Newborn baby will force to decrease in volume during base, Increase Intensity?

Hi there,
I will be having a baby in early Jan (2nd Child, wasn’t really training whent the first one came), by that time I should have compleated SSB1 which i’m augmenting with extra Zone2 riding bringing my TSS up to 600-700 Per week, 12-14 hours Per week.

Whent the baby comes this volume will have to drastically decrease the first few weeks I will be at home and probebly only get in 3-5 hours per week, I’m currently wondering if my time will best be served doing a 3 week Block of Vo2 Max sessions during this time?
Something along the lines of 2 Vo2 Max sessions of around 100TSS each and one session of Sweet Spot around 100TSS, bringing me to 3-4 Hours. then whatever easy rides I can fit in/feel up to.

My aim during this time wouldn’t be to build fitness but try and keep what I currently have.

Once I get back to work I can start to increase my volume and build again dependant on how much sleep I’m getting (I commute an can do intervals at lunchtimes).

Anyone been through similiar, any tips from Dad’s during this time? Thanks for any help.

Hi Congrats on the new baby ! there is a maintenance plan . ( i hope the link works )

2 Likes

Thanks, I hadn’t seen that one before hopefuly that will do the trick and I can can keep most of my fitness.

I’m not sure but I tried to maintain by doing higher intensity and it worked to my detriment. Even though the sessions were short week by week it wore me down. It is a horses for courses thing but for me it didn’t work at all. But try it and see and be aware of the warning signs.

First of all big congratulations. I had my first in January of last year and I was training hard before hand trying to build as much fitness as possible knowing full well things would have to be dialed back. Once the little guy was born I tried to keep up with the low volume plan but even that became overwhelming since he didn’t believe in sleeping. Between him and some work stuff I ended missing 6 months and now I’m playing serious catch up.

I don’t really have much advise because every baby is completely different and you’ve been there, but I’d put my energy into a lot of sweet spot work and VO2 work. One thing that worked well for me was planning workouts when grandparents came to visit. I could sneak away for an hour while my mom got her baby snuggles in. Not sure if that’s a possibility or not for you. Congrats again!

I know this sounds pedantic but it may come to a point where you need to choose between getting on the bike at all and taking care of the kids.

I was fortunate to have an older daughter who loved her sister when she was born, but I could see she was sad when mom and dad couldn’t play with her like we used to. I ended up turning my exercise time into play time where I would toss her in the air, do air squats, run up the stairs with her on my shoulders, and spin her around for 15-30 minutes. It wasn’t enough to build any fitness but it allowed me to play with my daughter and get a little movement going at the same time.

Cycling is a very selfish sport, there’s not much you can do with really young kids and I still feel guilty getting on the bike. The good thing about TR is that I can get more done in less time on the bike, and I don’t have to leave my family to do it.

3 Likes

Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m trying to plan well and be realistic. But at the same time also hold it all lightly as I’m fully aware I might need to write the season off, pretty hard to do as like many here I’m quite driven to improve

As you say all depends on the little ones sleeping, I’m lucky that I can get at least 5 hours a week commuting on the bike (which is quicker than any other way) so should be able to hold onto some fitness.

Thanks, I have quite a few things in place that help out with this.

I commute 5 hours a week
I work 8-4 and am home to cook dinner and have a few hours with the fam before the little one goes to bed.
My wife doesn’t work
I’m usually wake by 5:00-5:30 without an alarm.
I can train for an hour at lunchtime during the week.

All these things help me spend time on the bike without interfering with family life.

It’s mainly just the racing or club rides that actually get in the way of family life.

1 Like

that’s not a horrible plan!

Only concern is that if you haven’t been doing much vo2max, you might find yourself getting beat up by 3 weeks of it.

I’d say go for it, but if you feel like you’re showing up tired, just dial it back to some tempo for that session and move forward from there.

You could use this time to work on other weaknesses as well; PMAX Sprints or some anaerobic efforts. It’s a little early for that if you have spring race plans, but plenty of time to recover and hit some more aerobic workouts once you’re in a groove with the new baby on board.

Good luck!

Brendan

Thanks, I seem to be able to cope with the vo2 max pretty well, I did two sessions a week for 2 months for the UK hill climb season and just got stronger and stronger. But as you say it will have been a few months since the last one before I start doing them again.

Will see how I go, maybe try some anaerobic too, not trained that much in the past having been mostly a TTer (but will be focusing more on road race this year) But yes first race won’t be until April so I doubt much of the adaptions would stick.

1 Like

yeah plenty of time then, maybe even start hitting threshold and threshold burst workouts first, then move into the vo2max; more logical progression and less mentally taxing indoors.

1 Like

If you can train during lunch, then you should have no problem maintaining. Check out the Maintenance plan or even the Time Crunch 30/45 plans. I went with the Time Crunch 45 during lunch after the birth of my twins at the beginning of the year. It’s a nice mix of workouts.

2 Likes

I’ll tell you that I struggled to do any intensity after the first few weeks of my second child’s life. The interrupted sleep just really sapped my will/ability to suffer anything. Threshold work was absolutely brutal, but VO2 was at least OK because the efforts were shorter.

My advice is: don’t be too hard on yourself. Consider any training you can get in in those first few months as a good thing, rather than focusing on what you’re missing. I wouldn’t even schedule anything more aggressive than a low volume plan because once you start missing workouts, it’s harder mentally. I’d schedule Low Volume and add whenever able/willing.

As you know, until that kiddo starts sleeping through the night, it’s gonna be a tough go. I just had a pretty darn good season in my second’s first year alive, but there were a couple of months there early on where things fell apart on me. Expect it, be ready for it, and don’t be hard on yourself. Sleep is important.

1 Like

Yeh I’m really trying to tell myself this. I know it will be hard at first when I can’t train but the season is long, and there are many more seasons to come (and hopefully no more kids :rofl:). I have written out two sets of goals for this year. One pretty high, and one along the lines of “have some fun on the bike” for if I don’t get to sleep for a few months

I figured if I could maintain during this year, I was doing way better than most dads, and indeed way better than I did with #1. While I definitely took a step back after #2’s birth, I got it back and then some and ended the season with an FTP 17W higher (7% or so) than my previous best. Now starting the next season, I’m starting SSB2 at the same FTP at which I did my second build last season.

Be willing to take that step back, just do your best, and do what Daddy needs to do… rest assured it’ll come back when you’re ready.

I am basically writing off the first two weeks, I will be taking these as paternity leave and will be at home, getting out for a ride will be great but won’t expect too.

After that and when I go back to work I will be using HRV and resting heart rate along with simply seeing how I feel to help dictate what my training will be, when I go back to work I will be mostly sleeping in a different room to mother and baby so should be able to get slightly better sleep.

Maintaining for next year was my thought if I can do that, I will be happy, which by all accounts should be a lot easier than trying to build.

This year my Peak FTP was 340w, but my weight was 85KG. So, I have set a goal of trying to keep my FTP around 330-340w but lose weight (Something I’ve never really focused on much before).

I Figure I can improve performance this way without having to spend extra time on the bike, also as I do all the cooking at home, I will be improving the whole family’s health by focusing in on a healthier diet. I’m already down to 80kg by transforming to a much healthier diet (Whole-wheat, fruit/veg, lean meat no cake etc, etc) Just need to stay focused and make it a lifestyle change rather than a diet.

Then I’m also setting a goal of doing more Stretching and Core work, which I can do in the house as I have a considerable drop in power when getting aero, my best 20 min power on my TT bike was 340w, with a similar number for a road bike TT where I was keeping pretty aero, whereas on my road bike on a climb was 375w.

I also have the reassurance of knowing it all comes back, Last November/December I was in bed ill for 5 weeks out of the 8 in two separate blocks, which basically wrote off two whole months training, but by April I was back to my Peak fitness of the year before.

1 Like

There’s quite a few other threads like this, you’re not alone :slight_smile: It’s a special time, good luck.

1 Like

I have 2 young kids so I have been through this twice already :joy:

In my case, with the poor quality of sleep, vo2max workout takes too much out of me and I take too long to recover from it. To maintain some form of fitness, I found that doing 1 vo2max workout per week along with some easier sweetspot workouts (something like Mount Field) helped to slow down the decline in my fitness.

It took me 6 months or more to be able to have any sort of consistency but I learned not to get too hung up on it. I used to get frustrated at myself when I missed a workout or when i was unable to complete one. I would be so grumpy that it was affecting my wife and how I was around the kids.

When I learned not to get too hung up on it, I reduced the stress and that probably helped with my recovery and sleep deprivation.

2 Likes

Thanks that’s a cool thread to have a read though hadn’t found that one.

1 Like

I think this is what i’m going to need to work on. try and get my mindset right from the start.