Build Period during stressful times at work

Hi everyone,

I am looking for some advice on how to manage the training stress of build period with stressful times at work. I will be putting in some long, stressful hours from Jan-April. I still think I will be able to find time to train, but I am wondering if the stress/lack of sleep during the period would derail my training.

I am about to finish SSB MVII. I originally wanted to do my first build at the start of the new year and then redo base, build, speciality to get me peaking at the right time. Now I am wondering if I would be better served repeating base during my busy times at work and just moving everything back so I can build when I am more stress-free? Maybe I give build a go and see how my body reacts? Any advice welcomed.

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Which build are you doing? I tried to do short power build last summer, when work was really stressy. While physically I could do the workouts, mentally I found it extremely hard. I think the need to focus and push all the time was just too much. I also didn’t see any improvements in power or fitness and had a pretty bad race season after. Before that summer, I only used to ride outside and did much higher volume (700 tss plus per week), but likely at lower intensity. I never felt as tired as I did this summer. I’ve since realised that while riding outdoors is relaxing and good for stress relief, the stress created by having to complete workouts was just too much and actually hindered training progress. Personally, I’d pick something less stressful than build for a busy period at work - maybe even trad base.

Obviously, what you feel is stressful is quite individual, so you might be fine with build - but as you’re asking this question, I suspect you already have doubts…


My work schedule is the same and I also have tons of external stress. First- I would say you should prioritize training as much as you can since the physically demanding workouts seem to clear my head and make it easier to handle the mental stress. Despite my best efforts there are times when I am simply too wiped out after work to even think about getting on the bike. In these weeks I usually just shuffle the days around and skip some of the easier aerobic workouts or in really bad weeks, just move the entire week forward. That seems to keep my fitness maintained at a good enough level to get out on the fast group rides and crits without getting dropped

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Are you a tax accountant? Tax season is rough on my early road season goals. Not much way around it, I usually reduce volume and increase intensity.


Look up Matt Dixon’s PurplePatch podcasts. Stress is stress. When life hands you a ton of it, something has to give.


Yep! Big 4 CPA in Tax lol

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Was going to do General Build and then rebuild with Short Power build after I did more base when things slow down.

I am as worried about mentally being strong enough than physically. Yeah, definitely have doubts. I find the workouts mentally challenging now so more stress could tip me over. I am also thinking about just giving it a go and seeing how the first two weeks might go and then readjust.

Yeah, you could give it a go. Maybe it’ll be ok for you.

Maybe also tackle this from the other side - what changes can you make to your day or your schedule to not go get super stressed? Can yoh have a cut-off time for work, train in the morning or during lunch, change some of your meals to save time - just don’t get into a super stressed state in the first place.

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