How to add volume to only 3 workouts per week?

Could not find a topic that handles this situation. So I hope you can help me out:

I only have three days per week to do trainer road workouts. Not because my time is limited, but I also add in (unstructured) group rides and commutes during the week, which I will not give up. Most of the time that´s one to two commutes and one long ride on the weekend. During winter time most at Zone 2. At the moment, during winter time, that´s around 10-12h per week of total training with around 600TSS (including the TR workouts).

However, on my three “TrainerRoad days” I have the whole evening available for training and I would like to add more volume to those workouts. I already did this for SSB1 Low Volume and extended the three workouts to 2x90min and 1x120min per week. NOT by adding adding some endurance work at the end of the workout, but by adding one more interval or extending the intervals. So, for example 4x15min instead of 3x15min.

For SSB1, I found this approach to be hard (I would say RPE of 7-8 out of 10) but manageable. Now my question is how to ad volume in SSB2 and General Build? Do you think it´s better to add 30mins of Z2 Endurance work at the end of each workout or to add an additional higher intensity interval like I did in SSB1? I am afraid that the higher intensity threshold work may not be as tolerable and might burn me out?

Thanks for your thoughts!

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Select sshv and remove all short workouts

Thought about that. But the outcome would be quite different. For example SSB2: TSS would be similar but produced in a different way. Chopping the high volume would result in “only” three long workouts without any intensity above SweetSpot. Whereas in an adjusted low volume plan I would have at least one VO2max workout.

Not all TSS is produced equal, right? Is one option preferrable or is up to my personal preference which way to go?

This. SSB2 is already a lot of work in the quality sessions.

That said, I think you could balance it some: VO2max and threshold sessions, add zone 2 endurance time. Sweet Spot work, add an interval or two if you want.

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Yes this. If you have SS intervals look for + versions and see if you can finish an extra interval or two. For threshold or higher, just extend the cool down by 30-60 minutes and bump up the intensity so you are at 60-70% of FTP.

Amazing what adding 30 minutes of zone 2 to the end of three workouts a week will do for your fitness.


Sounds good. Thanks for the replies!

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Workout variant --> +1,2,3, etc

Or use extend cool down to add as much z2 as desired.

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you nailed it; don’t overdo, just add Z2. You’ll make gains long term from that for sure, without adding too much fatigue.

Nice work!


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What’s your goal for training, and how long/frequent are your commutes and group rides?

I am from Europe and at the moment it´s freezing winter time around here until March.

I have two A events during summer/autumn (both rolling road races, around 100k). B events are local drop rides around 75k, quite fast around 40km/h (25miles per hour). Almost like weekly races. However, those drop rides will not start before the end of March. By that time I will have finished the build plan if things go well.

During my SSB2 and Build phase, I will propably do one or two commutes (30km one way) and one or two group rides (mainly Z2 Endurance pace), of which one will be the long, slow sunday ride. Nothing extremely taxing.

Kudos for the winter commuting, this year I finally bought a specific winter bike and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t done the 45km one way commute even once yet.

I see why people have suggested +1 +2 variants, but you essentially did this in SSB LV1, I think your proposal to extend with endurance instead is on the money. :+1:

I’m a fan of commute training, but unless your route is very flat and uninterrupted, it’s hard to get a quality steady state ride in. You might want to add something like Boarstone or Cumberland occasionally.

Yes, in SSB1 I added high intensity intervals, not only Z2 Endurance. I even changed to a different workout sometimes if the “+1” or “+2” Versions were not “hard enough”. BUT: It was mainly indoor riding the last two moths. So, when outdoor rides will be added at the beginning of next year, I think it would be hard to follow this approach in SSB2 and Build again. I will rather addd some Z2 to be on the safe side.

Fortunately it is that way :). It has an elevation gain of only 30metres on the 30km stretch! Also it goes through relatively rural areas. So, no problem in this respect. Already did this the last 2 winters and it was fine. Steady Endurance pace all the way…

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