Continuing the 6 week cycle into the build & specialty phases?

Hi All,
This might be a question better suited to the Podcast, but i thought i’d ask here first…

Last season I had more time to train (around 8-12 hrs a week), I mainly followed SSB1&2 High volume with some rides swapped for outdoor rides or Zwift events. This was around 600-700TSS a week. I felt OK with this volume and saw some big gains reaching 4.5W/Kg (previous season best was 4.0W/Kg). Once i hit the build phase i had to knock this back a bit with the higher intensity stuff’s TSS being harder to recover from.

This season i just don’t have the time to train as much due to work commitments, to the point full compliance on SSB1 mid volume is challenging in terms of finding the time to get on the bike, eat and be in bed at a reasonable time. if i do skip workouts it’s the lower intensity aerobic ones that get missed and i’ll sometimes swap a VO2 set in instead of sweet-spot if i know it’s going to happen the next day. I’m still making gains at the moment (end of week 5), I expect I’ll be back at 4.0W/kg at the next test to start the 2nd 6 week block after a lengthy off-season. I don’t currently feel like i need a rest week, and this week has been setting new power PR’s. I certainly, feel like i could handle more training stress, I just don’t have the time without compromising sleep.

So to my Question: What do people think about maintaining the 6 week cycles (5 on, 1 rest) into the build phases after i’m done on SSB, considering i’m time limited not training load constrained?

The way i see it, you get more training load in by increasing the work:rest ratio in this way. I know this would normally be considered risky, but history says i can make good gains on high volume and i can’t fit that in right now. I’m already maximizing indoor workouts even when i could ride outside in the interest of time efficiency.

I’d almost call myself a lifetime athlete as i spent 8 years training and racing as a child/teenager at a high level and have another 4 seasons of training and racing under my belt since my return to racing as a Masters athlete (35 this year), so i think i’m pretty good at listening to my body and understanding when i’m close to the over-training limit and need to back off.

Just wondered if anyone else has experience with this kind of strategy as the intensity ramps up? Or, are there some underlying physiological principals that mean 4 week cycles are better than 6? I guess 5 weeks could be a halfway house and probably worth doing for the first block.


unless you have experience with the build plans I’d recommend listening to your body to figure out if you can pack in an extra week or two before recovering.

I’m currently doing Short Power Build for the first time after doing SSB several times over the last few years. Frankly it’s crushing me, 3 weeks before recovery already seems like a bit much for me. Of course your mileage will vary, so be smart, listen to your body and adapt your plan as you need.

I dropped the 4th and 5th weeks in the 8-week LV Short Power Build and General Build plans to get them both to 6-weeks to work with my training plan outline. Just finished the Short Power Build plan and it went fairly well, but I admittedly didn’t get the longer VO2Max interval sessions in due to also being tired from running and swimming - - those sessions could definitely take their toll I imagine, but wouldn’t be too bad if you were purely cycling. I had added an extra endurance ride with short sprints (similar to the MV plan) to the plan each week though which I was able to get in most weeks and I think helped balance the intensity levels for the week better. You could always try a go at a similar modification to 5 weeks on/1 week recovery and see how you react --that’s part of the fun of training :grinning:.

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There is a high chance you’re going to get buried by the intensity. Build is a different animal than base.

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I referenced this in my original post and am very aware. I started build phases last year doing mid vol plus supplementary rides to maintain the 700tss weeks i’d been doing in base and very quickly realised not all tss is created equally! That said, where I did end up was still a fair bit more load than just the mid volume general build.

Rest is where you make the work count. I would try to stick to the plans or get a personal coach.

Not that it’s 100% ideal and the plans are probably inline for an update, but if you look at the Specialty Triathlon plans they pretty much go 6 weeks straight before a gradual 2 week taper in the last two weeks. The Build plans don’t really back off much throughout on the 6 or 8 week plans either.