SSB II is killing me

Umm… no*

*ok, yes. What you can’t overlook and this is critical in my opinion. You’ll learn to suffer. That in turn makes you a tougher rider. As a very famous cyclist once said, ‘it never gets easier, you just get faster’.


I did SSB HV 1 np. Low carb. SSB HV2 I died in week 4. Ate carbs (racing weight program), no more diet and changed the last 2 weeks to SSB MV2 with some programming of my own or zwift in between. All fine now. To much 2 hour workouts is just killing imo. Also carbs added a lot to my performance.

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Also in 3rd season, I find similar problems in long o/u. Carp peak +2 is just massive step up going to 16 mins o/u from I think nothing more than 8 min previously. This year finished for first time but only with 3-5% reduction and a couple backpedals in latter sets. But longer work staying just below threshold or with short break eg Mary Austin -1, has been doable.

Point is even with multiple passes through ssb, it seems like it can still highlight very specific weak spots after you get past the eating, sleep, long term conditioning after multiple seasons indoors and mental improvements that are all great advice above.

My first season felt like what op describes - after the carp peak fail, I used improving weather as an excuse to ride outside more and abandon structure that I couldn’t do with a ftp that I now realize in hindsight was set a few watts too high. Don’t give up like that… Drop ftp targets to make most of them doable, and know it’s ok if a few still aren’t 100% doable - they will tell you exactly where you still need work. My ftp has been flat for a couple years, but after better plan compliance, I can hold and repeat power near it so much better now. That’s more useful than gaining a few more watts on a 5 min segment and being done for the day!


:arrow_up: :arrow_up: :arrow_up: This …

Exactly my experience all well so far - 1 week left of SSB LV2 and only now starting to get my head around the longer high level SS intervals

Just tweak the intensity as needed to complete the entire workout - you’ll still get benefit and also a bonus is the psychological boost of having ‘completed’ the workout :smile:

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Just lower FTP by 10 and go through them. Some of the hardest workouts are in SSB2


This is my second year with TR. Last year, I think SSBMVII broke me mentally a bit. I started picking and choosing and kind of creating my own thing after it when it was build time, but of course that also corresponded with outdoor season picking up. I really didn’t see any improvement over the prior year, which was mostly outdoor rides with hill climbs, and zwift racing. This year I’m doing LV + more recovery zone rides (rather than endurance) hoping to be fresher. When I went into SSBILV, I thought I tested particularly low, but took the number, and completed no problem. On retest for SSBIILV, I went up 18 watts (to what was my “usual” in-form FTP) but again found it was beating me down, so I’ve knocked it down to roughly half the gain, and it’s somewhat better, though judging by my performance on Disaster, I’m still lacking on repeatability and > 115% efforts.

I think failing workouts has been really bad for me mentally. I never used to bail at all, but sometimes I’ve found myself bailing now before HR goes red-zone. I even bailed on an outdoor hill climb this summer, something I’ve never done before in my life.

So I may knock it back even a little more, to have more “success” and rebuild mental toughness.

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Like you have stated - workouts durinf SSB II LV are way harder but they mostly rely on mental aspect (especially during 4-5th week). But what I found fascinating that when your mind tells you to stop and you overcome this urge some of the workouts become “easier” or at least not much harder. I had two workouts when my mind was telling me to stop, my HR was raised and my whole body was signaling that I will not be able to finish - but for me this is the normal part of any physical activity and the moment when the magic happens. Without truly pushing your body you there is no progress in your fitness.


I’m in my second season where I failed ssbmv2 with a jump from 230w to 235w on completion of mv2.

This year I took the approach of ssblv with extending the rides with + versions where I had the time and felt fresh as well as outside rides at the weekend. This saw a jump from 225w to 250w.
During lv2 I’ve failed a couple of the Saturday workouts and dropped down to 245w to finish the program. I’m interested to see the results, I don’t think I’ll see any ftp gain personally as it was too brutal to add in additional volume.
I’m excited to see what build brings as it finishes just before a cycling holiday

I’ve been using TR for about 6 years. I’ve learned a lot about what NOT to do.

I think it’s wise to NOT raise your FTP between SSB 1 and SSB 2. If you do, just do 1 or 2 %, but at that point, what’s the point??

Regarding VO2max…adjust down or up if needed…to finish the intervals. Shouldn’t need to adjust down the 1 or 2 minute jobs, but the 3 min ones, don’t feel bad about dialing down even up to 5%.

Don’t adjust the sweet spot intervals. If you need to, your recovery, fuel, or FTP is off ( or a combo of the 3).


Carpathian Peak +2 took my soul and stepped on its face this week. Three weeks into SSB2MV and I’m in a hurt locker… week 5 is gonna be a bear. :scream:

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What were the outcomes that you had that make you suggest no increasing between the two? Do you test between the two base phases? I’m just starting TR but have been mountain bike riding 3 times a week or so for lots of years, just for fitness and group riding fun not racing. SSLVBase1 was super easy really, even Palisade. Kaweah, was a bit more difficult yesterday, but I’m going to chalk that up to too much holiday cheer this week. I’m definitely seeing some workouts in SSB 2 that have me intrigued since I don’t ride VO2Max style very much. Lots of long grinder uphills in our neck of the woods.

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So I just progressed to Sustained Power Build from SSBMV2. I had a big jump in FTP and the first week has crushed me pretty bad. The Tuesday V02 workout was the instigator that set me up for destruction/failure. I dialled back the subsequent workouts in order to make it through them and keep excellent form.

Lesson for me is adjust accordingly to keep good form and make the end of the sets. Failing isn’t a bad thing but you want to be on the cusp of failing I feel for sustained build. For SSB you probably want to be completing the workouts even a little easier.

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Your on the same plan as me. Tomorrow I start and I’m super pumped for it. And I can’t wait for my ramp test tomorrow.

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There is a really chance I’m approaching TR and the workouts incorrectly but I honestly believe that SSB 1 is the Taster and SSB 2 is where Coach Chad discovers what he and you are working with. SSB 2 brings a lot of riders back to earth with a bump. If you open your mind and accept it as a learning curve, you can isolate your weaknesses.

Personally I’m not a fan of people saying they failed. Did you give the workout 100%? If so, you’ve learnt something valuable and that is success. Next time you face a similar session, you can with prior knowledge, tweak how you approach the session.

Failure is not even trying.


Yeah, with you on that. I’m not keen on the ‘failed’ term either. You’re training, it’s not a frigging exam.

Also wonder if people would feel the same about workouts if they were working with a face-to-face coach. Lets say the coach is sitting on the bottom of the hill, asking for hill reps. At some point, you shake your head and can’t do another one. Would you go home and say I failed? Or would you go home an say, I trained really hard today?


I’m on my second week of SSBLV2, I found week one pretty easy TBH but it may be that the workouts suit me. The workouts in SSBLV2 are a bit more varied than those in SSBLV1 which were mostly Sweet Spot work so it may be that you specifically struggle with VO2Max workouts.

My FTP rose from 241W to 242W in the Ramp Test last Monday so no earth shattering improvement there. As above FTP (in Trainerroad terms) is just there to align your abilities with the workload in the workouts. The ramp test FTP is actually 75% of your Maximal Aerobic Power whereas the 8 minute and 20 minute FTP tests match points on an idealised power curve so your predicted FTP is 95% of the 20 minute test value and 90% of the 8 minute test. Depending on your physiology and previous training history one is likely to be more accurate than the others. Even then there’s a bit of 'settling" as you fine tune things, your FTP may not be 75% of your MAP for example.

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Really valid point. A coach ‘might’ be able to give you pointers with regards to your nutrition, rest and even cadence for each session. This is why I find the Podcast to be such a valuable resource. It’s almost as if your able to pick Coach Chads and Coach Jonathans mind.

End of the day, if you start TR and fly through Base, Build and Specialty, there is equally something wrong and you could well have wasted 4-5 months of training.

Well… this is so good! “Failed” last night Juneau -1, SSB MV 2. Got dehydrated and could not get past the last sweetspot interval. last 9 mins. So frustating. Anyway, for me is not a failed workout but as @PusherMan said, learned a bunch of things for this. Plus i got pretty close to the end.

it’s probably the fan issue, but lots of athletes struggle with these intensities indoors. It’s pure training and not as fun as being outside IMO, so anything over 15 mins or so seems to draaaag on.

Keep the intensity up, but take a 2 minute break to refocus. It won’t hurt the adaptations, and this way you’ll still nail all the Time in Zone and the Intensity needed.

Hopefully that helps you so that you continue progressing!


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I start SSB LV2 tomorrow with the ramp test. This has got me nervous for the next 6 weeks or so! First year on TR but did my own structured training last winter for the first time. I don’t think I pushed myself too hard mind when I look back, hence trusting these plans :slight_smile:

I get @bsladics point about not raising the FTP between the two looking at it, seen as a lot of the workouts go from sweetspot in SSB1 to threshold (95-99%) in SSB2. Upping FTP would raise the actual output a lot more if there is an FTP bump from the test.