Traditional Base Medium Volume

Hi there,

I am a fairly consistent trainer - averaging 9hs per week and 500 TSS across 4-5rides. Most intensity cones through club rides (drop rides in paceline - so pretty hard) though I have worked with a coach to fit in structured session around that. I have now stopped the coach through the winter, am reverting to indoor bike and want to get back into trainer road.

FTP hovers between 3.6w/kg and 4. Never cracked 4.

I am now thinking i should do some real base work - so have loaded up the above plan. Looks like it gives me 4 rides per week and c7-8hrs, c 350 TSS (though i think indoor TSS is harder to accumulate than outdoors as never do over 2hrs).

This plan has no intensity at all. Which may be a good thing. I am just debating the merits of adding in either a totally unstructured group ride outside (just go with whatever is going on) or trying to fit in a 1hr vo2 max ride to keep some intensity. Or leaving it at the 4 sessions.

That’s exactly what I am doing. And I am right there with you on watt/kg.

I’m in week 2 of TB2 MV. I am not adding any intensity. I may add an outside ride or two but keep them at endurance or tempo.

So far I love it. I have no problem doing 2-3 hours rides indoors though. My first AI FTP update after TB1 took me from 258 to 261.

I’m planning on going through all the TB passes and then trying polarized base and build. More of an experiment than anything else.

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That would get my vote…as long as it is decent length ride. If it gets spicy and you feel up for it, have at it. If not, just sit in and ride wheels.

I wouldn’t worry too much about VO2 Max work at this point if your goal is to build the aerobic base. Fitness gains can and likely will still be made.


So I don’t do the plan, but that’s basically the structure I use for the winter. I do 2 strength sessions a week and usually about 4 rides. 3 of the 4 rides are done at endurance or tempo pace. I use the workout levels to make my own progressions. One time a week I either get in an outside ride/group ride that has some intensity or do a 1 hr zwift race and then another hour of zone 2 riding. So like last Saturday I did a zwift race where I rode mostly at sweet spot, but did climbs at FTP-VO2. Just want to make sure I touch on those other systems 1 time per week while I work on mostly base building, but I want to do like 8-10 weeks of that. If I do too much more intensity now then I’ll be burned out come spring when I do want to bring up the intensity. I think seasonal periodization is the key to constant improvement both physically and mentally. So yeah I think what you are doing makes total sense.


Joe Friel, in his cycling bible, states several times that the intensity, at least in the 1st month of traditional base, should come from strength training.

I just finished Traditional Base 1 (mid volume) and I didn’t do any lifting or mobility work, but now I wish I had.

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Thanks all. Useful responses. Let’s see how we go. I do strength twice a week anyway - which seems consistent with what others are suggesting