Which program after a break?

I hear this question on the podcast all the time, and I know the answer is generally sweetspot base, but…

I did SSB 1 and started 2. My FTP went up from 250 to 279. I really struggled with the consistency because I was cycling to work, and friends would ask me to go cycling etc. After a few weeks of SSB 2 I lost motivation around Christmas and then just carried on with some zwift and riding outside. I have also been sick most of February with a cold I just couldn’t shake. I am off for a week in Mallorca next week but I would like to continue to use trainer road for the coming months. I want to ride crits. Should I start again completely with SSB or jump into Build?

Somebody more qualified than I will no doubt jump in here but I’ll add my $.02.

The TR program, when dumped into your calendar, is sorta built like people live in a training/rest vacuum. They obviously know that this isn’t the case so workouts are easily tuneable with +1/-1 versions, the ability to turn it up or down mid-workout and the frequent reminder of backspinning. You’ve got to regulate your own TSS, realizing that the day you worked in the yard is going to have an impact as is every day if you work a physical job. It’s on us to customize and adjust as needed.

It sounds like you have some good distractions in the form of commuting, friends rides, etc. I’d say try to use these to compliment your TR plan and/or for skills work. If your commute can be kept at Z1/Z2 then you’ve got some built-in recovery and endurance work. If it can’t, try to make those steep hills into intervals, holding a certain power for the length of it. Just note and account for the load in your calendar and adjust as needed. On the skills side of it, find some corners at the bottom of hills that are safe and try to rail those. It doesn’t take a big effort to get you up to speed and you’ll gain confidence which will translate to raceday. If you cna’t find ones to go super fast through try to find ones that you can coast through. Essentially quit pedaling at a certain point and see how far you can get using moementum alone or how fast you can still be going by that fire hydrant. If you wanna get really into it you can make yourself some segments on Strava. This helps to keep the commute interesting and specific to your needs.

Also, losing motivation around Christmas is pretty much standard stuff for us Northern Hemisphere folk. I just build it in, knowing that family time, plates of treats and shit weather is going to be tough to overcome. By planning on a rest week I don’t have the guilt factor that I would if I was skipping workouts.

Another thought that came to me is you might not have a power meter on your commuter or the bike you ride with friends. You can obviously edit the TSS afterward, but I’d highly recommend getting one. It’s so much easier to see the training benefit (or damage to plan) that can be done on gentle cruises or rides with friends.

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