Can you build a base on just two rides a week?

Say your circumstances were so extreme that

1: Indoor training was absolutely impossible.
2: You work from early to late and you’re shattered and not home until 10 to 11pm.
3: Weekends are totally free, zero commitments.

Say building an aerobic base was the priority, is it actually possible to make progress with no training between the weekends? Or are you going one step forward and one step back every week?

It’s all relative. You can be more fit than you are but consistency is #1. Having a 5 day layoff between sessions makes that hard.

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Personally I’d make my number 1 priority trying to sort out the Monday to Friday before I burn out. Sounds tough whatever you have going on!


Tread with care. During my racing career, I made it a priority to do 3 indoor sessions at 4:30 to 5 am to fit them in, sacrificing some sleep in the context of a job that had me awake through the night every 4th to 5th day. I eventually succumbed to stress related medical problems, and quit riding altogether. If your employment situation is unchangeable, just watch the overall level of stress. TSS doesn’t capture everything. You may have to accept the limitations imposed by your job. Anything is better than nothing.


Totally agree with sorting the work/life thing as a priority and we’re on it… could be 3 to 9 months until we can make some major change there though. Also tried the short and intense workout thing at silly hours and it just made everything worse. Best way to totally destroy yourself.

Saving grace here is the weekends though… loads of free time there, but not sure if putting in 2x 2-3hour endurance shifts back to back is going to have any effect. Maybe just better resting and forgetting about cycling for now unless feel like it for fun?

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Anything is better than nothing. I’ve been through periods where I was fortunate to get two or three sessions of 30 min per week. But that’s still better than zero.

You just have to manage your expectations. You’re not going to make a lot of progress unless you are completely untrained. You can probably maintain base fitness reasonably well, but not much more than that with two on, five off.

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Which means Saturday is probably going to be a recovery day from the weekday employment intervals.

You probably won’t be able to build fitness but you should be able to capture and maintain at least some form of aerobic base. Two routes: i) do a couple long Endurance rides, or ii) one Sweet Spot and one VO2 workout. Third option: just ride around for fun, that might be far more healthy and enjoyable than stressing about actual training, plus you won’t burn-out and want to kick your bike out of the garage.

Since you have no other weekend obligations another major goal (the major goal?) should be rest and sleep.

Good luck! :v: