No races due to COVID, should I skip the specialty phase of my current plan and start a new plan?

Hi all,

I am at the tail end of a 16-week high volume training plan and I am starting the speciality phase this week… The program has gone well… I have seen some decent changes in my FTP, but more so in my capacity to sustain a high power over time and my ability to repeatedly perform longer duration high-intensity efforts, recovery, and go again (e.g. 8-10 x 10min bricks at 350W (4.5W/kg) with 5min recoveries)… I could never have done this 5-6 months ago…:slightly_smiling_face:

I am coming off a rest week and I feel great… No residual fatigue at all… If anything, I actually feel like I am detraining due to the reduction in weekly volume that occurs during the build phase due to the higher intensity work… I have also put on a couple of kilos of fat as my hunger has increased due to the higher intensity training and lower volume of work…

Because I have no planned races soon (March 2022 would be my next big race), should I skip speciality and start a new plan from sweetspot base?.. I would be interested to know what people think…

Thanks.

Imo no issue with going back to base, but you should do is a few weeks or 2 of actual traditional z2 base before you head into SS. Gives your body and mind a bit of a rest. And keeps that fire and hunger going

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Good suggestion… I was doing 5 x 2hr Z2 rides on my trainer (Tues-Sat) and a 120km (3.5+ hr) outdoor endurance ride (Sun) per week before starting the sweetspot base plan… I think I should swap out the Sun sweetspot ride for the 3.5hr outdoor endurance ride… I miss that ride… It is nice to get outside and the workout definitely stresses your body differently…

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For sure. All work and no play makes me a dull boy. I split my fun and my workouts. Long rides with friends on the weekend and intervals in the week

I found the group rides with my friend to just add fatigue, which impacted on the quality of my intervals… Once I cut the group rides out I saw immediate benefits…

I must have been going the group rides wrong, or I have the wrong friends… :blush:

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Well it entirely depends on how you’re schedule is made up. But usually that’s the case with most people

Depends on what the rest of your year looks like IMO- specialty usually involves a drop in overall load, which might be a good thing if you’ve been working hard for most of the season. (as above, shooting for a TB program or a period of unstructured riding might also work there.)

If that’s not the case and you still feel relatively motivated and fresh then you’re probably good to go- you can repeat a base/build cycle a few times, but not indefinitely. I do think not racing presents a challenge to many people in that you don’t have the traditional taper/recovery periods or definite ‘off season’, so it probably just pays to exercise some discretion with how you’re feeling.

Good advice….

Thanks…

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