Active careers and how they affect your training?

I have been wondering about this for a while but just thought to post about it. Who here has an active job??? I am a ups driver and normally walk 8-10 miles everyday and handle any where from 259-450 packages daily. I have been trying to do three days of intensity a week but my ftp has been going down not up. I am now going to switch to something like petit for my Thursday ride but was wondering if any of you guys have experienced the same thing. Last year I seemed to be fine but this year it seems to be a little much. Same diet, sleep, etc. just can’t seem to handle three days of intensity any more. Thoughts???

Hi Mike,
I’m a carpenter and joiner by trade. Self employed for 20 odd years.
On average I’d move a couple tonnes of materials around each week. 8 to 18 thousand steps a day on the Fenix.

When I first started using TR I was getting really rundown on a low volume plan. It was a real struggle.
A year down the track I’ve managed to bump upto mid volume and simply adjust timing depending on the days tasks.
You’ll know if you push too hard as you’ll start getting sick and feeling heavily fatigued/depressed.
Time to back off.
As an example, a while back my client had me install a 260kg limestone bathtub on a site with bad access. 3 guys juggling a behemoth around obstacles. I didn’t train that day.

One thing I can attest to, is that your active job will give you an initial boost compared to the average desk jockey. Your starting fitness will be better if you’re on your feet all day normally. Own it, but remember it will be harder to recover when you need it.

Three days of intensity is brutal if you’re not getting any recovery. The low volume plans really cram the intensity into the limited hours.

What plan are you on?

Low volume, I also used to be a carpenter and never really stop working once I get home. I know I am short changing my recovery but when there is stuff to do around the house I don’t have to many other options. I am super frugal so paying someone else to do it is out of the question for me. I started out the season am with my ftp at 262 and it has dropped to 253. I have been wanting to get to 4w per kilo just for poops and giggles but I am staring to realize that’s probably never going to happen if I don’t back it down off the bike. I don’t race or anything so it really doesn’t matter, it was just a goal that I had set when I started tr.

Nurse here. I work 3 days a week, so 3 days of nonstop walking for roughly 12-14 hours (plus mental stress, yada yada.) You’d think with 4 days off I’d have plenty of time for training/recovery but when I first started to take the plans seriously I imploded when I went above anything low-volume. I remember attempting mid volume sustained build (even dropping one workout per week) and absolutely questioning if I didnt have an underlying illness that prevented adaptations (I’m only 35… why do I feel like I’m 80?!) Since then, here’s what I’ve discovered:
-you can always add to a low volume plan; dont make the mistake of tying your self worth into which level of a plan you do
-i knew i could handle more weekly stress, but not necessarily more daily stress. Solution: outside rides at recovery/endurance
-i may be on a low volume cycling plan, but im on a high volume eat and sleep plan (and a high volume youtube plan, but thats another issue…)
-ride with other people. This may seem egotistical, but its tough to see gains when you’re comparing yourself to what you do in a virtual world on a trainer, against virtual internet people on forums. I never realized how much progress I’ve made until I started riding outside again. I unintentionally crush my bikemates now; what would have been tempo rides are now endurance rides for me, intensity-wise.
-lastly, add recovery weeks more frequently into the plans. I’m sure theres articles on the website suggesting this.


I’m similar to the OP, postman walking 13-14miles a day. I find that if I eat about 2hours before finishing my shift, have a couple of coffees when I get in and do my workouts within 60-90mins of getting home I get through them okay.

I’m finishing mid-volume sustained build and have got through it pretty much as prescribed apart from having to move workouts to accommodate time trials. The other switch which has worked very well for me this year is doing the TuesdayVO2 workouts outdoors on a climb as it means I get a longer warm up riding there and if I stop pedalling on the climb I’ll literally stop, so it forced me to keep going.

Having a set routine helps loads, it’s amazing how many workouts I’ve not wanted to do but tell myself to just do 25% and if I still feel crap I’ll quit, 99% of the time I get through the workout and feel much better afterwards.

I thought I was the only one! So much good content out there! :grinning:

I’m a crane operator, and hike up and down a building for approx 7 miles a night. I work graveyard, which I tolerate quite well. I’m also a reservist in the military. What makes my job even more difficult is walking on concrete. I wear concrete boots, with good soles and insoles, so that makes it better. At the end of my shift, I’m filthy, tired, and generally irritated. The good thing? I work 6.5 hours and get paid for 8. I usually get on my bike in the am after work, and hit the gym at night before going. How do I manage this? I have no idea

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No reason you can’t get there. It’s not an out of reach objective. Keep at it and you’ll adapt.
Maybe you should pick a race to compete in to help you get motivated? It’s what I do with a couple of friends to make the goals real. There’s no slacking off when you know you have to complete something in the near future.
If you don’t race, no biggy. It does help with motivation when you have a goal set that has a fixed date, rather than a number like 4w/kg.

I’m currently unemployed (which is obviously good and bad :slight_smile:) but I’m an ironworker. Modified low-volume is the most I can do while working. Add to it when I can. Knowing when to rest when it’s not scheduled is the most important. You really need to listen to your body.

You also need to come to terms with the fact that life does get in the way and your training will suffer. I went through a couple years where I worked 12 hours a day, 14 days on, 7 days off. I had to learn not to kill myself in the days off so I wouldn’t go into the 14 days totally fatigued. On the days on I wouldn’t ride much. By the time I was done work, commuted, made dinner, etc it was too late to do a workout that wouldn’t affect my rest. You just need to realize that and let it go.

I did low volume last year and was adding petit on Wednesday’s and was doing fine. Nothing has really changed this year so I don’t know why but I just can’t handle as much. I put myself into a little bit of a hole earlier this year and got super fatigued for about a month. I am just going to back it down from low volume and just do an aerobic ride on Thursday’s and see how it goes. I am redoing ssblv 2 and will see if I get any gains this time with the adjustment