Considering TR, NON time crunched, worth it?

I currently rode about 20 hours a week. Add in some running, and some gym rock climbing. I have a lot of time I can spend on training. I’ve got quite a bit of experience.

I hired a coach a couple years ago to help with my training, found it extremely useful, but want to split the difference in cost and considering TR instead of just winging it like I’ve always done.

Question is, which volume plan should I use knowing I am still going to do large volumes of riding? Should I do low volume and just do my extra stuff, or a high volume plan? I’m thinking low, but, that’s why I’m asking.

I’ll be training for XCO format primary, so about 1-2 hour race durations. But I also like to sprinkle in the occasional 30 mile run or 6+ hour bike ride for fun. Not much interested in cutting back on overall volume, I enjoy being outdoors too much. Also live in SoCal so weather is rarely an issue.

Don’t fall into the trap!

20 hours of riding is very different from 20 hours of TR intensity. Unless you’ve been doing 20 hours of highly structured intensity and handling it well, don’t start with HV. It’s not meant for 98% of us mere mortals,

The standard rec is start with LV and absolutely nail it (no skipped days, complete all workouts, etc) before moving up. You could even do LV and supplement with endurance rides on Wed/Sunday and see how you get on. If you feel you’re absolutely crushing it doing that, you could move with MV and see how you handle it.

Another bit of advice, don’t move up too soon. 3-4 weeks of intensity piles up and if you jump to MV too soon, you’ll hit the death spiral.

Hope this helps, and happy to answer any other questions you have.


The general advice tends to be go lower than you think if you aren’t used to structure.

You can always bump up to a higher plan if you need more challenge, or add workouts, but difficult to dig yourself out of a hole if you started with too much or just got burnt out with too much structure added at once.

There is nothing stopping you from adding a bunch of your own fun stuff in addition to lower volume plans. Only thing to be aware of is that lower volume tends to go higher intensity to make up for the decreased volume.

I was in a similar position, though a bit less overall bike specific volume than you, ( I am a triathlete and was coming off of a higher volume run history ) and jumped into sweet spot base mid volume. I was still able to add in my own rides as I felt I wanted to, and threw in a few zwift races and still nailed my workouts.

I’m now going to dip my toes into sweet spot base high volume to see what all the fuss is about.

I did see a 20 watt bump adding in the structure in sweet spot base mid volume 1, and in just over a week I’ll get to see what mid volume 2 did to that ftp!

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That’s kinda what I was thinking. The coach had me doing what I imagine is an equivalent to LV intensity plan with me adding in all my low intensity stuff. I did intervals 2-3 times a week. He actually trained almost exactly the way I did, so it was actually a nice change of pace for him to have an athlete that trained like him.

I have no interest in doing 20 hours of structure. I enjoy riding my bikes and running, I do a ton of volume for the fun of it.

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After a lot of hemming and hawing, I think I will use it this year. I’ll go low volume on the plan and just add in my supplemental (mostly fun riding).

Thats good and you really do not have anything to lose and know you will love it.

Just paid for the annual up front. I am sure it is more than adequate for performance gains. Now I have to decide if I want to try and rig up a trainer for an FTP, or just use the outdoor test on my Garmin and be “close enough”. The last time I tried it the number it punched out, while heart wrenching, felt accurate (about 10% down from a year before, and currently estimating 10% more from that!).