2 indoor workouts/wk. How would you structure it?

I’m going to focus on ultra distance cycling this year. Have an mtb stage race in June which will be a massive achievement just to finish, plus I’m planning some big, multi day rides.
Weekends are easy to plan; just getting out for long rides on-road or off-road, single day or overnight bivies. No better way in my opinion to build resilience and awesome fitness.
However on weekdays it’s nice to have a bit of structure to keep me engaged mentally.
Would you say doing two Train Now workouts in the vo2 max zone would be the best idea? Allow AT to progress it. Or would you suggest something like plan builder, low volume, and pick two of the workouts?
I will be doing some running and swimming as well. Generally I like to do something each day to maintain my impetus. I prefer doing 40tss/day, than hard workout - day off type training.

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Why don’t you use Plan Builder on low volume? That will get you three per week and you can take the weekend one outside then finish your long ride at Endurance pace after the workout ends.

Did this quite a bit last season and the additional endurance really helped.

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Because three days of intensity might be 1-2 days too much. At least it is for me.

Joe

What stage race is this?

It’s the Alps Epic. Have deferred it for two years now. Praying I’ll actually be able to go this time.
I agree with you. 2-3 workouts can leave me feeling really tired. I think ideally I should just do one vo2 session a week plus all the outdoor riding I do. I ride singlespeed a lot so that’s often has its hard moments.
Unfortunately It’s not really sustainable paying TR for one workout a week, which is a shame as I like their product.

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Sounds like a heavy load/volume on the weekend, some people recovery pretty quick others not so, they struggle to recover from the high intensity stuff more, so depending on how well you recovery from the weekend volume I’d suggest the following.

Not fully recovered by Tuesday / Wednesday
I would do a Endurance ride around Z2/Z3 cross-over level (maybe a few 10 - 15 sec spikes at 130 - 150% thrown in) Tuesday or Wednesday, get the bike legs going again and a single VO2max session the following day when well recovered.

Recover fully and quickly from the weekend volume
If you recover really quickly from the weekend, or have a lower volume weekend for some reason I would do a VO2Max session on Tuesday (but only if fresh and can get the HR up to ~95 - 97% i.e its not supressed) and Threshold over-under or steady state threshold session on the Thursday, if slow to recover from high intensity (more likely if you are the type that recovers quick from high volume low intensity work) maybe go with a tempo ride on the Thursday so you can tackle the volume on the coming weekend.

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Thank you for a very considered and intelligent reply. That sounds like a really smart plan.

You know what? I’m going to print this out and tape it to my bike room wall.

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Would you just let Train Now handle the vo2 and threshold progression? Keep it achievable when doing bigger weekends and maybe productive around lesser weekends?

Good advice from BBT.

How much total time are you thinking of? Talking an hour a day Tues-Wed-Thurs and say 3-6 hours each day Sat+Sun?

If yes, then I’m inclined to do Z2/Z3 Tues and Thurs and something harder on Wednesday. That could just be threshold work building TTE. If you are mountain biking on the weekends then you’ll have times where you need to go hard just as part of the ride. Let those hard efforts take care of your VO2max needs and just use the time available to push up TTE and endurance.

As you get closer to your goal event, a short block of intensity can put a nice finish on your overall fitness.

Sounds like killer objectives - good luck!!

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Yes, about those hours. I can handle 12-15hr weeks if I just ride by feel, going hard when I feel good and slow when I’m tired. Adding structured workouts though can very easily tip me over the edge.
I also like to run a bit. I want to do a long run from time to time and enjoy the weekly local 5k too.
I also work outside 40hrs/wk so I do exist on a pretty extreme amount of exercise. I wouldn’t have it any other way though, I love being active.

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For me, I think doing 1-2 threshold-ish sessions midweek helps and feels sustainable. I also find it hard to do long intervals outdoors, we just don’t have any roads for it within a good distance. Other power ranges I find can be done outdoors and incorporated into outdoor rides (maybe with the exception of full vo2max workouts, it helps having no distactions for me).

I would do one session riding just under FTP and trying to progress TiZ (like 3x15, 3x20 2x30 etc).
The other session, maybe over-unders, or sweetspot with bursts or the like. You can use TR for those workouts, or just make them yourself.

For me, closer to racing I’d do some sort of anaerobic capacity work like 30/30s, probably outdoors. (I can’t quite decide if I’d do that for an ultra event though).

If you want to do dedicated vo2max work, I’d do that as a block over 1-3 weeks, but otherwise just throw in a vo2max effort on shorter outdoor rides (eg, blasting it up a climb). A vo2max block I’d time to when you feel like TTE at FTP is long enough, and you have time to recover afterwards, so not that close to the racing season.

Thanks for all your replies. I’m going to go with Bbt67’s recommendation though.
Somewhat controversially I don’t think it particularly matters what I do as long as I do something. Their schedule just looks right to me and if it looks right I’ll do it, plus it has a nicely malleable structure to it depending on my current state. Fortunately after over a decade of training, I’m pretty honest with myself so tend to train smart.

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Deffo agree with the “it doesn’t particularly matter what I do, as long as I do something”. That’s where I always fall short, hah!


There you go. That’s my training plan for the next six months sorted! I’m having a couple of weeks off then it’s time to ride.
A lot!


I use this bad boy a lot. Singlespeed for low maintenance with clothes and waterproofs in the rear pannier, tons of food in the middle and enough battery to power lights for the whole night if necessary. I can just jump on it and go. There’s even four bottle cages on it so I don’t have to think about resupply for hours.

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This is exactly how I’ve been handling 2 indoor workouts/wk with a high TSS and IF outdoor ride on the weekend for about the past year. I basically just stick to the low volume plans and cut out the third longer workout. Train indoors Tuesday & Thursday, ride hard outside Saturday, and recover as best as possible to hit that VO2 workout on the following Tuesday.

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What gear ratio are you running on it?

Take a look at at Medium Volume Polarized plans - these have a VO2Max and threshold workout during the week, and longer endurance rides on the weekends. Sounds like a great match for what you want.

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Maybe they need a pay per workout option. There must be a bunch of people that don’t sign up because they won’t do enough rides to justify the cost.