Dissect My Plan | Training on 7-8H a Week

Wanted to float a question or two here since I’m a former TR user getting back into cycling again. Since I’m familiar with cycling training I’ve got a good idea on how to create my own plan and I hope it’s not a fauxpas to post here as a result.

I took roughly 18 months off of the bike entirely after having reached an FTP of 275W (4.4W/kg). I obviously gained weight and lost power and I’m in the process of trying to fix both of these again. I can’t stand doing any more than an hour on the trainer regularly so I’m trying to ensure I’ve planned out my return to good form optimally.

I am doing 6 days a week of an hour or less and one longer ride. I’ve formatted it with progression week over week increasing TSS and Intensity minutes. The layout is as follows:
3x 60-75% FTP rides for 45-60 minutes
2x 92% FTP with progressive interval length week over week. (3x7, 3x9, 2x12, 2x15, 3x12, 2x18, 3x15).
1x 120% FTP with intervals building from 1 minute to 3 minutes with 30s increments each week.
1x 55-80% starting at 80 minutes and increasing by 10 minutes each week to end week 5 at 2H.
1x Over Under day replaces an easy day in weeks 3-5 for progression

On top of this I’m doing 3 days of strength work mostly focused on upper body and core and only one leg day. I align these workouts with my lower intensity days. All this is happening while being in a -500 caloric daily deficit. It’s also worth mentioning that I do most rides at a very high cadence (96-104RPM) and no low cadence work.

I’m nearly done week 9 and my first block I saw a +20W increase in my FTP and I’m expecting 50% of that at the conclusion of my next test (+10W). I haven’t failed any sessions and I don’t feel too badly with the excess rest due to Covid isolation.

My questions are #1 can anybody poke holes in this approach #2 Should I repeat this for another 6 weeks where I have no event I’m targeting #3 would moving intensity up to sub-threshold (95-99% FTP) for 4 week block instead of the Sweetspot be a better plan #4 should I just add a second VO2Max day in place of the Over Under / Extra Easy day

40 Years Old
240W FTP
6 Years Previous Structured Training

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Should you make room for random nice day outside rides?

I live in a large metropolitan area with high smog levels and I don’t have access to a vehicle. Combine that with texting & driving and I’m more comfortable riding indoors fulltime unless it’s an outdoor event.

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Curious to learn why you wouldn’t follow any of the stock plans. They would eliminate all doubt and grant success.

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I would challenge this.

Have you considered adding 15 minutes endurance to the end of your VO2 and O/U sessions? Those 15 minutes will fly by and it will enable you to tax multiple muscle fibre types in one workout.

Because there are too many 1:15, 1:30, 2:00 rides in the plans. I’ve done them before and that’s not what I want to be doing. That is why I am asking for advice on what I’ve got going.

+30 minutes of Z2 when I am already doing 3-4H of that doesn’t seem like it would yield anything at all. I’d challenge this logic. How do you see this being an enhancement vs adding unnecessary fatigue? O/U day is followed by a SS day. I’m thinking it’s more beneficial to get recovery underway with the amount of Z2 work that’s already being done throughout the week any benefits would be a wash.

I think you’ve misinterpreted my response.

In your original post, you stated I can’t stand doing any more than an hour on the trainer regularly. My response was twofold.

I directly challenged your statement. 15-20 minutes of endurance work always seems to fly by after a hard VO2 or O/U session. The benefits of adding this endurance work have been discussed at length on the TR Podcast by Coach Chad and the Team. I don’t claim to remember the exact terms that Coach Chad used but essentially you’re taxing more muscle groups when endurance is added to sessions such as this. This is also a great way to add additional volume to your plan.

Your SS day shouldn’t be effected by your O/U day (even with additional endurance), that should be a ‘stackable’ sequence.

Just for reference, I’m no young-buck who recovers two hours after a workout. I’m 43 and I’ve been using TR for around three years.

Reasonable theory. I however only have a finite amount of time 7-8H a week. No more than 60 minutes 85% of the time (6 days a week). There is no no additional time to spare.

Coach Chad discussed this in a podcast a while ago, and stated that after 60 mins of higher intensity work, your body is in a fatigued state that might have taken 3 hrs of zone 2 riding to reach, and that you can get similar endurance and stamina benefits without having to spend that long on the trainer. And adding 15 mins of endurance work at the end doesn’t add much additional fatigue compared with what you have already accumulated.

I note your time constraints, and am not suggesting that you have to do this. Just discussing the theoretical benefits that this approach might have.

I’m not sure there’s much theory to it. Sure that athletes and coaches with far more experience and knowledge than me have reaped the benefits.

Anyhoo, that’s besides the point. You can only work with the time you have available. :+1:

Couldn’t you take the minus options? Perhaps cutting the workouts short will have some effect on your progress. Guess you can’t get the most out of it if all you do is hour sessions. Guess more intensity could help.

Not qualified to comment on the overall plan, but for me 1 minute at 120% ftp would be pretty easy. I’d maybe work up from 2 minutes to 4/5 minutes

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It was weekly progression.
15x1:00 @120
12x1:30 @120
9x2:00 @120
7x2:30 @120
6x3:00 @120

Everything was done with a 1:1 workout to rest ratio. It was to build up time at intensity and also develop lactate shuttling ability. Also, from what I’ve read VO2MAx is best kept under 3 minutes. Anything over that is diminishing returns. Perhaps I’m confusing that with Anerobic work?

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Aha! Ignore me, I’m an eedjit :smile:

I don’t think that at all personally. I’m just clarifying the work being done so things are clear. I could be wrong but I’ll only know if challenged.

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Ta. Really interested to see how you do! Keep us updated