I am finishing the 10 week strength plan next week and the plan was to jump straight into base plans. However I am tempted to take a week racing / riding on zwift to introduce a little bit of intensity before I start the base plan.
Aware this is not ftfp ing, although it’s introducing a week between plans rather than straying from a plan. I should add my aim would be to ensure I am not over cooked to start base.
I’ll state the obvious which you basically did, its no where near FtFP’ing. Important to put in a base period before adding any intensity. What is there to gain by doing a week of intensity before the base period. Nothing really. If you do that you will also be fatiguing yourself before you starting a 3 week base build.
However if you feel the need to have fun, race and ride more like a training camp by all means you do that. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for an early season training camp. However most likely the intensity would be lower. But I would recommend a regeneration week after that before starting the base period.
On your weekend group rides during the base period add some Zwift group rides / races (in a lower category) to help with your motivation and get out some of that energy you have burning right now. Just don’t try not to over do it and stick with the objective of the plan. Building an aerobic engine. ’
And I’ll be the first to admit that I myself have gone harder than plan by joining a Zwift race or two. It’s fun and a great way to break up the boredom of winter training. So to say you can’t is wrong. Just don’t get caught up in doing it day after day.
You have two quality coaches giving an answer here.
My (unqualified) opinion would be there’s no real reason I can think of to do this at the start of base training. A week of screwing around on Zwift is something I’d do at the end of the season when I might be lacking motivation but I’m not quite ready for 2 weeks off the bike. Also, being the first year of structured training I’d just stick to the plans, in succession, that you choose to see how your body handles it then add/subtract things as you learn more about yourself.