I’m in an enviable spot where I have ~14 - 16 hours to train, roughly 2 hours every day except 4 on one weekend day. My view is that as long as I’m (a) still enjoying the training mentally and (b) not physically burning out on the volume, that more is better - but the biggest weeks in the HV plans are just over 10 hours (and many weeks in the ~7-8 hour range).
My sense is that a move more towards polarized (specifically making the easy days easier and longer) is the right move here, so I’d still have ~3 quality sessions a week and 4 easier days, but not sure if others have had experiences with a situation like this, and have thoughts / input. Thanks.
1x 4hr Z2
1x VO2max (+ Z2)
But that’s only 10hr of “work”.
Unfortunately it looks as though you are capped at 2hr/ride so you’re going to have to swap intensity for time; this also means more R&R. Max out the long weekend ride then fill your week with whatever kind of training will serve your goal best.
How much/what type of training are you doing currently and what type of fitness level are you at? Have you put in multiple weeks of similarly high volume in the past?
You can also spend say 1.5 hours in the gym and an hour in a yoga class. This kind of stuff might make you an even better cyclist than even more hours on the bike.
Given your handle, I assume you are a mountain biker, correct?
In that case you could add skill sessions to your training plan where you don’t do anything taxing, but you just work on your bike handling skills.
As the others have suggested, gym work would also be a welcome addition. Again, if you are a mountain biker, you will need your upper body much more than a road biker. Plus, you will be a more rounded human being if you give a little love and attention to muscle groups that aren’t used that much when cycling.
You could do what Jonathan does - do the MV plan, but do all 5 sessions during Monday-Friday (there is one easy day in there already). Then have one weekend day off, and do a long ride on the other weekend day. Or drop one of the 5 sessions (not the recovery one, but maybe the original ‘Sunday’), and do two long rides over the weekend. I’d have one day free to catch up on other stuff in your life.
Going to the gym and skills sessions is a good plan too. Or you could add running to your schedule for extra aerobic fitness and more load on your bones and tendons.
As above more Z2 and just one hard session/week (but really hard). Plus still have a rest day. I’m envious - this is the best way to improve but I only have half your time!
I have. And yes. More zone 1-2.
Last year I was doing 4-6 hours a week of “interval sessions” these were set in Stone. Any other time I had to ride was Zone 1-2 which was normally 6-10 hours of Zone 1-2 (this was working with a Coach).
And when I say Zone 1-2 I mean sticking to it, don’t go hard up hills, going into Zone 3 when climbing is OK but don’t go above that. I had a 330w FTP and most of my rides I averaged around 200w or less.
you just described my training:
- ride your bike every day
- two days a week, ride for two hours, very very easily
- two days a week, ride your bike for two hours and do some efforts that are very, very hard
- two days a week, ride your bike for two hours easily
- one days a week, ride your bike for 3-4 hours easily
very very easily = ride ends up as 56-60% FTP
easily = 60-70% FTP
very very hard = do an Hour of Power or VO2 hills
I’m currently doing the HV Century plan and am extending to get more time on the bike…so far so good.
I Am averaging around 13-16hrs a week on the bike doing it.
Biggest problem is keeping up with the amount of food and rest.
No one else mentions a rest day, so quoting for +1
I think we should all (me too) try to move past ride envy. I suffer from it as well, social media makes this 100% worse - I’m getting better but it’s an affliction that doesn’t serve well!
Good questions - definitely helpful for me to give that extra context. My training has been a bit varied in the past, hours are generally in the 10 - 12 range for the past ~3 years (with no overuse injuries or motivation drops to speak of) but I’ve been pretty inconsistent between the polarized and SS models. Had some good results with SS base last year (first ever race win!) but felt I wasn’t using all of my available time and leaving something on the table.
So I’ve done this volume in the past - but looking to apply much more focus / intention to my planning rather than just taking it day by day.
Yep - generally focusing on endurance events in the ~4 - 8 hr range. Gym work definitely sounds like a good addition, especially since that’s a bit diversifying to exclusively hitting the trainer every day.
This is super helpful - one thing about the sweet spot plans that has troubled me a bit (despite the risk of burnout as hourly volume gets higher) is the lack of diversity in the rides. That is - it’s nice to have some rides that are just noodling around, and also some key rides where you are at your max capacity. Regardless of the fitness benefits of this type of riding - my sense is it’s very beneficial to any race schedule, in terms of getting yourself mentally prepared to really go into the hurt box.
Do you have any sort of progression between those sessions? My guess would be hard / easy / very easy, rinse and repeat, such that you have your best fitness for your hardest workouts, but could see other ways to skin the cat as well…
I’ve learned to love rest! If I could get faster doing 2 on/5 off, I would!
M - very very easy
Tues - very very hard
Wed - easy
Thurs - easy
Fri - very very easy
Sat - very very hard
Sun - easy
What volume is one used to?
I rarely take days off. Easy easy ride, sure.