Anyone else finding the transition from SSB to Build absolutely brutal?

I have noticed every time I finish ssb2 mid or high vol, my following ftp test result is significantly higher, a huge success and a sign my body is responding very well to the training!

But then when I move to build phase (I’m doing SB mid vol), everything falls apart.
The combination of a higher ftp plus higher intensity wreak havoc and I move backwards again.

I know build phase is demanding, but the workouts should be doable. The ones I manage to finish tend to cause too much fatigue and I fail to finish the remaining workouts.

I’m at the point of giving up completely on build phase and creating my own.
What’s going on here? Thoughts?


Perhaps you have too much volume for your lifestyle, recovery ability, nutrition or combo of these and other factors?

Maybe low volume could be better, even if you ad some Z2 rides to bump TSS a bit.

Another option would be to swap to a 2:1 work to recovery week ratio. It’s possible you can handle the load in smaller bites.


It’s a thing. When I first started trainerroad years back, I had the exact same experience. To help the matter, knock down the workout intensity a bit or pick an easier version of the same workout for awhile. If you think about it, raising your FTP while moving into build at the same time may not be a gradual enough progression to overload… especially if you’re a master’s athlete like me.

Having experienced that in the past, doing a scaled down version of the same workout is a way to go.

Hang in there.


As already mentioned here, this is fairly normal.

I’ve also had the same concern a while ago. This led to a similar outcome during my sessions because of the considerable FTP jump.

Is it possible that your ftp hasn’t changed as much as the test you completed would have you believe? Perhaps try a longer test like the empirical ones mentioned in another thread.

I find with the longer tests that you can get a pretty good idea of where your ftp is and then at least you know that threshold, tempo and endurance workouts are going to be in the right ball park. When it come to VO2 and above, the intensity may need to be adjusted during workouts as these aren’t tied to your ftp in quite the same way.

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I find the same thing but i always suspect that it’s a bit psychological. I look at the workouts and think “that looks way too hard” or “I can’t do that” and so i subsitute a sweetspot workout instead… My failure rate on builds must be pretty high i reckon.
This year was intended to be different… Doh!

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How much did your FTP rise at the end of SSB? Mine went up by a massive 4 Watts from 250W to 254W so there wasn’t much increase in load when I started Sustained Power Build.

The midway Ramp Test was a different matter! I went from 254W to 266W and the first couple of workouts have felt really tough. I was going to say “strangely” but a bit of thought maybe it isn’t so strange, I’m finding the workouts with longer threshold intervals, I did Fish-2 on Thursday, to be harder than I normally do. Previously it’s been the VO2max workouts with short recoveries that I’ve struggled with. I suspect I’m now close to my true FTP so long efforts in that vicinity are going to be hard.

@2fst4u Couldn’t agree more!

@lebowskii98 Last time I was coming from SSB II (MV) and I finished it with a 20-minute ftp test that took me from 261 to 280. I’m preferring this testing format as it’s more suitable to the types of efforts I gravitate towards
But as was mentioned in here, higher ftp + higher intensity WKOs combined are proving to be too much

@mcneese.chad yes! either that or reducing the intense days to 2 per week instead of 3, while keeping the sweet spot and endurance rides. This might be more suitable as I don’t have any A race or event in mind and instead intend to go between Base & Build.

This is the format I have in mind for next build phase:

Monday: Anaerobic ride (sprint & float, the likes of Wolfjaw +3 or Katahdin +2)
Tuesday: Recovery or short endurance ride
Wednesday: Long Sweet spot workouts, the likes of Katmal or Polar Bear +1
Thursday: Short Recovery Or Day off
Friday: Supra-threshold repeats, gradually building interval time, the likes of Mansfield +5, Tinker +4 or Stevens +3)
Weekend: One long Z2 endurance ride (hopefully outdoors if weather allows)

This way I have only 2 intense days a week, 1 sweet spot day, and a free weekend for a long endurance ride outdoors.


I crack every time. this will be my 4th attempt in 4 years. (i just throw in the towel and ride outside for the rest of the year) Now I am learning to pay attention to the fatigue in my body and respond accordingly. This week I am finishing up SSBMV2 then on to build. I will be stretching and using other techniques to help recover. I have also overcome my ego and lower the intensity to be able to finish the workouts, this was huge for me and hopefully it will get me through Build this time. …will see how it goes!?!

I like that you’ve modified your plan to work for you. I’ve been experimenting with customizing my mid volume plan a bit. I find doing the two midweek intensity sessions is plenty enough to drive adaptation. I cut out the planned weekend workouts and replace with a Saturday 3 hour Z2 ride and a Sunday 1+ hour zone 2 ride… Results are good so far and I don’t feel so wrecked even though I’m at about 8 hours and 400 TSS a week.

You’re absolutely correct. In theory, the Build phase shouldn’t be brutal assuming that your training with an “accurate” FTP. However, some of this depends on which Build you’re doing. Short Power Build could crush you if you’re not accustomed to VO2 max work.

There are SO many threads that follow this same narrative. I can only conclude that many TR users have their FTPs set too high. Probably to the tune of 10-15w, if I had to make a hypothesis.

Dial your FTP back 10w and see if that helps you complete your workouts during Build.

By the time you get to Build you should have a good idea whether your FTP is correct as the last week or two of workouts of Base are similar toughness.

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For me, build mid-volume is brutal due to the number of intervals in the hard workouts.