Doubling down on base: SSB1 or SSB2

Hi folks, looking for some advice

I’m currently in week 4 of full distance triathlon build MV plus a bit of endurance (doing 4-6 workouts totalling 8-10h/week on the bike), considering to go to SSB with race cancellations. I did FD Base MV before

would I best go to SSB1 MV (benefit: recover a bit) or SSB2 MV (upside: VO2max maintained)?

I don’t feel burned at the moment, but I could take a breath from the many long sessions >2h. 60-90min workouts would be nice.

edit: did plan builder, looking for extra opinions

FD Base looks more like SSB2 but with longer zone 2 rides. So there’s that. And I wouldn’t consider SSB1 MV recovery, if you want that take Traditional Base 1 MV for a 4-week spin (shout out to @ericallenboyd) ? Tossing out TB because I doubt that Plan Builder gives it any love.


Yes no plan builder love for TB but it is all good. If you want to MVI and lower don’t have much variety but I am ok with that.

As soon as you get to MVII it get better variety wise but the sessions as quite long. I do like them more than the full or half distance plans though due to the nature of the workouts.

I know @JulianM used TB and he did well with it with his triathlons.


Why not create your own, say 3 weeks of SSB1 with two weeks SSB2? I’ve done SSB mashups the past two years when looking for gap filler base work. A few weeks of SSB1 to back off a bit. A few weeks of SSB2 to ramp back up before second build.

FWIW, I just did an unstructured week followed by the last two weeks of SSB1MV and saw a 6W increase on ramp test result. Wouldn’t worry about losing much of you go the route of SSB1. YMMV.


what are you training for? Triathlons?

also, what are your current strengths and weaknesses on the bike?

hard to really know what to do without knowing (a) where you are and (b) where you’re going :slight_smile:

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I’m with BB. (N of 1 warning) I have been using the Traditional Base (Mid) program since COVID and experienced two things. First, my biggest FTP increase since joining TR (based on yesterday’s Ramp Test) and also a very interesting and noteworthy decrease in both heart rate and perceived exertion across Seiler’s Z2 or .5 - .8 IF (% FTP). I’d say the latter was more noteworthy. I’ve also been doing one or two solo road centuries per week at around .7 - .8 IF. Solo riding is very gratifying for me and now I can cherry-pick the good weather/wind days. 2-3 hour rides indoors are mentally challenging but I’ve adapted. Still, a 5 hour 100 miler is easier on my nether region if not my legs. It was nothing too calculated, just “something different.” COVID gives us all the opportunity to experiment.


thanks guys, I truly appreciate your comments.

@devolikewhoa83, I don’t expect any triathlons to happen in the near future. with a changing job my goals are shifting as of this summer to be fit in general, for weekend rides and the occasional vacation bike trip. no races.
I have loosely put an august trip with two friends on the calendar, going to the mountains, and of course I’d like to smoke them. so mostly sustained mountains with the occasional acceleration. probably anything from general build (variety) or sustained build would do after SSB I thought.

I truly like the thought of traditional base as @bbarrera @ericallenboyd and @Ehrpower suggested. would starting with TB II MV be a good choice? I’m asking with the “you need to do the hours well otherwise do SSB” in mind. but I feel it would suit my current fitness.

@kurt.braeckel your suggestion of making the plans into just the right thing for me is good, probably the best of your advice is not worrying too much :wink: thanks!

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If you opt to do a mashup of SSB work, feel free to PM me and I can give some thoughts on how to do it. I don’t like how Plan Builder prescribes going back to Base, and I’ve done modified SSB plans the last two years, each time getting gains by doing so after a Build period. Happy to help if I can! (This forum is currently my best coaching outlet!)

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You have the hours now so you will be good from what I read in your prior post. I started mvI as I needed a little more saddle time. Looking forward to mv II for more variety but honestly the same workout 4 times a week is not too bad.

Definitely can already feel the improvements endurance wise and raised the ftp from 270 to 290 as i am feeling good on these with moving it up. I do rarely test though and go by feel. I am more of a person that judges myself by a 2 hour workout vs a ramp or 20 min test.

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if you’ve been doing 8-10 hours of FD Build, then I would be thinking about the potential for a small loss of fitness if you back down to TB 1 MV. So TB 2 MV might be a good choice, although it has longer workouts that you were looking to avoid. So that brings SSB 2 back to the front. Understand I’m not a coach, just talking out loud and in the past have been quick to take a break… too many to be honest! The next time I feel the need for a mid-season break the plan is to take TB 1 outside and throw some intervals into at least one workout a week to keep the anaerobic system warm.

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@ericallenboyd yeah the saddle time is pretty nice from the FD plan. I have had many consecutive weeks of 8-10h on the bike now. the FD base is lot’s of sweet spot, while build is actually vo2max + some o/u + a lot of IF ~0.70 rides. pretty much covers it all. it’s a neat plan if one has the time.

this was exactly my first thought when I heard the idea. but on considering it a bit longer, the variety as a plan is motivating to me. I have learned to read on the trainer and that is pretty nice to do actually.

it will be summer and I may take some workouts outside as warm early morning rides. sounds wonderful to me. I have a PM for some time, but only got to use it outside now with the weather improving. will eventually make another post later today on that issue, concerning effectiveness outside vs inside

fully agree with you @kurt.braeckel and @bbarrera - we all may be no coaches, but this community is awesome!

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I wanted to report back. Today I tested and I went from FTP 271 (4.2W/kg) to 284 (4.4W/kg), marking an all-time high. I expected this, given that I already felt very durable during long rides and could produce quite a bit more power at a Z2 heart rate. I followed the North Pack - Aniachak - Baird Peak progression from TB HV and could do quite well with the sweet spot.

I followed Traditional Base MV 2 and 3, where in TB 3 I repeated part of the 3rd week before I went a on off-bike surf vacation (rest week), making it a 5 week block in total. The hours were similar to my previous IM Full-distance build. I occasionally added another ride from the HV plan.

so thanks for your input everybody!

I’m moving into General Build now, which will be a new stimulus again with stuff like Spanish Needle, Junction and Amsel. I also respond very well to sweet spot/threshold so looking forward :pray:


Let me know how that goes. I found it a very difficult transition from Traditional Base to General Build and had to cut my FTP increase in half to continue.

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