Kicking the season off

I am new to SYSTM. Been using Trainer Road for the past 15 months and I am trying to figure out the optimal training program/s to get the most out of a base, tempo, build etc structure similar to the formal structure that TR lays it out. I get these 2 programs are different and I want to try SYSTM. The fundamentals of starting the season are the same but i am struggling to figure it out with SYSTM and may revert back to TR if I can’t. Please can you offer advice on how specifically to start the season with SYSTM training programs referencing specific programs that follow the logical base through specialty training sequence prior to a 12 week race plan.

Thank you.

@adamoud Welcome to the forum. Check out this article on why you don’t need winter base miles:

Why You Don’t Need Winter Base Miles

SYSTM does have building block plans which I use from time to time when I want to concentrate on a specific area but otherwise I generally chose an off-season plan during the off-season and an in-season plan during the racing season and that has worked well for me. Right now I am doing the marathon MTB program with strength and yoga. I may use a building block plan after my plan finishes - probably whatever area I think could use the most improvement but you can also create a training plan by just using the building block plans. Below is a link to a tutorial on how to use those plans:

How to Use the Building Block Plans

Two other things to consider during the offseason: (1) lifting - even if it means reducing your time on the bike and (2) regular yoga and breathing exercises. There was recently a podcast back in October on lifting that you might find interesting:

Podcast: Adding Strength Training to Your Endurance Plan

Finally you may also want to check out the mental toughness program - it it unique to SYSTM and I have found it to be very beneficial.

Hope that helps!


There’s another raging debate on Base Miles going on. I had to step away from the fray, but the bottom line is if you can do it, do it. Builds up your muscles ability to generate energy. However, if you are a time constrained athlete (and unless you are retired like I am or have vast amounts of money you are), read through the plans. Yes, there are ‘longer’ rides on the weekend, but you can move them to your ‘non-working’ days to compensate. Given that, the real key is REST and RECOVERY. Don’t forget those!