Consecutive build plans? Or go to specialty?

Hi Folks,

I just finished my sustained power build plan and I’m prepping for some criterium and road races in April.

Question - I’m not super happy about my power numbers so I’m wondering if I should do another sustained power build plan or should I move on to the specialty plan?

I just started the rolling road race plan but I’m having second thoughts.

Please help.

Thanks in advance!

If you have time for it, repeating the Build phase is a great way to improve your power numbers before jumping into the Specialty phase, where your fitness is mostly just refined, not built up. You can just repeat the build phase, and then go into the Rolling RR specialty plan later. Here’s a Help Center article on the subject:


Have you considered doing the short or general power build based on the type of races you want to do in the future? Versus sustained power again, which is usually good prep for long climbs or TTs.

Generally, folks do short power build for crit prep, and if your road races are rolling it suits that as well. I’m prepping for crits and road races with 10-15 minute climbs at most, and don’t want to go down just the short power plan, so I am doing general build first to hit everything.

1 Like

Ok, great! I’ve added the General Power Build plan starting next week.

Thinking to do the first four weeks of that, then start the specialty plan after to refine, that should take me in to the start of the crit season.

How does that sound?

1 Like

Hi I was thinking of doing the same thing… just finishing sustained power build, which had been going well until last week when work and family demands got the better of me. I’m going to do a training camp in Tenerife, take a couple of easy weeks and then like you try the general build. I feel like it’ll work ok as long as I get good recovery and nutrition. I have heard Chad on the podcast though saying it’s a tall order doing two build phases and recommending to repeat the speciality phases instead if you want to extend things. So I’m going to be cautious and see how I goes. One problem I have with the whole thing is trying to integrate outdoor rides as they just seem to floor me especially during the build phase. I struggle with keeping it in zone 2 to substitute the Sunday ride. Anyway I guess it’s all one big experiment and each of us is different. Hope it goes well for you

1 Like

Thanks for the well wishes!

I just started the rolling road specialty phase this week so I’ll use this week as a transition to get in the second build phase. Since I’m short-cutting it to only 4 weeks, that should give me some extra power, and in between then and the start of the crit, some refinement.

With your rides, what you don’t want to do is to add unnecessary stress, which is probably why you’re getting floored by combining your training with outdoor rides. Or fuel yourself enough during the ride. Are you riding easier before and after the outdoor ride? Use it as active recovery.

I am so far off from where I want to be that I decided to do SSB plans until I reach a level where I feel I can race with the cat-3 crew. It will be interesting to see what a few-years of over/unders will do.

You’re better off getting a few years racing experience now while you do your over unders. And if you’re he’ll bent on getting super strong before you race, do a lot (and I mean A LOT) of Z2 & some Z3 cycles for the next year to build your aerobic fitness and then hit the sweet spot and builds.

1 Like

I’m hesitant to race crits or road because I’ve broken 9 bones over three crashes in five years. I’m a solo rider on the pavement now, no longer in people’s way.

Should I switch to traditional base plans? I’m a full half point in w/Kg from where I want to start racing in CX again. I realize that won’t happen this year, just turned 38 so I know I don’t have much time left. I’m also still not sure how to train if I’ll never race longer than 60 minutes. Thanks for the advice.

@TLRozzle sorry to hear about your bad luck. CX is awesome fun. If your goal is to be fast, you should ride as much as your schedule and body will allow. High volume long intervals at Z2 & Z3 is best way to build base. Most of us only have a couple hours a day at most. We have to make up for the lack of time with intensity. If you have the time, lower the intensity. Higher intensity is good for about six months. You can only keep it for about that long and then you lose it.

1 Like

I have a job and I’m a business traveler, so I need the intensity. I try to stay as consistent as possible but I’m on travel 2-3 weeks per month until August this year. I’m taking the bike on a few trips but I won’t be able to do quality workouts without a smart trainer. I’m closing in on 40, not ready to buy a steel retirement bike and give up, yet.

Yeah, that makes it tough. Do what you can when you can. 40 is just getting started!

Speaking from past experience I tried stacking two build plans back to back because I had some extra time and wanted to see how high I could raise my FTP. It started Ok and by the second or third week of the second build plan I was totally wrecked. First plan was general build and second was short power. Both were mid volumes.

In retrospect I wish I would have dropped back to sweet spot base for a few weeks and then did another build just to let my body adapt and catch up a little. Build is very stressful on a body especially when you’re on the upper end of volume you can manage.

Good luck!


I’ll keep that in mind on the second week and monitor my progress (or lack thereof) then. Thanks for the insight!!!

I posed a similar question earlier about how to best spend training time and doing back to back builds or build-specialty followed by build-specialty was discouraged. Instead someone sent me a link where coach Chad recommended SS base 1, 2, build, followed by SS base 2, build and specialty. I’ve just finished my first build and feel great. I think I’m on the right track. Hope that helps.