I believe people will find the SS or THR workouts hard a lot of the time because they are not fueling correctly or pacing them wrong. As is mentioned, unless you have set your FTP set too high then by definition you should be able to complete intervals at SS and THR with good success. Yes we all have bad days but if these workouts are evoking comments “I simply cannot do them” then your FTP is too high.
VO2 max sessions are different in that you often have to be in the mood to hurt yourself.
The way in which TR uses FTP, to set zones, is appropriate. There might be more sophisticated ways to do it; iLevels, TTE, etc., but they are using the metric for its intended purpose. To anchor a training plan to the riders capabilities.
People glob onto FTP as the progression metric because it is easy to communicate and compare. Telling someone what your PD curve looks like is hard. The majority of people would go cross eyed at the concept. Big number = good is easy.
Thanks for this @Captain_Doughnutman and @themagicspanner - you’ve actually made me look at the plans in a new light. I’ve gone through my scheduled workouts and realised that TTE isn’t really being stretched significantly. I think I’m going to try tweaking my SSB period to be more progressive. There’s already a few 3 x 30m workouts sprinkled through the plans, but I think I may try extending some of these to 45mins+ on some of the later workouts… maybe even cumulating in a 1 x 60m to really test things. Should be interesting to see the difference.
I look at these things through the lens of ‘how does this apply to my goal?’. For example, my first A Race is a ~30min TT so I’ve reorganized my SSBase to reflect the requirements of that duration (and in several forms (e.g. 1x40min, 8x5min/30s). This is prepping my brain and body for the demands of the event but also for the upcoming Threshold block of training where I’ll do more of the same just at higher power.
The hours and TSS in my modified plan are not that different than TR’s SSBHV2 (if at all), the most significant change is the duration of interval length.
Other TR users who are doing this just for fitness or perhaps a less specific goal might find that the ‘as is’ SS progressions give them exactly what they need. If it works for you, go with it. If you need something different then change it up.
I also agree short SS intervals aren’t great, in fact I personally don’t like the plans. I mentioned it before but actually I do exclusively SS on the trainer nothing else, starting 3x12 and will work up to 2x20 (3x20 weekends).
My objective is to be able to do a trainer workout 5-6 times per week during winter so it needs to be reasonably demanding but still manageable and repeatable both physically and mentally (with 3x20 being my mental limit indoors). By that point it’s March and I can take my training outside where I know I will hit the ground running.
I see there are plenty more replies, but lamarck is not one of those .83 to .85 short duration ss workouts. 4x10 at ftp with 2 min recoveries. Granted doing it when fresh will be quite different than when it normally is planned at the end of week 5 of ssb2.
As a counterpoint, SSB is base work, not SSBase/sustainedbuild/specialty. It has a defined goal, increasing FTP. Since you picked the HV plan, the progression is a lot of SS work that isn’t super crushingly hard, so you can do a lot of it, soak it up and do it again. Since you just did a condensed sustained power build, you’re probably still soaking up the benefits of that while still racking up a lot of TSS. You didn’t really give the plan as designed a chance, so not to say what you are doing now won’t work, but you also don’t know right now if following the plan would have worked if you aren’t following it. Be careful about creating a plan that has you adapting to the desired stimulus too soon and thus any further gains will be a pure grind. Kind of like the jokes about Nate’s February peaks.
Many of your suggestions might not even elicit a greater response than that which is desired, but in fact lower compliance which would then elicit a smaller response. We don’t have all the data to really know, only TR staff could really say.