Finishing up Sweet Spot II for the first time and I'm breaking down - who wants to commiserate?

My first time through SSBLV2 I completely limped to the finish line. I repeated weeks 3456 and crushed it. Just one person’s experience but might be worth a try.

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Well no wonder you struggled. 3456 weeks without a recovery week sounds exhausting. I can only make it through 5 weeks, max, before I really need that recovery week. :rofl:

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5 weeks before a recovery week does far more harm than good. Don’t feel like you’ve failed if you need to skip some of the sessions in the last week as TR has set this plan up poorly.

My advice would be to start your recovery week early before you dig yourself a deeper hole.

SSB2 should be increased to 8 weeks with 2 recovery weeks i.e. week 4 and 8. Hopefully it will change when the new plans are released. :crossed_fingers:

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Completely agree. SSBMV2 is off, VO2, recovery, threshold, off, threshold, sweetspot. That’s 3/4 hard workouts per week. Even with an accurate FTP, that is a hard plan. There’s no margin for error with stuff like Spencer and Lamarck. If your FTP is wrong, you’re screwed.
At 45 I’ve learned that sort of plan is too much stress for my body and I end up over training with all, or more, of the symptoms described by the OP. Those threshold and VO2 works out require 2 days of rest for me.
My advice would be to drop workouts if you don’t feel sufficiently recovered or switch out the threshold workouts for some sweetspot with roughly the same or lower TSS.

Please note that what is to come is only criticism on the topic and not on the person.

I can’t stand it anymore, that absolutely normal lifes (for recreational or cat 5-3 racers) are looked upon as “stressful” and everyone parrots about “other stressors”.
If you have a dayjob and a family you will have some constraints. You have to ask the question, if you are willing to change your whole life and optimise sleep and recovery (which IS huge, no doubt about that …) or if you choose a not-so-intensity-packed plan and

  1. look forward to every workout instead of dreading it
  2. safe the stress of having to align everything (food, sleep, familytime) with cycling.

Course sleep could be better. It always can. But how is your relationsship ending up if you go to bed at 9 pm instead of 10 and don’t drink that occasional sip of wine with your spouse?

Course work is moderatley stressful at times. If not, you don’t reach for anything at your job.

Course kids are mentally (and physically) demanding a times (ok, all the time) but they are beautiful!

This is no significant stress at all. THIS IS NORMAL. If cycling is not your job.

I agree with LV + endurance though … but be cautious, as LV is kinda demanding too, as shown above.

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I’m just in the middle of week 3 of SSBII and I’m starting to really feel it, particularly as I’m trying to shed some lockdown weight after a disrupted 2020. I’ve always wondered how hard it should feel although I do get that post exercise buzz when I finish a really brutal session. Personally, I’m not too concerned if I slightly have to dial back - you only need to look at the ‘all rides’ section of some of the workouts each week to see that some have a particularly high failure rate. I always see my ftp as a bit of a rough guess that can vary a little either side according to how I’m feeling.

Just a quick thought, I don’t think anybody has mentioned keeping cool?

Having a decent fan made a huge difference to me, every workout got a lot easier.

I’m in the last week of SSBII and for the first time managing to hold it together.

I think this in part is due to having built up my fitness after 12 months of TR. I have failed to finish SSBII several times, exactly as you describe it.

Stop seeing this as a failure, but rather you learning to listening to your body and backing off as appropriate.

If you give yourself sufficient recovery, you will come back stronger, your body needs the recovery weeks to take a step forward.

First time through SSBMV2 I chucked in a semi-recovery week between weeks 4 and 5 to accommodate some build up of fatigue ahead of the tough last week - might be an option for you

Believe me, the holy trinity of Palisade, Mary Austin -1 and Leconte is horrific. I’m doing SSBLV2 after doing full SSB and SPB, the last 2 weeks of SSBLV2 are merciless. Take a week off, gather your thoughts and smash it. Believe me, they push you to the limit but you can get through them, watch 10 minutes of Goggins to get you in the mood. If they are too tough, knock the intensity down a few percent but try to complete, the sense of achievement is way in excess of the misery of pain. Rinse and repeat, you’ll come back physically and mentally stronger. Everyone on here has been there, it just hurts.

So because it’s “normal” it has no impact? That’s like saying bc you’re on your feet all day running around then bc it’s normal for you there is nothing significant about the stress/fatigue associated with it.
Fitness requires sacrifices and compromise just like kids

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Yes, it’s normal. That doesn’t mean that you don’t need to account for it in your training. Nobody who is exhausted from a long day at work or from taking the kids to and from soccer, dance, and swimming classes every Saturday is going to perform as well in their training or in their events. I really don’t understand your point. It’s normal, but it is still a factor in the math of training.

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No, your absolutely right, it has an impact. I’m just saying that we tend to over-emphasize the significance of the impact of those things. Sleep, nutrition and life stress are the next big factors when it comes to performance. But picking the right training program is by far (by far!) the most important aspect. And if you feel tired/burned out etc … I think looking a the program first and at the other stressors second is the way to go. (Assuming that the other stressor are in the “normal” range of course").
I think I don’t agree with the sacrifice. It sure is dependant of your goals of course (Going to the olympics, being competitive in nationals, winning a cat 2 race, ride in the bunch of cat 3, being fit enough to have a blast on passes in the alps …) If I was young/gifted enough to strive for the first 2 … I would make sacrifices. To achieve the last 2 goals on the other hand … no need for sacrifices IF you pick your plan right. The route is the goal.

When people are talking about a recovery week - does this mean roughly the same amount of time on the bike in zone 2?

I think we talk past each other.
I don’t deny the impact of everyday stress. The point I’m trying to make is that blaming the exhaustion induced by ssbLV2 and SPBuild on life (given it is “just” normal stress, nothing extraordinary like 5 overhours/day or 4-5h sleep) and not on the too high stress induced by the plan (“too high” as in personal, not absolut!!!) is utterly wrong.

Last 3 weeks of SSBLV2 as stated before by DaveWh:

I mean … c’mon … what is more likely the reason for feeling overly fatigued? THIS massive block or that I missed 3 hours of sleep in 7 days? Sorry if I fall into rant-mode again … but trying to cover up the obvious issue with hints on personal readiness for a plan and potential life stressors is aaarrrgghhh yes, it IS undeniable true to a certain extent, but the real reason is too much intensity (this is not per default the plans fault btw! Might be a good plan, but just too much intensity for the given athlete!).

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I took a recovery week in the middle of the block as I felt like I needed it (I am my own Adaptive Training). I’m on the final loading week now and got through Lamark this morning.

Despite being a TR member for at least two years this is also the first time I’ve ever gone through SSI and II in their entirety.

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I just repeated the recovery week from the end of SSB1 - Petit, bald knob and Brasstown

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It’s clearly both. To blame it on one without considering the other is ignoring the obvious. LV is only 3 rides a week, there’s plenty of recovery time in there to get over a few tough rides (if those rides are your only source of stress)…

I aim for 50% time, with one intensity session (usually threshold, but not fussy).

@mattkime forgot to mention that some people have found success in changing the training structure of the plans from 6 week cycles to 4week more akin to the base and specialty phases. More info can be found here Alternate Sweet Spot Base, Work : Recovery Week Layout

It sounds like the fatigue loading would be more managed training following an adjustment like what is outlined in the thread linked.

Best of luck with your training

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Something else to consider - I believe SSBII is the highest amount of training stress you will carry week to week throughout your yearly plan. If you feel that it is a breeze, are constantly sleeping perfectly, and generally feeling fine, I don’t think you are probably stressing the system as much as you think you may be. In my experience, you should be tired, stressed, and interested in a rest week. Obviously it can be taken far, far overboard, but structured training can put you in a hole where regular daily riding never did before. I think it’s when you still feel exhausted even after a week of rest that you should seriously consider making some major changes. Otherwise skip enjoy the rest week to it’s fullest and come back guns blazin’

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