Training Cycle / Adaption - Advise (& a hug)

Hi All,

I’m relatively new to TR (two months) and relatively new to cycling (6 months), and I have not followed any structured cycling prior to TR. However, I am used to structured training via my previous 1/2 and full marathon training plans. Now, the issue I am facing is that now into week 5 of SSB LV1, finishing the sessions is tough, and tougher than the first few weeks; I am having to lower intensity for periods (a couple of minutes) to finish the ride - I have not bailed as yet.
As I am in week 5, I would normally be in an adaption week if I was following a running training plan.
I guess the question is this: Is this normal for this portion of the block to feel so tough*, and is it perhaps my body was expecting an adaption week?

*Note: tough is meant in the sense that even with concentration I am not able to get through without lowering intensity by 5% (ish).

Any views / thoughts and even a forum hug would be appreciated.

Thanks, Graham
P.S. Loving TR, the Forum and the podcasts - ROI is impressive.

As you’re new to structured cycle training it’s not surprising that you’re feeling somewhat fatigued at this point. Even if you weren’t new to training, the workouts get harder as the block progresses and you would expect to be carrying some fatigue. The SSB LV1 week 5 rides are all fairly high intensity (especially for someone not used to this kind of training), so don’t feel disheartened that you’re finding them tough.

5% isn’t a very big drop, so if this is what it takes to get through then don’t stress it. Alternatively, try back-pedalling briefly for a quick break to see if you can pick up again at the same intensity, or selecting a workout with slightly shorter intervals at the same intensity. You’re nearly there though - next week is your adaption week - keep that in mind when you’re struggling and it might just be the mental boost you need to make it through.

Have a virtual man hug if that helps too!


In addition to qtip’s reply, perhaps take a look how you space the workouts in the weeks especially if you do any other sports/workouts next to it.

I am also new to cycling, started earlier this year and have just finished SSBLV1 last week. I had to lower the intensity on the last interval in one of the workouts in week 2 I believe because I didn’t take enough rest between the workouts.
After adjusting my calender to have enough recovery time I have been able to complete all my workouts without dropping the intensity. They weren’t easy for me but I was able to get them done.

You might also want to look at what you eat prior to working out (or throughout the day), perhaps you need to make a change there as your body might need more fuel to complete the workouts in later weeks of the schedule.
The forum has a lot of good nutrition topics with detailed comments on how people fuel for workouts or races.

Good luck with your next training plan! Hopefully the hug that makes everything feel alright will come in the form of a new and improved FTP score :wink:


Great info above.

Yet another option is to change the loading schedule away from the 5-1 to 3-1 and get recovery weeks spaced differently.

I am trying this method this year and expect it to really help me not get so deep and burned in the 4th and 5th weeks.

Nate was kind enough to respond to that same question I had on reddit, and the following has been Coach Chad™ approved:

  • SSB1 week1
  • SSB1 week2
  • SSB1 week3
  • SSB1 week6 recovery
  • SSB1 week4
  • SSB1 week5
  • SSB2 week1
  • SSB2 week6 recovery
  • SSB2 week2
  • SSB2 week3
  • SSB2 week4
  • SSB2 week5
  • SSB2 week6 recovery
  • Build week 1
  • Build week 2
  • etc

Really useful, thank you.

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Thanks all.

Inserting a recovery week is a neat idea, and probably what I’ll do for the next block.
I’ll also not beat myself up for a ‘minor’ alteration in intensity, if necessary, for the rest of this block (just this week).

The virtual man hugs have been real nice :grin:

Thanks, Graham

1 Like

Hmmm…interesting. This may have to be adopted. I feel like I’m crushed right now at SSB2 LV (with a few years TR) and I’m going into SSB1 MV next. Thanks for sharing.


I seem to remember Coach Chad saying that a 5% reduction will still enable you to reap the benefits of the session.

During the sessions, you’re regularly encouraged to monitor your form and it’s my guess that Coach Chad would rather you choose a slight reduction over poor form and bad habits.


SSB1-LV is no joke, and week 5 kicks off with 2x20 minute and then 3x15 min efforts. You’ve got a couple of choices:

  • reduce by up to 5%
  • schedule more frequent recovery weeks so you are doing something like 2 on and 1 recovery

Here is my tough love hug - I started road cycling in Dec 2015, and the first group rides were easy (for me) 15-18mph “teach you how to ride in a group” classes on Sunday. Then I started going on the local Wednesday night ride, where we roll out of the parking lot at 21mph. There is a heavy headwind on first 45 minutes of that ride, so even in a pace line or echelon it requires a lot of sustained raw power for the outbound leg of the loop.

At first I could make it 12-14 minutes before blowing up and dropping off the back. I wasn’t the only one dropping off the back, and as they say “misery loves company” so little groups of 2-4 people form in the wake of the lead group.

Over time, by going out and pushing myself to ride longer into the wind, I was able to go farther before getting dropped. Eventually I developed enough strength and endurance to push hard for 45 minutes and hang with the lead group all the way to the first stop. So think of sweet spot base that way, it develops muscular endurance to go out and push the pedals hard for longer and longer.

TR recommends new cyclists spend as much time in base as possible, to develop both the mental and physical ability to push the pedals hard for long periods of time. Don’t get discouraged, and don’t be afraid to ask TR support and this awesome community for suggestions. Train hard and ride on!


Have a hug!

Yes, it’s normal for it to feel tough. I find the 3 work: 1 recovery plans better suit me; by that 4th week I’m really ready for some Pettit. That said, over time, it does get easier to handle the longer blocks and longer intervals within those blocks and you will learn how best to manage your rest and nutrition between rides.