Mid Volume Mod vs Low Volume

Hey All!

I have a question I wanted to run by you all… but here is some quick background first.

Since about March of last year, I have been following the Mid-Volume plans (Base, Build, etc.) and doing most of my riding indoors. A few buddies recently got bikes, and I am starting to weave in more outdoor rides - about one or two a week, typically on the weekends. I like to push somewhat hard, and the IF is usually in the .75-.85 range for 2+ hours for those outdoor rides. So not a coffee ride, but also not a structured workout.

I am about to start a new block and deciding if I should stick with the Mid-Volume plan and cut out the “Moderate Sunday” workout in exchange for an outdoor ride (unstructured) or go down to the Low-Volume and make sure I am nailing the 3 workouts and toss in an extra workout here and there depending.

I have been on a nice upward trajectory with my FTP since the beginning of last year (220 to 275 - thank you, TR), and I would like to keep on improving. I am a little worried that the drop in volume might affect that, but I wanted to see your thoughts!

TL;DR - Is it better to remove the “moderate” workout from the Mid Volume Plan or add an “easy/moderate” workout to the Low Volume plan when balancing outside riding with indoor training?

Thanks, everyone!

I’ve done both of these methods several times now and I honestly don’t think you will hurt your performance either way. I’m just coming off SSB Mid Vol 1 where I dropped the Sunday workout every week in favor of an outside ride or a “free ride” on Zwift. For SSB Vol 2 I’m going to go back to Low Vol and then will add in workouts as I see fit.

I tend to prefer the flexibility of Low Vol in that I can just add in whatever I think I need on the non key workout days. I typically ride 6-7 days a week but my 100% focus is on nailing those 3 TR workouts. I add in workouts like Lazy Mountain, Pettit, or Baxter on the additional days. Combine that with an outside ride on the weekend and my TSS is easily that of a Mid Vol plan. Only difference is that the Sunday outside ride is less of a “quality” workout than if I did the workout on the Mid Vol plan. Plus you can always add the Sunday ride back in if for any reason you can’r ride outside (I’ve done this many times).

I also think about which phase I am in and the time of year. I don’t think I have ever done a build phase in Mid Vol because I want to make sure I can execute on those 3 key workouts. I’ll do Mid Vol during base though as I’m less concerned about doing each workout perfectly.

That’s my non-scientific approach. I know there are some differences in the low and mid vol workouts and they are designed that way for a reason, but like I said I don’t think you’ll hurt your performance either way.

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Awesome, thanks for the insight!

I have found it challenging to balance free-riding outside and training indoors, so this is helpful. I think I will bump my plan down to Low Volume and see how it goes!!

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No problem. Another change I made during my last round of SSB was to move my 3 key workouts to MWF. So now I’m doing a 60 min interval ride on M and W and then the 90 min ride on Fri. This has allowed me to be totally flexible on Saturday and Sunday.

May not work for everyone but I love having the weekends to do whatever kind of ride I want knowing that I’ve already nailed my 3 key workouts for the week. Only trick is to not go too hard on Sunday given you’ve got a set of intervals waiting for you on Monday.

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ALWAYS ride outside with your buddies!

You won’t be on your death bed wishing you spent more time doing some extra Tempo intervals.

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Nice! That is actually exactly what I just did. Usually my Sunday rides are chiller and with the GF - so this should work out great!

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