Reducing workout plan volume, shift pattern, nightshifts and childcare

Hi all,

Looking for some advice around reducing volume with nightshifts and childcare.

Quick background, before covid mainly MTB and some CrossFit style workouts. But jumped onto a trainer in Sept and started more structured training with very little else strength wise.

After a zwift program I moved to TR and completed low vol SSB1 with a jump from 236 to 255 FTP which I was really pleased with. However, even after a 2nd week of recovery, as soon as I started SSB2 I felt totally wiped and picked up a big almost instantly. Definitely overtrained.

I have a varied shift pattern including nightshifts which are resting duty awaiting a call out that couple with child care (including after nights) so can get pretty wiped between intervals, shifts and childcare. I also conscious I’m getting no strength work done and still run down - wonder if a balance of both might improve the overreach.

My goal is to build fitness over the winter (FTP and real world MTB fitness) So looking for advice how to proceed. I have a few ideas feel free to shoot down;

  • I could drop down to 2 rides a week either skipping 1 work or spreading the 8 weeks over 12 weeks?

  • I could drop to 2 interval sessions and supplement the 3rd with Active recovery/endurance workout?

  • Feels like 2 steps forward 1 step back if it knocks me off the bike for a week or so? Is this reality of structured training?

Thanks in advance for thoughts /advice moving forward.

Sounds like life is running you down, not the training.

I think it was just a coincidence that you got sick after SSB LV1. Could it have been the straw that broke the camel’s back… maybe, but that suggests you were already teetering on the edge.

How much sleep are you getting each night?

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Yeh it’s a difficult one, obviously family and work take priority so I have to get my training and training volume to fit around that.

There are weeks where 3 workouts feels like a stretch and others where I could do more .

I generally get 7-8 hours a night excluding the nightshift nights which can range from 3-7hours depending on work.

3ish hour sleep nights are a real killer, especially if they come any sort of regularity.

I usually won’t bother training if I get two nights in a row of really bad sleep. There are no gains to be had. Can’t work hard enough to get the stimulus and can’t recover well enough to absorb the gains.

Play it by ear. Skipping workouts here and there won’t derail your training. It’ll just be less than optimal, but then again, when is it ever really optimal?