How Much Does Volume Matter?

Title says it all. I know the podcast has always pushed more volume as way to get faster. Any anecdotal stories about how much increasing volume makes a difference?

For reference, for myself:

6’, 184 lbs
Topped out at 275 ftp last year. Currently at 269 after ramp test a few weeks ago coming into sweet spot base, after TB1, 2, and 3.

Did the low volume plans last year SSB 2x and Short power 2x. This year is the first time I have felt very resilient, and able to bounce back after more volume, hard workouts, longer, etc. I’m doing mid volume, plus an extra workout or two. With the apocalypse, I’ve been able to do all the mid volume workouts, plus 4-5 hrs of endurance riding. Though, I doubt I can sustain that much extra riding, more due to time constraints as my wife is out of mandatory quarantine and going back to work (I’ll be on 5 yr old duty a few days a week).

Sorry if this is a bit rambly. I guess my question is does the extra volume really make a major impact on fitness gains? Obviously I’ll have my own answer to this in a few weeks when I take another ramp test…but hey. I’m bored at work with a total lack of customers.

anecdotally, yes. And science agrees, I’ve got a pile of bookmarks. This is a good starter article: https://simplifaster.com/articles/how-trainable-is-vo2-max/

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It certainly makes a big difference if your relatively new to cycling…less so if you have been riding a long time. Certainly if you have the time for a 4+hour zone2 ride a week it will make a big difference to your endurance. 2 hour SS sessions are a good substitute but as soon as the weather improves I will be out for some…I have 1x4.5 and 1x5 hr rides this winter…but hopefully I can fit in more this summer…especially as there looks like no tts in the UK this summer so I won’t have to worry about fatigue so much.

Yes, if you have the time to do extra volume for an extended period of time.
Doubling your volume with Z2 rides for only a couple of weeks probably won’t do a lot other than add to your fatigue of trying to recover from all the SS and Threshold workouts.

Thanks. Yea I likely wont be doubling the MV plan consistently. But I can definitely add real time to it. Extra ride day during the week, long day on Sundays.

I was planning to commute into work a couple days a week, but I don’t think that will happen now, as I will need to drive the 5yr old to family now in the mornings with school shut down…

I would say (like the Coaches in the Podcast):
continuity > volume > intensity
Not all gains can be measured with an Ftp test.
If you are on MV be cautious with just adding z2 work on top. Probably you need to lower the intensity of some of the rides.
You could keep vo2max and the threshold intervals and replace all the other with longer (3h+) zone 2 rides.
When you are time constrained just stick with MV plans.

That actually is more or less what I am planning on doing. Add pettit as a 6th workout day, and replace the Sunday sweet spot workout often with a 3-4 hr endurance or group ride.

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