(Newbie on TR) Thoughts on repeating base phase?


Newbie TR user here. Been riding on and off outdoors for the last 7 years but for the first time doing indoor structured training / seriously trying to improve. 5’10, 165lbs/75kg, 35yo, ~200FTP.

I skipped many SSB1 training sessions in favor of outdoor rides, where as now I’ve been properly following SSB2. I’m currently on Base 2 - mid volume and entering my last two weeks. I find that of all the workouts, the sweet spot and over/under ones were the most challenging (vs. Thresh-hold or VO2). I’ve been a decent climber but endurance strength has been lacking, and feel that I could improve more there before moving to build/speciality. I feel way more put together and pretty FTP sure will increase a bit during my next ramp test in 2 weeks.

All this said, will it more beneficial for me to repeat my SSB training given my weaknesses, or should I just move on to speciality despite skipping a lot of the early base trainings?

I’d suggest Sustained Power Build. Plenty of workouts in there to keep building your muscular endurance while you’re getting some challenging vo2 work too.

:point_up_2:This explains why you…

Come back when you’ve done Spencer +2 and Lamarck…


I would certainly repeat base…I can’t see the point of anyone doing speciality at the moment. What for ? there are no races. But repeating base will always help but hopefully with a higher FTP or maybe more compliance…although outdoor riding is probably better than most of the SSB sessions anyway (apart from Saturday o/u - keep that) if you have the time for sustained zone 2 rides of several hours.

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So I’ve finished Spencer +2. Similar to my other VO2 max workouts, ended up being relatively easy and pushed the intensity to 108% at the end and still felt i had more left in the tank.

Lamark (threshhold) was pretty tough, but was able to finish it (just barely).

Leconte (longer 1:30 threshhold) was the toughest so far this week.

I expect I’ve been training under my current fitness and expect a good FTP jump coming up. I’ll give build phase a try (sustained power) and see how things go unless anyone else has other thoughts.

That’s interesting. If you can do Spencer +2 at 108%, but only barely finish Lamarck, it sounds like your threshold is currently quite a low percentage of your vo2 max.

So if you get a big bump in your ramp test, don’t be surprised if you struggle to complete the weekend workouts with longer intervals in SPB. But you can always knock the intensity down a bit.

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Any recommendations on how I improve threshold as % vo 2 max?

Back to back Build is generally not recommended:

Stick at it! It’s quite common for riders newer to structured training to be better at shorter, higher intensity intervals. Just keep doing plans with plenty of long intervals from 85-100% threshold, and your muscular endurance will improve. If necessary, replace the prescribed workout with an easier version (e.g. 3x12 or 3x15 tempo instead of 3x20).

Also, these long intervals will really burn through your glycogen stores (even more so than vo2 workouts), so fuelling well will really help.

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Oh just for clarity, this would be my first build (just about to complete SSB1 + 2 in 2 weeks) and my question was should I go into build or repeat base phases.

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Great, appreciate the tips! Thank you.

OK, then your title is misleading and may be worth editing (build > base)


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Doh, just changed!

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Being able to increase intensity on vo2max intervals is not directly related to your FTP. If Spencer +2 was easy then keep the vo2max workout goals in mind:

That is from Mills, says it better than the goals in Spencer +2.

Why is that? Because above FTP there can be huge differences between people, some may have to reduce intensity, a lot can do intensity as prescribed, and some can go well above target intensity. You might simply be anaerobically strong and should be doing all vo2max intervals at a much higher intensity.

Being able to bump up intensity on vo2 work does not necessarily imply an FTP increase is coming soon.

Hope that helps!

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Interesting - thanks! Will report back in 2 weeks once I do my ramp test (next is rest week).

Sounds like your FTP is close to correct, assuming you were 100% ready to go before starting Lamark. Or you are anaerobically strong and like others you simply test high on ramp tests, and your FTP is set a bit too high.

And if vo2max at 120% prescribed is easy, that you are anaerobically strong (fast twitch muscles, good at short&punchy efforts) and should always be increasing intensity on them.

Regardless you might see a bump on next test. Just keep in mind The ramp test often errs on giving higher FTP if you are anaerobically strong.