Finished SSB1/2, Build, Speciality...add “off season” recovery time or not?

Fellow TrainerRoad users,

I just completed my first multi phase/month cycling plan on TR which included mid volume SSB1, SSB2, Build, and Specialty. I’m not training for an event, instead for fitness and to keep up with the local riders in the area when I ride outdoors whether on pavement, gravel or MTB. Prior to joining TR, I was new to structured training and most of my riding was recreational during summer mostly on a mountain bike. That said, at 48 years old, I’ve been very happy with how my fitness, stamina and power has improved since I began TR’s structured plans (FTP has increased from 190 to 245watts @71kg) and I look forward to continuing with the TR platform to improve my performance/FTP in the months and years ahead. All said, prior to commencing my next multi-phase/month TR plan, I have a few questions I’d welcome your guidance on:

  1. Now that I completed my specialty phase, I’m eager to continue my structured training (as to avoid detraining). However, before I do, should I first incorporate an “off season” into my annual training calendar so my body has time to recover and prepare itself for my next multiphase TR training plan (even if I don’t feel fatigued)?

  2. If so, how long should this “off season“ period last and what intensity and frequency of riding should I be doing during this period? Would this be a good time to incorporate strength training or running? As a frame of reference, my weekly TSS has been 500-600 over the last few months.

  3. Once I do commence my next training plan cycle, should I perform one or two Sweet Spot Base phases, and if only one, should I perform two consecutive build phases?

  4. While I don’t have a particular event I’m peaking for, if I had to chose a time to peak to it would be late spring - mid August when I’m doing most my competitive cycling with my buddies.

Thanks All!


Welcome to the forum

Consider some of these current information already available

The general guidance is to do Part 1 AND Part 2 base phases and then one build phase. Whether you do specialty is more of a choice, and often isn’t the best use of time unless you’re peaking for a race or event with a particular focus, i.e long steady climbs or sprints etc

Thanks OneManPeloton. Very helpful links! Both provide thoughtful answers to my questions.

On a related note, I see that training plans for Masters appear to be in the feature request queue. From your personal experience or second hand experience from others, have you (assuming you are 45+) tweaked the frequency of recovery days (especially during build phase when VO2 workouts become more frequent)?

Lastly, as I wouldn’t mind incorporating more outdoor riding into my training regimen, have you tried both low (to incorporate more unstructured outdoor rides) and mid volume plan builders and concluded whether the former or latter had a significantly different impact on increasing FTP?

Thanks again!