SS Workouts All year

Hello All,
Non Racer/Club-Social rider here. Every year I work hard in the winter to get fit and then stop using TR the rest of the season to ride on the roads with friends and do centuries (I do 6-10 a year). I find that my fitness goes down through the year and I have to start over in Winter. This year I have resolved to keep doing TR workouts during the season (at least 1-2 a week) to at least keep my fitness and maybe increase it.

So my question is this. If I keep doing SS workouts with a couple of VO2Max workouts sprinkled in, will that keep or slightly increase my fitness? I have no aspirations to race. I just want to ride fast with my friends in my local club.
Thanks

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I would pick one of your centuries to be your A race and build towards it. Just go with low volume and move through the base/build/specialize.

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If you don’t race and none of your centuries stand out (in terms of being an A race) I think a really good training schedule to follow is: SSB I --> SSB II --> Sustained Power Build --> SSB I --> [repeat]. If you do this all year you will rip the legs off your group ride friends. You might not have a sharp top end, but you’ll be very comfortable setting a pace for long durations that aren’t very comfortable for everyone else. :muscle::biking_man::face_with_hand_over_mouth:

If you have a particular event that stands out from the others, put it in your calendar and work back from that date by adding the Century Speciality plan in the 8 weeks before it. So, your training schedule might be:

SSB I --> SSB II --> Sustained Build --> SSB I --> SSB II --> Sustained Build --> Century Speciality --> ** A race century ** --> SSB I --> SSB II --> Sustained Build --> etc

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THanks @julianoliver. Very Helpful. I want to do Vo2 workouts though as next year I want to keep up with the A group. I struggle with keeping it over 22mph on a sustained basis. So I guess, I need to work on my top end ability.
Regarding century races, I am in a good enough condition that I can do them without much difficulty without being highly trained.

I should have mentioned that a goal I have next year os to is to join the A rides next year. So, I may do the Criterium Specialty plan.

I am also toying with a 107 mile 11k climbing Gran Fondo (with timed segments) next September as my A race. I will decide soon. So, I think for that, I will need to do some dort of a climbing plan as I live in a very flattish area.

Ok, maybe I’m missing your goals or you need to provide a bit more detail. What are your group rides like now? What are the A rides like? Have you tried riding with them already?

In my experience group rides with “the A’s” generally tend to be long durations (say 2 hours) at a high pace (22-25 mph). Depending on your local terrain, there are usually a few sprint points along the way, maybe a city limits sign or a small climb (2-3 mins). These group rides are usually pretty forgiving for the sprints with slow rolling and regrouping afterward, but fairly unforgiving for people that can’t sustain the general pace of the group over the duration. So, the groups normally start off with a certain number of riders, but attrition along the way for those without sufficient aerobic fitness and muscle endurance. This is my experience, yours might be different, however your statement here suggests I might be close:

If you look at the plans, this is exactly what you are developing. The ability to put out more power over a longer duration. When you can do this with the A group and still have something left, that’s when you can think about trying to stick with the sprints when they happen. If you don’t have the foundation in place (bigger FTP), there’s really not as much point in building VO2Max. FTP is likely lower hanging fruit that will lift all your capabilities.

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@julianoliver I am currently a low FTP guy with my FTP around 205. So that is my problem right there.
I ride in the B group. THey average between 16-22. Usually around the 17-18mph on flattish roads with a few hills here and there. I have no problem hanging with them but struggle to stay at the front when my turn comes up to lead. I think you have it right, I need to work on building my aerobic base first.

Your description of the A group is right on point. While they advertise a 20+MPH, it is really 22+. I get dropped within the first 5 miles of the usually 30-40 mile ride.

I think, what you said makes sense. I will go with what you suggested. You seem to be really knowledgeable. Thank you for taking the time :slight_smile: to respond.

One last question.
I completed SSB Mid Vol1 about 3 weeks ago. I had to stop my progression to SSB Vol2 due to emergency Wisdom teeth removal followed by knee issues. I am going to start back up in a week or so. DO I need to re-do SSB Mid Vol1?

I’ve jumped straight into SSB2 before and it was totally fine so I think just go for it. You’ll re-assess at the start of the block anyway so the work should be manageable. Sounds like a decent plan you have there, though i might consider General Build rather than sustained, to give a bit more of a balance of short and long power durations?

Either way, Nate talks quite often about doing a lot of sweet spot work all year round. If you’re looking for general fitness and not really race sharpness then you can totally do that. You just might get a bit bored after a while. That, as much as anything, is why i tend to follow through the progression of different training phases, even if i don’t have a real A race.

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@ktimesk
I would second what @julianoliver is suggesting. I did something very similar to this two years ago (similar goals as you) and it was very effective. Unlike me, don’t get too caught up in the specialty phase unless you’re targeting a specific event. Just working SSB and Sustained Power Build (with substitutions for the group rides themselves) was perfect.

No, but it sounds like you’ve had a few weeks off the bike. I’d likely restart SSB II from the beginning again, including the Ramp Test (sorry!).

Either Build phase will work to produce improvement. The key element that @ktimesk seems to be lacking is consistency of training. Choose the plan you can stick with, even if on paper it’s not the perfect fit. General Build is a balance of sustained power, VO2Max and anaerobic work. Sustained Power Build has more of the sweet spot and threshold work and the VO2Max but mostly drops anaerobic work. If you’re trying to build your fitness to stay with the pack, which includes working through group surges, I find Sustained Power Build to be the best choice. If you’re already keeping up with the pack, but want to be the rider to mix things up, create a break or go with a break, then yes General Build I think would be better.

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Thanks @julianoliver. I think you are right. I will restart the SSB Vol1 due to a significant amount of detraining. As for the Build, I will decide later whether to do General vs Sustained.
Thanks all. Closing this thread. :slight_smile:

Thanks for starting it. I found a lot of relevant advice for my situation (long ultra distance in August peppered with qualifiers throughout the season starting in April). I was considering the same strategy as yours and ran across some helpful tips for adjustments.

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