How much intensity is too much in the Off Season?

Last year did trad base all 3 blocks and found it was a tough transition to do the intensity in the later blocks and transition into the adaptive plan again.
This year I instead did Adaptive Plan year round with presumptive race dates, starting Masters General base the week after my last CX race (Nov 13th) LV with extra Z2 work.
Currently (Masters Sustained Power Build block 3) that looks like 1h to 1h15 VO2 and 1h30 Thr with 5h30 Z2 over the course of the week (I add in extra Z2 work).
So ~30% Zone 4-5. Is this reasonable for base/off-season?

Have been watching a lot of off season, base training stuff that suggest more Z2 with maybe 1 intensity workout per week.

Any thoughts? I guess after watching the stuff I did today I started questioning whether I may be over doing it with intensity right now.

It depends…

If you are gearing toward peaking for one specific race (i.e. National championship, etc.) then I think a season break followed by a period of building volume before introducing high intensity workouts (traditional periodization) is a proven way to get there.

If you are someone who likes being fit all year & do multiple races throughout the year then I think doing intensity year round, with recovery weeks, is a good way to do that.

Personally I enjoy a training period where I can focus on volume and not worry about an upcoming breakthrough VO2 workout. The workouts hurt a little more when they start but the volume carries you a lot longer into the season and the potential peak is higher IMO.

It sounds like you have at least a few years of training history. At ~8 hours per week, I would suggest that the intensity would be beneficial. 1. Your history says that tradition base wasn’t very effective. As a fellow master, I find that keeping intensity year round is important and that you lose a lot if you don’t use it for several months 2. All that content usually assumes a fairly high training volume. It wouldn’t take long for you to adapt to 7h of Z2 and 1 day of intensity.

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Even at 8 hours total weekly volume, you’re talking about 2.5 hours of zone 4/5 work. That’s like two days of 3x15’s and two days of 6x5’s, every week. That’s a lot of top end work period, nevermind offseason. You can try it and see how you feel, but my guess is it will lead to early burnout before you even get to the race season.

I always did one threshold and one 30/30 workout per week during base. Just kept the volume and power targets (sets, reps) low relative to main season. Same with the weekend long ride (shorter)

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I think when he says 2.5 hrs of Z4/5 work he means workout time, not TiZ. It’s most likely half of what you said. 1 day of 4x5 (or whatever VO2) and 1 day of 3x15 (or whatever threshold.

IMO, 2 days of intensity is not too much.

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+1. An amuse-bouche of “intensity.” Can’t hammer year round.


Yeah to clarify its the latter. This week will be Leons (VO2) and Wheel -2 (Thr), Avallanos x2 and Somers (Z2).

I think you need to be clear on your goals right now. What is off-season, what is base, particularly given that you are doing a build phase plan right now.

Personally I don’t think either of those terms are relevant to build phase.

Off-season means I don’t have any racing for about 12 weeks and won’t get into the thick of racing for another 16 weeks.

As far as build do you mean in terms of trainer road plans? Because right now my calendar calls it Base “Masters General Base Low Volume III”

Masters Sustained Power Build Low Volume is next and starts Feb 6th. Then strangely it goes back to Base for 3 weeks. Then 8 weeks of Specialty to prep for first A level race on June 15th (this date may change however as the calendar isn’t out, its just a guess).

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Thanks for fleshing it out a bit. Does seem a little odd, I’d check with Support.

I’d say you’ve been doing enough base to be starting the build before race season, but you are quite a ways out still. If it’s 16 weeks away I’d expect 8 weeks build and 8 weeks speciality if your season starts with an A race. If not then it would make sense to continue base or return to base after a short build period.