Can train only 30-45 min a day most of the week. Best way to build plan?


New user here trying to figure out how to build a plan for my limited duration of riding time. I can essentially ride every day if needed. But I’m balancing biking with gym/strength training and raising 3 kids so my schedule is pretty full.

My general goal is to be a better Zwift racer (mainly crit style races). I currently get dropped about 1/4 into the race and solo grind to the end.

FTP: 214, Weight: 82.5kg

My training time is before the kids wake up (so 5am-6:30am) and lunch break (30-45 min). I gym MWF in the AM.
So that leaves me with T,Th,Sa for 90 min rides, and then M-F 30-45 min rides.

I tried building a training plan, but most scheduled days are 60 min. I manually went and adjusted those days to 45 min, but it got tedius quickly.

It seems like the best solution might be something like using a 3x a week plan to account for my long rides, then just use TrainNow for my lunch break rides to fill the blanks?


Have you tried the “alternative workouts” and put the duration at 30-45 min?

If that doesn’t work… Many of the anaerobic workouts are shorter in duration. You can build your own and have a high intensity day that is shorter and spend the 90 min days for endurance and tempo/SS work. Just gotta make sure it works with the gym.

And one last option… (which will help your cycling the most and what I would do): more volume on the bike. Move the gym to the 30-45 min at lunch and use the 90 min for the bike.

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For the last option. I wish I could do that actually but I work from home and the gym is 10 min away. Driving to the gym would eat up most of my time. Compared to my bike and trainer right next to my desk so the commute time is 0 for my lunch biking.

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I’d suggest you start with the low volume sweet spot base 1 then 2 and go from there. 3 days a week on the bike with TR, 3 days for your gym work and 1 day a week as a Zwift Race. Hopefully that would give you some time build fitness and get rest while still having time for being a dad. And when things come up you would have a little cushion to move a workout to the weekend.

I do strength workouts up to 3 times a week and I’m finishing up the low volume Rolling Hills plan. I’ve been successful in doubling up gym/TR workouts and doing back-to-back TR workouts as well. I’ve been doing it for a while so the workload hasn’t bogged me down but I’m also flexible enough to move or even miss a workout if I have too without getting upset about it if work or family commitments take priority.

How does that sound?

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Hey @quasifit ! Welcome to TrainerRoad! It sounds like you are busy, and so are in the right place!

I think this is an awesome idea. You might want to go through Plan Builder so that you don’t have to think about the broader periodisation of your plan.

With your goal being to compete in Zwift crit-style races, I suggest that you select Criterium as your Target Discipline when going through Plan Builder. You don’t need to enter an A event to benefit from a customised Training Plan. Check out this article here: How to: Plan Builder For Non-Racers

By selecting Criterium as your Target Discipline, your customised Training Plan will focus on the physical demands of high-speed, high-intensity racing where you require the ability to routinely jump explosively to one’s capacity to sustain efforts close to & above FTP.

The Low Volume Plan would work well for you, with just three scheduled workouts per week. Each of these workouts will be in the range of 60-90 mins. As @Stevie_Dee mentions, this will offer you flexibility. You can drag and drop workouts to any day, and your Training Plan will still adapt based on how that Workout goes. To get up to speed on how Adaptive Training works, check out this article: Adaptive Training Overview.

If you wish to supplement that Training Plan, you can use TrainNow to easily find Workouts of your preferred duration, that are specifically chosen based on your unique fitness levels. Check out this article to learn more about TrainNow.

Finally, hang tight because soon we will be releasing a feature I think you’ll love. It will allow you to tell us how much time you have available to train each day when going through Plan Builder, and we’ll build a Training Plan around those time-constraints.

Let me know if you have any lingering questions! DM’s are open too :slight_smile: .


Finally, hang tight because soon we will be releasing a feature I think you’ll love. It will allow you to tell us how much time you have available to train each day when going through Plan Builder, and we’ll build a Training Plan around those time-constraints.

That sounds like it will be an extremely helpful feature. I shall start the current low volume base plan and rock that until that new feature is released, thanks!

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Soon, as in v2 soon… Or actually soon? :wink: I recall @Nate_Pearson sharing a screenshot of this feature many months ago. Will be great to be able to select time per day :slight_smile:


Until then, I would suggest running at lunchtimes. 30-45mins on the bike isn’t a great deal of time, but its enough to get a quality run in and get showered/changed for work.

Full disclosure: Triathlete.

Edit: Welcome to the forums.

I wish I could be running. The whole reason I’m even biking is because of some insertional Achilles tendonopathy and/or bursitis from running too many hills (no such thing as flat land around me).

I did a couple little 30 min runs on the treadmill and it hurt but didn’t feel awful so hoping I can slowly start sprinkling some running back in.

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