Alternate Sweet Spot Base, Work : Recovery Week Layout

The following are some possible adjustments that can be made to the Sweet Spot Base plans. The goal is to shorten the number of “Work Weeks” between “Recovery Weeks”.

It can be helpful for those who find the default 5 Work to 1 Recovery schedule too taxing. This may include Masters riders and anyone else looking to reduce the fatigue between recovery weeks. It adds one total week to the typical cycle and makes the full Sweet Spot Base a total of 13 weeks (instead of the default 12 weeks).


Chad McNeese’s Alternate SSB Plan (4:1, 3:1, 3:1)

  • I came up with this option based on Nate’s option. I decided that I wanted to have the latter parts of the SSB Phase cut into more manageable 3:1 chunks compared to the 4:1 finish from Nate’s plan.
  • You get the “Easy” early weeks from the SSB1 Phase in a 4:1 start, and is quite workable as a result. That leaves the “Hard” Work Weeks that are mostly from SSB2 for the smaller 3:1 spacing. I think this makes the notably challenging SSB2 Phase more likely for full compliance.

Loading Cycle 1 - (4 Work Weeks, 1 Recovery Week)

  1. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 1
  2. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 2
  3. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 3
  4. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 4
  5. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 6 Recovery

Loading Cycle 2 - (3 Work Weeks, 1 Recovery Week)

  1. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 1
  2. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 2
  3. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 5
  4. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 6 Recovery (Copy)

Loading Cycle 3 - (3 Work Weeks, 1 Recovery Week)

  1. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 3
  2. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 4
  3. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 5
  4. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 6 Recovery

See the next post in this thread for specific instructions about how to add and modify this plan to your TR calendar.


Nate’s Alternate SSB Plan (3:1, 3:1, 4:1)

Loading Cycle 1 - (3 Work Weeks, 1 Recovery Week)

  1. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 1
  2. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 2
  3. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 3
  4. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 6 Recovery

Loading Cycle 2 - (3 Work Weeks, 1 Recovery Week)

  1. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 4
  2. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 5
  3. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 1
  4. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 6 Recovery

Loading Cycle 3 - (4 Work Weeks, 1 Recovery Week)

  1. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 2
  2. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 3
  3. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 4
  4. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 5
  5. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 6 Recovery

See the next post in this thread for specific instructions about how to add and modify this plan to your TR calendar.


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Making Chad McNeese’s Alternate SSB Plan (4:1, 3:1, 3:1)

  1. Add the SSB1 Plan to your calendar.

    • Push Week 5 - (That also moves Week 6, to make an open week right after Week 4 in SSB1)
    • Move Week 6 up to the open week - (Right after Week 4 in SSB1)
    • Manually drag the “Week 6” Annotation up to the relocated week - (This does not happen when you move the week)
  2. Add the SSB2 Plan, right after Week 5 of SSB1.

    • Push Week 3 - (That also moves Weeks 4, 5 & 6, to make an open week right after Week 2 in SSB2).
    • Copy Week 6 from SSB1 above, into the open week - (Right after Week 2 in SSB2).
    • Optional: Add an annotation for the new Week 6 recovery by copying the text from the original annotation above (There is no way to copy a complete Annotation at this time).
  3. Move Ramp Test from Week 1 of the SSB2 section up one week, to Week 5 of the SSB1 section.

  4. Move Carillon from Week 5 of the SSB1 section down one week, to Week 1 of the SSB2 section.

    • Essentially you swap the first workouts between these two weeks.
  5. Delete Bluebell from Week 3 of the SSB2 section.

  6. Replace Bluebell with a Ramp Test.

  • This gets a basic swap with Ramp tests at the start of each tri-phase, and gets the TSS mostly laid out with a desired ramp rate.

Making Nate’s Alternate SSB Plan ( 3:1, 3:1, 4:1 )

Loading Cycle 1 - (3 Work Weeks, 1 Recovery Week)

  1. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 1
  2. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 2
  3. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 3
    • Push SSB1 - Week 4, to make room for copying SSB1 - Week 6 Recovery, to follow this week.
  4. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 6 Recovery
    • Copy the SSB1 - Week 6 Recovery from below.

Loading Cycle 2 - (3 Work Weeks, 1 Recovery Week)

  1. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 4
    • Add Ramp Test for first workout.
    • Skip the other planned workout. The Ramp Test assessment is more important and useful to start this Loading Cycle.
    • Add an easy workout (if desired) to get more TSS. See Ramp Test Follow-Up Workouts.
  2. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 5
  3. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 1
    • Move this Ramp Test down to SSB2 - Week 2 (below).
    • Gets the first workout from SSB2 - Week 2 below.
  4. Sweet Spot Base 1 - Week 6 Recovery

Loading Cycle 3 - (4 Work Weeks, 1 Recovery Week)

  1. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 2
  2. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 3
  3. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 4
  4. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 5
  5. Sweet Spot Base 2 - Week 6 Recovery

Nate’s principals of rearranging recovery.

  1. Never skip ahead in the plan by removing a "Work Week”. The weeks build on each other so if you miss one, it gets really hard.
  2. You can put “Recovery Weeks” where ever you want. If you do this, ignore the other “Recovery Weeks”.
  3. Come back to the next work week after your "Recovery Week. So if you went through "Work Week 3, make the next week after “Recovery Week” be “Work Week 4”.

The info above was built based on the following post:
Splitting SSB 1 into 2x3-week blocks

4 Likes

This applies to all volume plans?

Thanks for putting this together.

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I think it is applicable for all volumes. A TR rep can correct me if I’m wrong.

This comes down to the potentially long loading cycle of the Sweet Spot Base plans of 5 Work Weeks. Sometimes that period is too much, even with the SS emphasis, and the final week or two can be too much with mounting fatigue.

This adjustment may be helpful for older masters riders (like me at 45) or anyone who wants a bit more recovery and shorter loading cycles.

4 Likes

Thanks for posting this. I’m a masters rider also (52). Been thinking about doing something like this. I can get through SSB1 no problem, but the cumulative fatigue is high after week 3 of SSB2 – which is exactly where I’m at on my plan right now. Trying to decide if I push on with SSB2 week 4 & 5, or insert some recovery. I think I would have been better off breaking up SSB like your three Loading Cycles. Did you think about including SSB1 Week 4 to to Loading Cycle 1 to avoid four work weeks in Loading Cycle 3?

What is documented above is the recommendation from Nate and what I am currently doing. I am in the 4th week of LC1, so the early recovery week.

Looking at it, I already had the same idea as you. I think a 4 week load on the front if LC1 is nice, so the other LC3 would be only 3 weeks loading.

I suspect I could more easily handle that 4 weeks. But I’m not too worried since LC3 is already 1 week shorter compared to the regular SSB.

I wanted to get this a little more formalized based on Nate’s info, and then I may make the change we both like, because I think it is smart.

Is this “tweak” the result of many 40+ riders not being able handle the 5 work weeks?

Admittedly, i’m 45+ and i’m new to these long work weeks. But I seem to be handling it ok. Is there a case of over fatigue or have these plans been designed for riders under 40 ?

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Yeah, it’s an option that may be useful for Masters or anyone else.

2 Likes

Thanks. But was the option borne out of TR data showing missed or skipped or incomplete wirk weeks ?

If you follow the reference link to the Reddit thread, you can see the related discussion.

I may see if Ican re-read (its been months since i read it originally) and maybe summarize it here.

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Yeah, I see the logic in Nate’s recommendation. LC1 and LC2 build up to the 4 week load in LC3. Should be doable with extra week of recovery in SSB. Good stuff! Thanks again for documenting this.

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I have 2 ways to show these mods. One will be abbreviated with minimal info.

The other will cover more details like shifting or adding workouts beyond the simple weekly layouts.

I started with the 1st post as the detailed one, but wonder of it should be the abbreviated one? Just show the basic concept first.

Then the 2nd post can cover the more specific adjustments.

Any opinions?

Also, I started with the 2nd option of 4-3-3 for the work weeks. I am making my personal plan follow this version, so I will have some experience with it soon.

@mcneese.chad Thanks for your work on laying this out!

I already started doing Option 1 and it really seems to suit me @ my ‘advanced’ age (49). I was considering leaving everything alone but I see you swap the ramp test in Option 2. I wonder if that might be too long (8 wks by my count to the second one)?

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I am still working on adding all the juggling that is needed. I swapped the order and put the abbreviated list on top for easy reference.

But I have a fair bit to document on the actual workout shifts and additions to put the Ramp Test where it makes sense (after each Recovery Week).

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I have to say that the first week of SSB MV2 at my current FTP does sound appealing :grinning:

It’s not like it really matters for me since I’m a rec rider, if you will.

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I’m toying with trying similar for build phase - modifying it to 3 cycles of 2 work weeks, 1 recovery.

Arrangement of weeks seems simple enough:
1 (work), 2 (work), 4 (recover)
3 ,5, 4
6, 7, 8

But when to schedule the FTP test that normally comes halfway through an 8-week build?

2 Likes

Leave it right where it is. For example if you modified Sustained Power Build it would be:

Week 1 starts with test and is a work week

Week 2 is a work week

Week 3 is now a rest week

Week 4 starts with Bashful +6 (have fun) and is a work week

Week 5 starts with your second RAMP test on Tuesday which is day after a normal rest Monday.

The preceding Sunday is Tray Mtn (3 x 20 at 90%). 3 x 20 at 90% isn’t that bad but if you are worried about it being too much two days before a test just knock the volume down a bit (3 x 12 or 3 x 15) or knock the intensity down a bit to 80 or 85%.

If you did a good test to start the build and have been doing well on the program, but totally bomb the second test then don’t worry about it. Leave your FTP where it was and keep going knowing you have a rest week coming up (week 6). If you’ve been struggling to complete the workouts and then bomb the second test I’d knock it back a bit to where you can complete the workouts in the last weeks.

More likely you’ll do a good test, maybe see a small improvement and have confirmation that all is well.

Back to the programming:

Week 6 is a rest week

Week 7 is a work week starting Monadnock +4

Week 8 wraps it up with a work week starting Shortoff +4

And voila, you are done. Take a few days riding easy, enjoy your new powers and accomplishment of finishing build, then do a fresh test before the next program.

FWIW, I did exactly what is described above last year as my winter build. 2:1 worked great and the second test was just a nice confirmation that I had the right ball park FTP to base the training.

Good luck - go get 'em.

Mark

2 Likes

Thanks @mcneese.chad…this is just what I was looking for and I don’t have to sweat thinking about it!

I’ve just completed a round of SSB LV1+2 (FTP 200 to 227) and am repeating it again (A is in Sept), but this time increasing from 3 rides per week to 4 (mid-vol is too much for me). I think I can take on this additional volume, and these particular workouts really help me recover from an injury.

For the extra ride, I just pull the last ride of each week, and grab one of the 1hr variations of it. I’m already into my 2nd week of this repeated SSB LV1 and expecting I will know by week 3 if I need to follow it with a recovery week and follow option 1, or I will follow option 2. Here’s hoping I can do this!

I’ll then follow SSB LV2 with a Build Sustained Power. By then I will also be adding in outdoor rides and will be around 5 rides per week.

This leaves me with 15wks to the A. And 8 of those will be the Century plan timed to finish a week before the A (I’ll repeat parts of the recovery week once more as a taper). So I will then have 6 wks between the Build and starting the Century phase…what should I fill that with? Another SSB LV2 or another [partial] Build?

Phew, the calendar makes this so easy now to rearrange!

I described another approach with 2 cycles and each consisting of 4 work weeks and a recovery week here:

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Would you be able to document the actual workout shifts you made based on Option 2 near top of this thread (4/3/3 work weeks)?