Mixing races with SSB

I plan to start Sweet Spot Base soon. I plan to also do some weekend activities – Zwift races (because they’re fun) if the weather sucks, outdoor rides if not. I’m looking to ride 4-5 days/wk. (The races are usually 20-60 minute intense efforts.)

Is it a better approach to use the low volume SSB and add to it, or use the mid volume SSB and substitute?

Interested in this thread but would also ask…

I am training for my “A” race (a TT race weekend at end of June with a 16km & 40km TT on consecutive days). I have planned the SSbase, sustained power build, 40k TT (all mid volume) speciality plans accordingly but this does not include any races.
With the TT season in England starting @ April time where I could potentially race every week, how do you mix these in with the plans to get best results?


In that scenario I think either could work as long as you can cope with the amount of TSS. However looking at the plans I think I would use the mid volume plan and replace the Saturday threshold rides with the Zwift races.

That way you get the hard efforts racing alongside the sweet spot sessions and a recovery ride which would be a decent mix of sessions, if as I said you can manage the TSS


I did this exact thing last year but took a different approach. I raced a twice a week, a midweek 10, 15 or 25 and a longer 50, 100 or triathlon most weekends.

With that amount of TT’ing, none of which I prioritised or tapered for really as I’m primarily a triathlete and use the TT’s as training sessions, I was getting a large amount of threshold and sweet spot work and I felt that didn’t need repeating in training.

I took the Tuesday and Thursday sessions from the Climbing Road race plan and did one per week so that the training stimulus was as varied as possible. My week for example would be a midweek 10 as a 20m effort (or the 15 or 25 and associated time) plus a 45 min WU and a 20 min CD, a weekend 50 or 100 at tempo or sweet spot plus the WU and CD and a harder VO2 Max effort from the plan. I’d generally ride 5 times a week with 30 minutes doing Volunteer before my weekly interval run as a warm up and a long easy ride as well.

The plans are great but sometimes it may be better in some cases to cherry pick from them to suit your racing schedule. Specificity is obviously important in training to race but in my case I was getting that specificity from those races - I felt I’d gain more from adding in the variety from the training plans.

It took me essentially 12 or 13 weeks to get through the workouts from the 8 week road race plan (I had completed the SSB and Sustained Power Build High Volume plans prior to that so had a decent base to build on) and worked well for me this past season. I PB’d at all those distances this year so something must have worked! This may not work for you and no doubt you’d gain a great deal from following those plans as written but there’s more than one way to approach it which might be worth considering. Just a bit of food for thought.

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Thanks. I should have specified that I think the mid-volume SSB, unmodified, is about the right TSS load.

One concern was if I would be missing anything valuable by systematically skipping Saturday in mid-volume. It looks like Saturday is consistently over-unders and Sunday is generally big, flat SS blocks.

The other concern is that Saturday is one of the high-TSS days, and a race or two by itself – if they’re the shorter ones – probably won’t generate nearly as much TSS. But I suppose I can seek out a shortened version of the over-under workout to add if the race is short. (Particularly if I end up with the wrong group and it turns into a tempo-effort snoozefest.)

@JulianM thanks, that was really helpful to follow your reasoning .

That’s where you could be flexible…if the race turns into an easier ride do the Saturday workout the following week, if it’s a smashfest choose the easier midweek ride. Or, as you say, find a plus or minus version of one of them as appropriate.

If you’re following the ethos of the plan you won’t go too far wrong. Unfortunately Chad doesn’t know the ins and outs of all of our racing schedules so sub in and out alternatives to fit in with your life, races and to fit in the amount training stress that you can manage.