that wasn’t the case for me when I first jumped into TR.
Since my start, I have seen the “I didn’t know there was an order” comments over the years and finally clicked that something is likely needed to improve it.
No idea what the rate is that people do them incorrectly, but it is not exactly rare from the comments I have read. There’s some great ideas about the wizards and such, but I am hoping a simple rename could help in a majority of the cases at least, and be relatively simple to implement. A small start to what may be an even better solution in the long run.
I’m kind of bummed hearing some of this. I had a long chat with a live TR employee when I was signing up. I made it clear that I already had some base and was considering going straight into build. He strongly suggested I do a base phase. I agreed because I’ve never done this before and want the most out of the training. The option of beginning with SSB part 2 was never presented. This is all in hindsight but now looking at the SSB 2 workouts, I feel safe in assuming that they would have equipped me with better tools to do well with the Short Power Build. But who knows.