Looking for others insights and experience with training around life stress

Hey TR,

Long time member and forum lurker, first time poster.

I’ve read a bit, and listened to the TR podcast about how people deal with life stress in training. I guess there’s 2 options to choose from.

  1. low volume high intensity (seems like a common choice).
  2. high-ish volume low intensity.

I’m leaning towards option 2, as I have the time, but the sleep, stress, and lack of appetite are making efforts way harder than they should be.

I should be able to train around 10-12hrs per week, indoors. I’ve swapped from a focus on building power, to long Z2, sitting at around 70% for 9x10 minutes. This is feeling fun and motivating, so I’m running with it.

My question for everyone is: have you tried doing exclusively Z2 training? 70% of FTP, for 90mins, most days of the week? If so, what happened to your fitness?

I’ve reached an all time high recently, finally cracking 350W… and I really don’t want to lose that! (life stress aside, that’s a good part of my anxiety haha)


TR traditional base 1 on repeat a few times, and the traditional base 2. Felt flat. It’s been a long time but I remember feeling flat. The second year I did them mostly outside and that helps, because I tossed in some hard accelerations and sprints to feel better.

Ooh this is a great idea! I’m going to make a custom workout for exactly that and see what happens.

Might be able to swap to polarized next week, with 80% low Z2 and 20% high intensity. Thanks for the idea.


Yes, a few times, usually when recovering from an injury that limits intensity or in off season when I move away from structured training and just ride for enjoyment for a few months. When I’ve done it (coming from similar volume of 10-12 hours/week but with structure and intensity), fitness has gradually declined as you’d expect from reducing the training stimulus. Adding in even one fairly short high intensity session per week does a lot to maintain fitness, so if I was you I would do that. Could rotate that every week to keep yourself fresh and motivated - e.g. Cycle between doing a 1 hour threshold, VO2 or Anaerobic workout. Or even shorter - a 30-45 minute high intensity workout does a lot.

That’s always been the key for me! When you’ve got a lot of life stress going on then cycling needs to be an outlet that reduces stress, not increases it. If thinking about doing a planned hard workout is adding to stress then that’s not a sustainable approach. You might find at some point you’re no longer looking forward to those 90 minute Z2 sessions. So my advice would be to just change things up as and when things get stale. Personally that means a mix of indoor and outdoor, solo and group rides.

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Doing lots of LSD will impact you differently depending on what you were doing before it. If you’re used to only doing 4 hours a week and you suddenly start doing 10-12 hours a week, you’re going to suffer, no matter the intensity.

For me personally, 10-12 hours a week, all indoors, all Z2, would make me miserable, exhausted, sore, and demotivated in very short order. If I switched that up and made it three 90-120 minute indoor workouts, one or two with intensity, and then a 3-4 hour outdoor ride on the weekend, I’d be all smiles.