SSB1 - How hard should it be?

So I’m pretty new to TR and into my second week of MV SSB1, after a false start and a couple of random TR workouts earlier in the year. I started coming of the back of a cold, a bit weak but now am back up to speed and I think I might be taking it a bit easy.

Listening to the podcast I’m very aware that it’s easy to push too hard, then also reading the forums that a lot of people struggle to finish the workouts. I ramp tested on a trainer, and garmin thinks on the road I’m about 235FTP, that feels about right. I got a little lower result ramp testing on TR on the rollers.

I did Ericsson the other day at 230ftp, ramped it to 105% and finished feeling like I didn’t really have a proper workout. Next day ramp tested, got 220ftp and rolled straight into tunnabora -4 at 230 without a break, again bumped it up to 105% while riding and I could have easily done it again. Yesterday I did Carson at 240ftp, again bumped it up to 105% and again I could have done it twice without a break.

I’m considering tunemah now at 250 (which according to the numbers I don’t think I should be able to finish), I’m happy to keep turning up the difficulty to fit my needs, but I really don’t know how much I need to turn it up at this stage? Is the training still good if I feel like I can double down on the SS workouts? It’s almost like the intensity feels about right but volume is light. I certainly don’t have the free time to add any volume. Is the training program still good if I keep upping the intensity, provided I don’t suffer too much fatigue?

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I wouldn’t go crazy with ramping up the watts just yet. If you get into week 3 or 4 and still feel like it’s too easy, then maybe start bumping up the intensity. SSB starts out usually very easy in the first few workouts, but it can sneak up on you. Have you done a lot of structured indoor training prior to this? If it’s your first go, wait and see how you’re feeling a few weeks in.


I would at the very least complete the first over-under workout before permanently turning up your FTP. If that workout feels too easy then turn it up. But if that feels like the unders are a brief but difficult respite and the overs are a hard but gradual ‘filling’ of the muscles then your FTP is about right. If they are a breeze then up your FTP.


i found most workouts "easy"ish and then i did my first over-under and was not wanting to finish (mentally)

Sweet spot workouts also are more mental than physical workouts for the most part. Are you on Low volume or mid volume?

He says he’s on MV.

I’d stick with the tested FTP, the first part of SSB is as much about getting used to the way of training as improving. If you increase your FTP by 5% then workouts like Warlow and Palisade which should be over/under your FTP would now be completely above your FTP. It also means that the workouts aren’t targeting the specific zones they were designed to do. Tunemah is similar. I’m a bit of a diesel so SS workouts feel easy to me but I did Warlow today as my first VO2 workout and it felt hard.

Ericsson, tunnabora and Carson are Sweet Spot workouts so shouldn’t feel that hard.

Given that you say you are time constrained could you do one of the +1 or +2 workouts which would give you either 15 or 30 minutes extra training rather than taking up another day/evening with a separate workout.

See how you are after finishing the plan, how many sessions you missed or struggled, do the next Ramp test and see where you are and what to do next.

Thanks for that… I’ve done a lot of unstructured indoor training. As in I’ve had zwift for a couple of years and just hopped about doing whatever training session or race took my fancy that day.

However along with reading the forum I think I might have just answered my own question tonight. I completed the first set of over/unders at 250ftp with the first set tough, and the last in a deep dark hole unsure if I’d finish. From reading the OU post on the board right now that seems just about exactly right.

I suspect ramp testing on the rollers doesn’t suit me. Looking forward to seeing how next weeks rides go now.


The dark dark hole of Over-Unders is right where you want to be on your first go.

I have Mary Austin -1 tomorrow, and she is notorious for crushing dreams, so I’ll be right there with you.

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Maybe resist the temptation to “overachieve” in SSB1.

After all, there’s a reason why we don’t jump straight into Build.

Are you doing your workouts on rollers as well? You should use the same equipment for workouts and ramp tests.

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