Help - Scheduling around 3 day work trips each week?

Something I have struggled with for years…I’d love people’s advice please.

My work means I am away for a 2-3 day block each week with no bike access. I’m often overseas those days and realistically no riding is possible. This means I constantly struggle to work out how to structure a week? The good news is that I am not particularly time-crunched on the other days but how would you recommend scheduling indoor and outdoor rides for the other 4-5 days? I like to get outdoors as much as possible all year round (in the UK).

I usually end up doing back to back days and using the work trips as recovery after burying myself for 3-4 days immediately beforehand, often managing a final session in the morning before heading to the airport etc. This works quite well but does mean that I can’t do many harder interval workouts as they end up being back to back. I can’t bring myself to take many recovery days between workouts when I only have a max of 4 riding days a week as it is? I like to dig a big TSB hole and recover while travelling.

My goal is FTP development pure and simple and I ride GFs and multi-day events and trips in the mountains.

Thanks

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Not just me than :rofl:

@Nate_Pearson or other member of the team - any guidance?

Many thanks

You sound like you’re doing it right. I’d make your hardest days the first day you come back from rest.

You could experiment with 2 on, 1 easy, 2 on. You could have the hardest days be on the 1st and 4th workout (after the easy day). If you struggle with getting enough volume you can add easy rides in the morning or evening. You can also extend some of those rides before the rest days so that you tack on extra aerobic work.

It sounds like you could turn yourself into a really good 3-5 day stage racer! You’re going to have to be comfortable in being a bit tired during the rest of the week though if you want to do a fair amount of volume.

Good luck!

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I’ve also been working schedules like this recently. I do

4 on/3off

  • Endurance/Transition the day after a flight (I’m always flat day after)
  • Long or very Hard Ride
  • Endurance
  • Short but Hard Ride (in the morning before flight)
  • Work
  • Work
  • Work (fly back late)

For 5on/2off

  • Endurance/Transition
  • Long Ride
  • Easy/Endurance
  • Hardest Ride
  • Short Hard Ride (before flight)
  • Work
  • Work (fly back late)
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Facing similar work issues. Some months it’s a similar schedule as OP suggested. Gone 3-4 days a week. But other months it’s 18 or so days off in a row and then 11-12 days of work. I could take a collapsing frame, but honestly it’s a monumental pain.

Thinking of maybe a HIIT 8 day protocol followed by recovery /Z2/SST as departure day nears. The repeating the HIIT block days upon return.

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I obviously don’t know your exact situation, but what about a hotel gym? 30 minutes on a treadmill or stationary bike could do wonders.

On that same note, do you ever run? One thing I love about running is how easy it is to squeeze a quick one in. Very little gear, very little prep, just head out for 30 minutes and you can get a great interval workout or just stretch your legs. Is that an option?

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Good points - sometimes I would have access to a hotel gym but when I’ve tried in the past I just hate it. Usually have to wait to get on the bike, it doesnt fit properly and 10 mins in a warm gym, probably doing 50% less W with no cooling just seems to be a waste.

My other challenge is that I’m a trainer/coach/consultant and can often spend 10 hours a day on my feet on these trips as well as being very mentally drained by the end of each day. I usually just need to retreat to my room and relax. I lack the discipline to hit the gym.

I used to run a lot but my knees are a little dodgy now. I also feel that running on these days means I dont recover as well for the cycling, and thats my A focus.

Thanks Nate - appreciate the comments.

Funnily enough I do well on multi-day stuff. I ride a lot of 5-6 day trips to the Alps and Pyrenees etc and can ride well all week. Many of my friends start to expire on day 3 but that often seems the point I really start to get going :smiley:

I like the idea of the 2-1-2 structure. Volume is often less of an issue as I have retired friends close by that ride 40-60 miles pretty much every day at a decent pace, so can join them when I feel the need. It’s just the compulsory cake stops in the middle of those rides that spoil it…

BTW - been on TR for many years and love the podcasts. Such a great resource you and the team give us.

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I also do Monday, Wednesday, Thursday due to work commitments. Not ideal, but it can work

I was going to say, as someone who has similar travel, your work days are likely NOT recovery days. The stress of travel for me is getting rougher as I get older – sitting on planes, lugging luggage, long walks in airports, taxi rides. And add to that work stress and just being “on” for extended periods, work dinners, disrupted sleep patterns, etc… It all adds up. For me, making good choices while away helps (no/minimal drinking, healthy eating habits, bedtime routine, later outbound flights, earlier inbound flights), but others you can’t help.

If you don’t like the gym, what about some yoga/stretching or core routines? With an ipad I can watch regular youtube videos and do along in my room, which are more manageable than bringing gym clothes, getting to the gym, etc.

It sounds like you are doing it right overall, but I understand how hard it is.

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That answers one of my questions. Might I suggest (and I am horrible about getting it done) yoga and body strength exercises while traveling. Work the core and overall body but you can control the difficulty based on work and your recovery.

Unless doing a 20 min recovery ride WILL help your recovery – both from the training and your long day at work.

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I hear you guys on the yoga and stretching - its something I’ve been trying (and failing) to do more of for years. I think I need to knuckle down and get the habit formed. I was also thinking about some simple strength work using bands?

I’ve got quite good at healthy habits - no alcohol, lower carb meals, no junk foods and early (ish) nights, but the travel, planes, stress and the fact I am on my feet definitely impact recovery and as was pointed out, you can only control so much. I still come home able to get out and it it hard again though.

Its good to know that I’m generally on the right track with the training routine though.

How would you do this in SSML1? I’m in a same thing only different situation… just entering the plan and I have a race every Sunday for 9 sundays… trying to understand how to go about that with out over doing it…

What’s more important, the training or the racing? Serious question.

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True that I kinda made a commitment with the shop and the guys I would I could back out there’s nothing in writing but it would t look good for me and my word

Day 1: Tuesday
Day 2: Thursday
Day 3: Wednesday or taku-1 or Rest depending on how you feel.
Day 4: Sat
Day 5: Sunday

how old are you? the back to back days will be really good and I think you could make it work.
1- high intensity
2- something like sweet spot bursts or even short threshold burst workouts
3- endurance
4- one more high intensity
5-7 work

day 3 or 4 could also sub in a really long ride every other week.

do you life? If you’re over 35yo I’d highly recommend it. Once you adapt to that over a couple months you could get a gym session in while away on day 5 and 7…massive benefit to your neuromuscular system, plus added benefits of injury prevention and your core will have you shredding the bike so hard.

good luck and let us know what you end up doing!

Brendan

Been struggling with this for over a year now. I can only get 3 days back to back to exercise as I’m on the road Tuesday thru Friday.

@Nate_Pearson I would love for you guys to discuss this on the podcast. I know there must be other weekend warriors out there…

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I think chad would say:

Day 1 VO2 max
Day 2 threshold or sweet spot
Day 3 endurance

Add extra aerobic volume to the end of each workout if time/recovery allows.

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How would you suggest doing it over a cycle? Ramp up the TSS for 3 weeks then back it off for 1 week? Rinse and repeat?

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