If you have more than enough time to complete a full Base, Build and Specialty Phase sequence of training plans, then you can use the extra time to improve specific aspects of your fitness.
1. Add Additional Base
For newer riders without multiple seasons under their belts, spending more time in the Base Phase can help to cement an even stronger foundation of aerobic fitness that can then be carried into the rest of their season.
Extending the Base Phase can help steady-state riders have more developed aerobic fitness that will improve their endurance and ability to train through hard, steady-state workouts later in their plans.
Riders with very long seasons ahead of them will also benefit from more time in the Base Phase. An extended Base can allow them to maintain their fitness over longer periods of time before needing downtime or an off-season.
There are two ways that you can add additional training from the Base Phase to your TrainerRoad Plan:
(1-2 Weeks) Repeat Single Weeks
If you only want to extend by a few weeks, then you can repeat single weeks of your Base Phase. Each Base Phase is 6 Weeks long, and each one can be extended to 7 weeks by repeating the 5th week in each phase.
Your plan progression would be:
Week 1 -> Week 2 -> Week 3 -> Week 4 -> Week 5 -> Week 5 -> Week 6.
(3-6 Weeks) Repeat Part of SSB II
If are looking to add 3-6 weeks to your Base Phase, simply do the final weeks of Sweet Spot Base II again. For example, if you need to extend by four weeks, you will complete:
Week 3 -> Week 4 -> Week 5 -> Week 6
upon completion of your first full Base phase.
(8-12 Weeks) Double Up on Base
When you are doing a complete second Base Phase, you have the option of repeating Sweet Spot Base at a higher FTP, or switching it up and doing both of our Base Plans in the same season.
What this looks like is you will embark on Traditional Base first, and upon its completion, you will jump into the Sweet Spot Base Plan. If you have eight weeks to "spend", then simply do the first two phases of Traditional Base before jumping into the full 12. If you have the full 12 Weeks, then you can do all three phases. If you have 8-12 Weeks, then you can trim out Week 3 from each phase to reduce the total duration.
2. Add Additional Build
If your goal is to maximize your fitness improvements leading up to your "A" events, then adding an additional Build Phase is the best way to do this.
It should be noted that the Build Phases are the most physically demanding of all TrainerRoad phases, so adding additional Build should be done with care. Spending more time in the Build Phase than your body is able to effectively recover from can lead to fatigue and possibly overtraining.
As always, be sure to listen carefully to the messages your body is sending, and take extra time to recover when needed.
(1-2 Weeks) Repeat Single Weeks
The Build Phase, by default, consists of two training "blocks". Each one of these blocks contains three work weeks followed by a rest week. If you only want to extend your Build Phase by a couple of weeks, then repeating one or two of the “work weeks” is a great way to do that.
When adding a week in this manner, your weekly schedule will be:
Week 1 -> Week 2 -> Week 3 -> Week 3 -> Week 4 (Recovery)
You may do this adjustment during either, or both, halves of Base depending on how much time you need to extend your plan by.
It should be noted that this will increase your work to rest ratio, which will increase the difficulty of your training, and you should only consider this option if you have been successfully completing your planned training up to that point.
(3-4 Weeks) Repeat 2nd Half of Build
If you choose this option, you will simply repeat the second half of the Build Phase upon completion of your first Build Phase. This is a better option for inexperienced athletes than the previous choice because it will retain the original recovery ratio.
If you only have three weeks you need to fill, then you can simply do Weeks 5 and 6 followed by the Week 8 recovery week.
(6-9 Weeks) Repeat Full Build Phase
Doing two full Build Phases back-to-back is a difficult task for any athlete, and should only be considered if you have been successfully managing your recovery up to that point.
When repeating the Build Phase, there are three main variations:
6 Weeks - Do the first two weeks in each block, followed by the recovery week. This will trim two weeks off of the total duration of the second Build Phase, as well as reduce your work to recovery ratio.
8 Weeks- Simply run through it again. No adjustment necessary.
9 Weeks- Add an extra recovery week to the plan to reduce your work to recovery ratio. Instead of having a recovery week every fourth week, you will have one every third week. This is a good option if you are starting to feel the signs of fatigue and want to ensure that you are giving your body the time it needs to successfully adapt to the training stimulus.
3. Add Additional Specialty
Adding onto the Specialty Phase is a great option during a packed racing schedule. Extending the Specialty Phase allows you to maintain your fitness (within reason) through the race season by retaining the intensity but reducing the overall volume of your training. This serves to optimize your freshness for a consistent racing schedule.
(1-10 Weeks) Repeat Weeks 7/8 of Specialty
The approach used to maintain your fitness across a series of races is what we call a Peak Maintenance Phase. What this means is that you will complete your full 28 week Base/Build/Specialty program leading up to your first A race. After your A race, you will jump into the Peak Maintenance Phase where you will complete Weeks 7 and 8 of Specialty on repeat.
The purpose of this approach is to keep your training volume relatively low, while maintaining the intensity that you need for optimal performance. This approach can be repeated for a maximum of 10 Weeks if necessary for weekly race series, however any longer and it will be very difficult to maintain peak performance. In addition, you will want to closely monitor how you feel for any signs of excessive fatigue, and adjust appropriately.
4. Add Additional Build and Specialty
(12-16 Weeks) Re-Build
A “Re-Build” is when you complete a full Base/Build/Specialty progression, and then you return back to the Build Phase and into the Specialty Phase for another run through. This approach will lead to two distinct peaks each time you complete Specialty and is a great option for racers with multiple “A races”, and can be especially beneficial for athletes who have target events that require different sets of skills.
For example, if you compete in mostly Criteriums in the early season and Gravel Races in the late season, you may do the Short Power Build and Criterium Plans the first time through, and on your Re-Build you complete the Sustained Power Build and Century Plans. If you are a road racer that turns cyclocross racer in the winter, you may do the General Build and Climbing Road Race plans in your main season, followed by Short Power Build and Cyclocross Specialty in the late season.
In some cases, you may only have time for a partial Re-Build. In this scenario, the best approach is to trim the early weeks off of the Build Phase. For example, if you only have 12 weeks, you would do the last half of the Build Phase followed by the Specialty Phase.