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.
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.
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?
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)?
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.
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!