I think I overdid it, looking for a sanity check

I’m in the middle of Sustained Power Build MV and just went completely off the rails on week 3. I’m pretty sure I know why this happened, it’s fairly obvious looking back at my training calendar. This being my first wholehearted attempt at structured training, I’m still looking for a sanity check and advise on how to adapt in the future.

I started off with SSBMV 1 back in April, finished with 100% compliance.

Progressed to SSBMV 2, followed the plan with 100% compliance until the very last ride of my recover week. I went outdoors and did this:

Probably not the smartest way to preface Sustained Power Build. Nevertheless I bumped the ramp test back by one day and carried on. I got through the to the end of week 2 without issues and then did this century ride instead of my scheduled Sunday workout:

So on week 3 I bumped everything back a day right off the bat. Fell apart on the 2nd set of intervals in Bashful +6, had to drop the intensity down 3% halfway through Carpathian Peak +1, and my legs gave out on the 2nd interval in Elephants +4. After that I figure I should just cool it, move on to week 4 recovery and play it by ear.

And in the middle of all this, the AC air handler flooded and destroyed our bedroom ceiling in the middle of build week 2. That added a pile of stress and forced us to adopt makeshift sleeping arrangements without AC in the middle of a heatwave.

Looking back on all this, should I have gone straight into a recovery week following my century ride? Or I should have skipped my Saturday workouts knowing I was going to do a big ride the day after? Maybe both? Neither outdoor ride was part of a long term plan, but that’s part of the fun of cycling. I don’t want to be rigid and skip out on fun rides like that in the future, but I don’t want to derail my structured training either.

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This is why even a MV plan with a ton of weekend volume doesn’t work for most of us. Try dropping down to a LV plan (still sometimes too much intensity IMO) and allow for that weekend endurance you’re clearly enjoying. The only time I even attempt MV is when I know I can’t ride outdoors for extended periods, in the winter. LV leaves me with enough focus to get faster on structure days and enough energy to enjoy endurance riding.

Most people should have a laser focus on nailing a maximum of two HIIT structure days, then adding in riding volume in the form of longer, and perhaps more fun riding.

You’ll need to balance the desire for 100% MV plan compliance, and riding outdoors for your soul. OR, just drop down to LV (and be prepared to make modifications to that).


These are big TSS scores, the first ride with IF of 0.85 is high also. Rides over 3 hours dial it back to about 0.75. The second century ride Again high TSS and relatively high’ish IF. All that and thinking one day recovery is enough and broken AC stress.

I train to do 200KM + Audax. And need a week to recover properly. I also plan a massage the day after a big ride and this makes a huge difference for me.

As above if you want to do big rides you need to understand what is the training benefit that you are achieving. If you are doing them to replicate a race event scenario, You may be doing to much along with the MV plans.

All the coach chad advice seems to say you do not to do race distance training for an event. 3 Hours training rides seem to be enough.

I do the MV plans, But if weather nice. I take the plan outdoors. And Add additional 30 miles loop when i want to extend the time outside


I wasn’t trying to simulate a race or anything of that nature. To be honest both times I had no intention of going as hard as I did.

Learning how to pace myself outdoors is certainly something I need to work on. I’ve had nothing but ERG mode modulating my efforts for the past few months.

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I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Outdoor riding is why I even do TR. That said, I do want to push myself when I’m outdoors so what I do indoors is important. Just having the presence of mind to step back from one or two KOM efforts can really make or break the upcoming TR week.

Are you new to TR or structured training in general? It can take a period of time for the body to adjust to the demands and workload. Might be worth looking at how your TR week(s) are planned and don’t be afraid to move workouts around. I adjust my weeks so that longer VO2/sustained threshold comes first, then shorter VO2 and everything else follows.

I can remember Pete saying on the Podcast that he makes sure he prioritises his key TR workouts. I’ve adopted a similar approach and I’ll adjust the workouts week-by-week in an effort to ensure I go into each session in the best physical and mental state possible.

If I were you, I would consider taking the rest week and then try tackling week three of Sustained Power again. I’m coming towards the end of MV Sustained Power and I can really appreciate how each workout lays the foundations for the next workout. It seems that you’re constantly learning to deal with fatigue during this TR plan. Good luck :+1:

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Almost the same thing happened to me right at the end of Short Power Build, a week ago. I finished the build phase feeling strong, then did 2 epic outdoor rides, one at the beginning and one at the end of the rest week. Oops. :grimacing: A week later, I’m still trying to find the legs to get on with Cyclocross Specialty. I really wish the Plan Builder could adjust and guide me back to the plan.

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Couldn’t agree more. In my humble opinion for the Build phase there’s too much of a jump up between LV and MV for Short, General and Sustained, in terms of hours and TSS. I think the MV programmes could do with being tailored a little, as there is a profound increase between LV and MV, and much less of an increase between MV and HV. Interestingly, I don’t think this issue exists for the Base phase, where there is a more linear progression from LV->MV->HV.

Like you, I prefer sticking LV and doing kind of what I want at the weekend while the weather is better. I have done SSB MV with about 90% compliance but it was hard. From looking at Sustained Power Build MV I think I can definitively say it would be beyond me unless I was only cycling and in a phase of life where I could recover really well.


It may be working on maintaining the Normalized Power number to match the IF

What do those numbers mean?

0.60 – 0.69 is a recovery ride.
0.70 – 0.79 is an endurance workout.
0.80 – 0.89 is Sweet Spot ride, long road race.
0.90 – 1.04 is a road race, time trial.
1.05 – 1.15 is Criterium, short time trial.

1.16 is a track race.

Each of the above is in essence time limiting.

i.e 1hour at FTP is 100 TSS. or 1 hour at recovery pace 60-69 TSS From these you can do some Math’s on the Bike or before you go out on the bike you can workout what pace you may want to achieve.

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As a 47 year old mountain biker, I fully agree with this. During the winter I did SBMV1 followed by SSBHV1 likely with an overestimated FTP. Then I went into Sustained Build MV & by the 2nd week, the wheels were coming off the cart. I dug myself into a deep deep hole physically for sure but maybe even moreso, psychologically. I ended up finishing Sustained Build in Low Volume & did Low Volume Marathon MTB for specialty & rode outside a bunch as the weather got nicer.

When things were going bad, it was a nightmare. I’d get on the trainer & 1/2 way into a workout I’d be a wreck as I couldn’t do them even close to 100% & even when I could push hard physically, my mind simply did not want to do it. I’m not a quitter but I had to stop more than a handful of workouts which threw me for a loop. Once I dropped to low volume & got back to fun riding out side, things went well.

Since April, I’ve been doing low volume plans but only 2 days a week,usually skipping the 1.5 hour indoor session & doing 7-9 additional hours of riding how I want outside. It’s been working great for me. My FTP is steadily increasing & I’m getting faster, posting PR’s I’ve had since 2015. So to the OP, don’t be afraid to drop volume or tweak the plans to work around your fun riding outside. I bet you’ll still get benefits from the plans & get faster as a result.


A bit of an update with something very likely related.

Since that century ride my weight has gone up 7 lbs, and I’ve got a bit of swelling all around and particularly in my feet and lower legs. I believe I’m experiencing a bit of heat edema having gone from a constant 74°F for the past few months, then suddenly 85-90°F for the past week and a half. This is certainly part of the story.

I did kick off my mid build recover week this morning with Townsend. My legs felt light and fresh up to the end, I swear it was getting easier to spin them after an hour in. My HR was in my normal range for a Z2 ride.

I also fooled around a bit with the plan builder to see how it’d handle those Sunday rides as if they had been B events. Both cases it removed the preceding Saturday rides but otherwise carried on as normal.

I’m probably not adding much to what has already been said, but SPB MV is hard enough to get through on it’s own, but adding a century ride in the middle of it is asking for trouble. Overall you want to be monitoring your TSS ramp rate so if you do the long ride at the weekend, change your TR workouts the following week accordingly so you’re doing a lower TSS, in line with what you would have done if you’d just stuck to TR that week. Or if you’re wanting to continue with such long weekend rides you might be better switching to LV SPB.

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Are these TR ranges? I don’t think the first one is right and the second is possible to hit the lower end of the range.

You have to square the percent FTP and multiply by 100 to get the TSS for an hour. So a recovery pace at the top end of the range based on Coggan’s values would be .55*.55*100=30 TSS for an hour. A bit more math involved than that but it’ll get you in the ballpark.

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