Short Power Build after Sustained Power Build even though focus on endurance?

I have a focus on endurance (century, double century). After a year, I have completed SSB1MV, SSB2MV, Sustained Power Build MV (one week to go). I have done three centuries now. I feel “prepared” and that besides increasing FTP, sustained power build is… attainable.

Is it smart to add short power build in the mix? Just for change sake and increase VO2Max?

I did body building before that, and there you would sometimes do what they call a “change up” where you just change your complete training routine just to give your body a new impulse to grow and adapt.

I’m considering a similar trajectory. I’m in 2nd half of MV sustained power build but plan on doing a road race speciality just to mix it up and force different adaptations. I normally race MTBs so would be doing short power build through to XCO speciality. I’m taking this ‘raceless’ season as an opportunity to do things differently!

Smart to shake things up, yes. Smart to do short power right after sustained? Probably not. I did short power earlier this year and I think it boosted my VO2max performance and pain tolerance. But it is HARD.

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Is it hard specifically after build (and why)? Or just generally.

I am particularly anxious for the 3 min VO2 intervals, similar to the 2 in build.


The 3 minute intervals are really tough. IWhen i did them, i do not think TR built up to them. When you do other workouts, weekly it shortens the recovery or extends the sweetspot area. I think doing a 1 minute interval, then a 2 minute interval, then a 1 minute interval and recover would be better. I struggeled with 3’s. I am an Audax rider all about endurance. I have had great results on TR, I switch out now selectively the VO2 max workouts , still do a VO2 max but one of the 1 or 2 min or the 3 minute ones that ramp up and back down.

The problem for me and many others with 60-90 second v02 intervals…is that they don’t really give much of a v02 response…unless very short rest periods (so say 60 secs on then 20-30 off).
Stuff like 60-90 secs on and 60 secs off don’t really get HR and breathing high enough for most people.

Most people need 3 min intervals to get a decent amount of V02 response…however I too find them v v hard, so more often I use workouts like Rattlesnake and Rattlesnake +1 which give you really hard minute to get HR up, then pile of short-short intervals.

If never tried Rattlesnake and want a really good V02 workout, give it a go!


Little bit confused - you say you’ve been training for a year but also that you’ve only done 3 of the plans which would total 20 weeks (or 19 weeks as you have 1 week to go). Did you spread the plans out or were you doing other training before that?

Just like body building, you do need to change things up regularly in cycling. But that’s already achieved by following the Base-Build-Specialty approach. There is absolutely benefit to doing VO2 Max work even for very long events, but the Sustained Power Build gives you that work already. I don’t think there is any benefit for your events to doing Short Power Build instead. And I wouldn’t recommend doing back to back Builds.

If you wanted to try Short Power Build I think the best approach would be to complete your current Build, then do Specialty or go back to Base (century speciality is fairly similar to SSB anyway) before doing it. If you’re fairly new to cycling I would also say that it’s definitely worth entering some shorter events as well. Even if the long term goal, or what you enjoy most, is the really long stuff, getting good at the shorter stuff will almost certainly benefit you. With the exception of real sprint specialists, the people I know who are fast in crits, road races, TTs, etc are also fast when they turn their hand to doing longer stuff.

  • I started in Mid November 2019 with SSB1MV
  • I started in December 2019 with SSB2MV
  • Week 4 was a nightmare, felt the flu coming, didn’t come. Redid week 4.
  • I started SPB MV Mid February 2020.

Then, mid way through, felt feverish (corona popped up, not sure if I had flu or mild corona, took 4 weeks, everybody around my was also ill/feverish. Got something by somebody).

  • March 2020: Had enough of Build for a moment after fever, did outdoor rides and got a power meter for outside. So I was figuring out indoor / outdoor FTP and how to use power meter. Led to a bit too much exhausting rides outdoors initially, messing up indoor training. Took me a month, but did training consistently, but mostly outside.

Tried to resume SPB MV, but set my FTP too high based on outdoor training. Could not finish trainings. Redid a couple of them, keep failing. Took some time till I understood that outdoor FTP is not indoor FTP.

  • May 2020: started SPB MV again with fresh muscles fully recovered.

  • Now: entering last week of SPB MV.

Finally, did three centuries in the last month (almost every Friday/Saturday a long ride). And sometimes I swapped my easy Wednesday ride for a Zone 2-3 ride outside.

I am only doing TrainerRoad for about almost a year now. But as I understood it, the philosophy is a “pyramid” with strong base, then build, then specialty. But I understood it as: you need muscle endurance, which is the strong base. And at the end, you top it off with peak VO2 for that final edge on top of your FTP.

You mean I shouldn’t do Build > Build > Build?
What would you recommend instead?

To me, that sounds like Short Power Build…

Yeah, I also read that. Thanks. For me, that is definitely the case. When I am fuelled up and I do something like Baird + 6… only the last set of intervals really hurt. Before that, I have plenty of energy left in the tank.

I think Chad also says that in the messages: “the last intervals is where it counts”. E.g., you need to build up a reasonable amount of fatigue and exhaustion before you get that VO2 response.

If no specific event in near future then most would recommend
Base 1, Base 2 - Build - Base 2 - Build - Base 2 - Build etc.

So generally repeat SSB2 and Build (with SSB1 to start if not done it already).

But can certainly mix up which build you do, if fact I would highly recommend changing the build. The last build you do before moving to speciality phase should be one most like your target event.

So for example if I was focussed on a TT I might do Base - General build - Base - Sustained power build - TT plan.

If focussed on say CX
Base - General or sustained build - Base- short power build - CC plan.

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Base->Build->Specialty; or

Base->Build->Specialty->Build if the Specialty is Century which has a lot of Sweetspot work; or


Was thinking more about events than training. Doing some crits, shorter road races and TTs (road bike TTs if you don’t have a TT bike) will fast track your learning process as a cyclist. And it’s fun! You don’t need to do Short Power Build to be good at those events - I’ve never done that plan in my life and my short power is pretty bad, but I’ve won crits because I have a good threshold and endurance which means I can be dangerous if I get in a break, and my numbers don’t fade too much so I can be competitive in a group sprint if it’s been a hard race and the sprint specialists have had the edge taken off them. And you certainly don’t need good <1 minute numbers for road racing and TTs.


It’s hard generally. IMO it was the hardest of all three builds (I’ve done Sustained Low Volume with a newborn, General MV, and Short power MV). Short Power MV was the most challenging for me.

But more to the point, any back-to-back Build is going to be extremely difficult and could easily lead to burnout. It depends on the athlete: their level of fitness coming in, their recent training history, their ability to recover, and their goals.

In general, I wouldn’t prescribe back-to-back builds with the structure and intensity of a Trainer Road program. I think most athletes would be better off finishing out with one of the Specialty phases, or if there are no goals coming up, going back and revisiting Base. I’ve revisited Base twice in the last two years after my first Build of the season, and both times, I’ve seen gains in doing so, and been able to attack the second Build more fresh than if I had tried to dive into back-to-back builds. YMMV.


I wouldn’t recommend Build - Build, let alone three in a row.

As others have recommended, Build into Specialty or revisiting Base if you have no goal events coming up are the ways to go, IMO.

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Thanks for all the input. TR forum keeps amazing me.

So I guess I’ll do either Century Specialty or more SSB2 MV (coupled with more outdoor rides once the weather allows it here… been raining SO MUCH).

Out of curiosity, which way did you go?

I have similar focus on endurance and pondering same question. Luckily discovered XC Marathon specialty plan is somewhat similar to SPB but with more focus on sustained efforts i.e. it’d gives best of both directions :thinking:

Although I’m used to little bit higher load (TSS-wise, that is). I guess I can just slap Z2 to all high-intensity workouts to prolong those to 2hr?

Heya, yeah, it’s been a while. So I opted to do another Build MV with more outdoor rides (150-170km) to get more muscular endurance. After this, I am going to do Sweet Spot Base Training 2 MV again, and then Build again. That’s my setup for now.

I am reserving Short Power Build for when I anticipate to go outside again, so probable March+April 2021 will be Short Power Build for me. Up till then, focusing on Build / Base cycles.

Also thought about doing Specialty Century, but I just want to focus on building more FTP quickly now. For me, it’s already easy to do a century. I just want to be able to do it faster for now.

On the other hand, specialty block contains tapering period that I don’t need :thinking:

Gravitating toward doing ShortPB now, despite voices of reason. Having done 2xSSB > Chad’s short FTP boosting block > SusPB since last autumn, I’m quite certain can endure it physically. As most workouts are outdoors and MTB is completely new area for me, I hope to dodge mental burnout. Besides, I don’t train for any event, so can step back any time feeling overwhelmed.

Another option mentioned on the podcast a few times, spend a few weeks focused on VO2 work (or anything else you don’t do regularly). Can’t remember the precise details, but similar to the short FTP block linked above but mix in some comparable workouts (time, interval duration, and intensity) to spread the work over two to four weeks of VO2 only, I think it was. Mind your TSS and stay within what’s reasonable for you.

Thanks for your recommendations. Question
I am not a racer I just enjoy riding with friends. So for me increased FTP is more important. What would you recommend:

SSB 1&2, short power, SSB 2, short power, SSB 2


SSB 1&2, short power, SSB 2, general or sustained, SSB 2, etc

My understanding is short power breaks your ceiling and sustained allows you to work at you ceiling for long durations.
So my logic is break thur my ceiling, work there then break thur my new ceiling
( short, sustained, short )


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What volume? The SSB2 LV plan has a bunch of pretty high intensity already in there for example. I think the idea of working on short power to raise your ceiling is probably more relevant to VO2 Max work than Anaerobic work which is what Short Power Build focuses on. If goal is higher FTP I would say General Build is probably more suitable.

All said and done though, if the goal is to enjoy riding with friends then work on whatever is going to make those rides more enjoyable. If those rides are flattish cruises where you sprint for town signs, then work on your sprint and take the glory. If you’re punching up short hills then work on your VO2 max 2-5 minute power. If you’re riding up mountains with them then go do some sustained power.