Sweet Spot Base - Transition from Traditional base

I’m 47 fit and lots of training and racing mileage under my belt over the last 20 years. Recently had back surgery (6 months ago). 13 week off the bike. Started riding again in early July. In Sept I completed traditional base mid volume 1. My FTP tested at 330 down from 365. I am not planning to race until December at the earliest (cyclocross). I am thinking about transitioning from traditional base to sweet spot base. I have two questions.

  1. Given my time off and slow ramp up would I be better served by staying in traditional base (II and then III) or moving to Sweet Spot base?

  2. If I move to Sweet Spot Base (mid volume) given I have completed traditional base mid volume I, should I move to Sweet Spot Base (mid volume) I or II?

Hi, @iamkramer, and welcome back. If you’ve moved through Trad Base so far without any back issues, nothing worrisome related to your recovery from surgery, I see no problem diving into SSB I. The first 6 weeks are totally devoted to raising your muscle endurance with nothing that exceeds your FTP by more than a few %.

SSB II, however, will throw you right into some VO2max work which worries me a bit considering the severity of something like back surgery. It’s also got some short sprints mixed in here and there, and I find those even more worrisome than the VO2max intervals.

Besides, the benefits attained during Trad Base don’t overlap Sweet Spot Base so much as complement them, or perhaps fortify them. So a bit of both is an excellent combination in my eyes.