Is it ok to over train?

The point I’m making here is apart from this extra cafe ride, the rest is purported to be a carefully crafted training plan which uses adaptive training to give me the right workout, every time.

Sure, it’s hard work, but I thought it was supposed to be.

In my mind there’s quite a disconnect between what TR/AT/Plan Builder is giving me and what the posters here think is sensible/doable.

My plan going forward is to drop to MV and replace the 2nd Vo2 max session for some endurance.

I’m a bit skeptical about reducing intensity/duration and improving more, but very happy to be proved wrong on that and can see I will be much less likely to tip over and do serious damage, which would ruin my summer plans completely.

I’m really glad i posted the question and the advice has been super helpful.

I would recommend looking at the Polarized MV plan for your needs. One VO2, one threshold workout per week plus 2 endurance rides. Substitute your group ride for one of the endurance rides. That should be sustainable for you so you wont run yourself into the ground.


It might be worth looking at your avg TSS per week and TSS per hour. This can tell if you are putting the body under too much stress per hour of training.

Get your popcorn ready. :rofl:

I will try to stay out of this one this time.

No, if you took the day off instead of riding the group ride with your friends, you’d still be training with too much intensity for too long too frequently IMO.

2x VO2MAX + threshold + SST in one week based on an FTP determined by a ramp test or AI estimation is not sustainable, quality training for most people for very long.

And you’re adding more intensity on the group ride to boot.


Is that amount of intensity sustainable regardless of the type of ftp test that was done?

It’s not something I would prescribe personally, no. I would guess fit athletes could do that for a few weeks, then recover for a little while afterwards and see a fitness bump, but doing that repeatedly over the course of many training blocks would not go well for most, IME.

The point of mentioning the FTP estimate was that it could compound the issue even further. An overestimated FTP (as is often the case with those protocols and TR in general) would mean that SST session is closer to threshold, the threshold session could be suprathreshold, etc.

If someone was doing hour-power tests and had a good feeling for their threshold on a day-to-day basis, I’d feel a lot better about that kind of training plan… but I still wouldn’t feel good about it. (And keep in mind he was adding a group ride with efforts up to threshold on top of that.)

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It is a pretty bold claim, how can it be proven?

What if you’ve extracted out most of the gains from doing vo2 work, and would benefit from more endurance and/or threshold work (or anaerobic or sprint or …)? What analytics would help answer that and other questions? What is the right amount of work and recovery? Is manipulating workouts based on indoor achieved performance against plan, athlete feedback, and FTP estimation enough to answer the question? Are there cases where 2 hard workouts and a little less volume will lead to better improvement over 4 or 5 hard workouts? Will some respond better to 3 hard workouts? If endurance performance scales with volume, what is the right amount of intensity to include in a week. Why do some of my riding buddies progress faster or slower, even if we are doing the same structured work?

A lot of great replies are coming from a focus on fundamentals. Go re-read those replies and reflect a bit. I hired a coach to help me answer some of the questions above. What surprised me is that given my goals, how much he reduced the hard work, and yet it pushed my fitness beyond plans that had more structured intervals, and more hard days. It wasn’t easy believing that less could be more, that fresh could be faster. It sounds like you are doing enough hours/week that some reduction in hard work has a good chance of making you faster.

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I see. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from having a coach it’s the importance of rest and recovery. Anytime I have recovery workouts on the schedule there are some explicit instructions making it clear I should be going easier. I’ve used TR plans in the past and fell into that trap that you need to go hard all the time and don’t lower intensity or skip a workout if you’re feeling fatigued. I’ll probably use a TR plan in the future but I’ll just adjust the intensity as needed.

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And of course today I test positive!

You couldn’t make it up

Might be worth listening to this FastTalk podcast about the more is better / no pain no gain approach to training:

The way I might think of it is, you “think” you are training hard 4 days a week, but the reality is because you are doing that much intensity that frequently that you are never fresh enough to do workouts that are really hard for you. They are all just kind of “luke warm” hard even though they feel like the hardest you could do that day. If you were fresher, you might could do something harder. You need it to be hard enough to cause an adaptation otherwise you are just kind of spinning your wheels.

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Thanks, I gave it a listen

This is probably true or at least I mark the sessions very hard, when if fresher they would be hard and so the progression is slower.

Missed all this week because of covid.

Think it’s likely to be at least Mon before I’ll get back to even really light training.

That Fast Talk episode was interesting and it got me thinking. I’ve honestly never done the super slow 100 watt rides. The same exact point came up in the last Kollie Moore podcast.

Me, I ride 6-7 days per week often for 60-90 minutes at a time. In the season I do a 3 hour group ride. I haven’t done the 3+ super low intensity base mile rides in years because I don’t like doing them by myself and I’ve never found a training partner that will ride that slow.

My lowest intensity is typically 65-70% of FTP because anything lower has an RPM of nothing for me.

But I don’t think I’m ever fresh enough doing a lot of 70% Z2. Recently I took extra full days off because of family stuff and when I got back on the bike I felt like I could push more watts. I think I was fresher.

I was thinking that a better schedule might be something like:

2 days with a workout
1 day with a longer endurance ride
2 other super easy nooding / recovery days
2 full days off

(In season, replace long endurance ride with the group ride.)

The 2 full days off and the the 2 super easy days will leave me much fresher for the 3 harder days.

IMO, long (> 60min) z1 rides are the only thing I consider ‘junk miles’. Not easy enough (due to length) to be true recovery, not hard enough to accrue the aerobic adaptions at the rate I want.

My week is roughly:
2 days active recovery - 45-60min max in z1 (something like lazy mountain)
2 interval days
3 days aerobic endurance - 65-70% FTP target

I do aerobic endurance rides after interval days so I am carrying some fatigue but can still knock them out. Active recovery days are before interval days so I can be fresher and push max watts. Just my 2c.

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It depends on how you define Zone 1. Less than 50%? Sure? Heart rate? RPE?

Seiler might say riding at 55% FTP for 3 hrs is a great aerobic ride. Others might call that recovery intensity. This is why some prefer HR for the aerobic long rides since ultimately that’s the best indication of internal strain that we have in real time.

But doing a 3 hour ride at 0.59IF is not junk if done at the right time and for the right purpose.

Hi @Worth_a_tri! You might just be in a state of overreach. Overreach is ok and even a tool that we should all pursue to improve our fitness and peak for events. It’s almost impossible to say given the information you’ve passed along but probably you are just overreaching. If you keep doing that you’ll stagnate. If you keep doing that you’ll be in a state of overtraining.

But based on what I’m reading in this thread the most important thing you need to do is really, really assess your training. Don’t allow yourself to fool yourself about what you are doing. Is this workout threshold or is it really sweetspot? Is this workout really a VO2max workout? Really, how consistent is my training? Really, how closely am I following my workout plan?

Your data is not available for review so I can’t say for sure but based on what I’m reading in your posts you might need to just really break down your training in a super objective way and re-assess what needs to happen. Or make your data public and we’ll all take a look & comment.

Coggan power zone 1.

Maybe. I’d rather do 65-70% for 3 hr or do an active recovery day if I feel worked over. But that is based on my goals / type of riding I target. If I was doing a 3hr MTB skills session and the result was .59IF I wouldn’t care as the goal would be skills development.

That is firmly Z2 Coggan anyway so not a great example, but I get the general point.

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True. I think some people see and IF below 0.6 and think it’s too easy. Just depends on when and why!