Drop specialty?

Hi all,

I have completed sweet spot base 1 & 2 and sustained power build. My plan would now have me moving on to specialty phase . However due to COVID my A race is no more!!

I was wondering if it might be more beneficial to overall fitness and FTP growth if I was to do SSB and build phase over again. I don’t mind the monotony!

Also, was wondering if I was to select SSB 1 & 2 again, I would do exactly the same work outs in the same order or is this more randomly generated?

Thanks for your thoughts!


Back to base sounds reasonable to me and yes the plan will be the same workouts in the same order (unless you tweak the schedule when adding the plan to your calendar)

1 Like

That is my new way as well. Decided to drop speciality and go back to SSB after I finish build which is to start today.

1 Like

I never do the speciality…I tt and if they had not been cancelled in the UK I finish my build and start racing in March/April and add 1xV02 and lots of zone 2 a week to keep me going through the summer. That said I have races which are important to me but in normal circumstances I would do 20+ open tt a year and about 10 club events so I usually start the season a bit under cooked but by July/ Aug I am usually going pretty well.

1 Like

Cheers for comments.

Back to Base it is then! Sounds like a Winehouse tune…


I’ve about to come to the end of Sustained Power Build as well. My plan was to do an assessment week of a handful of workouts to be able to do longitudinal comparisons over time and then do a speciality plan. I keep changing which speciality to do, currently thinking of Century.

Obviously I’ve no events to “peak” for but I’ve never done any of the speciality plans so might just do it for the hell of it. Otherwise it’s back to SSB pt2, probably the Mid Volume plan for a bit of variety.

1 Like

Cheers. Out of interest why would choose not do SSB part one over again?

I think coach Chad says somewhere to have a VO2max workout every week. SSB pt1 is as much about various drills for cadence and pedalling form and getting you used to trainer work. SSB pt2 has VO2 work and is aimed at preparing you for the Build phase.

The other option might be one of the maintenance plans, but this has a lot of HIIT stuff and are more for keeping you close to peak fitness.

Makes sense. Great, thanks for clarification.

Serendipitous stage name too.


Yep, same here. About to finish general build with no race in site. Going back to SSB2 and then build again after. Might do a different build plan this time just to mix it up though. Sustained power is my strength so might give short power a go just to work on weaknesses.

Plan is to just keep repeating that SSB2 > Build cycle until all of this is over or I break down :slight_smile:


I was in the same position as I finished General Build. It was actually some advice from this forum that convinced me to go ahead with Specialty - in my case Centrury. End of the day, its not going to do any harm, especially in my case as I hadnt completed a spec plan before and with century there is some similarity with base anyway


I was a few weeks into Specialty rolling race before it was clear that planned events were canceled. I actually have enjoyed some of the hard race-day simulations in the plan (Tues and Sat). I kept them, and it was a good way to test my improved form. What I did start doing though was replace hard Thurs and Sunday rides with longer aerobic base. It has been a really nice mix. After a week of recovery, I am going to traditional base II. But will keep 1 VO2 on Tuesday, and something a little harder Saturday.

Definitely won’t hurt at all to continue on with Speciality. In my case I just want to grow FTP so I’m thinking the Base > Build is the best way to go about it.

I also do low volume to give myself a lot of flexibility and I add in aerobic rides like Baxter all the time to add volume. Also, since I’ve got more time right now I’m going to do short (20-30 min) Zwift races here and there to get that race-day simulation that you would get from some of the speciality workouts.


I’m in the middle of Build now and will do the first 4 weeks of Specialty and then back to SSBII. Since the first few weeks of Specialty phase maintain approximately the same TSS as week 7 of Build, I’m going to try to find some plus versions of the workouts to maintain the TSS ramp rate. If the plus versions aren’t appropriate, I’ll add some endurance work to the end of each workout. Mostly I’m doing this for the diversity of workouts.

1 Like

Hi all, so I thought I had the training for the year pretty much figured out, then this coronavirus situation happened. I guess this is the case for many people. In my case, my main goals this year was to do a long ride around Lake Geneva (about 200 km), which is not possible right now due to the closed borders. The other target was to get below 10 minutes on a nearby climb, as well as to maybe do a long alp climb.

Over the last year and a half, I started on low volume base build, then did mid volume base build twice. So far this season I completed SSB I and II on mid volume, combined with some skiing. With the premature end of the ski season and extra time due to work from home, I swapped the last half of sustained build to high volume, which I am finishing this week. Nominally, my plan after this was to do the century specialty and the long lake ride in the coming month or two. Now I am considering two options:

  1. Continue as planned and do century plan high volume
  2. Start over with SSB high volume

Any input on these alternatives? I am leaning towards doing high volume base. I think outdoor rides will be curtailed for a while, since I am not too interested in biking outside during the crisis, owing to the risk of crashes with an overburdened health care system. Long term my only goal is to improve fitness/ftp and get better at long rides and in particular long climbs.


(Edited following a thread merge by @mcneese.chad)
I’m coming to the end of Sustained Power Build and the plan (sic) was to do a Speciality plan which would have tied nicely into the first of my ‘A’ events this year.

I’m still going to do the Speciality plan purely because in previous training years for various reasons I’ve never reached the end of Build so it’s a case of “might as well”.

I wouldn’t drop back to SSB pt1 but go to SSB p2, then do Build again. Maybe choose a different Build Plan, you know, “just because”.


@mcneese.chad Thanks for the thread merge, a lot of useful information here. Did not find it when I searched!

The idea of doing SSB II is quite interesting. Shortens the base enough that I can even get to specialty by the end of summer. I might also do that!

1 Like

Just finished Sustained Power Build and supposed to go into Specialty but I changed it to go back to SSB Mid Volume II. I’m still needing to increase my FTP and I feel like I could use more time in sweet spot work.

I´m now in week 4 (rest week) of Climbing road race speciality (have done SSB1&2 and General Build). Now i´m not sure what to do after this week as I don´t have any race or event on my target. Is there any sense to do the last 4 week of speciality with taper ? Main goal is just to increase cycling fitness / FTP