Struggling to finish base?!

MTB isn’t a great example though because most of that extra fatigue is from non-pedaling inputs. Its like saying TSS isn’t the same because doing burpees creates no TSS but an easy ride does.

When they say that not all TSS is equal they are saying that 100 TSS of endurance riding is not the same as 100 TSS of VO2 max. But if you do the same workout indoor and outdoor you would get the same TSS and the same training benefit

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You tend to get more tss from outdoor rides, simply because you tend to ride longer. If you ride at 50% ftp indoors or outdoors, that’s 50 tss per hour. Outdoors, it’s easy to do 3-4 hours at that intensity. You just wouldn’t do that indoors.


This really resonates with me. I’m turning 40 and find the SSB just too hard. Exactly as you say, each workout isn’t the killer, it’s the cumulative nature.

This year I’ve replaced the weekend ride with a long slow endurance ride. Usually 2-3 hours on the trainer with a low heart rate. This subtle change has allowed me to get excited for the hard workouts during the week and I have far fewer issues hitting them.

Ultimately I’m aiming for a more Polarized approach, and so far, the results have been promising for me.

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A transition period of 7-8h of traditional base is not to bad, especially if you are worn down by to much ssb. To overcome fatigue you have to either reduce volume or intensity or in severe cases even both. I hope you get i sorted out, good luck!

Realistically, as others have pointed out, you did not “really” do MV last year. It sounds like it was closer to LV. Since you had good results, LV seems like a good place to go. There are no medals for those who trained the most. I was a swimmer when I was young. “If some is good, more must be better” seemed to be the basic theory, it was crazy. More is just more. Once we exceed optimism, we are working very hard to reduce our results. I recently read a story on a champion Ironman triathlete who had done Kona for about 20yrs. He said the biggest difference between now and 2000 was training time now was about half what it was then.

As immediate next steps, my SOP when i’m run down and either failing workouts (or needing to skip workouts) is i keep riding but just do low intensity stuff. Do some low intensity until you feel normal, then reevaluate and jump back on whatever is the chosen plan.

It does not take much to go over the edge. Going into the 2019 season i had done SSBmv every year since it came out. But on a dumb trainer. Last fall i got a smart trainer . . . At first i was all excited about erg mode 100% compliance where before on the dumb trainer, I was hitting the workouts hard but knocking some watts off now and then. Over the course of the winter this difference, subtle as it was, really got me into a hole. I finally started using the intensity button (I’d never toughed it before). But it really screwed my season up. I guess the point is, you can be close to the edge and feel great but it does not take much to go over.

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Could it be the 5 week block of work? Don’t know of any coaches that prescribe that amount of training before a recovery week. Most will have their athletes do 3, while younger athletes might get away with 4, and masters just 2 before a recovery week is required. Personally, I’ve struggled with the 5 week on, 1 week off format on 3 occasions now and will be sticking to the tried and trusted 3 on 1 off from now on.

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Lots of good info here. I will probably move into build low volume instead of mid volume like I had planned. I’m kinda dumbfounded by my trouble with mid volume, as I would say my fitness level is fairly high.

It’s also worth considering that my ftp may be set too high, although I had absolutely no issue making it through any workouts up until the 9th or 10th week of sweet spot base. My heart rate does typically seem to be in a higher zone than my power zone.

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I believe im gonna give that a shot next year. I like the idea of extended the period a couple of weeks to get some more recovery riding in.

If the over under workouts felt difficult but manageable and not like you were gonna just keel over then I’d say your FTP is probably set correctly and the fatigue is the issue. But if those workouts are just flogging you then that could definitely be the issue.

If you share your TrainerRoad profile link I’m sure we could assess this for you

Can you give an example of a hard workout from week 8 that you completed without any issue, and then an example of a workout in week 9 that broke you?

I did Taylor, Clark, and hunter in week 8 with no problem and then failed carpathian peak +2 miserably in week 9, it’s been a massive struggle since.

Well put.

I agree with you here. I am wondering if 5 weeks before a rest is too much for a lot of us. I may go back to a 3 and 1 program next year (3 weeks progressive overload, one week rest).

On a LV “+” program (i.e. LV plus 1-2 rides:workouts per week), the 5-1 tempo is sustainable in my humble opinion. But that’s part of the tailoring that one must do to any program to fit one’s strengths and weaknesses.

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There’s a pretty significant jump in intensity from Taylor -2 (relatively easy 60 minute VO2 workout), Clark (hard start sweet spot intervals), and Hunter (sweet spot) up to Carpathian Peak +2 (90 minutes at 0.88 IF - over/under threshold workout)

Based on that progression, as well as a quick scan of your calendar I think MV is definitely too much volume for you.

Assuming you have your entire ride history loaded into trainer road I would not agree with your earlier statement that you have a high level of fitness. You haven’t been training with structure much at all, and your structured weeks are almost always followed by a complete breakdown in training for one reason or another

Perhaps most concerning - you blasted through SSBMV1 and then kept the TSS train rolling on the recovery week with 460 out of a planned 280 TSS. Without this recovery week, you went straight into SSBMV2 and predictably burned out after another week or two

Dial it back. Recovery, not training is when you get stronger. Nail a low volume plan then consider adding things in to low volume

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I’d say that you’re either not shedding fatigue fast enough, or it’s possible that you’re about to be sick and just haven’t noticed the symptoms yet. I had a similar experience just a week ago. Absolutely couldn’t get the power out for anything and about 72 hours later I had cold symptoms.

If you find it’s a fatigue issue, go back to LV, add in a weekday sweet spot ride of lower total tss 6-8 min intervals at the bottom end of SS, and convert that high tss weekend ride to a longer endurance ride (since you seem to have the mid volume time). That’ll generate a bit less TSS, but also create fatigue less fatigue and it’s a great mid-point between LV and MV plans.

That’s the base plan I’m working off of, and I have several friends doing it as well. We’re all in our mid 40s and can handle more than the LV throws at us, but MV is just a bit too much as we get into the last 2 weeks of the plans.

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Yeah by “high” I just meant that I’ve been bouncing around between 3.8-4.2 w/kg for probably the last 4 years or so, but definitely no structured training… just quite a bit of riding, a fair amount of mtb racing, and generally just pushing myself when riding outdoors. My calendar does only go back a year or so because that’s when I started using trainerroad and I didn’t estimate tss for rides before that time because I wasn’t training with power. I am very untrained, but fairly fit due to the type of riding I enjoy doing - going fast. I assumed since I have several years of doing hard rides, I’d be fine jumping into structured mid volume… but I may have been mistaken.