Adding volume to high volume plan

Hey everyone, I’m a competitive runner transitioning to cycling and seeking some advice on adding volume to my training. I started training on my bike 10 weeks ago, and I’ve been running and cycling everyday, equating to around 1500 TSS per week. This has been a very manageable training load and I now want to take that additional running TSS and translate it to cycling TSS to maximize my fitness on the bike.

Last week was my first week of only cycling, and I did 14 hours with 880 TSS. I’m on the high volume TrainerRoad plan (This is my first week on the plan. Was previously doing a tri plan but I’ve decided to focus on cycling) and the TSS seems pretty low compared to my previous training volume. What workouts can I add to get the most benefits out of my training? I’m willing to put in a lot of time if its what it takes to improve. Also, should I be increasing my workout durations, or will I get the same benefit by doubling some days? This probably doesn’t matter for determining what is best course of action, but to give an idea of my fitness, my FTP is currently 280W (4.1 W/kg).

Can you add some additional context on the training regime you follow? 1,500 TSS would be close to 30 hours or so. Assuming you would have an easy day that would be 4-5 hours per day. That’s even the upper end for most professionals.

Would be interesting to learn what you do and what you want to achieve.

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The problem with trying to add more volume would be time.
You put more strain (and TSS) from long runs than from a long ride.

If you are looking to add volume, i would add longer rides if possible at lower intensities.
like if you do a wo in the morning, maybe do a free ride out in the afternoon, or do a “recovery” ride on the trainer.

But to get to 1500 TSS with just cycling will take a lot of biking!

I am by no means a pro myself, but isn’t rest also important? Even if you were able to crank up tot 1500 TSS/week, wouldn’t you neglect getting enough rest to recover?

When I was running and biking everyday, I was following the TrainerRoad high volume triathlon plan (but only doing the bike portion), and throwing in 1 hour endurance rides on days where no workout was scheduled. On the weekend I also go for a longer ride of 80-100 miles (usually 4.5-5.5 hours). I was running 60 miles per week in addition to biking for close to 10 hours, doing an interval workout here and there, but mostly steady running.

My goal with cycling is to start racing and see where it takes me, aiming to be as competitive as possible. Given there aren’t many races or group rides right now, my primary focus is on increasing my FTP. Eventually when things start to open back up I want to incorporate some faster group rides to start acquiring the skills necessary to be a strong racer.

I’ve been doing 1500 TSS with a rest day included, so yes rest is still incorporated into my schedule. I haven’t had any issues with feeling like I was unable to recover at this level of volume. Given that I’ve had a history of injuries from running I’m pretty good about being aware of my limits and have learned when to ease it back if I feel the fatigue mounting, but that hasn’t been an issue.

Guess aerobic fitness shouldn’t be much of an issue for you. I would cycle through SSBHV and then SuPBMV. If you are okay with the intensity perhaps even high volume. That would place your bike stress between 700 to 800 TSS per week. Replacing Sunday’s workout with an long outdoor ride would push you over the 1,000 TSS mark. A few extra runs could be good for another 200 TSS or so. Perhaps even more. Though I doubt it will do you any good. 1,500 TSS is a lot of work when a fair share is due to high intensity work.

Do the HV plans workouts. Then add some easy riding onto the end of the workouts. It doesn’t have to be every day. I would add anywhere from 30min to the weekday workouts to a couple hours on the weekend workouts. Weekends, I would often do the workout on the trainer, then go outside for a couple hours easy. Other times, just go outside for a really nice long ride and try to incorporate a few efforts to match the workout.

The key to the HV plans is the recovery (i.e., sleep, nutrition, low life stress)

Hi there!
FWIW it’s not always necessary to match TSS In order to improve, and equating TSS between sports is pretty dicey. (I believe Coggan has stressed that it was a metric developed purely for cycling.) There’s also a good chance you’ll see improvement simply from increasing the specificity of your training to your goals, and probably spending a lot more time in the saddle as a result. I’d echo the above posters with regard to a HV plan with extra aerobic work, but as long as you’re seeing gains I wouldn’t worry too much about what the number works out to be.

I actually attempted the same thing a couple of months back- I came to tri from a competitive running background, and when all the pools closed I focused almost exclusively on cycling. Turns out the same TSS hit way different on a bike plan compared to a tri plan, and the overall improvements were kind of “meh” compared to when I was doing half the bike TSS. My running also took a big hit too, though I don’t know how important that is to you.

At the end of the day, finding the optimal TSS is something of a trial-and-error process, so I’d approach it from that angle rather than trying to base it off a single number that isn’t entirely relevant to your current goals/situation. Good luck though- after my attempt I’d be curious to see how it works out for you! :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’m just going to say it. WOW! Think I’ve hit around 1500 once or twice on a training camp.

Maybe you need to approach things differently to most TR users, even cyclists in general. Could be that you do need to figure out what and where your breaking point is.

If you’re doing HV plans, you might not be getting enough exposure to the joys of VO2. If that’s the case, why not experiment with the different formats (interval durations) in this zone. Then stack the workload. For example:

Monday - Endurance spin with 30/30 second VO2 efforts for the last 10 minutes.
Tuesday - VO2 efforts. Something like Bashful
Wednesday - Threshold efforts. Something from the Stromlo family
Thursday - Sweetspot efforts. Try some Hard Starts into sustained efforts Bondcliff
Friday - I would take this a rest day

Saturday - 3 hours endurance with short sprint efforts (5-8 seconds) sprinkled in every 15 minutes.
Sunday - 3+ hours pure endurance with plenty of climbing. Work on reducing your cadence whilst climbing.

This won’t come out close to 1,500 TSS but you’ll be working all of your systems and building residual fatigue which might help you pinpoint specific areas for improvement.