Plan builder says 3 weeks base and 8 weeks specialty, I'm thinking other way around

I started training last October for my A race on March 28 (obviously cancelled). I did a modified versions of High volume SS Base, Sustained Build, and Marathon MTB Specialty. I shut things down last week and I’m planning to take it easy-ish the next couple weeks and start over with structured training again April 6th. My A+ event is Leadville on Aug 16th and I’'ve got my fingers crossed it’s still going to happen. Otherwise, just more training for fun…

Anyway, I tried plan builder and it suggested 3 weeks SSBuild, 8weeks Sustained Build, and 8 weeks specialty. That’s really only 2 weeks of base work (after taking a few easy weeks off) and then a rest week before jumping back into build. While I feel like I’ve still got solid fitness right now, I’m leaning toward at least 6 weeks of base and cutting specialty down to 5 weeks. Maybe even 8 weeks base and 3 weeks specialty (basically just a little tuning and taper).

Part of this is me wanting a bit of a reboot before getting back into build intensity and part of it is that I feel like my base might need work since I’ve been mostly doing build and specialty since mid December. I also feel like the first month of build gives me a nice fitness bump and then it’s a lot of fatigue without much additional return for the balance of build and into specialty (so better to cut specialty short a bit). I’m 51 and tend to be a steady state diesel type and v02 work just wears me down.

Is there any reason plan builder is suggesting such a short base phase in favor of a full 8 weeks of specialty? For those of you who have tried to do 2 full training cycles in one season, do you have any advice on whether to go back with significant base work vs. minimal base?

The Plan Builder prioritizes your phases based on your self-declared experience level.

  • Beginner/Intermediate - More Base is most beneficial
  • Advanced - More Build Phase training will make you faster
  • Expert - More time in the Specialty Phase will make you race ready

If you would prefer the Base phase to be prioritized, select Beginner or Intermediate as your experience level, and the Plan Builder will adjust accordingly :+1:.

Happy training :slight_smile:

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Hi Bryce

Does the builder look at what training you’ve actually been doing or just goes from what you tell it? If not then any plans to incorporate a feature where it analyses the training you’ve done?

Even experts need base phases!

At the moment, we are not able to analyze the training you’ve done in the past to influence the plan we build using the Plan Builder. A little trial and error though, and you should be able to get things set up to your liking.

As for future plans, we are working to improve and evolve the Plan Builder continuously, so it will just get better and better with time :+1:.


Thanks. Good to know how it works, but I’m not sure the experience factor should a primary driver for recommended mix of base and specialty. A very experienced person who has been off the bike for 3 months certainly needs more base than an intermediate rider who just finished 3 months of base work. Rather than asking for the level of expertise, maybe a question about how much recent training you’ve done and what kind of training (at least until plan builder can incorporate training history and stuff already on the schedule).

Overall, I think plan builder feature is a cool concept and has a lot of potential. I see the initial release focused on getting the mechanics in place and hopefully serves as platform for “smarter” things to come. You could really get crazy with the analytics side of things with dynamically adjusting plans and training recommendations. Not sure how far TR is planning to take this aspect, there are a lot of cool things being done with performance analytics right now.

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