How do I know if I have a strong base?

20 minutes at 270W is doable but I will feel very exhausted after that and I am not certain if I can do that again and again. I think 3x30 min @ SS should be achievable by the end of SSB

I guess you’ve answered your own question. If it’s not repeatable you don’t have a strong base.

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i like that goal… 3x30 min sweet spot… wright peak ftw…
I was just looking at the differences between ssb LV and mv… it’s so wierd because sweet spot base 2 LV shouldn’t even be called sweet spot base… it should be called short duration threshhold base as every single muscular endurance workout seems like either over-unders or 8-12 minute threshhold intervals

I’m not sure i’m sold that ssb LV can ever prepare you to switch to mid vol given the differences you know?

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the power duration model is pretty cool! i’m looking at mine now… I wonder how much things are getting skewed by the fact that I’m doing nothing but indoor structured TR workouts… like how can TTE possibly be accurate when I’ve never actually tried to go till exhaustion at a value close to my new TR based FTP? (or my wko mFTP for that matter)

TR should add a test to measure aerobic base.

Either this:

Or this:


A related thread is the Kolie Moore's FTP test protocol which discusses a good test to establish TTE (or close to it).

I am also curious how to measure one’s aerobic base and how it changes over time. I recently completed Wrights Peak (3x30 at SS) and managed fine, so it must be decent :grinning:.


Everyone likes the idea of having “more tests” but In general, I think the coaches were correct in having fewer tests because in general, tests are exhausting ordeals. So they made a less exhausting test which is their 1 minute ramp test… Like yeah I think about trying a 4DP test, and a 3 minute ramping MAP test, and a test where I ride at my full FTP for as long as I can untill i just can’t go longer…

but I don’t actually do these tests because I don’t want to deal with the fallout of recovering from them… it’s hard enough recovering from the planned workouts! lol


I think the FTP test could still be the primary test used to set training zones.

I think we all know that cycling is an aerobic sport - so if there was any other test to add it would be a test for aerobic base. I’ve calculated my own aerobic decoupling, but it would be nice to have TR build a test to do this and keep a documented result in my training record. The test could also double as a workout in a plan, so would not be an “extra” test to do.

3 Likes shows decoupling … your test is really any long endurance ride that didn’t end hot or dehydrated:


that’s a pretty good definition of a test of aerobic endurance, and the metric is decoupling. And long is at least 2 hours. My preference is to look at decoupling for an interval (lap button), and exclude the 15-20 minutes getting out of town (and returning home). Haven’t seen decoupling for intervals in So my 0.05% decoupling on that 2 hour tempo interval comes out as 13.9% decoupling for the entire ride in intervals. Here is the interval in a chart I whipped up in WKO:

My n= 1 view on “can I use decoupling to define having a strong base?” After nearly 4 month break I did traditional base 1 and 2 and in 8 weeks my decoupling was basically 0% on 2 hour tempo ride. But I wouldn’t claim to have a strong base. Had developed a decent base in 8 weeks, but it wasn’t a strong base compared to other seasons.

I have “decoupling for interval” on the todo list. What I would really like is to automatically detect warmup and cool down minutes from the data and exclude them. Failing that a configurable 20mins at start and 20mins at end will do. 13.9% vs 0.05% is huge.


That ride should be an interesting test case for you, and the interval is a lap.

I’d never really attempted to ride longer than 30 mins or so near threshold until recently, and having done a similar thing to Kolie Moore’s tests a couple of times and found a more accurate value for my FTP, I’ve realised that threshold really shouldn’t leave you absolutely dead. If it does, your pacing/estimation of FTP has been poor - which is actually the difficulty that has led to the ramp test…that and many find longer tests more daunting or mentally taxing.

As it happens, I’m one of those people who can absolutely ruin myself on a ramp test (hence why it overestimates for me) and can barely turn a pedal even for the cooldown!

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I don’t think my base is really that great, but I end up with negative decoupling on all of my long rides. Both steady rides at 70% FTP and rides with long intervals into the tempo zone.

Thx. How long does the ride need to be? I don’t have a PM on my outside bikes, so would need to do the ride indoors. My usual indoor ride is 60mins, sometimes 90. @bbarrera - you suggest 2 hrs.

Friel (who might know a thing or two :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) says “for cycling I use two to four hours of steady AeT exercise as the common range.”

Is 60-90 mins long enough of an endurance ride to get good data? E.g. if I did a 60 min ride at 60-65% of FTP, could I take the power decoupling between the 2nd and 3rd 20 min intervals and use that as a metric to track over my plan?

What about a ride with two successive 20 min sweet spot intervals? Could that also work?

Ideally, I’d like to be able to get good data from an indoor ride I’m already doing as part of a plan, instead of adding a new 2+ hr test (per my comment above to @isaac124)

Looks like I need to start using :+1:t3:

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if you have higher decoupling (>5%) on a steady 60-90 minute endurance/tempo ride then no point going longer on the test (length of training rides for a different subject). You might want to start with something like Muir or similar. I made my own “Mesa Aerobic” rides at 56% and 60% as quick “check-ins” when doing easy endurance rides during the week. Took Lazy Mountain -1 into Workout Creator and extended length and adjusted power.

The reason for the lower power targets is to make them a more suitable replacement for rides like Wednesday’s Pettit (39 TSS, 60-70%) in SSB-2 MV.

I’ve looked at decoupling on shorter intervals but remember this is about aerobic endurance, and more specifically when enough slow twitch muscle fibers “quit” that you start recruiting less efficient fast twitch. So to really answer the question you need to go long, and how long will depend on your physiology and current conditioning.

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I think @bbarrera has posted a good TR specific reply. I have read “a little bit longer than your target event” for how long the ride needs to be. I don’t know if doing similar intervals would work.

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I really prefer to do long testing outside, like the ride I gave you. Those rides are not TR specific. Just go out and ride steady at upper endurance (70-75%) or tempo (76-80%). I’ve done a few long rides at upper tempo / lower sweet spot (85%-92%) but after two hours I need to stop for water and refueling. But around 75% of FTP its possible to take 3 water bottles (24 oz) filled with Gu Roctane and go for 4 hours without stopping.

Here’s a ride from last week - 2 x 20 min intervals at 90%. Decoupling of 3%.

I’ll play around with endurance rides like Mesa also and see what they say.

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Looks familiar :slight_smile: I’ve looked for years on answering the “strong base” question. Data mining of all sorts of metrics in WKO, reading articles, etc. At this point my answer is “I’ll know it when I have it” which might not be what you want to hear but its the truth.

From a training restart it took 8 weeks of trad base 1 and 2 to achieve 0% decoupling on a 2 hour tempo interval, but I most definitely did not (late Oct) and do not (early Dec) have a strong base.

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