Low Volume vs Medium


I’ve just recently started with TR and am training with the Medium volume plan. Due to time constraints, I’m completing 4 of the 5 workouts a week at the moment, so wondered whether I’m best placed staying on the medium volume - or changing to low and adding a ride each week to make 4? ie. do medium volume minus 1 or low volume plus 1, does it matter which one? thanks

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I think I’ve read an article in TR that says to do the low volume and add work is better than doing medium/high and removing workouts.


I think I might have seen that. But I want to understand why that is the case. 4 workouts is 4 workouts surely

The low volume will give you the three most important workouts so that you can nail them. With medium volume you may miss a key energy system on a given week. Also in my opinion missing workouts is super discouraging.


In short,

  • One aspect is the mental one of doing “more” work than prescribed vs “less”. Many people feel better doing that extra vs the feeling of skipping workouts.

  • Another factor is the addition of Adaptive Training into the use case. It may not make a massive difference overall, but skipping or deleting workouts may well lead to more suggested adaptations with a Medium Vol and skips vs Low Vol + workouts.


Depends which of the MV workouts you are missing. The best way to do it would be switching to LV making sure that you do all 3 workouts and then add in when you can using TrainNow which most likely will give you a z2 workout.


This! If you’re missing the Wednesday easy ride or the Sunday, I don’t see much harm.


Thanks everyone. If I do miss a workout It’ll be the easy Z1 session, I make sure the sweetspot & over/unders are completed. TBH I like to have 5 workouts a week and strive to do them as a bit of motivation, although life gets in the way. If I was on the low volume and had the available time, I’m not sure I’d be doing 5 in a week.

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Just schedule in 2 extra z2 days so they are on your calendar. You can use the repeating workout function and schedule them.

SSB1 LV and MV are basically the same thing. However, when you get to SSB2 the MV plan is 1xVo2 and 2xThreshold. If you can handle that great - personally I was able to nail SSB1 MV - however, when getting to SSB2 the double up on Threshold workouts zapped me so back to LV+ 2 z2 I went.

And a note - this is what TR says about MV plan. Have you plateaued or lots of experience with interval training? I think this is one of the biggest problems with the TR naming scheme based on number of workouts, but that is another topic…

"We recommend this volume for athletes who are experienced with interval training and have plateaued with the low-volume version of the plan. We don’t recommend mid volume for cyclists who intend to add a lot of additional riding outside of their plan’s scheduled workouts; these athletes are better served by the low-volume version."


Good advice, thanks.

This is exactly my experience and suggestion as well.

This year I plan to stick with LV and add either Z2 or TrainNow workouts depending on how I’m feeling. Though I’m also considering if the MV polarized plan might be pretty similar to what I’m shooting for which is more total volume, but keeping the key workouts to a few a week.

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Agreed that the MV POL plans parallel LV + Z2 that many like to do. I did all of the 6wk POL base and most of 8wk POL Build (before finally catching CV), and think the overall demand is very similar.

Not necessarily. The intensity between the 2 is a big factor.