Best way to maintain fitness paternity leave

Baby #3 coming next month.
Current fitness is at an all-time high, FTP about 4.3 wkg. Currently ride 5 hrs, 360-390 TSS per week.

What’s the best way (ie what types of workouts - Z2 vs SST vs high intensity?) to spend 2.5-3 hours (2-3 workouts) per week on the trainer to maintain fitness/minimize loss?


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my advice only really helps when they are sleeping through the night and that is to workout early before they get up. But since they won’t be sleeping and you likely won’t be sleeping, it’s kind of hard to expect you can get up early and or not wake them. So, not sure there is a good plan. If you can get 3 hours to yourself in the early weeks, great! If not, it’s probably better for them, your spouse and yourself to give yourself a break. The fitness will come back.

Flexibility…take the opportunity to train when it presents itself. Kiddo takes an unexpected nap? Get on the trainer, etc.

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Being baby #3, you probably know most of what to expect in that regards. And congrats!

Check out the Specialty Phase > Enthusiast plans. When our twins arrived, this is what I went with, more specifically the Time Crunch 45 plan. If you have extra time, pick a longer version of a workout or add some easy endurance. Weekends, time and weather allowing, maybe skip the workout and go for a longer outdoor ride.

It doesn’t take as much to maintain as it does to build!

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With just a single 18month old at home I don’t much practical to add than what is below, I think @KickrLin’s advice is in particular is great.

Main reason I’m chipping in is two of my colleagues have three kids and they said they found the transition from 2 to 3 much more straightforward than 1 to 2 - hopefully you will find the same! Congratulations and good luck.

I liked doing things like 30/30s, 30/15s, 40/20s etc. They are fun and you can always target a little more or less power or skip one depending on how you are feeling.

There’s a post on the TR support page that provides recommendations on maintaining fitness…not sure if you’ve seen it. And congrats!

Maintaining Fitness in the Off-Season

The final possible route an athlete may take is to simply maintain the hard-earned fitness they’ve established through the previous training cycle. The good news is properly established fitness takes comparatively little to maintain than what it took to build.

There are four separate types of fitness that I’ve outlined below. If you’d like to simply maintain any/all of them, research supports that you can do so on relatively little work. If you’re not too concerned with slight decreases in any of these categories, feel free to leave it/them by the wayside.

  • Aerobic Endurance: Once every 2 weeks, do a long, low-intensity ride. Ride long enough that the fatigue comes as a product of the ride’s duration, not its intensity.
  • Anaerobic Power: Once a week. Something along the lines of 30- to 60-second repeats upwards of 130% FTP should suffice.
  • Muscular Endurance/Threshold: Once a week. Try a 2×20-minute Threshold or even Sweet Spot workout.
  • Sprint Power: Once a week. Perform 4-6 all-out efforts somewhere between 20-30 seconds long.


Athletes who follow a maintenance approach to the off-season will not require the “padding” of downtime before the training season that follows.

Thanks for the responses everyone! This is really helpful.

I’ll probably go with one SST/threshold and one anaerobic (40/20 or 30/30) workout per week plus a Zwift race or endurance ride if I can manage it. Maybe pull workouts from the enthusiast plans.

yeah i think if you are trying to maintain fitness on less time, you need to spend your time going hard. like if you get to work out 3x per week, 45 minutes at a time, you do hard workouts.

Is it as good as being able to devote huge time, as good as being able to do super long rides, of course not, but i bet you’l lfind you lose less than you expect (and your power might even get better, albeit less durable)