What to do between training blocks/periods


#1

Hey guys,

I’m about a week away from finishing my first Sweet Spot Base (low volume) training block. I’m going to repeat the block before moving on to Build and so forth. What are your thoughts on what to do between blocks?

An easy week of rest and light cross-training?

Go right to the next block?

Thanks for any input! I’m excited to test at the beginning of the next block to see if/how much my FTP has changed!

-Hugh


#2

Do you mean you’re going to repeat SSB Low Volume I, or do you mean move onto SSB Low Volume II? You should definitely do II, rather than repeat I and go onto Build.

Every training block has a recovery week in the last week which dials back intensity and TSS. For most people, this is enough to let the body absorb the training from the block. So, the plan design is to move from one training block to the next back-to-back, BUT if at the end of the recovery week you’re still feeling fatigued and are not excited about getting on some tough intervals, maybe repeat the recovery week or give yourself a couple of days off the bike, or both.

Dig deep! If you haven’t seen this thread yet, I recommend having a read through before your Ramp Test to make the most of it. The Ramp Test protocol doesn’t require any pacing strategies like the longer formats do, but there is still some skill involved in making the most of your results.


#3

Well, LOL, not knowing any better when I signed up with TR, I started with sweet spot base low volume II. I dont want to step backwards to less volume or TSS so I was going to repeat SSB Low Volune II. That’s good to know that the last week has done deload in it so you can move to whatever is next. Thanks all!


#4

Yes, if you skipped SSB LB I, then sure, repeating II is the way to do it. The blocks are intended as a progression to create an aerobic foundation that Base and Specialty to develop off of. How did you find SSB Low Volume II? If it was easily manageable, second time around you could consider switching out some of the workouts for the +1 versions for some extra work to give you that progression.


#5

Or try mid vol 1 if times permits?


#6

I wouldn’t recommend this. You want to keep the VO2 Max work that is in the II block. If time permits and you feel like you can handle the extra work, I would look at SSB Mid Volume II.


#7

I’m not sure what the +1 option is. How would I do that?

-Hugh


#8

Am I right in taking it then that the right ‘protocol’ is always follow up a ‘1’ SSB plan with either the ‘2’ at same volume or a build ?

At moment I had it in my head that base, build and speciality phases were to follow on from one other in chronological blocks. Eg, say I’ve 6 months before entering any local races - 2 months base, 2 months build and 2 months speciality.

What would you recommend for me?

In week 4 of SSB mid 1. First time structured winter training. When March April comes next year I’ll be out on group rides at the weekend but would also like to enter some races locally. Not sure what type and to be honest it may be a mixture of sportives, time trials etc.
First Ramp test 234 FTP.

Thanks.


#9

When you click on the workout within your Calendar scroll down and you will see the alternatives. These are either easier (-1,-2 etc) or harder (plus 1,2 etc)

The load it up, do it and delete the ‘planned one’.


#10

Ok, so this is Sweet Spot Base Low Volume II plan.

Let’s say that you decide that on Thursdays you can ride a little longer. If you click on the workout, in Week 1 this would be Ebbetts, you get the details of the workout.

You’ll see down the bottom that there are Variations of the workout. In the case of Ebbetts (60 mins, 68 TTS) there is also Ebbetts +1 (75 mins, 86 TSS) and Ebbetts +2 (90 mins, 101 TSS). If you decided to switch Ebbetts for Ebbetts +1, week one TSS in the plan would go from 212 TSS total to 240 TSS. So, you’re stressing your body a little bit more than the first time through this block.

This is really easy to do in Calendar. Once you have the training plan loaded in, click on the workout you want to change:

Click Add Activity from the bottom right and search for the workout you want to add. I searched for “Ebbetts” and it show me all the Variations. Then click Ebbetts +1 to add that workout to that day.

Now I have Ebbetts and Ebbets +1 scheduled for the day, so just click on the trash can for the one you don’t want, in this case Ebbetts.

You’ll be left with the Ebbetts +1 workout switched out for that day. Should take about 10-20 seconds per workout to switch them.


#11

The progression is Block I followed by Block II. I think its ok to change volumes from Low to Mid (or reverse) if circumstances dictate the change. You don’t ‘graduate’ from Low to Mid Volume. So, if you do Low Volume I and want to do more work, there is no need to go to Mid Volume I next, just jump to Mid Volume II.

The progression from Base to Build should be done after the full base period (after I & II). Not from I to Build. I has a lot of sweet spot aerobic conditioning, II adds in some more threshold and VO2 Max work, so you don’t want to skip that adaptation or the Build phase is going to feel very difficult.

Yes this is correct. Base (I & II - 12 weeks), Build (8 weeks), Speciality (8 weeks). So 28 weeks round trip on the training season.

If you haven’t seen it, take a look at this episode of Ask A Cycling Coach

It goes through all the things you should think about in constructing your annual training plan. In short, figure out your high priority race(s), your ‘A’ races, and work back from that. You should aim for your last week of Specialty (which is a taper week) to line up with your A race. Things get more tricky if you have multiple A races and you’re seeking to peak twice. You’d need enough time to ‘re-build’; Base --> Build --> Speciality --> Build --> Speciality. This is all highly individual though, depending on your current level of fitness, how much time you have, the number, importance and timing of your priority races.


#12

Thanks @julianoliver that’s helpful.
So if it want to up the volume in next phase of my base - I should go high vol 2 (to get those VO2 efforts included?)

I very well might not as I know that adding 4 hours into current plan isn’t a Small thing.


#13

No, Block II of Sweet Spot Base adds in the higher intensity compared to Block I (for both Low and Mid volume). I could only recommend the High Volume plan if you’ve been doing structured training for a few years. It’s a LOT of work and really only for a small percentage of athletes.

You mentioned that this is your first time doing structured training, so the general recommendation would be start with Low Volume to get started. If after a few weeks you feel you could do more, add in some additional workouts in your Rest days to bump things up (I borrowed from the Mid Volume plan on the corresponding days). After a while of doing that, I was confident of being able to do the Mid Volume plan so at the end of the training block, I switched to Mid Volume. I really recommend taking things easy to begin with.


#14

Ok am in week 4 of mid vol 1. Finding that ok - in terms of overall vol.
Iikely I will do mid vol 2 next. :+1: