Help me plan my 3rd TR Year!

Hey Gang, getting ready to go into my 3rd season of TR training in the coming weeks and want some guidance. I have made some great gains over the last 2 years, but my power profile has also “flattened” out, my SS is strong and I can hold a solid pace for longer distances but I want to be able to attack better for shorter bursts. My first 2 years are below

Year 1: SSB1, SSB2, General Build, all LV with added endurance days
…FTP Increase from 268 to 290
Year 2: SSB1, SSB2, General Build, all MV
…FTP Increase from 300 to 310

What I am looking for this year is to tweak my top end, I want to be able to launch repeated powerful attacks at the local amateur crit, and to lay down more watts on 1 to 5 minute segments. I am committing only 20 weeks of time to indoor, at which point in 2021, I may or may not race, depending on how things are with the virus and my general desires, as I am plenty happy competing on an un-official amateur level with the local racers at their practice crit, and against locals on Strava. That said, I have several ideas for year 3, but also some concerns.

Plan 1: SSB1, SSB2, Short Power Build, MV
Plan 2: SSB2, Short Power Build, Crit Specialty, MV
Plan 3: SSB2, Short Power Build, Rolling Road Race Specialty, MV

My concern in general with these shorter power plans, is losing a significant portion of the SS power that I have gained. I realize there is always a trade-off, and looking at the above “plans”, I see that some include more SS work, while others focus mostly on Vo2 and Sprints. I’m just not confident of which direction I want to go, and I have 4-5 weeks to figure this out, I’d like to feel totally good and not have any doubts going into the plan I choose.

So, which of my plans do you like to meet my goals, or what alternatives do you have? 20 weeks at MV is non-negotiable, but I am willing to mix and match portions of the plan if it helps me stay on target more

Do plan 1. You won’t lose much if any sustained power, especially if you follow your second half with more sustained focus. Exactly what I did this past season: first made the cup bigger, then filled it up. Planning similar again this coming season.

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Thanks for the feedback. I know you can’t have too much base but I was wondering if I should still do SSB1 considering I’ve done it for the last 2 years. Then again like you said, make the cup bigger

Just wasn’t sure if I’d get more results from focusing more on specialty rather than base, but doing SSB1 and 2 means I don’t have time for a specialty plan, which means I don’t have to choose one and have more uncertainty :rofl:

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FWIW in my own personal experience, making the cup bigger involves doing more aerobic endurance (zone2/zone3) work than what is in the SSB MV/HV plans. I’ve commented on that in many threads. From all I’ve read, once you establish consistency, then raise volume, its time to focus on intensity distribution which comes back to building a bigger cup.

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Looks like traditional base plan has what you’re after. For my liking, the plan looks a bit boring and not something I’d enjoy doing which might be a problem when it comes to consistency.

Yes I did Traditional Base 1 and 2 last year. Motivation on the trainer can be a challenge, there are some long sessions, and it is much easier to do outside.

In my own research the benefits of spending more time doing aerobic endurance became clear, and I’ve also seen the results. Within the TR plans I wish they would remix the Full Distance Triathlon Base plan and make it cycling only. Or something.

So you dont really have a sweet spot power. Training at sweet spot levels is just a particular way of gaining physical adaptations in an apparently time-efficient way.

The reason I point this out though you may already know is that you the outputs; aerobic endurance and anaerobic sprints are affected differently by changes in training. Aerobic endurance requires relatively little to maintain, and disappates slowly, where anaerobic sprint power disappates quickly and needs hard efforts to maintain or improve.

True, poor choice of words on my part. I think my base is already fairly good, I can do longer rides at a constant tempo pace and hold a good average.

Going back to what bBarrera said, it may be good for me to supplement my outdoor during the summer months with some of those longer endurance rides to keep my base up.

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