I’m coming to the end of a sustained power build phase (LV) in 2 weeks, and wondering what to go for next. I did a full LV Gran Fondo plan up until June as I had several events that month, then had about 6 weeks just riding the bike outdoors before starting the current phase. The current phase I’ve found manageable for the most part (I failed one long VO2 workout but had something viral going on that day)
I’m not aiming for any event this year, so I don’t think there’s any point in going to a speciality phase. My primary goal is to further increase my FTP and general fitness, aiming at audax, medium gravel, and the like. I’ve seem almost a 25% increase since the start of the year so I’m happy with that, with the caveat that it was coming from a very low base. I’d originally thought to go into another build phase, but reading through the advice here seems to suggest this is a bad idea in general. Would I be right in saying the best option is probably moving on to a base phase? If so, would SSB2 LV be a good choice? I had a look at the Traditional Base also, but it’s probably too much of a time commitment, I need to research the polarised plans a bit more, so not sure if they’d be a good fit.
If it’s of any relevance, I find sweet spot and VO2 very doable (one mentioned above notwithstanding) but threshold is generally tough!
Any advice as always most welcome!
Does not matter as you can recover and still see gains. Just do whatever fits your schedule or gives you pleasure. When gains will stop or you cannot recover from workouts then will be time to modify your training.
Sweet Spot Training
I would go with SS Base I to SS Base II LV since they are designed to be completed back-to-back.
I agree that Traditional Base is too much of a time commitment, so Sweet Spot training often makes the most sense. It is one of the most effective and efficient ways for cyclists to improve and enhance their cycling performance across the board by raising your FTP as you’d like to do.
There is more info about the benefits of SS training here:
As far as the Polarized plans go, the majority of training stress occurs at low or high intensity. Unlike other approaches to training, in a Polarized training plan, little if any time is spent at moderate intensity. This emphasis on the polar ends of the training intensity spectrum means you’ll complete some very challenging workouts to build fitness, interspersed with easy workouts that don’t contribute much extra fatigue.
More info about how Polarized training works here:
Lastly, I did want to make a comment on your point of the Specialty Phase. There is still value in doing a full Base, Build, Specialty, even without events on the calendar. It can motivating to move through an entire training progression but the Specialty Phase is also a good way to shed some fatigue after a full Build Phase. At the same time, you’ll be sharpening your abilities and the workouts can be pretty entertaining given they are meant to mimic efforts required in that discipline. That being said, going back to Base is a great approach too.