Any benefit to Traditional Base vs Sweet Spot?

As I’m the wrong side of 60 myself I too found that book very illuminating. In view of his comments about losing your VO2max as you age do you reckon it’s worthwhile throwing in a weekly VO2max workout/hard ride whatever phase you are in?

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I’m 34. And I also have about 4 years of training under my belt. If you are not 23 years old this is going to burn you out.

The high volume plans are too much volume. I figured that out the hard way.

I’ve done SSB high and mid volumes, it does develop some aerobic base and a lot of muscular endurance. Its just that I’ve found by looking in rear-view mirror, that I need some vo2 work as per Joe Friel.

Regarding TR’s traditional base, have some charts showing vo2max, efficiency factor, and FTP increases during Sept/Oct (TB1 / TB2 mid-volume with bonus work). Those charts are on both on WKO using max efforts and Garmin/FirstBeat sub-maximal efforts. Interestingly yesterday’s TR Ramp Test brought WKO5 almost inline with Garmin on FTP and VO2max. WKO wants me to do a couple of long efforts, which is reasonable given I haven’t done any 15 or 25 minute max efforts since early this year. Will continue using these and anything else I find to determine the point of diminishing returns.


Having been in the Lydiard system when I ran competitively, it works very well. Prior to finding TR, that was basically the way I set up my training on the bike. TR gives great workouts that hit the right levels/duration’s to promote improvement, but being a 60+ YO rider, I do find the MV & HV training plans a bit to aggressive for good recovery weekly, but the LV isn’t enough.

I routinely modify the plan i’m in, and even severely change it to get the right mix.


This is very subjective and is not entirely age related. I’m 37 myself and did all high volume plans last year (had three years of structured training prior to that).

What does your cardiac drift look like on these longer endurance efforts? I’m running between 1 and 2% drift on 3 hour endurance trainer efforts at this point in my training


yeah I noticed that on some thread, jealous! My last long interval was outside about 3 weeks ago, and included a 2-hour interval at 78% average power which is lower tempo. Had 0.05% cardiac drift on that one. I started TB1 the last week of August, my drift then was 15% but within two weeks it was under 5% and kept going down from there. That is pretty typical for me, and all I’ve noticed with cardiac drift is that it jumps up a little (but still under 5-6%) if I’m forced to take 3 or 4 days off because of travel. Given that, I don’t pay too much attention to cardiac drift as an indicator of diminishing returns.

This varies greatly from how my body responds. It stays low as long as I’m riding regularly and then creeps up when I stop doing any endurance paced efforts. Definitely not worth tracking based on how your HR seems to work, guess it’s a bid of a red-herring for you

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What do I make of a 2:45hr endurance ride, all z2 on trainer at .75IF where my PR;HR is -1.99% ?
Then I go and do a SST 15min effort and I get a 9% PR:HR when the IF is .9

One thing you should do is play around a bit - I’d absolutely chop off the first 15-20 minutes of the warmup. And also cut out the cool down. Basically create a new intervals of 2 hours, or maybe 2 hours and 15 minutes and then look at PWR:HR.


That’s actually what I did. The ride was 3hrs long with a 10min warmup and 5min cool-down.

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It would probably be clear if you posted the ride.

due to “life” or stress or whatever, I’ve seen my HR take 30+ minutes to settle down. I’m usually warmed up after 15-20 minutes, and at least for myself would cut out more than a 10-min warmup from the decoupling analysis. HR can do wild and wacky things :smiley:

I was looking some while ago to get a Humon Hex. One of the comments from the majority of users seemed to be that warming up took a lot longer than most people realised. Anecdotally it seemed to be always greater than 20 mins and in a lot of case closer to 30m. It seemed to be all todo with the time it took not only to fully oxygenate the muscles from rest but also to compensate for the apparent rapid depletion immediately after you start exercising.

Agree… I’m currently 47 and did the HV stuff w/out issues in the years prior to the birth of twins this year. Now, I’m a 4-5hr/wk guy if I’m lucky :smile:

I do have an endurance background. But, I think the biggest thing w/the HV is that you not only need to have the time to do the riding, but you need to be able recover. Recovering properly means enough sleep, good nutrition, low life stress (physical and mental). Many people totally underestimate recovery, typically not getting enough sleep.


I watched this yesterday and long story short its left me seriously wondering how I can squeeze more endurance rides into my program.

For sure it seems like if you have the time, traditional base is the way to go.

If you then combine this with the fact that actually trad base seems to raise your peak vo2max, I may well have to start double riding to get the adaptations (because my vo2max sucks and I need it to not)


Hyper-agree. I’ve said it again and I’ll keep on sayin’ it, when I did HV I did so because I knew I would have the time to do nothing but train, eat, and sleep. If you have any other obligations besides that Holy Trinity…it’s going to be rough.

Amendment: A High Volume Z2/Trad Base plan should be doable by anyone if they have the available hours, regardless of lifestyle. A HV plan in higher zones will most likely require a higher degree of rest and recovery and minimizing of other stressors.


I’m also on board for Traditional Base High Volume for the first time (1x SSB MV, 1x SSB HV in the years before). With the polarized-hype and promise of lasting aerobic improvements, it was too elusive. Hoping for increased all-day-power (SSB HV did make me stronger in SS efforts, but FTP didn’t increase much) and the shorter rest periods during the (Tempo, SS) workouts should also be beneficial compared to SSB and result in higher performance on the road.

I do agree that recovery is the harder part of SSB HV - I spent my office workdays tired-but-happy and constantly eating. Then it’s the mental part of dealing with the same intensity all the time, only after that the actual physical effort.

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This gets exponentially more difficult if you repeat SSB (Base-Build-Base); it’s what cracked me.

TR plans are mostly based on intensity, relying on increased FTP to push your progress rather than duration; you’ll always be repeating the exact same intervals and none longer than 20-30 min. The downside to being a Time Crunched platform.

Trad Base isn’t meant to be repeated, it’s part of a progression, so you should never run into that mental stagnation.

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I’ve been following traditional base, low volume, but with extra rides at the weekend.
Workouts have become tempo intervals.
Not something I expected. Can anyone enlighten me?

Workouts have become tempo intervals.

Please explain.