Base, Build and Speciality Phase on Limit Time

Hi Guys,

I’m planning to start a training plan next Monday (17th June).

I have a big race on September the 14th which will give me 12 weeks to get up to speed.

I’m planning on starting one of the 8 week Speciality Plans on the 15th July which gives me 4 weeks to do something.

Which plan should I do for 4 weeks to get me ready for my 8 week Speciality Plan?



What do you have for prior/base level fitness right now?

If it is limited, starting with a Specialty phase is not recommended.

This is the default answer that is worth close review.


Yes, sorry - should have put more information in my initial post.

I’ve been a top (ish) ager group Triathlete for about 8 years now, but have been out with a shoulder injury for the last 3 months, so it would be fair to say I still have a pretty strong engine, just lost a bit of top end power and am a bit rusty.

Before my shoulder injury, my FTP was just under 300 watts.

I did the ramp test today and my FTP is now 250 watts.

I’m no stranger to hard work, or trainer sessions - 90% of my training is done indoors.

Just lost a bit of focus so hoping to use this to give me the kick up the a*se I need.

Hope that helps,


What distance is your event? What’s your experience at that distance?


It’s a 40km MTB race on sand (with a swim and run either side of it).

I’ve raced this distance many times before and at European and World Champ level as an age grouper so I know how to pace it and how hard I can go.


With a 50W drop in FTP, I’d probably have you go back and do Base/Build rather than specialty, particularly because you’ve got a lot of experience with the demands of the particular event. 4-6 weeks of a high end base plan like SSB2 followed by short power or general build for the remaining 6-8 weeks. With only twelve weeks of work in the bag, and given that it’s a relatively short event in which you are experienced, I don’t think you need the full two week taper that a specialty plan would have you do. You’d be plenty fit after a Build phase, and then adapt the last week to be really low on volume but sustain some race-pace intensity so you go in sharp. That type of plan would give you nine full weeks of volume with three weeks of adaptation/taper, whereas a Build/Specialty mix would have you with 8 weeks full volume, 2 weeks of adaptation and 2 weeks of taper.

If you were completely off for three months, you’ve lost quite a bit of aerobic fitness as indicated by your test. With your experience you’ll gain it back pretty quickly with the right volume and intensity, and provided you don’t go bananas, odds are you’re not going to overaccumulate fatigue that quickly if you’re coming in fresh. My $0.02.

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Cheers guys - especially Nash - great info and pointed me in a good direction.

By SSB2 - do you mean Sweet Spot Base Level 2 ?




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