Any benefit to Traditional Base vs Sweet Spot?

Back to the OP:

TBMV: I - Endurance; II - Endurance + Tempo; III - Endurance + Tempo + SS + Threshold

SSBMV: I - SS + Threshold; II - SS + Threshold + VO2max

Both TB and SS contain a minority of namesake workouts.
Huge disconnect between TR’s plan labels and actual content.

Of course SSB “makes you faster”, because it’s mostly NOT SS!


Same experience with SSBHV. This was my 4 x 20 at 90% (Galena +3) this past Tuesday:

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Here’s my Tray Mountain. I will say I find my HR drops with cadence so if you can hold a steady cadence between sets that may give you a more accurate perspective. Great effort regardless, those lower cadence intervals are taxing

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Yeah, as I fatigue, my cadence usually gets dragged lower and lower. I don’t really choose a lower cadence as I’m not watching it, it just ends up being my go to grind it out method.

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About to start TBMV1 tomorrow. Loads of pure Endurance/Z2.
Did a Ramp Test yesterday and hate how my blood sugar spikes afterwards. Frustrating to get off the bike and be forced to inject insuline right away hoping no hypo will follow afterwards.
I hope this will be better with more steady and less intense workouts.

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Good luck! I hope it works out well for you.

For me it is a lot easier now with less spikes overall. Sure, during the work out blood sugar is slowly going down and sometimes I need some carbs to top up, but then unless I ate my own weight in carbs I get off the bike and it will level out and stay where it happens to be (blood sugar).

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I posted this in the “High volume plan” thread, but thought I’d post it here too since it’s TB related–there was talk about not seeing/expecting FTP gains during TB as well as how fresh people felt during it even with a lot of volume:

FWIW, I did see some FTP bumps along the way when I tried my own modified version of the TB plans as part of my overall triathlon plan in early 2020–ended up backing off during near the start of the third 4-week block when races started getting cancelled in April and motivation plummeted though. I was following a plan based off Joe Friel’s “Your Best Triathlon” which the 3 Base blocks lined up well with the TR TB plans. He suggests a 30-min TT to set FTP and doesn’t de-rate the result (for a few different reasons) so that’s where the discrepancy between my FTP and the eFTP comes about, but the trend was the same. This was also with only about 5-8hrs of cycling (shorter rides during the week, longer 2-3.5hr ride on the weekend), 10-15hr total time. You can also see my freshness was quite good throughout all of this and I definitely felt that way, which lines up with some of the comments from others as well. (You can also see when the pools closed… :frowning:)


I followed tb HV for a while. Got my highest ever ramp test score after 2. But I found tb3 ramped up the volume and intensity too much at the same time. I feel like the plans have been forgotten by TR.

I’m doing SS work now and my HR is lower having done TB.

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There are plenty of workouts to customize the plans to your needs. So if you find some plans to intense, flip some of the workouts.

Absolutely! @Nate_Pearson. I’d be surprised if the Traditional Base plans have been modified at all since their implementation. When I went through TBMV 2 years ago it appeared that little effort had been put into these plans and TR was just content on pushing everyone into SSB plans. With the popularity of Polarized training, I feel like TR could revamp Traditional Base as more of a Polarized Base plan so users would have alternative Base plans. I’m assuming TR has seen a very low use and compliance to their TB plans so they’ve put their focus elsewhere. However, if they’d make those plans more engaging they’d likely see more participation.

I get that it’s endurance training and it doesn’t need to be entertaining or complicated. However, if you’re doing this on a trainer surely they can make an attempt to make TB better than what it is.


It’s funny, I almost wish for the opposite, in the workouts at least. For me endurance riding goes with watching a movie, so I’d rather just pick a wattage in Z2 and stick with it. So I like that the TB workouts don’t have a lot of power fluctuations, and I don’t have to pay much attention (no ERG mode for me). I wouldn’t even mind a small step up to target wattage and then a straight line from there to the end!

That said, I somewhat agree that the overall plans aren’t inspiring, block one in particular. Seeing the same workout day after day each week is super boring. Maybe a small length progression within each week could help. But in the end, riding in Z2 on a trainer just isn’t exciting. A “polarized” plan would suffer the same fate: aside from one or maybe two exciting VO2 Max workouts a week everything else would be super boring. But I’m sure more people would choose it, because POLARIZED!

Fact is if I had unlimited time each week I probably wouldn’t feel the need for TR base plans at all. I’d just schedule 2-3hr Z2 rides as often as I could, and sprinkle in some threshold or maybe VO2 max as I got further along in the base phase. But for the majority of riders who need to make the most out of the 90min that they can take out of their day to train, the SS Base plans still seem like the right choice.


For longish Z2 rides I stick the trainer in Erg and on another device use Rouvy to cycle up some Alpine pass or something. Clear blue skys and SUN (anybody in the UK will know why it’s in Caps). Window open, with a fan blowing in my face , stunning scenery I can almost forget I’m in lockdown and it’s p*ssing it down outside.


I did some modifications to my TBMV plans, namely adding a 5th workout during TB1&2 and also mixing up some of the stuff in TB1 (if I had to do the same workout 4 days in a row I’d lose my mind).

It feels like the traditional base plan is just put there just so TR isn’t lumping everyone into the SSB wagon (though they seem to think it’s the way to go for 99% of athletes), but doesn’t really get any attention. I played with plan builder and I don’t think TB was included no matter how I set it up. I’m not sure why because having gone through 12 weeks of it, I feel more fresh than I did in SSB.

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Here was my week this week indoors. 3 endurance workouts at 65%. One Tempo at 85%. One VO2max.

Very boring. The only workout that could be called exciting is the VO2max. For all the others, I watch TV or listen to podcasts. For the VO2max, I listen to music.

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In general I am not sure what there is to change much with TB… it is mostly Z2… and that is simply riding at low intensity for a longer time. that some regard as boring. I dont see what else TR can offer than simply some 120min more or less the same.

Ok, some cadence work, ok, some short sprint… but that is probably it.

I am listening to a lot of podcasts and think, that next to a better aerobic base TB will turn me into a supersmart person. :wink:


TB1 just looks like it was thrown together just to have something there. I think they could have done better than having you do the same exact workout 3-5 days a week. There’s nothing wrong with it from a functional standpoint perhaps but just gives the impression of “we didn’t really care enough about this plan to spend time developing it”


Maybe it is a way to test motivation: “if you make it through these repetetive boring four weeks of TB1 you are ready for the superlong 3,5h+ indoor rides”… :slight_smile:

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Ditto. Don’t use Rouvy but there is a ton of hi-def POV cycling vids on youtube from a wide variety of locations & setting which I’ll throw on now and again, esp on an extra dark & dreary day (same UK weather here).

re: spicing up TB…it can’t be done, although TR tries by adding more and more Tempo and SS in the later blocks…effectively making their non-traditional TB a true SSB. TB was adopted from what the pros used to do, but the pros were getting paid to do it, so they could suffer the perceived boredom (and who’s to say they actually found it boring?). SSBHV (TR’s only true SS plan) is more “entertaining” because it requires more perceived focus. Each to their own, find what you enjoy and keeps you on the bike, it’s only a hobby after all.


I think there is something missing. I came off SS-based work and switched to TB, and I saw at the end of TB2 my highest ramp test score since it was introduced. However, I think my muscular endurance was poor. Of course the ramp test is measuring FTP indirectly and this could have contributed to workouts like North Pack leaving me wiped out. I don’t think a 2h workout at 0.8 IF is anything close to “easy”.

At the start of the process, I put every workout in the 12-week plan into TrainingPeaks. There seems to be an issue with progression; as designed by TR, the CTL ramp rate suddenly increases from TB2 to TB3. Going from 5d per week to 6d per week and increasing intensity at the same time seems problematic.

I find skipping loads of workouts demotivating, so I’ve run plan builder for my event (July this year) and selected MV. So now I’m doing SSB MV but trying to add rather than remove as that is more motivating.

Edited: skipping workouts is indeed demotivating, not motivating. :roll_eyes:

Because the TR TB isn’t a traditional TB. It ends up being a true SSB plan with Tempo and SS rather than volumes of Endurance.

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