After several cycles of SSB, considering traditional base/polarized plan

I’ve hit a hard plateau recently with my MV SSB -> Build -> Repeat cycle. After excellent gains the first 2-3 times through, more recently I’ve had a hard time even maintaining FTP, let alone building it. By the time I reach weeks 4-5, I’ve put myself in a psychological and physiological hole which results in a disappointing Ramp Test. So… I’m looking to mix things up and considering a lengthy traditional base period (no events on the immediate horizon). My hesitation is twofold:

  1. I have little to no experience with rides over 2 hours. Will the reduction in intensity be enough to offset the dramatic increase in duration? How are the folks who’ve made this transition making out?

  2. Where is the tipping point where traditional base makes sense from a “hours per week” perspective? Does it take 10-12 hours per week for traditional base or Z2 rides to make sense? I’m going to be pushing it to find 8-9hrs/wk, so would I be better off sticking to the SS plans? Is the MV traditional base plan pretty comparable to MV SSB in terms of effectiveness?

Mix things up and give it a try. Give a look at Full Distance Triathlon Base in addition to Traditional Base. I’ve only done TB 1 and 2, really liked it. The full Tri plan cuts hours a little bit and adds some vo2 work.

I’ve seen results from 8 hours/week traditional base, and I’ll just say commit to the tempo rides and ignore the polarized rhetoric. At 8-10 hours a week (TB mid volume) you really need to follow the plan and ratchet up intensity over each 4-week block. I’m currently following a sweet spot plan with 3-6 hours mid-week, and long weekend rides to push volume up to ~10 hours a week (heavily weighted with zone2 work). Feel great and loving it, just like TR’s TB1 and TB2.