Low Volume Plans (Maintenance for Mid Vol Plan Gains?)

I’ve just finished my third winter of mid volume plans, and have a good handle now on what gains I can expect from that training load.

I’ve reached a point where I’m content with my fitness levels, and further gains now would likely be incrementally hard to find (not sure I have the motivation to chase them!).

I’m considering switching to a low volume plan in the hope of maintaining the hard earned fitness gains that I’ve made. My concern is that the reduced training load could result in a loss of fitness. Does anyone have first hand experience of this approach?


More than likely will lose some fitness. You will need to maintain the intensity and TSS that got you to where you are to maintain the fitness.

You can back off and retain the fitness for a short time but the trend will start to head downwards.


You might lose some really top end fitness, but that’s normal in a regular training cycle. I think you’ll have no issues maintaining very high fitness with strong compliance to a LV plan. I’m still seeing gains from LV build having gone through MV SSB. I don’t have the TR background you do, but I’m not new to structured training. It just doesn’t take a whole lot to maintain a strong level of fitness, within reason. LV plans have plenty of intensity.


I was struggling with MV plans due to life stuff (kids/self amployed etc) and I always lost my stride when I had to miss a workout due to the volume of workouts per week.

Recently I switched to doing LV plans but making sure I always picked the highest TSS alternative of the scheduled ride and ive seen bigger gains and also much easier to fit rides in.


If you compare the MV and LV plans, the LV give you every minute of threshold-and-higher. MV includes more time at aerobic (during the week) and a second weekend workout at sweet spot.

My guess is the two biggest differences you may see are:

  1. You’ll gain some weight, since you’re not doing as much work.
  2. You may be less able to sustain your peak as long, given a reduced aerobic base.

But with the time you free up, you can work on strength training, mobility, or outdoor rides.

After several years doing MV, I’m using LV mixed with strength training this year and so far see no decline (in FTP) compared to prior year.


Thanks to everyone for the replies.

I think the point about LV plans still having sufficient intensity is a good one. That should keep me close to where I’m at for a while at least.

The number one thing I’ve gained from 3 winters of MV is a much better base. Longer rides are well within my comfort zone now, and recovering from efforts during the ride is much easier as well. Adding a long endurance ride to LV every other week should stave off any decline in that and might just give me everything I’m looking for.


:point_up: Exactly. I’ve switched over to low volume to get my intensity work and pull a long endurance ride (4hrs) about every 9-10 days and I’ve seen no loss. I’m getting ready to drop a LV workout to move to an outdoor ride of 2-3 hours once a week and still get the longer endurance ride as well. Have a buddy who started this with LV plan last year and he has seen great success. The two workouts he keeps he bumps his intensity 2-3% up to make sure he is closer to 96-100% when he does his intervals though vs being in the 88-94% range. He has is still seeing gains, they come slower but gains and that’s all that matters.