Traditional Base before Sweet Spot Base?

My next A event isn’t until September 2024 so I have some time until my 28 week training block begins. This will be my 3rd year using TrainerRoad and I’m trying to figure what to do before that 28 weeks. I’m ready for a little break so was thinking of doing 6-8 weeks of LV Traditional Base, then taking 2 weeks off the bike completely, and then doing Sweet Spot Base until the Plan starts. Will I lose a lot of fitness with approach? Should I just put my A event in Plan Builder, put in my 2 weeks off, and do whatever it tells me? Would love some advice on how to take it easy for a bit without having to start over again later.

I would just take the plan builder approach for simplicity, let the machine do the thinking. I doubt with your other approach you’d lose much fitness though. If you are not doing top end stuff you might blunt your ability to do that temporarily but it’ll come back (and you’ve got months for it to do so) and from the sounds of it you’ll be maintaining your foundation which will give you a good base for you to resharpen your tools.

Are you going to do supplemental rides in addition to the TBLV?

During the semi ‘off season’ I will typically do a couple extra Sunday rides a month (2 hours Endurance on the trainer). During my 28 week block I do a 3-6 hour Endurance ride most Sundays.

This. TB LV without additional rides seems rather like maintenance. If you add 1-2 z2 rides to build more volume but lower overall intensity of the week it should work better. If you do not have more time, personally I will do 2 aerobic rides (one lower like sst second threshold) and leave longer ride on the weekend, or 2 longer z2 + 1 intensity. With traditional base volume is key and in TB LV you do not overload your system with volume but just maintain normal volume with lowering overall intensity - so performance can decrease as there is no stimulus (there is no volme nor intensity overload).

Just an observation and suggestion.

Thank you. That was a concern. I’ve made some nice gains this year that I’m hoping to build off of next year. I want to back off a bit so I don’t burn out, and to let my body and mind recharge, but don’t want my fitness to plummet.

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Backing off for some time is a good strategy. I know I shared it before but for me it was very eye opening when it comes to nuggets of knowledge:

Maybe TB LV maintenace will be a good for you - your fitness will not plummet but will be lowered but also body will reset and you can push from there. But then push should be push not the same as the backing off phase. CTL should be lowered in the off season. The other side is that with LV without any additional rides the overall strain is quite low and can be easily maintained for a full year without any problems (usally).

Maybe full 6 weeks is too much and 4 weeks of reset will be enough for you - highly individual thing.

I would suggest doing Trad Base MV instead of LV…but even if you do LV, you aren’t gonna lose everything and you have PLENTY of time before your A race next year to build up even further.

I use this approach because the break from the intensity is nice. I use the the time doing LV TB to add in strength training sessions. Once I’m in Sweet Spot base with VO2 and threshold workouts I can’t sustain the lifting intensity.
I also work 12 hour days on my feet so that also plays a part in my recovery.

I have had a bit of drop off in top end for sure doing this but it comes back quickly. The additional strength work probably helps here too. One thing I keep in mind as I do this is that fitness doesn’t just keep going up. This drop is normal and I have never dropped back to the same starting point I was at the prior season.

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Thank you! I’m going to try Traditional Base LV and then the Sunday’s I have time for another ride I’ll do whatever TrainNow recommends