Specialty Phase Struggles

Anyone else here really struggle with the specialty phase? I’m only on a low volume plan but I am really struggling to do a 1.5hr vo2 Max workout on Saturday after an aerobic one Tuesday and another vo2 max on Thursday.

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Yes, I chose climbing road race and yes it is much much harder than the preceding sustained power build. FTP seems to be stagnant too according to AI detection. I’m going to finish the phase though but next time I’ll probably do 2 builds instead of a specialty.

TR should make an non event preparing FTP building programme


I tried the mtb xco speciality and I did the hard sessions but was too tired to do any of my z2 long rides so I abandoned it and went for LV build instead.
Otherwise I use Train Now and adapt the plan to suit my own needs.
I am an old git ,so have longer recovery needs :sleeping:


40k TT specialty? Nothing above threshold in that.

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No it’s a gravel race program

I’m thinking of dropping the 1.5hr vo2 Max workouts each Saturday for an outside ride.

I might consider that or century plans next time too, the latter one being very similar to sustained power build

The century plan isn’t much better in my recent experience as the VO2 and threshold workouts I’m getting are almost identical (5 minute intervals with only 1% changing the workout from one zone to the other).


Good idea.as you will need the endurance for gravel .

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Regardless of phase, if I feel too smoked heading into the “Hard” Saturday that TR assigns, I just pick a mid-level Sweet Spot ride and do that instead.

Leave the scheduled work out in place as skipped. AT will likely adjust your plan after that, which is fin and a good thing. At 48, I am making this swap fairly often, but not all the time.


I believe specialty is intentionally set up to more or less hold ftp steady and focus in on the demands of the target event.


I always struggle during specialty, I can do the workouts they are just hard and repeated. Gets you ready for your A event or peak fitness or strava segment smashing whatever floats your boat. I always find my limits during specialty. Do your best and forget the rest!

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Yes, that’s what the description says indeed, it is meant to “hone your skills”. Since this is my first year I just want to complete a training cycle and see how it feel but like I said next cycle probably will just be base/build followed by another build or build base unless I did have an event (which is very unlikely)

Have you looked at the “enthusiast” specialty options?

How would any of those Enthusiast plans address the concern mentioned (Stalled FTP)?

  • Do you have an idea what you’d like that to actually be or look like?

It would not address stalled ftp, but the post I was replying to focused on doing a specialty phase without a goal event. As we already established, specialty phase does not aim to increase ftp. A cycle of base build would do this and was the other option he was considering.

a cycle of base/build maybe alternating short or general build with sustained build?

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  • That is part of the proposition, but the alternate to chasing an actual event in that post is clearly FTP. It’s mentioned twice in that post and is the focus (even if not directly stated) rather than simply and “event-less Specialty phase”.

OK, that makes sense. I’d have to search, but I do think that having a “Specialty Free” Plan Builder option has been mentioned and may have an existing Feature Request.

I think it is a good suggestion and should be part of a checkbox option at the point people can say they don’t have any target events.

Edit, I found the related request:

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