Specialty Phase Struggles

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 .

1 Like

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!

1 Like

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?

1 Like
  • 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:

1 Like

Yes @mcneese.chad i saw that and replied to it.

I don’t think my suggestion was so off base as to need this degree of bolded response. I certainly was not trying to lead him astray, I was wondering if he was interested in looking at it.

If you you want to build ftp, do a build phase. If you want to primarily further your aerobic engine, do a base phase. If you want to prep for a specific event and have done the aforementioned to the extent that seems appropriate, do a specialty phase. My suggestion was to consider looking at the enthusiast specialty phases to see if they were interesting.


Sure, great to point out those Enthusiast plans since they often get overlooked. I was just trying to point out that I didn’t think they addressed the apparent core issue of FTP.

1 Like

My A event is not until November so not sure why I am on specialty phase now, i’d rather keep trying to build ftp but will follow the plan and see how I go

If you were trying to build FTP almost indefinitely: First, staleness, stalling etc. might be a problem with too many cycles of base-build. Second, this sounds a lot like Gran Fondo training - the Century specialty phase looks and smells a lot like Sustained Power build. Key difference seems to be 2xVO2, 1xthreshold in Build and 1 VO2, 2 threshold Specialty.

I just tried a system experiment and put in a year’s plan with no event and Gran Fondo as my focus - I got two 6week SS bases, SP build, Century specialty and then back to 2x (shorter) base, build, specialty. I think this will do what you ask for with just a bit of variety (only so much variety for a sustained power athlete).