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Customisable General/Base Phase Plan (Power-Based): 16 Weeks; 8-14 Hrs/W

Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.

Learn More about Structured Workouts.


Tom Bell

All plans by this Coach


16 Weeks

Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.

Learn More about Structured Workouts.

Plan Description


The primary aim of this plan is to establish a sound endurance base through a variety of aerobically-focussed workouts [1]. Ultimately, this plan is designed to achieve improvements in aerobic capacity (VO2max), lactate threshold power, and aerobic endurance. The plan is well suited to those who have had a recent break from interval training, or who are relatively new to interval training, as it builds intensity gradually over the first weeks.

The plan includes a comprehensive 20-page user-guide which contains detailed instructions and tips to help you get the most out of the plan and to allow you to make any adjustments necessary.


“Base” refers to the underlying idea that there are pre-requisite abilities that should be built before focusing more exclusively on advanced abilities, implying an ordered step-by-step process.

It's an important preparation period, laying a foundation of aerobic fitness that's relevant across a wide range of disciplines, and a widely-accepted and successful approach used by world-class performers across endurance sports [2]. Instead of using confusing terms like Base 1, Base 2, Build 1 etc, we find simplifying training periodisation to a “General Phase” (like this plan), a “Specific Phase” and a “Peak/Taper Phase” helpful and more practical.

Comparisons are often made to building a house - where there is an implicit and practical order in which steps should be taken in order to construct a solid and necessarily tall structure.


The plan is laid out over a 16-week period, using four mesocycles, each featuring a 3-week ramp in training load, which is then followed up by a week aimed at recovering and adapting to the load. This ramp rate from week to week is "functionally conservative"; enough to result in a meaningful training stress yet gradual enough to avoid 'non-functional overreaching' or overtraining.

In pursuit of greater adaptations, a more fulfilling training experience and to avoid mental and physical burnout, the plan features a large variety of workout designs and intensities, balanced with what's known as a 'polarised training intensity distribution'; a planning and sequencing approach shown in the literature and in our own experience coaching 100s of athletes to be a successful framework for significant fitness improvement for both time-rich and time-crunched athletes [3].

NOTE: The plan's volume is totally adaptable from the default 8-14 hrs/week, where guidance on doing so is provided in our detailed user guide supplied with each plan.


  • Develop greater aerobic endurance, fatigue resistance, and time-to-exhaustion;
  • Improve aerobic capacity (VO2max);
  • Enhance substrate utilisation to improve ability to oxidise more fat at higher intensities, sparing limited glycogen stores;
  • Build greater mitochondrial density in skeletal muscle to improve a multitude of endurance-based abilities;
  • Improve ability to shuttle and clear lactate from working muscles, contributing to improved lactate threshold power and ability to recover from hard efforts.


[1] Hawley, John A. "State-of-the-art training guidelines for endurance performance." South African Journal of Sports Medicine 2.4 (1995): 7-12.

[2] Tønnessen, Espen, et al. "The road to gold: training and peaking characteristics in the year prior to a gold medal endurance performance." PloS one 9.7 (2014): e101796.

[3] Seiler, Stephen, and Espen Tønnessen. "Intervals, thresholds, and long slow distance: the role of intensity and duration in endurance training." Sportscience 13.13 (2009): 32-53.

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Bike x6
10:25:00 04:30:00
Day Off x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
10:25:00 04:30:00
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

Tom Bell

High North Performance

High North Performance is a cycling training and metabolic testing consultancy based in Harrogate, UK. We provide customised training programs and performance diagnostic services to professional and amateur athletes using both established and novel training methods, leading testing and analysis technology, as well as a scientific and strategic approach to planning and preparation.

  • This plan includes a Free Basic TrainingPeaks Account.
  • Access your training plan anywhere on the TrainingPeaks mobile and desktop apps.
  • Track your performance with robust data tracking and detailed graphs.
  • Plan for your event in the TrainingPeaks calendar.
  • Track your weight, sleep, hours, fatigue and stress while you train.
  • Syncs daily with other popular apps like Garmin and MyFitnessPal.

Refund Policy

This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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