Base, Build, Specialty cycle with plan builder

I used plan builder for an event (climbing road race) that was about 10 months from when I started the plan. This is what it came up with: Base 1 (6 weeks) > Base 2 (6 weeks) > Build 1 (8 weeks) > Speciality 1 (8 weeks) > Build 2 (8 weeks) > Speciality 2 (8 weeks). I chose the low volume plan, and I fill the rest of each week with Z2 rides as and when I have time.

I’m 2 weeks away from completing Base 2, but looking at the rest of the year, and from reading online (where most people suggest Base 1 > Build 1 > Base 2 > Build 2), I’m wondering why (and if) the plan builder has me setup for a lot of intensity months? And I used ‘Intermediate’ when asked for my level of experience with interval training (note that using ‘Beginner’ gives the same results).

On the other hand, if I look at what the phases constitute, it seems like there is no big difference between Base 2 and Build 1 or 2. They both seem to have 1 threshold, 1 sweet spot, and 1 VO2 workout per week. The speciality blocks have 2 V02 and 1 threshold workout per week. Is this a good plan then? And as far as my biking goals go, this race is really just a placeholder for me to check my improvement from the previous year. In general, I just care about getting faster and raising my FTP.

With TrainerRoad? If so, could you share?

Both, with trainerroad and w/o it as well. I mostly just remember reading these things over time. Here’s one link that talks about it: Base-Base-Base,... or Base-Build-Build-Build....? - #6 by paulrattew

I might have gotten it incorrectly. But I’m also confused by Base 2 and Build blocks having very similar workouts.

Thanks for the link. This was a response from one user to a very specific question about a specific riders goals. That rider didn’t have any events or goals, they just wanted to be fast, which is similar to your goal, so I see why you’re asking, but I would definitely not say most people here recommend base, build, base, build, in all circumstances. It just depends on time available and goals. In general, the guideline from TR is to enter your goal events and follow plan builder.

Looking at your question about SSB2 vs Build, here are weeks 2 and 3 from SSB MV2 (bottom) and General Build MV (top). Remember that AT will change many of these workouts as you go, but all we can see at first is the beginning plan.
Looking at week 2, BUILD is 475 TSS, 7 hours
M VO2 100TSS
W Threshold 150TSS
Sa Anaerobic (surges) 92TSS
Su SS 109TSS

Looking at Week 2, BASE is 452TSS, 6 hours
M VO2 70 TSS (30 less than Build)
W Threshold 76 TSS (half of Build!)
Sa Threshold (Not VO2) 150TSS (60 more TSS)
Su SS 109 TSS (same workout)

So, what I see there is the Build is focused on more intense VO2/Anaerobic work and more time/TSS, and Base2 on Threshold (and both have a SS on Sunday to add 100 TSS). Note that they separate even further in week 3. Hope that helps! Don’t forget, AT will change them quickly, and you might see different workouts than I do based on our current PL’s.


I asked this same question a couple of months ago. Sustained power build looks almost exactly like Base 2. I switched to general build just to break up the monotony (you’re still going to get plenty of sustained power work). The anaerobic workouts of general build added some nice spice and seem to be helping me break through a fitness plateau.


ah, thanks for sharing those. I think the distinction is less clear in my LV plan, but I get the point!
It also feels like if one is doing threshold workouts of level 6, their FTP would almost always change the next time they take a ramp test, and the levels would reset, and the workouts in the next phase would start at a lower level. But like you said, AT should take care of that.

Base pt2 could also be named Build Pt1, it’s a transition from the “pure” base of pt1 to Build. Depending on the volume and which Build plan then pt2 might be closer to Base pt1 or it could be closer to the Build. Think of them as a continuum.

With the old static plans the: Base pt1 → Base pt2 → Build → Base pt2 → Build … Speciality made sense in that Base pt2 was an “easier Build” so gave you some ebb and flow in TSS, etc.

Sometimes with Plan Builder the time until your ‘A’ event means that a full plan can’t be fitted into the available time so you get a week or two of Build or Base pt2. Can look a bit odd if you don’t realise what’s happening.

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