A Few Questions Regarding Build, Strength Training and Specialty Phase

About me:
-18 years old
-Road biker(I might be doing another discipline later on but I am not going to try anything new this season)
-This will be my second racing season but this is the first time I am entering a season with structured training.
-I ride more than 10 hours a week
-FTP: 315w(4.84w/kg)
-Completed Traditional Base High Volume two(I did not have any injury!) and I have two weeks(including taper week) to go in my Sweet Spot Base High Volume 1.

I used to ride for 6 days a week and then take a day off. Ever since I started sweet spot base high volume 1, I removed Pettit and replaced it with a gym day. I am still able to hit my targets and I do not feel the fatigue for more than a day.

My question(s):

I am living in Halifax, Nova Scotia where the terrain is very hilly. I have listened to the recent podcast in which Coach Chad says that we need to pick the build phase based on how we plan to do the race(breakaway rider or keep closing gaps type of rider). The race calendar has not yet been released(will be released in late January) so I am not exactly sure what event I want to target. I am open to doing either general build or short power build as my build phase but my specialty plan will be rolling road race. The short power build plan says that I need to expect a fair reduction in sustained power and endurance. Oh and I would like a proper definition for endurance and sustained power. I am assuming that one who has completed the short power build will struggle on endurance rides and will not be comfortable over the course of these usual 3+ hours weekend rides.
If sustained power means riding close to your threshold(sweet spot) for a while(usually 20-40 mins) then all build plans are focused on improving your FTP so in other words you should be able to push the pedals with force for a while right??. I find this very confusing and would like to know which build phase to follow.

Now that I have noticed a major difference in my power by strength training. It has enabled me to ride longer without producing much fatigue and I usually do barbell squats and dumbbell chest presses and I recover from my gym session in one day. I would like to integrate this into my build phase but I do also enjoy doing the endurance rides(3+ hours long) indoors or outdoors during the weekend and I feel like if I want to do those, I would need to switch to the low volume plan. I feel that I need to do these long rides during the weekend to be comfortable in the saddle for a long time and the only solution I have found is to switch to a low volume build plan. I am also open to doing one 3+ hour ride per week but I am placing more priority on my strength training than two endurance rides. I would like your suggestions on this.

Lastly, when it comes to specialty phase I see that couple of workouts of rolling road race plan are there in the climbing road race plan aswell. In climbing road race, the workouts are not just “ride at 105% FTP for 5 min” with some rest in between and repeat that like the century/fondo one. It also has some efforts which go into Zone 5. I am also planning to race crits this year so if I do the short power build, will I be able to perform well if I do climbing road race as my specialty plan? by “do well” I mean still being able to repeat those 10-20 second all out efforts.


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My contribution to this mega-post…

My understanding is that Build is for strengthening what you’ve established in Base – your FTP.
Thus, if your FTP is 315, then the Build phase trains you how to utilize that 315w in whatever fashion you decide – sustained, short, or all-around. Your FTP will naturally improve simply because you are doing an escalating training load, but that’s kind of an adjunct effect.

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Congrats to your numbers!

I’m a bit confused, sounds like you want it all. My recommendation for Build would be General Build to be open for all directions.

In this forum the TR guys recommended to pick the plan that covers all rides (indoors and outdoors) and substitute the workouts as needed with the outdoor rides. So you could go with mid volume for example and replace some seeet spot or intensity workout with a long endurance ride outside.

I’m sure there are smarter people here with additional suggestions.

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Thanks! I better go with general build(mid volume) for now but I am still waiting for more replies

I have figured out a solution for the build phase for now. I am planning to do the high volume general build plan but I will replace the Friday endurance workout with a gym day and the 2 hour sweet spot ride with a 3+hour endurance ride.

Sounds like you got it nailed to me :+1: (if you can handle the stress…don’t undervalue recovery).

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Thanks! will keep you guys posted after the first week of build.

What are the chances you could do two a days?
A TR workout in the morning and doing strength training in the evening?

I started doing that during my SSBLV1&2 two times a week and continued with it during GBLV.
So far I have no problems with getting through all the workouts and also progressing in the gym in terms of strength.
I started GBLV mid December, from January onward I am adding one outdoor recovery ride in the weekends that will be 3h+ as well.

If you are not sure if you could complete workouts in the morning, you might find this topic helpful in getting you started:

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That sounds pretty painful but I will give it a try oh and I am going to do that in my first week of build phase!

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I think you’re a little off, you are defining Specialty. The Build phase is where you will see the most gains in FTP. Base sets the foundation and will likely increase FTP (to a lesser degree than Build) and/or muscle endurance, depending how much fitness you bring in.

Guess it’s another case of “it depends”.

As Coach Chad – the dude who desiged the plans – has said:

My schedule is as follows, just to give you an idea:

TR in the morning, strength training (more focus on core work, plyometrics and upper body strength)

rest day

TR in the evening (almost 48 hours of recovery between strength and the TR workout)

rest day

TR workout in the morning, strength training complete body workout with sets and reps set to 4x5 to improve strength rather than having large muscles.

Recovery ride outside.

Sunday rest day.

Maybe this podcast will help with the strength training part of things:

Good luck with the build phase!

You’re quoting his statement out of context, he was referring to Traditional Base (LSD) versus Sweet Spot Base “comparatively”. @chad

But you’re right, it depends. If you go into BASE with high fitness, you will likely see little FTP gains and possibly no gains or a slight regression (coming off a peak). Then as you progress through BASE you increase muscle endurance (may not include FTP rise) and in the end be fitter to hammer BUILD.

Conversely, if you’re new to structured training, have lower fitness and/or coming off an extended break or cross training, you can see significant gains in the BASE phase.