Minimum hours to get fast?

I’m middle aged (40) and been doing TR LV for about a year and a half - first structured training ever .

I’ve definitely seen big improvements in overall fitness and performance on group rides - gone from holding on at the back to riding comfortably in the pack. These aren’t fast group rides mind you, just a bunch of MAMILs riding for a few hours.

I’ve realised though that whilst I’m faster (1.6 W/kg → 2.8 W/kg) and I can get a bit faster still, I don’t think LV is going to get me fast (4w/kg).

What’s the minimum hours investment per week to get fast? And what’s the training breakdown? I’m assuming something like more hours, less intensity, more endurance?

Flippant answer, but probably the most accurate… Lose 30% of your body weight. Likely the fastest way for you to reach 4.0 W/kg.

Personally, I ride 12 hours per week, do the MV plan, and will never sniff 4.0 W/kg unless I make drastic body shape changes like removing both arms and half of my head as useless weight.


Not a simple answer, some people have a better physiological starting point, and it is not just how many hours you do currently, what you have done in the years before.


Fair enough, I may never see 4w/kg :rofl:. But I have a feeling 3 hours is definitely on the low side of training time

I’m on my way to 4 w/kg after 4 years on LV, last year ftp of 3.85 w/kg (at the pedals with 8min test outside). (65kg 42y). And i’m not a gifted athlete. But i rather gain some weigth and add some power to combat the wind and flats in the Netherlands :slight_smile: .


I did LV last year with an added Z2 ride on weekends to ride with a slower club to enjoy the social aspect of riding. That got me to around 3.5 w/kg pretty comfortably at around 4-5 hr/week. I’ve been on a MV plan since November, and it has totally accelerated my performance, however. I’m now averaging 7-8 hours per week and just reached 3.8 w/kg. I think I’ll be able to meet 4 w/kg sometime next year given my current progression and available time commitments.

In essence, I think 3 things have contributed to continued improvement:

  1. Consistently complete the key workouts. For LV plans, each workout is crucial, I would say, so make sure to knock out all three of them.
  2. Add volume with Z2 rides to further your base aerobic capabilities. This can simply be tacking 15 minutes of Z2 onto the end of your LV plan workouts. Suddenly you’ve ridden 45 more minutes per week without adding another ride! I did this by doing 1.5-2 hours of Z2 every Sunday in addition to my LV plan workouts. I mostly did this to step me up to a MV plan with a smaller jump in TSS over time.
  3. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. I spent so much of last year focused on ensuring I was fueling my body off and on the bike. I cannot tell you how big a difference I’ve felt since introducing carb drinks to my workouts. It literally changed everything for me and has allowed me to jump over that LV hump to MV without an issue.

The biggest thing is commitment. What can you commit too and what are you willing to give up to get there?


Before TR I was doing 5-6hrs/wk, but it was Threshold and VO2max workouts ONLY.

Coach Chad has said that VO2 work is the biggest bang for your buck, which is probably true if you’re looking for pure speed.

So…MINIMUM hours…probably 3, but they’re going to be nasty.

(and yeah, losing weight will def help!)


Whenever I see W/kg I’m always tempted to work on the W rather than the kg :rofl:. Then I can still have :beer:.

Interesting that vo2 is the bang for buck. How long does that kind of fitness hang around for? Is it quick to go?


Yes it’s quick to build and quick to go.

Maybe a month on either end?

But you REALLY have to work those sessions!

I hear ya about w vs kg. I know my natural plateau is ~300w and it’s all hard work after that…so it’s a bit easier to just have less doughnuts. :cry:



Pop culture. Disproven.



<grabs his calculator>


Tricky to fit in a week :thinking:


So you don’t give a lot of background or anything so assuming you held weight steady at say 75kg in your first 18mo you went from 1.6w/kg to 2.8w/kg (120-210W) a 75% improvement on W/kg

So I’m not sure where you’re getting this idea that you “can’t get fast on LV” 4wg would mean an increase of 43% to your W/kg from where you are now which based on your first 18mo I imagine would be reasonable over several years (granted progress isn’t linear).

Building fitness takes time and the only shortcuts that exist are drugs.

I would start by adding an endurance ride 1-2 times a week to the low volume plan and seeing how that goes, in terms of it it impacts the core workouts of the plan before I would consider going to mid volume.

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feels like 10,000 when I’m doing over/unders


Thinking about it for myself, and speaking hypothetically because I am in the process of a drawn out Covid recovery, I reckon I could possibly get close to 4 W/kg from the 3 W/kg I am at now. But for me time is running out as age catches up with me. I would need to lose about 7kg to be in with a chance and also up my power at the same time. Those two would definitely not be easy at the same time and I would have to throw a lot at it. Not sure everything else in my life would allow that.


42 :wink:


Better than hours, TSS…it would be simple for TR to provide a scatter plot of (change in) FTP/kg vs TSS for the TR users…could put this in as a request…

But still funny.