Sweet spot base + long Z2 outside rides

Hi all,

my plan is to start with Sweet spot base plan at 1st of December. I really like to have long Z2 rides outdoors so I want to follow TR SSB plan and on top of that add wednsdey 2h and sunday 3-4h outside rides.

  1. Does this complements with SSB
  2. Which plan do I need to pick? Low volume and then add outside rides or mid volume and then switch wednsday and sunday rides for outside?
  3. Do I need to be careful of progression in these z2 rides?

I’m current doing ssb1 mv and did a 5 hour zone 2 ride yesterday. The reason I did this 5 hour ride was because I begin week 6 on Monday and I know any excess stress and fatigue from the ride won’t impact on my ability to complete the upcoming workouts in the recovery week.

So as a pointer I’d say it’s ok so long as your can complete the harder workouts such as the overs/unders and you’re not replacing the harder more productive workout with these zone 2 rides.

The plan you pick really depends on how well you recover, training time and previous training history. E.g someone new to cycling might get a horrible shock with a high volume plan.

I wouldn’t worry too much about progression with Z2 rides, just go out and enjoy yourself, there’s no need to panic just because you rode an extra 30 minutes or something like that.

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Depends… if it is a 4 hour mainly Z2 ride that might be much more productive than a 1 hour SST indoor ride. Depending on terrain in a 4 hour ride it would be surprising not to get 30 minute of SST in even if trying to stay Z2 (and you can always pop some Z3 sections in on purpose as well.)
Personally I would replace an hour indoor with 4 hrs out, maybe not a 2h Z2 outdoor ride though.

^This. I would probably start with LV and add sessions an see how you go. You might be able to bump up to MV and replace the weekend ride with long outdoors if you can handle the stress. LV is the safer option to start with.

I would do this if you’ve had some experience with interval training in the past and the resulting weekly TSS is something that you are also used to.

The 90 min to 2 hour Sunday workout will usually be a tempo/sweet spot workout. If you read the notes, Chad always suggests that this can be swapped for a longer zone 2 ride. This doesn’t have to be 4 hours as previously suggested, however there is generally more benefit to 3h+ rides.

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This year i avereged 8hrs/week (after march 95% was outdoor) and i’m 4.6 watt/kg.

I am also starting base at start of December. My plan is to do HV but swap out a weekend ride for an outdoor Z2 ride. This way I keep all my base rides at SST or below, which is what HV plan gives you.

I will then wait until build to up the intensity above SST

The problem with starting this with the LV plan is that they are packed full of high(er) intensity rides to balance the much smaller number of hours. If you then add long z2 rides you could easily find you carry too much fatigue over into the next high(er) intensity ride and dont complete it with quality.

I’d suggest a MV or HV plan and simply swap out one or two of the rides for the z2 rides outside. That way you should hopefully avoid adding in more fatigue than the plan is designed for, and the rides following your outside rides will be lower intensity and easier to complete when carrying some fatigue.

This was the conclusion I came to. That basically I was best to swap out HV workouts rather than add to MV as the MV felt too intense when I looked at the workouts.


My feeling is if you are testing regularly with the ramp test as prescribing and your outdoors rides are truly zone 2, MV with a Sunday swap is very manageable. I’m 54 so no spring chicken.

My feeling from reading lots of posts of this forum and my own personal experience in a get a plan and stick to the plan first. Don’t manually adjust your FtP, accept the ramp test. Don’t bump up workout intensity just because you can. And go for 90-100% compliance. At the end of base, if that didn’t work then adjust.

Also I looked back at SSB LV there is only one day a week (And some weeks none) where you are above threshold. Sweet spot is tough but not high intensity.

Just my $0.02

I did this this week and racked up 14.5 hours. It’s doable but the fatigue is real. Depending on your age/recovery rate the fatigue may be different. I’m glad it’s Monday tomorrow and I get to rest :slight_smile: Good luck and let us know how you get on.

1 - I believe they talk in the podcast about adding z2 rides to increase volume if desired. I have done this and just adjust volume to make sure I’m recovering so I can hit the TR workouts hard.
2 - I think it is more a matter of how you deal with it psychologically. I prefer to add to the LV plan so I feel like I am completing all workouts instead of feeling like I’m skipping MV/HV workouts to ride outside. I think it just depends on how you think / feel about it.
3 - I would just be aware of your fatigue levels and make sure you’re recovering sufficiently. Until recently I was doing LV plans but riding 7 days a week. For SSBI/II LV I was able to stack the TR workouts Tues/Wed/Thurs, and add Mon/Fri - z1/recovery, Sat/Sun - 3-4hrs z2. Sustained Power Build was a big higher intensity and I did not adjust my schedule until too late. With the higher intensity of the workouts I was not able to recovery sufficiently with that schedule and had to adjust and prioritize 2 of the workouts.