Base phase: "expert"

So for the first time ever I decided to say I’m a "expert"when it comes to intervals. This will be my 4th year using TR and I must say, I’m getting destroyed by these workouts. I’m completing them all, but man…3x15 @threshold (Mount Goode -2) and 4x12min over/unders (McAdie +1) is significantly more intense than what I’ve done in previous base phases. Does choosing expert really change stuff up that much???

A couple of things:

  • Do you have AT enabled? If so, then the intervals you are seeing are dependent upon your previous PLs, so theoretically they should be doable
  • If 3x15 at threshold is destroying you, then that probably means your trFTP (TR FTP) is too high. 3x15 at threshold should be hard, but doable. Same with 4x12 over / unders

My understanding is that experence level will alter the emphasis plan builder places on base v build v speciality if you have other than the standard 28 weeks until your A event.

The difficulty should be driven by your progression levels, not your interval experience.


I do have AT enabled. And when I say destroying me, that was an exaggeration. I haven’t failed a workout or anything like that. I’m just thinking if base has this much intensity already , I’m a little intimidated by what’s in store moving forward.

Ok…I sympathize! Ha!

But here is the bottom line: If Mount Goode -2 is a real struggle for you then FTP is too high. If you’re finding 15 minute threshold intervals really challenging then you’ve probably got FTP set more in the Critical Power (more of a 20 minute power) or VT2 range. It’s better to have it set in the MLSS range IMO (and based on personal experience).

Here’s where knowing the power you can hold for the better part of an hour can help you! On the other hand, if you never do anything more that ~8 minute intervals at threshold you can afford set your training plan to more of a critical power number.

Your mileage may vary! You can fix the problem with shorter intervals or lower FTP. Either way it probably doesn’t make that much different if you just stick with it and train consistently. I once heard a fellow cyclist say hour efforts weren’t useful because they take so much mental fortitude that you can really only do a true hour power attempt a couple times a year…well, yeah, that’s true if you have your FTP set too high! Ha! :crazy_face:

But the main point is I don’t think it really matters which side of that philosophical divide you want to be on. If you like more of a Critical Power/VT2 FTP number then just know a 15 minute interval is getting close to all out…so keep the intervals shorter. If you want to use more of an MLSS number then Mount Goode -2 is going to be a very doable workout. Either way you can induce useful adaptation so long as you stick with it.


Couldn’t agree more!! I’d look into alternative means of deriving FTP: The Physiology of FTP and New FTP Test Protocols


And threshold workouts are tough, significantly harder than sweet spot but not as destructive as vo2max. :hot_face:

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So what plan are you following,
when did you start it,
when was your last FTP test,
when and how long was your off-season,
how much did you party through Christmas?

You probably know all these factors but I’m just highlighting that there’s lots of reasons things can feel like they’re too hard.

3x15 munutes near FTP should feel hard. If it doesn’t, your FTP setting probably needs to be evaluated. This kind of follows the theory, “hard on hard days, easy on easy days.” Congrats on completing the effort!


@mcalista said it right.

You chose “expert” that means more emphasis on the “build” and less “base” in your plan. It assumes that if you are an “expert” you already have a significant amount of base.

But take a screenshot of the plan builder overview, go back and change it to “beginner” and see how the plans change. You can play with it the inputs, and check the outputs till it feels like it’s right for you.

FWIW, I’m no where near the point where I don’t need “base”. And yes, threshold sessions suck. At least they should, that’s the whole point.

You mention you have AT enabled, how did you respond to the survey? If it ‘destroyed’ you and you couldn’t have managed a minute longer I would imagine a 5? If you rated somewhere in the 2-3 mark I imagine AT will just give you more and keep ramping it up, got to be honest!