This might be a question better suited to the Podcast, but i thought i’d ask here first…
Last season I had more time to train (around 8-12 hrs a week), I mainly followed SSB1&2 High volume with some rides swapped for outdoor rides or Zwift events. This was around 600-700TSS a week. I felt OK with this volume and saw some big gains reaching 4.5W/Kg (previous season best was 4.0W/Kg). Once i hit the build phase i had to knock this back a bit with the higher intensity stuff’s TSS being harder to recover from.
This season i just don’t have the time to train as much due to work commitments, to the point full compliance on SSB1 mid volume is challenging in terms of finding the time to get on the bike, eat and be in bed at a reasonable time. if i do skip workouts it’s the lower intensity aerobic ones that get missed and i’ll sometimes swap a VO2 set in instead of sweet-spot if i know it’s going to happen the next day. I’m still making gains at the moment (end of week 5), I expect I’ll be back at 4.0W/kg at the next test to start the 2nd 6 week block after a lengthy off-season. I don’t currently feel like i need a rest week, and this week has been setting new power PR’s. I certainly, feel like i could handle more training stress, I just don’t have the time without compromising sleep.
So to my Question: What do people think about maintaining the 6 week cycles (5 on, 1 rest) into the build phases after i’m done on SSB, considering i’m time limited not training load constrained?
The way i see it, you get more training load in by increasing the work:rest ratio in this way. I know this would normally be considered risky, but history says i can make good gains on high volume and i can’t fit that in right now. I’m already maximizing indoor workouts even when i could ride outside in the interest of time efficiency.
I’d almost call myself a lifetime athlete as i spent 8 years training and racing as a child/teenager at a high level and have another 4 seasons of training and racing under my belt since my return to racing as a Masters athlete (35 this year), so i think i’m pretty good at listening to my body and understanding when i’m close to the over-training limit and need to back off.
Just wondered if anyone else has experience with this kind of strategy as the intensity ramps up? Or, are there some underlying physiological principals that mean 4 week cycles are better than 6? I guess 5 weeks could be a halfway house and probably worth doing for the first block.