Ditch SSB I and go right to SSB II?

I’m looking for some feedback about the need for SSB I. Although my road/crit season ended in early September, I feel like I’ve held on to my endurance base pretty well by following coach Chad’s advice in one of his blog posts:

I live in Canada and winter is coming. I want to start my structured training in a week or so and I’m wondering if there’s any point in going through 6 weeks of SSB I. I’m wondering if I’d be better served by going right SSB II and then trying to build my FTP before the outdoor season starts again in the early April. People who live in warmer climes who keep riding through September and October don’t re-do 12 weeks of base every season, do they?

FWIW, I’m a 51 year old cyclist who has used TR religiously for about 6 seasons.

You’ve got a long way until spring. You would be best served to go SSB1 then SSB2. Depending on where in Canada you are you may be having to even repeat one of the SSB before your build. I would not be in a rush to start adding intensity this far out from 2020 season.


I personally wouldn’t go straight to SSB2. I’m also in Canada and just finishing week 4 of SSBMV1. The MV1 plan slowly builds up your SS duration up to 3x20min and includes some challenging over/under work up to 48 minutes by the end of the plan.

I’m just looking at week one of SSBMV2 and the first week is quite hard if you didn’t have the prep of the prior plan. The sat/sun combo workouts alone are 5x10min of FTP work followed by 5x12m of SS the next day. I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t have been ready for that even though I came into the off season doing 750 to 950tss per week. I have been doing around 650-700tss SSB, and it feels harder.


Those are good points, guys. I’ll take your advice and follow base one and two. Thanks for taking the time.

I skipped over this point in my earlier response, but to answer your question: absolutely.
Weather has nothing to do with whether you do base or not. Base is part of a proper Annual Training Plan Cycle. Now whether you have to do base miles inside is a totally different story, and I am jealous of those in LA and Texas who can ride outside in shorts year round. But you can’t run intensity all year long.
There’s enough other threads on here about the importance of base, and its purpose so i won’t repeat it. Search of the TR blog or here will be good.

I skipped SSB 1 last year/ coming into this season and I regretted it for the entire season.

As mentioned, I’d been heaping on intensity for far too long and my first events in February felt dreadful.

Prep for next year is totally different, thanks in most part to the nuggets I’ve picked up from the Podcast.

One could argue that if crits are your preferred race, you don’t need a huge aerobic base anyway. How long are your road races?

I think SSB1 is very important if coming off a few weeks of no maintenance, but as you’ve said, you’ve been maintaining.

With 6 years of TR under your belt, you’re in a better position than most to experiment.

If you’re happy with your race results from the past 6 years, then don’t fix what ain’t broke. If something is lacking, maybe it’s time to change it up.

Good advice above! Just as an option you might find this interesting:

Hello there fellow Canuck!

It’s my first time around, and i’ve decided to do both SSB I LV and SSB II LV before starting my Tri plans. I was sick, and got delayed in the start and considered ditching one of them as i wanted a week off during the holidays to enjoy and recover. But instead i’ll have to just push through!

And now that i’m reading more about it i wonder whether i might do a SSBI + II and build and then start the tri plans as i have enough lead up time for that…

Eh. I’m going to go against the grain, here, and say that you can skip SSB I if you’ve had a truly productive season and you’re willing to go back to SSB I if you’re noticing the workouts in SSB II are just too hard.

I skipped SSB I and I’m on Week 5 of SSB 2, right now, and I feel good. Granted, I’m dreading this week, but I’ve done better this year than I did last year, in terms of having good workouts at full intensity with fewer backpedals.

It’s definitely possible, but you have to be realistic about how much you accomplished this season, how you feel, and be willing to change course if you start failing workouts, regularly.

That’s what I’m planning to do: SSBMV1 -> SSBMV2 -> GBMV -> Climbing Road MV

Starting this far out and going through the full base, build, race prep, should give me the best chance of success. I’m sure there will be some bumps in the road, but it also allows time to adjust and switch gears if needed.

What i’m thinking is

SSBLV1 :arrow_right: SSBLV2 :arrow_right: SusPwrBuildLV :arrow_right: OlyTriBaseLV :arrow_right: OlyTriBuildLV :arrow_right: OlyTriSpecialtyLV :arrow_right: Olympic Tri A Race :arrow_right: SprintSpecialtyLV :arrow_right: Sprint Tri B Race

I’ll have to see though if i can fit in the Sustained Power Build or not… depending on when the races are happening (as the dates have not been posted yet)

EDIT2) i’m also trying to determine if i can fit some more intensive run training with the ssb and build as it’s very low hanging fruit (as i used to run, just haven’t tapped into that yet)

IMHO there is value of taking it a few weeks easy when you still have a long season to come.

1 Like