My 👶 adapted plan - thoughts?

Good morning my dudes and dudettes,

the misses and I are expecting our first child in four weeks and I am contemplating on how to adjust my training to the new situation.

I think I have figured it out but thought I would better run this by you anyway. So here we go:

Monday: 1 hour active recovery
Tuesday: 1.25 hours VO2 Max
Wednesday: 1.25 hours threshold
Thursday: 1.5 hour run
Friday: 1 hour active recovery
Saturday: 2 hours sweetspot
Sunday: 2 hour run

The threshold and sweetspot I would interchange depending on the training phase. So basically threshold only for build.

My goal is to maintain and ideally even improve my cycling and running. I am currently doing 12ish hours per week. Weekly TSS is around 700 TSS.
The baby adapted plan would be in the 10 hour and 500 TSS range. Running would be up by two hours and cycling down by four.

So what do you think. Would this work in terms of training? Should I do more on the bike? Or other workouts? Please note that sleep, time and the like are not part of my question. I will make that work.

1 Like

Your baby will have it’s own agenda.

Mine is 7 months old and I wasn’t able to touch the bike at all for the first 5 months after she was born.

My advice would be to not get too hung up on sticking to a plan, just train when you can squeeze out a spare hour or so.

Enjoy your new arrival and try to get some sleep. :slightly_smiling_face:

8 Likes

May I ask why that is? Not touching the bike is really not an option. :sweat_smile:

I’ll spare you the sob story but put simply, the first few months is just survival mode, even with grandma’s help.

I felt like a zombie most of the time. Barely capable of normal function.

On a good day, well, I just wanted to spend as much time as I could appreciating our new baby.

I neglected a lot of things. My FTP included.

We’re now in a bit of a routine and working from home makes it a bit easier to squeeze in a workout while baby is asleep.

I currently do a low volume plan.

Massive kudos to you if you’re able to get some workouts in! I feel like I’m starting from zero in terms of training. That first ramp test result was tough to swallow.

5 Likes

Got you. Guess we are all different in that.

I consider myself lucky that I need little sleep. 5-6 hours do the trick. As the baby won’t make it to our bedroom and the misses will cover the nights I figure sleep won’t be too much of an issue. So all prepared on that end.

I also adjusted work to allow me to work more from home which basically saves me 10 hours per week commuting. So basically my desired training volume.

I hope this will be enough to make it all work. Though I am confident it will. Not training is just not an option. :sweat_smile:

1 Like

Good luck with that. Sleep, sleep, sleep.

2 Likes

I was able to start sustained power built mid volume when my baby was 3 months old. Followed plan with 100% consistency, as soon as my baby is able to follow a sleep routine from 8pm. My training of course takes place at night.

Saying that the first 3 months was too challenging to train. You will last longer in future training with your spouse if she sees you helping her instead of following a training plan religiously.

5 Likes

Thanks for your insight I guess. Though sleep and time are no worries. Really only concerned about the training stimulus.

Honestly, I would recommend to lower your excpectations, perhaps cut the active recovery rides and threshold. With the vo2 max work and ss, you should be able to maintain your fitness. Remember to take care of each other and try to give your woman some time she can use for whatever she wants once in a while as well.

I call this very ambitious and is probably unrealistic. IMHO you should expect to have to reduce your training time and focus on maintenance. 12 hours of training is a lot when you have a child and a wife — and you want to stay married :wink:

As someone with a two-year-old, I have to say you are factoring out the critical component of your training plan. I’ve had to change my schedule 4 times or so. During the first few months, I had to get up once, twice a night for about 30-45 minutes (our daughter initially refused to be breastfed). I was doing a low-volume plan at the time and that’s about all I could manage. And I was still quite cranky at work sometimes.

1 Like

I’d take the sleep issue more seriously, it is not without reason that I think everyone so far has mentioned sleep. You think now that your wife will cover nights, but there are so many variables — including how understanding your partner really is if you get to sleep like the proverbial baby every night (but very much unlike a real baby!). And being able to get by with little sleep is one thing, but that’s probably uninterrupted sleep.

2 Likes

There was a misunderstanding about the hours. I would decrease the volume by two hours. I corrected that in the post.

Not married and not planning on getting married but I get your point. :sweat_smile: Though deal is she covers nights and gets my training time back double as child free time during the day.

Anyway, it’s really not about those factors. I am more concerned whether the training stimulus would be enough for maintenance or even improvements.

I understood that, you wanted to go from 700 TSS to 500 TSS. But it’s still too much, I think. IMHO you start less ambitiously and count yourself lucky if you can do more. Hoping to make improvements in this period is setting yourself up for failure.

I still assume you want to stay with the mother of your child and have a family :wink: A lot of things don’t depend on you and your preferences. Your partner might get exhausted and might demand that you get up at night when the baby just needs a diaper change.

Juggling your dad duties with your job, household chores and the like will put your schedule in a straight jacket. Even if you get to sleep at night, perhaps your partner needs a massage in the evening, which takes time away. And the schedule will change frequently with you having little control over many of those changes.

You should forget about improvements and make a more realistic maintenance plan. Start lower than you think, see how things are going and when you think you can add more volume do it. But you should stay flexible and not worry about dropping performance.

So for example, one thing that will get you good-will points is if you buy a stroller that is meant for sports or a bike trailer, put your baby in there and then go out for a run or bike ride. This is perfect for Z1 and Z2 rides. And your partner will have some peace. Find other ways to combine things. Because of Covid-19 I had to change my schedule. And for the last week I did a mountain bike loop before picking up my daughter from day care and then showered with her together. (This week is a rest week.) Killing three birds with one stone if you wish.

2 Likes

Mate this is my maintenance plan. :sweat_smile: I am just worried it’s too little stimulus to maintain fitness. Especially for the bike part as it is significantly reduced. Obviously, the ideal scenario would be to somewhat being able to improve. Though that’s not a must.

While I appreciate the insights, recommendations and concerns the time and also sleep part is really no reason for concern. I would rather sacrifice other things than this. It’s an essential for my physical and mental health. An hour or so a day is hence a must.

As per your last paragraph, that’s in the making. As soon as the kiddo can hold her head she will go on runs/rides with me. Problem solved. :grin:

All that aside I would be curious to learn how you would define a maintenance plan. Other workouts?

1 Like

I am not a multisport athlete, so I don’t know how to square your circle, perhaps other triathletes can give you specific pointers here. But generally I’d just start very low and really flexible, perhaps 5 hours per week. Unless you are a professional triathlete, I’d make my goals for this year compatible with that. You should expect and be ok with falling performance indicators. If you manage to do better than that, count that as a win.

Tl;dr is I cut my time on the bike by 40-50 %.

Here are the details. Before my daughter was born, I wrote down my list of priorities, and for me family comes first. Then work (I have a career I love and enjoy, but is very demanding). And cycling came in third. Everything else flowed from that and it simplified my life. It was clear that I could no longer spend a month in Chile working with a colleague and good friend of mine while my wife was at home by herself. No bueno as they say here in Japan. But once I had my priorities straight, knowing what the right call is was usually quite easy. Nevertheless, sports is extremely important for me to keep my head level. (And reading your posts, it seems you are similar in that way.) I’m a very happy dad, and am glad that my daughter grows up seeing her parents being physically active. That’s an important lesson I want to teach my children.

Before my daughter was born, I‘d spend about 8-12 hours per week on the bike, sometimes more. One-day trips on the bike during one day of the weekend were the rule rather than the exception. (My wife was working weekends at the time.)

After my daughter was born, year 0, (before joining Trainer Road), I did about 5 hours per week of training plus a 4-hour group ride. But I had stopped doing those epic 6±hours in the saddle that I was used to doing before my daughter was born. Last year I joined a cycling team, bought my first power meter and a dumb direct drive trainer, joined Trainer Road and followed the mid-volume training plan. And I did my first races. I started with 277 W (3.8 W/kg) and ended up with a 308 W FTP (4.3 W/kg) at the end of last year. I stuck to the plan, except when I was sick or on business trips. (This is another thing that hasn’t been mentioned: expect to get sick a lot more.) I am thinking of upping my volume next year. I don’t know whether I’ll go to a high-volume plan or manually augment a mid-volume plan. My current FTP as tested is 311 W already (close to 4.4 W/kg), although I am optimistic the ramp test next week will confirm that I have gained a few horses.

So yes, you can gain fitness while being a dad. But you are at a much higher volume than I am, so I reckon you need more training stimulus to improve your fitness. Plus, you need to multiply that by 3.

The three biggest factors in my training have been (1) resolving scheduling conflicts, (2) sleep and (3) illnesses. Before having a kid I haven’t really been sick much. Ever since starting daycare my daughter has become the cutest incubator of germs and viruses. I have been sick about 3-4 times per year, which puts me out of commission sometimes for just a week, but on two occasions for a month. In part that was because I started training too early again (I love training, too) and the slope went from positive to negative again.

4 Likes

Thanks for the insights and also the laughter. The „no bueno“ almost made my fall off my chair. :grin:

1 Like

I am starting my third week of having a newborn (our first). I definitely went into it with the mindset that I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be able to hit my TSS for the week. And that mindset will never change until you actually experience it for yourself. No amount of people telling you can change that.

Let me preface this with saying that cycling is very important to me and is a part of who I am. I need to train to survive. Having said that my child couldn’t care less about my training. He doesn’t care at 1am when he’s crying his face off and he doesn’t care at 3am when he’s crying his face off. He really doesn’t care at 6am when he can’t breathe because he’s crying so hard. At 8am he seems to care a little bit more but, he’s decided to shit his pants and once he’s cleaned and changed then he throws up all over everything and pees all over himself. So he just doesn’t care.

I’m lucky my wife cares about my riding but, the reality is unless you have live in help or you’re planning on sleep in another soundproof room and have no intention of helping with the newborn your training will suffer a bit.
Because It’s not about how much sleep you can get. I get 6 hours a night but, it’s not continuous so you never feel rested. Getting the recovery needed just doesn’t happen. Having a newborn amplifies every other thing in your life.

I’ve gone from 10hrs a week to 6 and I’m not working right now. I’m sure that’ll suffer more once I go back to work.

Having said all this don’t let anyone tell you that you’re never going to ride your bike again or you can’t make gainz. I took 1 week off after the birth because it was exhausting and life changing and had to adjust to a new human in my life. But since then my wife and I have started to get a routine down and I’m trying to get 6 hours. Mostly TR for efficiency but also I need a longer ride during the week to keep my climbing legs. I’m hoping to keep my fitness gainz I’ve made to smash my friends once we can all ride again so, I’m in maintenance mode.

In short I’m sure your fitness will suffer a little bit but, it doesn’t need to be a long term trend and you will continue to ride. Just put it into perspective.

7 Likes

Ah yes, the one silver lining of the COVID-19 quarantine: much easier to WFH!

Congrats on the kiddo.

2 Likes

If this is true then why are you even adjusting your plan? Seems like everything is how you need it to be.

You are missing the point.

Time would be an issue with my current regime. I would be too time crunched to get the turbo rides in as the window for that is quite limited. Mostly because of the noise it creates. Substituting indoor with outdoor rides isn’t an option because of the roads here. Pretty much why I hardly ride outside.
That’s why I figured I would reduce cycling to a minimum and compensate by increasing my running. I also figured I would reduced the overall volume to have some additional time at hand to help the misses. I will do something similar with work by reducing my office days and thus eliminating my commutes. So basically 12ish hours more at hand per week.

Though this all wasn’t part of my question. I never asked whether my plan is realistic. I asked whether this would allow me to maintain, perhaps grow, fitness.