Cycling only 2 days in a row in weekends

Hi there.

I’ve been cycling for 2-3 years more seriously now, but inconsistently. I’ve done 3 triathlons but now training for a 70.3 in august (if covid want it, but if not I’ll still do it in the north by a lake).

Because of life, I can only train on morning weekends. So that means two days only per week and those days are in a row. Note that during the week-days I plug in 2-3 crossfit style workout so I do some high-intensity intervals/strength workouts and (when pools are open) 2 swims.

But when I plan the “low intensity” plan for 70.3 in trainerroad, it is still 3 days a week. So I don’t know which workouts to choose. The simplest way I red on the forum was to still do all the workouts of the plan, but just to stretch the time so I do all of them in the same order. That would be simple, but I don’t know how I can do that in the Plan builder. If it’s not that way, I am not sure which workouts I should pick for each week end. I was thinking maybe 1 week short-interval and long ride; 2nd week long-intervals and long ride; 3rd weeks both intervals (in that case I would use the same plan schedule of the plan builder, just ditching one workout per week in an alternative way).

Just looking for advice. Note that my goal is not to PR. My goal is just to stay in shape within triathlon training because I love it, and make it through the race without injury and under the time cap.


Anyone have any tips?

I am hesitating between doing all the workout planned but just not following the week pattern (because I’d be doing only 2 workouts on 3 per weeks) or skipping one workout per week to keep the same week plan but removing one workout per week. But if I do the latter, I am not sure if I should always keep the long ride + one interval, or I just alternate every week the type of workout I skip.

Anything will help thanks !!!

I’m coming at this from just a cyclist, not a triathlete, and what I would do if I wanted to train on the bike 2 weekend mornings while trying to absorb the effects of 3 planned workouts…

I would take the 2nd hardest workout of the 3 and use that one as my primary Saturday workout and immediately follow it by some Z2/Z3 work (additional 30-60 minutes depending on my other training stress that week and how much time I have that day).

Then I would take the hardest workout of the 3 for my primary Sunday workout and immediately follow it by some Z2 work (additional 30-60 minutes depending on my other training stress that week and how much time I have that day, or eliminate it if I am too fatigued).

Then on Monday I would make it a rest day or very light day…if it’s a light day I would make Tuesday my rest day.

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I would try and do one of the 90 min SS sessions on the Saturday - like Geiger+2, Tallac+2, Eclipse or Galena and then either get outside the next day for a 3 hour ride or try one of the longer zone 2 turbo sessions - start with say Andrews/Brasstown at 90min- then push to Boarstone at 2 hours and then maybe Koip and Ochoco at 2.5 hours …not ideal though - then have a rest day Monday.

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Thanks a lot!
How do you know which workout of the week is the hardest ? With the higher TSS or with the higher time?

It’s interesting because I was planning on putting the hardest workout on Saturday and the 2nd hardest on sunday, but I don’t know why, it’s just instinctively what I’d have done. I’m interested in understanding why if you have some time to explain.

Thanks again!

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Yeah my plan is to get back outside for the long ride in summer (winter here so I’m inside for all the rides)

So if I understand correctly, you’d go for the sweet spot training on Saturday (hard) and long ride on Sunday for every week of the plan?

Thanks for your reply I’ve been struggling the whole week trying to fix my idea :sweat_smile:

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If you’re just doing tri for fun & fitness and you don’t really care about results then just got for a rides on the weekend. You mentioned CrossFit, so you’re getting a ton of intensity there.

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Yes - you will get plenty of rest in the week and it’s a lot easier to hit the higher power targets fresh and then noodle along in zone 2 on a Sunday - the reverse is much tougher as there will be some fatigue and SS workouts like Galena are still pretty tough. I race TT and usually race Saturday pm and then go out for a few hours zone 2 Sunday - or a group ride when there is no pandemic…on the rare occasions I get up early and race Sunday morning I DON’T do a long zone 2 ride Saturday :laughing:

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IME gains are severely limited when only riding weekends.

Long term, it’s not even enough for me to maintain fitness.

I agree. You detrain for 5 days and then you ride for two straight. Ride the trainer in Z2 even if it’s only 20-30-40 minutes.

A better program might be two short interval workouts during the week and then long, slow distance Saturday and Sunday so you get your volume in.

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@QuittingBikes well I don’t de-train as I am doing crossfit 2-3 times in the week plus 2 swims. I don’t think we have the same definition of fitness. I can’t bike in the week for technical reason but I do have access to quick functional fitness interval training. I can only ride the two days of the weekends, which was the main point of making this post… I know it’s not ideal, but that’s what I have. Just looking for ways to maximize the quality of my training in those weekend rides by making the right choice of cycling workout types.

More TSS usually, but I would look at type of workout too. VO2 max vs Threshold for me regardless of TSS the more difficult one is going to be the VO2 max session. :joy:

I look at putting the hardest on Sunday because of recovery. I try to pair workout difficulty with appropriate recovery time. 18-24 hours of recovery time after the Saturday session and 40-48 hours after the Sunday session. Again, all this works for me at this time so it’s not to say that it would work for you or anyone else or even me in the future when things change.

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I’d do a VO2max on Saturday and a Sweetspot on Sunday, both 90 minutes at least.

Any chance you can get on an Airdyne or any other stationary bike during the week? 6-8 sprints @ 30s, max sustainable power each time, 4 minute recoveries, will go a long away.

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You are detraining your cycling with a 5 day gap every week. It’s going to be difficult to see much improvement without at least some ride during the week.

Also you don’t have running in there so I’m not sure how you plan on building aerobic fitness needed for a triathlon.

TrainerRoad has triathlon plans that work pretty well.

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I wish I could plug that in. But it’s already been months the gyms are closed here and I can only cycle at my place in the weekend because of neighbours. I’ve red a lot and tried to switch those high intensity with some crossfit, knowing it’s not the same, but at least trying to hit a similar energetic pathways.

Yes I just started the half distance training plan on trainer road. Thing is I can’t run for now maybe until 1-2 months so I’d be doing crossfit while I wait for that. Plus I still believe from what I’ve red and my experience that you do not de-train, especially your cycle, if you don’t cycle for 5 days. Our body isn’t built on a 7 week cycle, we just split the life into a calendar. Plus, lots of studies show the transferability of functional fitness to cycling. It’s not like I’d be couch-potatoing all the week and then burst myself on weekends. I’m still doing at least 4-5 more workouts plus active mobility and stretch sessions. Anyways, I’ve rarely cycled more than twice a week and continue to see improvements. Of course I wish I could do more, but for now I have to manage a 2 days in a row.
Thanks for the feedback I’ve started the half distance triathlon plan!

Let me put it another way. You will not be seeing increases in speed or strength with only two days back to back. You need regular stimulus not intermittent. If you are happy with your current speed then you are good to go. If you aren’t then with your current method do not expect to see gains. You are seeing improvement now but I’m positive you will plateau with your method.
What you are doing is called maintenance not building

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So 70.3 is a distance where it’s just long enough that you’re going to need the specificity to endure that race, nutrition preparation and , 56 miles is a good chunk of the race… I’d say roll back the cross-fit to 1-2 workouts a week and fit in all 3 bike workouts… you’ll be happy you did come race day.

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