Here is my plan to increase my volume over the summer. Feel free to tear it apart (and hopefully add suggestions)
Background: Historically, I average around 30 hours a month. This is typically comprised of three 8 hour weeks, one 4-6 hour week, and maybe an extra hour or two with the left over days. Currently sitting at FTP of 282 and weight of 90kg. I am currently at 17.7% body fat (measured at a performance lab), and I think I could get down to 86kg without becoming fatigued and I estimate by july-august I will be around 300 ftp.
I am trying to up my volume quite a bit this year. My plan is to begin increasing volume by doing 4 week blocks in the following way.
Week 1: 8 Hours
Week 2: 9 hours
Week 3: 10 hours
Week 4: 7-8 hours but be more diligent about not doing hard efforts.
In the next month, I’d like to do 9-10-11 with the same rest week, so on an so forth until I am at roughly 40 hours a week.
My plan to increase volume throughout the block is to more or less increase the duration of my Saturday ride. Suppose it is 3 hours on the 8 hour week, then for the 9 hour week I will make it 4 hours, then 5 hours, and etc. I have reasons for doing this, but would also be happy to hear how you all might approach it.
Anyway, feel free to ask for more details. Otherwise; does this seem reasonable? Am I being overly cautious and should just pump the numbers up with z2 miles right out the gate?
You can definitely add volume by increasing endurance time, but I would also recommend dropping the intensity of that endurance time when you do. 50-55% of FTP isn’t out of the question depending on fitness and overall volume. A lot of volume increase plans fall off the rails because people add hours at 65-70% and end up hating the bike.
Looks good. Along the lines of @kurt.braeckel comments, I recently did a bump in volume about 6 months ago (Nov/Dec). I started by doing my normal rides and then adding on 30 minutes of easy recovery at the end of the ride. That meant doing a 2 hour endurance ride at upper end of zone2 power (190-210W, and then spinning at 100-120W (40-45% ftp) for 30 minutes. At one point I was riding in the rain and completely dropped the intervals and just did upper z1 / low z2 power. Resulted in a nice bump in fitness and power curve.
LOL good for you! I got a really nice fitness bump that 6 months later hasn’t stopped! Have you read the literature? It doesn’t take much intensity to get both cardio and metabolic/muscular adaptations. So happy I tacked on junk miles. Love it when you fly over threads and poop on posts. Pigeons. Best!
I might just suck at it, or be too old for it, but personally, I find that adding volume AND increasing FTP don’t work together. I tend to have to focus on one or the other or I burn out…but the comments above make sense. I’m probably overdoing it with adding volume at .65 or so and should probably try it as mentioned with far lower IF.