Joe Friel/Dylan Johnson vs TR specialty phase

Noob questiosn here. I read Joe Friel’s Training Bible book as well as watching Dylan Johnsons videos. Both Dylan and Joe go 12 weeks base, 8 week build then 1 or2 weeks peak and then 1 week race week where as TR has 8 weeks of speciality after the build phase.

  1. What is the purpose of a speciality phase? Is it essentially an 8 week Peak phase doing race specific intervals?
  2. If you focus on Vo2max work during the Build phase is there not a danger that the physiological benefits of Vo2max efforts being reduced over an 8 week speciality phase?
  • Good to start with the official TR info:

There are many paths to the same destination. Three training phases is quite common in endurance sports and what we used in college (though labeled differently then).

As for burnout… Coaching adolescents I have found most have a 6 week duration works best for that age group as they don’t have the years of training history behind them. For experienced riders with years of riding behind them you can actually hold a specialty phase for 12-ish weeks if not more. Look at those racing a series… They need to be in shape for the first race and the last. Not that they are peaking for that first race but they are full gas.

Are VO2 workouts in the base phase? For me personally base phase is a time to ramp up volume, take a break from the intervals and give yourself a bit of a physical and mental break from strenuous training. But that’s me. I wouldn’t personally do VO2 during base phase but have done some hill reps and tempo work. I guess you could, you just need to make sure you have ample recovery (more than usual) before you do the next one. Otherwise I wouldn’t call it a base phase. But again, personal terminology perhaps.