Best compromise between low and mid volume SSB?

I’m thinking about increasing my weekly TSS for SSB II. But the jump from low to mid volume is quite high. I know that I have the option to tweak the plan with +/- options. However, there are two possible solutions in my opinion.

  • For example, in week 1 I could replace “Geiger+2” with “Geiger”. In this case I would still have two rides on the weekend.
  • Or is it better to extend the Saturday ride in order to increase TSS. For week 1 of SSB II this could be “Kaweah+2” instead of “Kaweah”

What is the best way to adapt the current plan? Are there any considerable differences? @mcneese.chad @chad

Thank you in advance.

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SSB2 MV is a really nice TSS ramp follow on from SSB LV1 as you can see on my TSS plan from calendar below. (I’m just about to move between the two plans).

If you just want to make LV a little harder then you can do the +1/+2 versions of some of the workouts or just add in one of the workouts from the MV plan as your schedule allows.

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That’s the question: Is it better to have a additional shorter training on sunday? Or is it better to extend the saturday session? Are there any considerable differences?

Probably not. Mostly just do what time and ability to handle TSS allow.


Honestly, either makes sense. You might consider the time you have on each day. Also, do you have more energy on one day or time of training? That kind of thought and you should be good either way.


Also maybe consider what you’re ultimately conditioning for. If it were for me, I think I would add in the Sunday rides from MV and keep out the Wednesday ride. Those Sunday rides are some added endurance miles that I tend to miss if I drop them from my plan. If I’m not planning on doing long-ish club rides or road races, then maybe I don’t need them and I could get away with some +1 versions instead.

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Many thanks for all the replies. But I think I will start with the shorter versions of the Sunday rides and see how it feels. And if that’s not enough, I can still do the normal MV length :wink:


Hello, after searching some threads I am hoping this is the best thread to post my question to albeit a bit dated of a thread. I am looking for some validation to thought process.
Relatively new to endurance training and structured bike training. I have been on TR almost 2 years I think with the first year noodling around a bit and this last year being more structured with it. I did SSB 1&2 and gained 20watts though that with real power (previously used virtual) and just over 3 watts/Kg (so hopefully more room to grow).
Went through SPB and hardly gained any watts, only 2. I did find the longer sweetspot and threshold workouts very difficult and could not meet the targets The VO2 workouts I had better compliance with but they were tough as well.
I am trying to do my plan within Mon-Fri and have the weekend for an 3-4 hour outdoor ride.
I trying to ride about 5 days a week so in my mind I see that as a mid volume plan. However, my gut is telling me now that this is too much for me.
I am also trying to run 1-2 times per week so I have been trying to fit that in on the weekday I don’t ride and then possible a second run on a weekday where I also road in the morning.
My motivation is still high, however, I am thinking this has been too much for me and thus not being able to do the workouts as prescribed and also the negligible gains through SPB.

My thought now (as plan builder has me stawrting this week do 2 weeks of SSB and the Cenutry specialty) is to go back to:

  • Low volume Mon, Thurs, & Fri.
  • Add a 1 hr endurance ride Tues.
  • Run Wed
  • Outdoor ride on weekend 3-4 hours (downside to this is if I ride Saturday I could be quite fatigued for it but upside is I could do nothing Sunday)
    My outdoor rides are often solo so no hammer fest, however, I do try to push myself and do well on some segments are end with a good average speed (trying to get to 30Km/hr, currently about 28km/hr)
  • Maybe second short run Sunday 30-45 easy zone 2

My thought is to NOT try and edit a mid volume plan anymore as:

  • I don’t think I can really consider my outdoor weekend ride as replacing one of the prescribed TR workouts (I have tried doing outdoor workouts and so far, I find it a bit difficult to execute)
  • I also am a little more time constrained during the week and doing anything over 75 min on the bike is tough, more than once a week as I ride in the mornings first thing. Maybe I can do 1 90min sessions mon-fri

If you have managed to read my entire post and have any comments on my thought process and approach, thank you very much. Still hoping for some decent FTP bumps before the end of Sept.

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maybe you recover well, but I’d take Friday off if the biggest ride of the week is Saturday. Ignoring the run, the pattern for “I work Mon-Fri and do a long weekend ride” is typically something like:

  • Monday: off
  • Tuesday: workout
  • Wednesday: workout
  • Thursday: workout
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: long ride, ideally with some structured or semi-structured work (even something simple like taking a 20-min pull)
  • Saturday: workout

Think about putting your 2 hardest workouts after day off.

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In addition to what @bbarrera said, a great way to add volume to SSB-LV is simply to add something like Pettit to an off day. So Monday off, Tue/Thu your two 60-min SSB workouts from the plan, add a Pettit on Wednesday, get your long ride on Saturday. And you can extend your Saturday ride if you want a little more TSS then.

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Or Tue/Wed hard and Thur easy endurance.

Thank you very much @bbarrera, this is helpful, and intresting, and a schedule I have not yet considered.
Not to state the obvious but the outdoor ride as it is the longest in duration of the week is considered the hardest (so take Friday off or do something really easy?)?
I guess I was kind of assuming the TR workouts are the priority as they are the structured workouts and although I would love to get PR’s on strava segments every weekend, I would sacrifice that if I knew during the week as I doing the “real work”.
Are TR plans also designed as they assume you do no other riding?
I ask the longest duration TR rides are usually the last one’s in the week of their plan.
However, back to ride duration, in your above schedule, if I take Monday’s off, should I move what would be the Thursday workout, to Tuesday (as in SSB this is a 90 min ride, the longest of the 3 weekly rides)?
I hope this makes sense.
I guess if I do my long ride on a Sunday vs Saturday due to better weather, I would just shift everything above ahead a day?
Thank you very much for your assistance as I am still early in the n=1 experiment in what works best for me as I don’t know and what I have been doing hasn’t really worked the best for me I don’t think.

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To my eyes, and at my age (masters 55+) the TR plans appear to be built around riding on the trainer. I struggled to incorporate outside riding with TR plans and this past season used a different plan. If trying again with TR’s SSB low-volume, I would likely pick the hardest and easiest and put them back-to-back on Tue/Wed. Then add aerobic endurance / zone 2 to the calendar for Thursday. And then Saturday do a 3+ hour group ride and take some long pulls (or do some structure during 1 hour ride into the ride start).

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I’ve always thought that low volume plus outside is better for me than mid volume, and either not following the plan or missing the outside rides.

If it’s grim and I’m not outside at all then I add in extra days as required, and in a lot of cases during the low volume I’m doing the +1 workout anyway. I find I can hand lv +1 but mv just limits my life too much with my shift patterns.

And as Coach Chad (and many others) says a low volume plan followed 100% is much better than a mostly followed mv plan.

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I’d struggle to find an “easiest” workout in low-volume SSB. They’re all marked “difficult” in the Plan Builder screens, and the TSS of the two shorter (one-hour) workouts is usually within 1-3 points of each other.

Getting frustrated with solving the programming puzzle is why I’m using another plan.

That said, here is week 3 of SSB-1 LV:

Going off duration and IF, I’d select Eclipse and Ericsson and put them Tue/Wed like this:

And I’d do all of them outside. The Wed ride outside would be 90 minutes, its really not possible for me to do intervals outside in less than 90 minutes (due to time getting outside town, and returning).

FWIW. Hope that helps.

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Thank you @agingcannon, so in your example you are dropping the 90 min TR ride (3rd ride of default the week in TR) and replacing that with the outdoor ride?
How about if you have time to do 4 TR rides per week plus a long outdoor ride on weekend?
Mon - nothing
Tues - TR workout 1 (or from my previous post should this be TR workout #3 ?)
Wed - pettit
Thurs - TR workout 2
Fri - nothing
Sat - outdoor longer ride
Sun - TR workout 1?

I am trying to have 1 weekend day off as I have a young family so maybe I could do the below?
Mon - TR workout 3 (i.e. longest duration workout of week as prescribed in most plans from default weekly layout)
Tues - TR workout 2
Wed - pettit
Thurs - TR workout 1
Fri - nothing (easy zone 2 run 45-60min?)
Sat - outdoor longer ride
Sun - Nothing

I don’t know where to put my runs (1 minimum but ideally 2 per week). Should I put them on the nothing days or should put them on my easy endurance ride/pettit days, or should I put them on a regular TR workout day so that my nothing/easy days are protected to optimize recovery?

Again, thanks to any feedback and hopefully this will be useful for others too.

Interesting @bbarrera
I am 45 and still less than 3 years in endurance sports so I think I need a bit more recovery than if I was younger and had more time in the sports.
I see how you are only using 2 of 3 TR workouts and adding in 2 additional ones plus an outside workout.
How do you mean you are using “another plan”?
Do you mean how you are just more heavily customizing your plan as you have highlighted in your sample week?
That is great you can do all workouts outside too. I am sure I could get better at them if I practiced more but find it hard to stay on target outside for both power and duration.

This past spring I was using a stock plan from another training company, partly because they were designed to be done outside and partly because they were designed with masters in mind. I’ve got more than a decade on you in age and 5 years cycling.

Based on my experience using that plan, I proposed the example week above using TR SSB LV plan. That seemed sustainable, but our kids were home from college this spring and it was the “last chance to get the band back together” so to speak, before they go off and create their own lives and careers. So a lot of weekends I prioritized family time over training.

Sorry I missed the post and never responded. Yes, what I was doing at that point was simply doing the two one-hour workouts during the week, and doing a long ride outside on the weekend instead of the 90-minute workout in SSBLV.

I’ve actually now moved to a four-ride week, along with two one-hour strength sessions with a personal trainer and four brief/easy runs (literally 2km in 20 min since I’m just starting to run). Here’s what my week looks like:

Monday - Hard TR SS workout
Tuesday - Brief run, strength session
Wednesday - Brief run, Pettit
Thursday - Hard TR SS workout
Friday - Brief run, strength session
Saturday - Long, steady, relaxed Zone 2 endurance ride
Sunday - Rest!

You’ll note that all my runs are brief/easy and will continue that way (but very slowly get longer as I gain conditioning). And I have only TWO hard TR workouts per week on the bike, plus Pettit and an easy outdoor ride to gain endurance. The strength sessions are, of course, hard as hell, but not aerobically and I can always manage my effort so as not to destroy myself.

This schedule is recent, but seems to be working well. It provides good recovery and doesn’t completely tire me out. It’s essentially two sequences of hard-bike-day, strength-day, and easy-bike-day each week, with the four short/easy runs sprinkled in.