Is Low Volume Enough to Make Me Faster

Hey all!
I just finished my first block of base and I’m coming off of a recovery week. There was a technical issue with my plan and support had me delete it and put the start date today since it was messing up timing and had six full weeks without a rest.
But as I’m about to start, I’m wondering if low volume is enough to make me faster instead of mid? Here’s the situation-
I ride between 10-20 hours a week and have six ride days, so it’s not a matter of volume. As we get closer to spring and summer, the weekly TT series will begin and more roads will open up. Besides focusing on TT nats, my big events are 150 and 200 mile races and everesting. Because of that, I like to do epic Strava segments for fun and profit :stuck_out_tongue:
So I’m wondering which plan would provide the best results over the season? Here are my two thoughts:
LV: 3 key workouts a week plus three free days to add in a recovery, epic ride, and weekly TT
MV: Four critical workouts with one free day per week.
So it comes down to consistency and structure VS specificity.
With the LV plan I have three days a week to focus on specificity for the nearest goal, but with MV I have more structured workouts each week.
Which one do you all think would be best for me in this scenario? And when I say epic segments, I mean something like this :sunglasses:


I went with an LV plan last year and the club TT replaced one of the three workouts often but I scored significant pbs on open TTs. My favourite PB was by nearly 3 minutes in 40-50mph gusts in the same set up (apart from the bars) as I had on my previous pb 4 years early. I did ride on weekends without open TT’s though, so if you are riding 6 days a week it should make you faster too.

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That’s great to hear that it worked for you. I’m inclined to do the LV just because of the freedom it offers, just so long as I’m not leaving speed on the table. But at least from your results, it sounds like the better option!

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I’d say so. Summer of 2021 my 1 Hr. PR was 160w 2Hr. 135. In November I started my LV plan and now my 1Hr. PR is 180 and 2Hr. PR is 162.
Consistency is key. I like LV Plan because I can still do club rides on the weekday and long weekend rides on the weekend without it being too fatiguing.

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I would probably suggest replacing the weekend ride on the LV plan with the TT and adding more endurance riding. Especially for the goals you listed, aerobic endurance should be your biggest focus. And with 10-20 hour’s per week of riding, 4 key (hard) workouts may be a bit too much.

Because the LV plan is built for people riding 4-5 hours per week they are already pretty intense. So adding more intensity (and lots of volume) on top of that could be a bit too much.

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20 hours a week is Pro Tour volume, while the mid-volume plan mostly just adds a few hours of volume at somewhat lower intensity. The way you describe your training it almost sounds like you are doing a polarized plan where the TR workouts are the 20% intensity and the other 6 to 14 hours are your low-intensity hours.

Honestly I think you might be one of those people that benfits from having a real/biological coach because you have so much going on outside of the TR progam.

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I think you’re looking at the plans wrong and not comparing apples to apples. LV assumes you’re doing little to no work on your off days, so adjusts intensity Up to compensate. So your 3 intensity days are more intense. Also, workouts are shorter meaning less recovery between intervals.

MV has you riding 2 extra days (1 recovery and 1 moderate), so adjusts your other 3 intensity days down to compensate for your extra work. When you add workouts/rides to a LV plan you could be actually doing more work than MV since your 3 intensity days aren’t being down adjusted.

HV has you working 6 days a week so all workouts are adjusted to compensate. You generally, depending on the training phase, no longer have 3 intensity days. You’ll have 2 intensity and 2 moderate. After 2 years of MV and 2 years at HV, my experience is that HV plans are structured better.

With the amount of volume you’re riding you are on an ad hoc HV plan of your own, but your TR workouts aren’t adjusted to compensate when using LV. You’d be much better served using a HV plan and associating workouts with unstructured rides. It takes a bit more work but it accurately reflects your training. Using a LV plan and adding to it is the easy button, it’s not “freedom” as you say. It will work but it may not be optimal.

Eventually when TR can analyze these unstructured rides you won’t have to adjust your plan. However until then I’d recommend HV.

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That’s great advice!

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MV does not down adjust intensity through SSB1 or 2 - just adds in the extra SS ride and z2 ride. I go back and forth on which one to do and I end up doing LV and adding 2 z2 rides. It looks to be the same with Sustained Power Build - MV actually adds in a 2nd vo2 workout while the 3 LV match up with the other 3 intensity rides. Of course this is only looking at a couple of plans so might not be the case with everything.

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I’m on the same boat as you but I add volume to my mid volume, usually I do a long Sunday workout and skip the sweet spot. I find it has a better taper outlined for the extra volume I do. I find I lose fitness with a low volume plan by the end of specialty and not so much when following mid volume plan.

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That’s worth considering. I have done HV in the past, but my problem was after some time I was having to skip workouts because of weekly races and my huge prep rides.
As for the intensity, I haven’t really seen that as a problem. Usually I look for an alternate of similar structure but for a longer duration (2-3 hours). I don’t just pick at random, but use the actual alternate list and just look for longer versions. Thanks for the tips… I’ve got a lot to consider 🫠

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Until TR manage to get AT sorted to account for outside rides at least they dont reccomend upscaling your plan and substituting workouts for unstructured outdoors rides. To get AT to work they recommend (or at least they did in an email to me) down scaling (ie going to LV) and augmenting with outdoors rides currently. Whether or not they change that advice when PLs2 or whatever it is called is lauched I don’t really know.

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