Just done some quick and easy calcs on my weekly average volume (in time) and surprise surprise it’s not as high a number as I’d like to think. I want to increase gradually increase riding volume over the winter as work allows. Couple of questions I have
Is it best to increase time or TSS? I’d prefer time as I can get some longer miles in but when work life doesn’t allow a shorter/harder workout would be possible so would TSS volume be a better metric to track.
is there a good ramp rate for how to increase? (as in increase time or TSS by xx% each week)
Depends on your goals regarding increasing TSS or time…what are they?
Some ramp rate info here.
The answer is both but it depends
You have to increase load to force adaptations. The question is what kind of adaptation do you want, and at what time during the year?
For Base, ideally you add time. Nothing beats high volume for base. You’ll have a high AeT off of 24 hours a week of zone 1-2 than you will off of 12 hours a week of zone 2 and SST. But, few of us can do that. So, add as much volume as you can, then look at extending the amount of time in zone on the SST/threshold days. If you can go from 8 hours to 10 hours a week, and increase the time in zone on the SST days, then you’ll be increasing load in a functional way.
Non-functional increase in load? Just chasing TSS and letting every Base ride turn into 80% of FTP. You’ll be able to do it, you’ll be increasing CTL, but you probably won’t be increasing FTP or any race duration power that will help your results. You’ll just be getting tired.
During build? Increasing load will come from being able to complete more time in zone on the interval days. For most amateurs, trying to add endurance volume during a VO2 or anaerobic capacity-focused Build phase just results in more fatigue, flat interval days, and a decrease in performance. Increasing TSS load by starting with 4 x 4 min of intervals at 115%, say, and ending four weeks later with 6 x 4 min @ 115%, will probably be a functional increase in load.
A coach would have to get to know you to make more specific recommendations, but by and large, increase volume for Base, increase time in zone for Build.
Thanks for the replies, useful stuff for me to to think about
Any easy way to add a bit of volume to say a mid volume plan, it to add to the cool down, possibly the warm up as well. If high volume is too much and mid volume is not enough, this method may work.
For me, I want to add volume but not days. I like the 2 days off (Monday and Friday) and at 43 yrs old I think I need it. However, it’s very easy to tack on an extra 15-30 mins to my other workouts. This way I can add an extra 1-2 hours per week of aerobic training (recovery) without really taxing my body. I build slowly, maybe add an extra 5 mins to the warm up and 10 to the cool down, then grow that as I continue through Base or Build.