Back to base. Looking for opinions

I’m just coming to the end of my first ever build phase in my first ever attemp at structured training.

Took up TR as lockdown forced me off my long term habit of long casual outdoor rides and spin classes.

I did SWMV1 - SWMV2 - SPBMV.

I feel good energy-wise and have improved as a cyclist. FTP and edurance are up. Weight down.

After build ends this week I’m going to skip speciality. I will do that in Jan as, covid permitting, I have a date with the mountains of Tenerife in Feb.

So, plan builder suggests I do SSBMV1-BUILD-SPBMV2-BUILD-SPECIALITY in prep for Mount Tiede.

My query is that I have a niggling feeling I would be going backwards doing a lot of the early base stuff again.

For instance, I can currently do longish sweet spot intervals and long VO2 max intervals, long over-under. It will take a while to get back to that doing SPBMV1 again.

First of all, is this a valid concern or am I missing the point of base training?

If valid, should I do the base plans and switch out workouts so I’m progressing from where I am now. For instance, swap Tuesdays rides for harder VO2 work and do longer sweetspot intervals? I was thinking of adjusting my mid vol weeks going forward to keep the tss above 500 anyway.

Or should I do something else altogether?

I’m probably over thinking this and should just do what plan builder says?


Nothing wrong with questioning plan builder but I think you have underestimated the value of the base phase.

Firstly, you’ll be taking the base phase on with your newly acquired strengths; higher ftp etc.

Secondly, the reason base is called base is because it builds a strong aerobic platform on which to build later developments. Skip this phase or make it too difficult and you risk burning out early or at least not getting the optimal desired effect from the build phase.

If you’d done the base-build repeats a few times and knew from experience that a slightly tweeked approach worked better for you then I’d be all for it. But given that this is your first year, unless you’re already a highly trained cyclist, sticking with the plans as prescribed will reap huge benefits.


You may go back a bit…but you can’t keep pushing the envelope continuously. You say your aim is next Feb…that is 8 months away. Go back to base - maybe stop some of the SS - certainly the o/u and do some longer outdoor zone 2 riding. You may lose a little top end but it will be better for your mental health and Vit D levels in the sunshine. I have been doing 12-17hours zone 2 in lockdown thinking there would be no races…we are back racing and Tuesday was a shock and I’m not in the shape I was in March with a block of o/u, VO2 behind me…but I have been enjoying myself and once I get a few more races and a few hard turbo sessions in …plus get used to the TT bike again I will be fine. Plus those solo long zone 2 rides will help me NEXT year hopefully. Cycle fitness evolves over many years…not just one cycle through the TR plans.

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You make some good points. Maybe I should start the plan as is and add stuff depending on how I feel on a given week.

Yes, I’ll definitely do some more outdoor rides now lock-down has ended and the weather is nice.