Low or Medium Volume Build Phase

OK. I know on other threads I’ve been a proponent of the Low Volume plans but I’m just starting on Sustained Power Build Low Volume (did the Ramp Test this morning) and am thinking about whether to move “up” to the Medium Volume instead.

My thought was to skip the Wednesday rides which are the long aerobic ones (Pettit, et. al.) and do the four remaining workouts Monday to Thursday, have Friday as rest day then see what the weekend brings. Saturday would typically be a long day with Sunday a steady ride out with my wife though at the moment I’m recovering from a broken collarbone so trainer rides are fine, outdoor not so.

I did SSBLV 1 & 2 with full compliance so sticking with the LV plan would sort of make sense but then I’m a bloke and since when has sense applied to blokes and sport? I also did quite a few weekend rides so my weekly TSS was in the 400-500 range so I can handle the workload. Skipping the aerobic rides from the Medium Volume plan would keep me in that range.

For reference my target events are multi-day mountain bike ITTs like the Tour Divide but four to five days rather than twenty plus. A typical day is sixteen hours of riding or more. The first of these is at Easter so falls right at the end of this training block.

I’m in the middle of SusPB & was doing mid volume until this week when I switched it to low volume. I had a blast with SSB1 mid volume & also did SSBHV1 with no issues whatsoever. I was a bit tired but all workouts were completed & I never felt really challenged.

Build is a different animal all together. The first 3 weeks went more or less ok, I was certainly challenged, failed a workout & had to adjust intensity down on a couple. Went into the rest week just mentally shot but felt very good by the end. I did a vo2max & threshold workout in week 5 which went great but when I got to Palisade, it cracked me. I realized the mid volume build is too much for me right now. I mountain bike quite a bit in spring summer & fall often up to 15 hours a week so time on the bike isn’t a problem for me. But the level of effort I was putting in during build just wore me down. Almost every workout, I was ready to quit & just did not want to be suffering on the trainer in the basement. So it’s down to low volume a few weeks earlier than I’d planned to. For reference, I’m 47 & have been on TR since Oct of last year. No real structured interval training before this.

I’ve done the mix and match approach before and it’s worked well, I.e. Taking the LV workouts, replacing some or all of them with the MV version, then supplementing with some z1-2 outdoor rides.

Think doing 4 key workouts on consecutive days would be super hard though. Might work while your collarbone is healing if that means dedicating your weekends to recovery, but if you start doing any significant training loads at weekends again then seems like a recipe for overtraining. I would take the 3 MV workouts that correspond to what’s on the LV plan, and spread them over Monday-Thursday so you at least get one recovery/easy day in there. Then your long weekend ride can replace the 2 hour SS ride on the MV plan.

Ta guys.

There’s one of the blog posts that mentions the increased load in the Build phase as well. I will probably stick with the LV plan - I do Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays which gives me the weekends free. Then maybe add an ad hoc workout on Tuesdays or Thursdays depending on how I feel.

I would be surprised if you got through it ok with these four workouts between Mon-Thu, and you even have the weekend rides.

I would certainly fall apart. SPB left me with cooked legs on the next day quite a few times and starting every workout like this… phew!

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