Doing sweetspot base 1 indefinitely? Or even substituting workouts?

I cant do sweetspot base 2 anymore. It is so hard. Every workout feels like I’m about to die at the end.

Maybe I’m just mentally weak but I just can’t do 4 hard workouts a week. The only rides in SSB1 that were difficult were the over/unders. That I can handle.

Maybe just do traditional base? What do you think? Can you build fitness doing one plan over but adding more watts to your FTP or fitting in longer sweetspot intervals?

I have had a sort of similar experience…though I managed okish with SSB2. Short power build was brutal though.

I’ve taken the view that I didn’t have a solid enough base last year, which affected my ability to sustain any kind of higher intensity workout. 90 minute over unders were just absolutely brutal. I started with TB this year. Low volume, plus 3 days a week of 1-1.5 hr endurance rides. So about 8-9 hrs. Just started TB3.

I DO feel like workouts are easier now. I started getting back into some lower sweet spot/tempo work…and I feel like it saps my strength far less than it would have last year. Who knows…maybe it’s all in my head, and TB is acting as a placebo lol.

There are adjustments you can make. One is to go to the LV version, the other is to lower the intensity either per workout or by manually adjusting your FTP lower. I’m assuming your sleep, rest and refueling are adequate(?)

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Four hard workouts a week is a lot to ask for a lot of people. You didn’t mention age, but it’s especially so if you’re north of 50.

You can build additional fitness with longer SS intervals, but you will soon hit diminishing returns if you’re not pushing your threshold or VO2 max.

I’m starting sustained power build LV next week, and will be revising that to TWO hard workouts a week. It has nothing to do with mental toughness.


Does TR not periodize training at all? It is January afterall. Four hard workouts per week in January is a lot at any time of the year.

Oh man I feel you.

When I got on TR I tried my luck at SSBLV1. It was just was too much to handle. The sweetspot work was just too much. So I did a full round of TBLV. And then tried again SSVLV1. to no avail. Summer was pointing it’s nose so I did a summer of riding.

And was able to do SSBLV1 at fall 2019. Comes SSBLV2 and I couldn’t complete 1 workout at the new FTP. It took me three rounds of SSBLV1. And now I’ im in the middle of SSBLV2 and things are okay, even fun. So stick to it.

Your problem might be a real lack of base. What really helped is that I added a bit of endurance work after each workout, just 15 minutes, the hard part of Taku and a complete Taku on 2 out of 4 recovery days. And an occasionnal 2 hours + endurance ride. Don’t rush it respect yourself. You’ll get there.

Build a strong aerobic base.

Today I did a zwift race 27 minutes at an average power 25 watts over my last RAMP test FTP. So I’m getting there.

Stick to it. Respect yourself. Have fun on the bike. Add some very low endurance work after a workout. Not long just enough to trigger some adaptations and increase TSS. And once in a while just push yourself past what you previously thought you could do. But slow time on the saddle is important.

I think a good part of handling structured training on TrainerRoad is base fitness but also training your mind to accept the suffering, and your body to stay relaxed while working at high percentage of FTP. And make no mistake this is real training and it takes time.

Seasoned guys here will tell you to man up. And accept the suffering. They are right, but this too takes training both on the physical and mental side.

Take this time to dial your recovery, nutrition, sleep, and handle the added stress you put into your life.

Good luck!


:point_up_2: great advice

Sounds to me like you’ve had enough for now. There’s no shame in that, SSB2 is hard! I would first take a break then scale back to LV plan. If you feel like it add some Z2 workouts as you feel like it. It’s better to follow a consistent plan but on lower volume (of intensity).

Kudos on you for admitting this. In some ways it’s easier to just push through with something even if your body’s telling you it doesn’t want to.

Everyone responds differently to training and it’s completely valid to find that a training plan isn’t working for you. Some people can take a lot of intensity, others can’t. However you are going to need some intensity and some progression if you’re going to get faster.

Why not try repeating SSB1, but replacing the Tuesday workouts with the Tuesday sessions from SSB2? Then if you’re feeling fresh and you have time, add some more volume by increasing cooldown and doing some extra zone 2 on the end of workouts, or doing a + version.

That way the progression from SSB1 to SSB2 won’t be quite as steep, as you’ll only be getting 2 intense sessions per week (and the Tuesday ones from SSB2 ramp up gradually anyway).

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I’m on my third round of SSB1 MV. FTP started at 266, then 277 and now at 285. I’ve stayed with SSB1 because I just didn’t feel like doing intensity so early in the season. Not only am I gaining back most of my FTP from last season’s peak, but I’ve been able to stay mentally fresh. Managing the mind and preventing burnout is crucial in a long training and racing season.


I think for the vast majority of people it’s the Sunday SS workout that needs to go and Instead do a longer Z2 ride. If you can do his one outside even better. This is why a lot of people go to the low volume plans and merely slot in Z2 work on the other days for volume.

The other issue obviously is being really honest with yourself with your FTP, and not overcooking workouts and consequently end up being a zone higher. This just isn’t sustainable.

Personally, I’ve been repeating SSBMV2, and only sometimes doing the Sunday workout, but I really feel I’m riding within myself for the harder sessions and not going too deep. That’s the key - you aren’t supposed to be burying yourself on any session really.


Everyone covered this well. The big questions for me are:

  1. Is the FTP accurate and putting you in the right zones for training?

  2. Is the training volume too much for the time and ability to recover?

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I didn’t realize you are on MV. @Nate_Pearson clearly states in the podcast that originally you were supposed to go LONG on Sundays. But nobody did it. So they gave the option of doing sweetspot work instead. In the week description they have suggestions of rides to replace the Sunday sweet spot work by a long endurance ride. But I really feel this should be stated more clearly.

There is a really big step up from LV to MV in terms of TSS. And intensity it maybe that you could handle it for six weeks but months took it’s toll.

We’re generally too eager to see improvements. And want to rush things. But the training plans should be looked at in weeks or even months, especially for those new to structured training, but in years.

I wonder if replacing the Sunday long ride by extra low endurance work for say 15 - 30 minutes after the hour workouts, adding gentle endurance on recovery days doesn’t trigger similar adaptations. I know it doesn’t get you to ride long. But I think I read it helps.

As for the HTFU advice, I totally get it, and you are right. However we don’t know his cycling backgound. And it is a trainable skill as everything else.

The last thing you might want to look into is maybe you are the type of person that for whatever reasons needs more recovery than what’s suggested. Maybe 6 weeks of constant progressive load up is just too much to handle without recovery. @mcneese.chad has created TR approved modification to take this into account you might want to try that.

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My option not really TR approved, but it was inspired by an option suggested by Nate.

Just to pass on an experience from last year. I got bogged down on trying to do 3mins vo2 intervals at 120% and totally pissed me off to just forgetting TR for a while but now i realise that a simple 5% reduction to 115% would have fixed it but i thought i should be able to do them at 120%