Fondo rider periodization question

Just as a general break from the ISM/Coggan/Seiler zones rock/suck/confusethehellouddame threadfest I’d like to chuck out a controversy of a different more orthogonal nature: How should fondo riders periodize?

Now I am an old fart and not a racer but do run fondos. So on the grounds that point of periodization is to hit the various systems as and when you need them approaching your race how should a total steady state rider go about this. It strikes me that base>build>specialty is not the right way to do it if you are long of tooth and grey of hair. The base bit is surely ingrained by now and the need to get the VO2max up and manage its half life is not such an issue approaching race day. The whole gig is to get the overall engine up to full on diesel mode as big as you can. At the risk getting groans and eye rolls from the cognescenti, does this not argue for a inversion of the typical? Reverse periodisation or at the least a swap in the build and base, perhaps hold on to the specialty as the lead in?

I’m also an old fart and my riding expertise is Audax / Randonneuring. My goal is finishing as comfortably and quickly as possible so I have more time to drink beer and/or sleep. Event rides have an IF of 0.65 (+/- 0.10 depending upon their length).

A) Base is definitely lost. Probably quicker because we’re old farts. I’m personally doing “traditional base” rather than “sweet spot base” this off season since it’s easier on my body. On the other hand, “mental base” aka knowing how to finish a ride isn’t lost.

B) Build is very important to raise the overall power numbers across the board. Just do sustained power if you’re really not into VO2 stuff.

C) For Specialization, Plan Builder recommends “Century” to Fondo riders for a reason. That’s basically the same as Reverse Periodization. Alternatively, you can do like you’ve suggested and go back to Base if that better simulates your riding style (steady).

Nice thing about TR is that you’re not stuck with a one size fits all plan. As an old fart, I push weeks down and give myself more easy weeks. This is mentioned many times in the “Masters” threads. Personally, I’m not too worried about peaking for a specific event since none are ever A events.

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