Low Volume Traditional Base worth it?

I know Sweet Spot base is the preferred plan that TR will recommend. But as I’ll be getting an earlier start on my winter/indoor training this year I was considering trying out a Traditional Base plan.

I’ve been riding a decent volume (100-ish flat miles/week) during the summer, but haven’t been following any sort of structured plan for the past few months.

I’ve recently started a strength training program that I’ll be continuing (I’ve never done any strength work in addition to structured riding), and I’ll also be trying to lose some quarantine weight in the process.

My thoughts were that the lower intensity levels of the TB plan would allow me to incorporate all of these together and adjust to it all easier than a SSB plan would.

However I know the real benefits of traditional base come from the longer hours at the lower intensity, so my question is…can i still make fitness (FTP) improvements on the bike with a low volume traditional base plan? Or should I just stick to SSB if I can’t fit in the Mid/High volume Traditional Base?

OldFart here.

At age 77, I now believe I wasted huge chunks of time, energy and youth on base training.

For myself today, I design my structured program, but instead of a base training period I use a lowest possible level of the structure. In training, you adapt to what you do. What you get is what you trained for.

If I were in serious, youthful competition again as an 880/miler, I’d cut the long run nonsense, and stick to speed, speed, speed. (race pace). For sakes, in the early 1960’s we believed a 30 mile plod was greater base training for the mile. That’s more or less where base training myths started. Cooper’s Aerobics did not help either.

Today, where ‘fast waddling’ best describes my running, I have had more success in training for 5-10 k’s by doing nothing more than two-minute reps on a track or road.

In my never humble opinion, decide your distance, decide your race pace, and then train the heck out of it in short time chunks with descending recovery periods.

Hope this is food for thought.



I’m not sure if the straight LV is super beneficial, but if you’re tighter for time during the week and have more time on the weekend you can look at adding the longer weekend ride(s) from the MV or HV plans, especially outside of the first block where everything is the same workout all week long - - mixes it up a bit more. :+1: I did find doing the TB work beneficial and allowed me to be fresh for my other triathlon training (while increasing my FTP) so it’s definitely worth a try to see how it works for you, IMO. :wink:

No. Start with MV if you want to do Trad base. I started there did all of them through HV. Base to modified HV SP now

I did this exact thing as you are considering late last year into early winter. I was off for a few months and back trying to lift a little more weight. So I decided to give traditional base low volume a go. I did traditional base 1 and 2 and saw a 10w bump in FTP. Nothing outstanding but I typically go up in small jumps anyway. After all that it wasn’t a significant bump but there was one. I do feel my legs were a bit fresher for weight training. My personal feeling is that it isn’t the best bang for your buck if you primary goal is cycling. But if you are looking for some strength improvements primarily in the early winter than I don’t think it’s a bad option. I did the first two blocks of traditional and then switched to sweet spot after that. This year has been the fastest I’ve been on the bike.


I really enjoyed TB MV2 & 3 this year (skipped 1…). After completing it this spring I regained about 30W (lost to sinus infection, holidays, and work) to my cx season peak from last fall (now that’s some base…). You’re spot on that the reduced intensity keeps you fresher. I’d worry that the LV rides are maybe a bit too short… I definitely had a sense that the benefit came from all the 2+ hours rides. But I guess if you’re going to couple LV with strength training, that could be a worthwhile tradeoff to keep the cardio in place without thrashing your legs for the weights.


Well I’m going to try TB LV and supplement a long ride on the weekend and a rotating mid-week group ride. Per the “fatigued” thread I seem to need a better aerobic base. While I am time crunched and don’t have 10 hours per week, I’m thinking that focusing on low and slow may still serve me well even at 6-8 hours. Worth a shot, I’ve never done a proper block of dedicated endurance training before.

After continually cringing at what plan builder spits out for me, it’s clearly time to try something different. Perhaps this will allow me to perform better with the more time crunched concept of SS training later on. Last year SSB MV seemed to leave me fatigued and sick too often. Seems there’s no easy answer for the 6-8 hour time budget constraints for endurance training, but I’m hopeful to see some long term benefits from some extended z2 time.

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I do LV 2-3 in november-december. And ad the occasionnal 15 minutes "hard’ part of taku at the end of the one hour work out. And taku on the off days except monday. The I move to the 4-3-3 version of SSB mid volume with the last sunday training of each block switched for the corresponding endurance ride. To keep the endurance. Through SSB. Once I’m through SSB it’s time to ride outside.

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