Combining traditional base + Vo2/Specialty for Covid reset. Good/bad?

So, I am clearly peaking as I finish Specialty Climbing Road Race for gravel events not happening now.

I am considering going back to Base, but thinking of Traditional Base Mid-Vol, with some additional higher intensity interval work thrown in. Thinking:

  • Tues+Thurs: .70+/- 85-90 min consistent work outs

  • Wed: 60 min vo2 / anaerobic intervals

  • Sat: 2 hour .8+/- threshold/SS, maybe with some .6 endurace tacked on

Sun: 3 hour .7+/-

Why am I thinking this vs. SS Base?

  • 4th year with TR, and 5 biking in general. Never have done trad base, always SS - like the idea of trying traditional base

  • Kids are distance learning and don’t have to get up as early for school, so I have some extra time

  • Recently hitting 2-3 hr PRs doing consistent .7 rides, without feeling exhausted. Have been working on being less surge-y as I was planning to do a duo race with a consistent rider. It has been a revelation

  • Keep some top end fitness in case June/July events happen

Is this similar to polarized?

Not a bad idea if you take some recovery weeks and don’t go too hard on the VO2 intervals.

You could pretend you’re a rower/XC skier for a few weeks and:

Week 1:

2 recovery days
2 days where you do some intervals at 105-110% FTP and focus on extending the duration (what I call extending the PD curve), rather than on blowing your guts out at 120% every damn time.
2 endurance days – say just 2 hrs at IF of .6-.7, depending on how you feel. Just get the time in and make sure you’re going easy enough to be fresh for the VO2 days.
1 long day

Week 2:

Same as week one, but trade a SST day for one of the VO2 days. Again, I’d say focus on extending how long you can hold that 90% FTP rather than on doing the intervals/chunk effort harder

Week 3:

same as week 1

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yes during Traditional Base 1 if you add a vo2 workout or two it would be polarized. I seem to be a volume responder, and believe racking up 2+ hour workouts is better than 90 min endurance.

thats more pyramidal, and works well if you respond to sweet spot and threshold work. I would do the vo2 work on Tuesday, after your rest day(s).


Thanks for the suggestion on Tuesday VO2 work. Did Huxley today and added a Baxter -1 tomorrow, another endurance Thurs, Vo2/threshold Sat, and long endurance Sunday.

After 2 years of SSB, I tried traditional base mv this year. I think I kind of prefer it to SSB now. None of the workouts are forbidding or scary, they’re just looong. It was a very different kind of stimulation, and it seemed to work great. Ultimately it’s only an extra hour or 2 per week, and if you have the time, and especially if you’ve done a few rounds of SSB before, I think you should try it.

As for modifying it to keep some top-end power, I would suggest swapping in 1 hard workout per week. Check out TB3: one threshold interval session on Tuesdays, and I found that worked wonders to start getting familiar with intensity again, after months of none.


:+1:t3: next season I’m planning on doing traditional base 1 (twice) + strength training. This year I did TB-1 and TB-2 before trying to skip sweet spot by doing a Stoggl/Sperlich polarized intervention, and that was a big #fail. Not going to make that mistake again.

On the other hand, polarized approach for build looks interesting and I could see using TB-1 endurance workouts (modified -10%) along with two vo2max workouts from build plan.