What is next?: Sustained Power vs. General Build

Hello guys,

didn’t see this covered somewhere else so opening the new topic.

Executive summary:

Need to decide between General Build or Sustained Power Build after having gone trough SSB1 and 2 LV. Seems my limiter is cardiovascular and not legs. Goals are not race specific, but to improve FTP to have more relaxed group rides and open the possibility to do 500km on a weekend, but this back to back on two following weekends.

Started out with TR and SSB1LV in November at 188. Finished the plan with so-soish compliance, but higher TSS than prescribed due to outdoor rides.

After the end of SSB1LV was a month off due to fatigue and overall not feeling well, struggling with cold.

Started SSB2LV end of January with 178. Quite a drop, but normal after one month of the bike. Attribute this due to reduced blood volume as breathing and oxygen flow was really the limiter. Legs were fine. Form came back within a week or two. First three weeks were with 100% compliance, but then I did one week of unstructured outdoor riding, though with high TSS (600+) as I was on vacation. At the end of the 4th week I did another Ramp Test as I felt that my base line went up and scored 191.

Yesterday did the ramp test for build phase. Went up to 202. 6% gain in 10 days is nice, but I attribute this to having pushed myself more. Again it turns out that my limiter is the breathing and VO2. The legs hurt, but were not on fire. I think I could have gone on for a bit, if the breathing didn’t kill me. I sounded like adult movie actor.

Here are my two questions:

  1. Is my interpretation correct that my limiter is the cardiovascular system?
  2. Which build plan should I follow? Was going for general build, but I am starting to doubt that this is the right decision. My goals are to be able to make group ride more relaxed, not racing. Another side goal is to have two back to back weekends with 500km cycling each. So to be able to do 300+200km back to back. Is sustained power build maybe the better choice to tackle the VO2 problem I described?

Best regards and thanks


Two thoughts.

  1. Have you used Plan Builder by making a fictitious event sometime this summer and seeing what it programs?

  2. (And this is my recommendation) Restart with SSB1 LV and strive for better compliance. Seems like you responded well to it based on your FTP increases. LV still lets you get extra rides in, but prioritize compliance by keeping them to Z2. SSB will definitely help make your group rides easier, and a bigger aerobic engine will help elevate your VO2.

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Hi rkoswald,

thanks for your reply. Indeed I haven’t check plan builder.

If selecting Gran Fondo it suggested sustained power build, if selecting Rolling Road Race it suggests General Build.

I guess my question is actually what is better for improving cardiovascular system. VO2max intervals or threshold… New research in the forum needed :slight_smile:

VO2 max will help more, but it depends on what your local group ride features in terms of longer climbs (SusPB) or shorter efforts (GB).

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