Balancing Z2 in Base vs Build


Last season my A race was Lotoja. 206 miles, 3 largish climbs. As a result I spent a lot of time building mileage for that race, maintaining 350-475 TSS most weeks… I did structured training, but the key workouts were always the long rides and Z2 workouts on the trainer. My FTP went from 220 - 245. After the race, I cut out the long rides and did a block of VO2/Intervals plus endurance work averaging 375-425 to prepare myself for getting dropped quickly at Landpark and Cherry Pie, and saw a very marginal gain in FTP. I just completed SSB 1 & 2 with extra endurance 450-525 TSS and suddenly saw a massive rise in FTP from 256 - 275.


I am now starting a LV Sustained Power Build in preperation of Patterson Pass RR, Winters RR, and Dunnigan Hills RR in August. All 3 have climbs as the defining feature of the race. I chose LV because 3 hard workouts plus a club crit every weekend is a solid dose of training. The club crit takes place on the only day off work I have to do a long ride, and I want to win the points jersey in the prestigious B group, so riding before the crit is probably a no-go. Am I sabotaging my training for a longer climbing road race by only riding 4 times a week during this 8 week phase, with a TSS of 300-350 but absolutely hammering those key workouts and club races? I can fit in a 2 hour endurance ride another day, but it would be sandwiched in between two hard workouts…

Honestly, without knowing much about YOU (age, experience, work, life stress etc etc) I think you are probably risking sabotaging yourself with 3 HARD LV workouts AND a hard crit - 4 very hard sessions per week. You are asking about z2 on top of this but I think the real issue is the other 4 sessions!

LV plans are written with the idea there is NO MORE intensity added - any additional work is supposed to be easy Z1/2 work up to the point that you don’t impede your ability to complete the other 3 sessions. I would suggest that if a crit each week is a prority then drop 1 (or even 2 if it affects your crit performance) sessions per week from the LV plan and any additional time should be easy z2 riding to maintain your base endurance.

Also worth remembering that Base is when endurance is built and Build is meant to simply trade some of that endurance for improvements in power. Z2 time in Build is maintenance time - less frequent and lower volume as the priority has switched from increasing to maintaining.


You fall in a typical time-crunch trap - as you have less time to ride, you want to compensate it with intensity. And in my personal view it is a route to destrutction.

Good listening for you:

You will get all the answers why you should not do this.

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Yup, I’d agree that a LV plan+ a weekly crit is probably too much intensity, especially as build phases tend to be pretty demanding in that respect already.
If you’re set on doing the crits I’d second dropping 1-2 of the weekly LV workouts (ideally keep those that are most specific to the demands of your event) and add additional z2 around your key workouts- how much and when is going to be dependent on the kind of load you’re accustomed to and how much recovery you need in between your key sessions. In that regard I think it’s good to start more conservatively and be prepared to adjust as needed- maybe replace that hard workout with the 2 hour endurance ride and/or some extra easy rides depending on your prior experience and what you feel is appropriate.