What would happen if I did a whole year of base?

Let’s assume I wouldn’t get bored or lose focus.

Is it a waste of time? Can you do too much?

You’d be pretty darn good at base level of cycling fitness. That’s pretty much that.


You’d probably also have pretty rock solid legs.

1 Like

You would likely be very one-paced and not able to do much at threshold.
However your endurance would be solid , you might have lost weight and you would probably feel quite good.

Nothing is a waste of time. You’d be fit, ride for a long time, but not be able to put the hammer down when needed.

1 Like

SSBII has VO2 Max and Threshold work too though? It isn’t that single paced?


Let’s make it more interesting. What if the year long base period is progressive and the second year is build.

By the end of year 2, would you have a higher FTP than if you did two years of base/build/speciality?

Has this ever been tested?

1 Like

Since I’m coming from a background where this was encouraged for new athletes i’d say it depends.

Assuming everything was going well during that year and ftp still gaining you’d probably have an extremely successful build. In my own experience with really good periods of aerobic fitness gains once intensity focus started again i have found it much easier and will take a bit of searching to really discover my new abilities.

I doubt that, you just wouldn’t be able to do it at your full potential. But if you spent 1 year steadily increasing ftp with base work you would probably be crushing your old paces even if your repeatable surge was 110% of new ftp.

Let’s just put a conservative 5 watts per month, that is now 60 watts of power you can produce at a much lower physiological strain. Your repeatable 3 min power is still going to be higher than it was even if you were closer to 120% previously.

My guess is that you would barely notice a difference between a year of periodized training vs a year of just base.

The polarized training is mostly easy stuff and that raises threshold and vo2 as well. I don’t mean to say that SS base is like polarized but for the most part its sub threshold work except the SSB2 tuesday workouts.

Also didn’t Chad mention in a recent podcast some German track team killing it after mostly easy riding?

I know for myself, my biggest gains are in the base period.

1 Like

Read for yourself: http://www.edzo.info.hu/images/Modelling4000m.pdf

Training was based on the following concepts: establishment of a high aerobic performance level through high total training mileage (29,000–35,000 km·yr); improvement of the thereby gained aerobic level through repetitive workload peaks in road stage races; and recall of discipline-specific workloads and anaerobic mobilization through periodical track training.

(note: of interest is the team’s physiological characteristics, they aren’t noticeably super human.)

1 Like

Not a single mention of what doping controls were done before and during the study. That always blows my mind. Studies on high level athletes without the single most important control being used.

It’s just jaw droppingly bizarre that studies like these get such a free pass from sports communities.

1 Like

Absolutely!! Has important as doping during long races, like grand tours, in a build period outside racing, no control, and massive massive gains, and then clean for the race…

I always take all these studies with a few kilos of salt…

However, the basic results should be taken into account.

A entire year of traditional base would be similar to the MAF method as in keeping the intensity low in your fat burning zone(Zone1 or 2 depending on person), eating healthy and building volume. Except he does say once you hit a peak as in your body is no longer responding by getting faster at same HR then you can mix in some higher intensities. Then when you hit another peak, repeat and so on. He is very strict on the fact that if you are not eating healthy this method will not work because you will not get the benefits of being a "fat burner’.

I’d imagine that it’s safe to assume that they were taking part in the UCI’s anti-doping programme (for what that was worth in the late 1990s).

Which throws the athletes and the study into suspicion given how weak doping controls were then.

Studies on high level athletes need a list of dates athletes were tested and what exactly what they were tested for.

Just go with an “intention to treat” mindset and assume they all doped.

Consider it was the olympic team, i believe there was a standard testing protocol for them.

Bringing up the Olympics does make a good point since they can sometimes be on a 4 year cycle.

It depends what you mean by Base, but assuming you mean some TR base plans…You’d have a good level of general fitness. It just would be specific, and without a build phase you’d expect a lesser increase in FTP.

[quote=“Tezz, post:14, topic:6892”]
entire year of traditional base would be similar to the MAF method as in keeping the intensity low in your fat burning zone
[/quote]Even the TR Traditional Base plan gets into interval training and I’m not sure how low the IF on the steadier state rides would have to be to be MAF.