Where to start my training

I have been mountain biking for 4 years. Just got into road biking in September. I am 56, 5’4" and 147 lbs. In very good shape. Have weight trained since high school, was a personal trainer some time ago and still train about 5 days a week with a program from Beachbody (P90X fame) called Body Beast. I was using Zwift for the last few months and finished a beginner module. Rode about 5 days a week. I also do a 20-25 mile road ride with a group from the bike shop I bought my bike from every Saturday morning (weather permitting here in upstate NY). I was wondering where you suggest starting with your program. I don’t race and have no plans of racing. Just want to continually improve my cardio, endurance, etc… especially to carry over into my mountain biking. Do I start with the base phase portion low volume part one? Would I then go to part two? Are you supposed to then go to the Mid volume 1 and 2 and so on? Would I start with mid volume 1? Not sure I have the desire to do many 2 hour training rides at this point. Do you then go to build and then specialty? Do you just start off in specialty? Just a little confused as to how to navigate my training. Thanks for the help.

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Start with a Base program. Sweet Spot Base 1 and the continue to SSB2. Each is 6 weeks, which makes for 12 weeks of total Base.

Then move to a Build of your choice. General Base is good for… you guessed it, general use. You can pick the Short or Sustained Power versions if you prefer what they offer.

For overall fitness work, you can then reset back to Sweet Spot Base. And then onto another Build. You can swap to a different Build for variety if you like. This Base + Build and then repeat is a fine option.

You can skip Specialty unless you see one that looks fun to do and you want a change of pace from the 2 phases above. The Specialty is more about honing fitness than pure building, so it is not necessary for all around fitness.


Yeah, follow the plan:

Specialty (if it’s applicable to your goalset).

Figure out how much time you can devote to training and then find the program with the appropriate hours.

my blog: ex-prosays.blogspot.com

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Some additional info from the main training guides that could apply:


I appreciate the responses. So I will start with Sweet Spot Base 1. Do I pick either low or medium volume based on the time I will allot? Am I to assume it is one between the 3 choices as opposed to doing each one before moving on to Build? If so, in build would I also just pick the version I want to do and just do low, mid or high and not all? Sorry for what may be obvious answers to some. Also, no matter what program I choose is it ok to periodically do the Saturday outdoor ride I mentioned in addition? Lastly, how often do you vary the days from the recommended calendar for the specific workouts? What I mean is can I shift the training days around at all or is it best to do it based on the recommended days on and off? Thanks again.

Correct, choose one volume only. Main recommendation is for people new to cycling and indoor training to start with Low Volume. The type and intensity of indoor training is different and often more taxing than outside ride of a similar time.

You can add more Endurance level workouts as you adapt and need more stress. That serves as a stepping stone to Mid Volume, if you ever want or need to move to it.

You can surely add outside rides too. Consider dropping / substituting that ride for the planned workout. It depends on the type of ride and intensity. Or you can keep the inside with the outside. Just be mindful of your stress and ability to keep up with the planned workouts and hit the targets.

You can freely shift the workouts to suit your schedule. Ideally you want a day between the hard type workouts (Tue & Thu default days). But you can stack them back to back of you can hit them and not fall short on the 2nd one.

The calendar is super flexible and.it takes just a click and drag to change days.

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Once again, thank you so much for the help.:smiley:

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Picking low volume and adding more because its a not enough makes you feel much more awesome than picking medium volume and skipping rides because its too much (even though you might end up in exactly the same position).


Happy to help. :smiley:

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So maybe if I do the T/TH/Sa I can move the Sa to Su if I also do a shop ride Sa. In my weight training workout M-F, I also think I should make sure my leg workout doesn’t fall on either the Tuesday or Thursday I will be on the trainer. Make sense?

That sounds just fine.

I am not equipped to address this, but here is a thread with tons of info.

One common recommendation is to do your bike and strength workouts on the same day, separated. One in the morning. One in the evening.

This is meant to keep the “work” together on the same day and allow your rest & recovery days to be real rest. But that is open to change too, especially if you are able to make that work based in your prior training history.

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Actually most of us are finding that weight training on an interval bike day works well, better than alternating days. Put four hours between the sessions though.

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hello from Upstate NY! Where abouts? I’m originally from Rochester and raced up there for years. Now in Tennessee.

Check out @mcneese.chad’s reply below, he’ll guide you through!

All the best and stay warm this winter.


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Originally from Long Island. Moved around and came back to NY in 2003. Currently live in Highland close to New Paltz and Poughkeepsie.

When you complete the build phase and restart the base phase, would you advise going straight to SSB 1 or 2?

SSB1 would be my recommendation in most cases. The drop from intensive Build to the “easier” 1 level is a refresh that is likely beneficial for the body and mind.

New riders also benefit from additional Base in most cases, so the full 12 week 1-2 punch makes lots of sense.

You can skip 1, and it’s been recommended by Coach Chad, but it is mainly done to meet scheduling needs (which don’t seem as likely in this case).