In the drain for a couple of weeks... part of the deal?

I’ve been in the base - build - base - build regiment for about 2 years now, pretty consistently (sweet spot base + sustained power build). But typically after halway the second build, I just cannot get to push myself and need some weeks of doing zone 2. And I just don’t feel like “pushing” myself in sustained VO2 workouts (6min / 8min 108% intervals).

Am I the only one? How to deal with this? Is this what some people call “residual fatigue” due to too much sweet spot work or too much intensity?

And it’s weird especially for me, because I love riding my bike and I do 160-200km endurance rides about 1-2 times about every 1.5-2 months.

IME by the time I get toward the end of build I’ve just been doing too much VO2 and threshold. It’s basically 14 weeks of that and it’s just too much for me to handle. I wish base was a bit lower intensity so that you don’t come into build with so much intensity in your legs already. It just compounds too much. I don’t think I could ever get through a whole base-build-specialty cycle without just dying.

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Yeah that’s how I feel. First base is too easy, first build is awesome like “how can my legs do this”. Then second base is like “hmm… it’s just base”. And then build is like “why are my legs so heavy”.

Typically I become extremely frustrated (also as I have specific FTP goals for a year), and I just quit. Just get my bike, go outside for zone 2 and just see how I feel. Then, after 1-2 weeks, I try base or build again and typically I can do it again.

Well they just changed the plans and workouts, so perhaps you will get less burnt with the new progressions?

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Yeah, I just quit second half of the “old” build. I guess I’ll do some Z2 rides and start fresh with the “new” build next week.

EDIT: Was also actually curious how base / build cycles feel for others.

I usually struggle by the end of the second half of build.

That is exactly where I started failing. FTP was rising nicely, trainings were progressing. But then after rest week I immediately exploded and did not recover really. Started first half of build again, but 8 min 108% intervals were too much (Failed them 2 times now).

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Sometimes I do something else for a week between starting my next block or I’ll even go back to Base 1.

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Also, am I just fatigued or am I also losing FTP in the process of going milder on myself for a week or so?

Coz of course the biggest fear is FTP drops…

EDIT: anyway, great to hear I am not the only one. Apparently there is a limit to how far you can push yourself and for how long, even though you try to recover, eat well, sleep well etc.


I’ve had this exact experience many times, but I have completed a few full base-build-specialty progressions (2020 was really good for me). Doing lots of VO2 and over threshold work is psychologically tough…

One thing I have found is I really need to respect the rest weeks - I find especially in the summer it is easy to do too many group rides etc which end up having too much intensity… so they end up not really being rest weeks at all.

If you can get into Specialty, I find the overall intensity is much easier to manage - I would often burn out towards the end of general build, but every time I’ve got into Specialty I’ve found it more or less OK.

Of course, with the new progressions it could be much more manageable now.

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1 - You aren’t the only one.

2 - In my first time through SusPB LV (with 2 additional active recovery rides and 2 extra endurance rides) when I hit the second half I needed more recovery. What I ended up doing was prioritizing what I viewed as the two most important workouts and made the rest optional / best effort and scaled down my endurance rides. The goal was to prioritize hitting the 2 key workouts hard and then recovering. An option I considered for the next pass through, but haven’t done, is to add an extra recovery week in the middle and make it 3 x (2 weeks on, recovery week) vs the planned 2 x (3 weeks on, recovery week.)

3- Since the fatigue hits you in the second half of SusPB, I would guess it is probably too much intensity / not enough recovery. Not just rest weeks, but during the ‘on’ weeks as well. I cut back on overall volume and weekly TSS when going through a build so I can focus on the hard efforts and recovering. Then I’ll ramp volume and weekly TSS back up when the overall intensity is lower. I felt the suprathreshold workouts in the second half of SusPB came out of no where and punched me in the face.

If this happens on a semi-regular basis, to me it means the the plans needs to be adjusted to meet your particular needs (overall volume, # intense days per week, recovery needs, etc.)

I’m guessing the new plans and AT will take care of these issues, but I experienced the same in the past. The last week or two of the build phase left me destroyed even on low volume, and unfortunately my motivation would drop as a result.

Build MV was impossible for me, and I’ve done a lot of hard work before TR using CTS Time-Crunched builds. I would have never done the old TR Sustained Build MV, and IMHO the new plans are a step in the right direction and look nothing like the old ones (don’t see any long vo2 workouts in MV Sus Build). To my fifty something eyes the old plans appear to be designed for twenty somethings with naturally high aerobic capacity and ability to recover. Thirty plus years later I still recall being able to doing back-to-back all nighters studying for finals, then sweat out a couple final exams, and then party hearty and head out for an epic adventure weekend. That was even possible in my thirties. You might want to critically think about how you respond to training, what works, what doesn’t, etc. I did that and decided TR’s base-build progression wasn’t working for me so I went a different direction. No easy answers, we all respond differently to training.

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Even young people who might be able to handle, could go faster with a lower training density. It all depends on the athlete. I think the old plans are a very old school approach and they’re just not gonna work for everyone, age aside.

To OP, it’s not just you, I would be in the same boat. The Build plans for me are either too hard, or too long, depending on how you slice it. Like one cycle, I’d get pretty fast, but two together and I’ll be on the downslope of being too tired to perform rather than peaking. Alternatively, I could cut out some workouts and make it more sustainable, and then go the distance.

It sounds like you’re at the point where you’re figuring out how anf where you need to modify the plans to individualize them. That’s not a bad thing. You should feel empowered to do it.

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