Sent home for 10 weeks, how to add volume and not burn out

I’ve been sent home from work for the next 10 weeks (with pay so no stress) due to covid-19, so now I have a lot of time to train. I’ve always wanted to train more than the 7-8 hours I can fit normally with work, kids, etc. And now I’ve got the time.

I don’t want to do a full traditional base type thing where I just lull around doing only endurance rides.
Normally I can do about 500 TSS with structure without much problem - sometimes I do look forward to the recovery weeks, but almost always add a bit to them anyway.
The second thing to consider is that every event on this side of summer is canceled so I’m dropped my specialty phase and this week is a free week, next week is planned to starts with SweetSpot Base Mid Volume 2 (SSBMV2), then General Build Mid Volume (GBMV) and then onto specialty in order to peak for the after summer A-event.

My initial plan is to do the six weeks of SSBMV2 and the first four weeks of GBMV.
The way I’d do it is to add a lot of endurance both on the off days and on top of the intervals. My plan is to ramp it up to about 15 hours/week which would be just north of 700 TSS/week. An example week would be like this:

  • Monday: 1 hour of low endurance at 60 %
  • Tueday: Planned VO2 workout (i.e. 3 sets of 14 x 30/30 @ 120 % [Taylor]) and add an other hour at 60 %
  • Wednesday: 1 hour high endurance at 75 % or varied riding like hills etc that equals the same amount of TSS
  • Thursday: Planned threshold workout (i.e. 3 x 12 min @ 97 % [Donner]) and add an other hour at 60 %
  • Friday: 2.5 hours of low endurance at 60 %
  • Saturday: Planned threshold/special workout (i.e. 6 x 8 min @ 91 % with opening sprints [Clark]) and add an other hour at 60 %
  • Sunday: 4 hours of endurance at 65 %

That totals to 719 TSS and 15 hours.
If I do some gravel or an ad hoc ride with hills, sprints and what not on for instance Friday but it ends up being a 200 TSS ride, I’d just do a very easy ride on Saturday etc.

Is that the way to do it, or should I remove some of the intervals?
Is it important to do the sets/intervals with the planned rest or can I just spread them out throughout the ride (that way I can almost make sure to do them on optimal roads if outside)?

1 Like

From what I’ve experienced and heard from TR in regards to this (followed trainer road plans while training in the alps last year) when it comes to these types of workouts, it’s all about amount of time spent at a given intensity. The rest is not so important. UNLESS you are doing blocks of 30/30s or whatever.

For e.g. on the weekends I’ll do a 4-6 hour ride with 3 x 20 min climbs at sweet spot. Sometimes that’s the one 50 min climb broken up, sometimes that’s one 20 min climb done as 3 repeats, sometimes that’s 3 different climbs w 20-50 kms between them. When I’m feeling really good my favourite is 10 min - 50kms - 50 mins - 15kms - 30 mins on my 3 favourite climbs around Girona.

I’ve also found like said, adding volume onto the end of workouts on the trainer to be mentally and physically very taxing, but VERY successful in gainz. This is also very often spuked by coach chat on the podcast.

Hope this ramble helps. Feel free to ask more :slight_smile:


God I wish I had more then 50 m climbs… All I got is flat or small rolling hills. So I have to do it “on my own”. I do plan to do most outside, but who knows how the weather behaves. And when it’s outside I’d do like you and space them out and get the extra z2 time mixed in.
I also agree on the taxing of adding it after, but now I can ride early so it won’t be bedtime constraint, thus adding maybe a small break and doing the hour @ 60 % after shouldn’t be too bad.

As long as it’s done intelligently, this is essentially what I’ve seen and heard a bunch of pros doing. Long rides with some structured “stuff” in there. Depending on the timing in the season that “stuff” can be 40 min tempo blocks, 20 min threshold block, VO2 intervals, 30/30s, etc. But i think they rarely just go out and do 1.5 hrs of intervals.

1 Like

I think you’re doing way too much intensity in a week. Let alone not having a single rest day. Doubling your weekly time (7 to 15hr) sounds like a recipe for burn out. Why not ease into it?

Week 1: 8hr
Week 2: 10hr
Week 3: 12hr
Week 4: 14hr
Week 5: Rest week (5hr)


Why not? Have you ever done a big block of HV Z2? You’d be surprised.

Another opinionated option:
3x4hr Z2 - done on consecutive days
= ~15hrs


I’m already doing eight hour weeks, and that’s with a more intensity. I’m also not going from eight to 15 hours from week to week. It’s eight hours last week, 12 this week, 14 the week after and 15 the week after that.
Monday is a rest day, 1 hour at 60 % isn’t really much. But there might be a point and doing it at say 50-55 % and maybe cutting a few percent off the Friday ride as well.

Yes I have, and it gets boring pretty quickly. I need some variation.
Why would you do three rides of four hours and not spread it out? Three days of four hours at 65 % is also 507 TSS in three days, that’ll be hard to recover from.
I have all the time in the world right now, might as well ride every day.

The rule in distance running to avoid injury is no more than 10% increase at once and only increase when you are accustomed to the new workload. (Edit: I should say that the one time I ignored this I got ITBS, not good less than six months out from my target event!)

I’d take it steady. This situation is likely to be six months rather than six weeks (or ten weeks in your case).

1 Like

Injury in running is also far more likely. 10 % is almost nothing, and it’s not like I do the same intensity as before, it’s getting toned waaaay down.
It won’t be more than 10 weeks, it’s a special thing in Denmark where employers can send people home instead of firing them and get 75 % of the salary refunded. But as soon as there’s work again I’ll be back, they made that very clear.

I know but the principles also hold true about the accumulated fatigue from training. Look at the various plans and the increases in TSS, this is SSBMV2: 354 -> 407 -> 435 ->448 ->473. The first is a 15% rise but the others are low. In fact all the second part of the Sweet Spot plans have between 25% and 35% overall increase in TSS.

Aside: I don’t know how the Danish government is approaching this but the UK government is slowly dropping hints that it’s going to be at least October before things get back to normal assuming all goes well. Your ten weeks may only just be a start. The UK is also doing furloughing BTW.


All TSS is not created equally. Three hours at 60 % is 108 TSS, that won’t fatigue you much if at all, but 90 min with Spanish Needles is 101 TSS and that will hit your legs hard.

They’re talking about opening up slowly after easter, but even if not I’m not getting to stay home and being payed for it. I’ll just have to workfrom home again, and then I don’t have the time.

You just answered your own question.

I’d love to help but I don’t understand the whole ‘training as entertainment’ thing.

I guess an alternative schedule would be:

5x3hr @ Kitchen Sink%

Spend the next 10 weeks riding for fun. :+1:

1 Like

There’re options besides three interval sessions and zero. My question was if three interval sessions is too much or if maybe the minus versions would be better, not if I should do intervals at all. And you even suggested a variation with three interval sessions.
I have no experience with this much volume, so some tips would be nice. Especially since I don’t like to only do LSD. Which is also why TR attracts me, since most medium volume are almost all intervals.

Why shouldn’t it be fun? I’m not a pro so why do a chore when you can make it fun? That’s like saying don’t do group rides because you can’t control every aspect of the ride.

1 Like

I believe Coach Chad has recommended you ramp up by 10% - that way you introduce more stress in an even way. I think its been stressed and drilled into us, not all TSS is the same. I would do more endurance and Z2 work to build more stress. And continue with 2-3 effort days. Like a good house, the wider your base the stronger you are.

1 Like

depends on the interval sessions? Recently I did a block of volume above 9 hours:

and reduced the number of intervals. Here is TSS from WKO (reverse order vs Strava):

At least for me (late 50s), when ramping up volume the TR mid-volume plans have too many intervals. So I used a different plan (FasCat Sweet Spot) that was designed around long weekend rides. When I did that block in February, my fitness was still fairly low and I modified the plan a bit and just did one longer ride on the weekend instead of the two in plan. A lot of zone 2 and tempo/SS riding in that block, and was very very very happy with field test results after the rest week.

I had some allergy issues this month (March) and training was side-tracked. Last week did almost 9 hours with two threshold sessions. This week is scheduled at 11 hours and 614 TSS. Next week is one of the bigger weeks in the plan at 12.5 hours and looks like this:

  • Tuesday 2x15 / 98 TSS
  • Wednesday 4x10 / 132 TSS
  • Thursday 3x8 / 113 TSS
  • Saturday 4 hour / 243 TSS
  • Sunday 3 hour / 192 TSS

On a week like that if I’m not 100% then I’ll probably downgrade Thursday’s 3x8 workout to zone 2 + tempo, and maybe do a single 6+ hour ride on the weekend instead of back-to-back days.

When starting out in 2016 that basic weekly template is how the experienced members of our club taught me to train for big events (double century, DeathRide).

The TR Full Distance Triathlon plan looks most similar to that template, however it incorporates running and swimming. I’d love to see TR take the full distance triathlon plan and modify it as a high-volume plan for century/fondo.

Hope that gives you some ideas.

1 Like

I’m ramping TSS/week by 20 % the first week, 9 % the week after and 7 % the week after that. But all of it is by adding zone 2 work, so the stress is minimal.

An other guideline is that the CTL ramp should between 5 to 8 points for a few weeks before taking a break is fine, above that is often too much. [1]

My plan has me ramping at 7 the first week, 5 the week after then 5 the week after that. But it’s still a lot more time on the bike.

That’s some big rides - 78 % IF on a four hour ride is a hard one, my plan is to spread it out more and I actually only have two at around 100 TSS and two at around 150 TSS, nothing above the 169 TSS Sunday ride. I might have to take a full day off or make Monday a 50-55 % active recovery ride rather than low endurance, only time will show.

I’ll be fun to compare how we do, me with more volume, lower intensity and spread out. You with more intensity, lower volume and more compacted.

2+ hour / 155 TSS ride today. Just trying to get ready for Wed night worlds, whenever they let us ride in groups again…

I have had experience and varying degrees of success adding volume to TR plans.

For context, I have been doing HV plans for 2-3 years and adding volume in all phases (Traditional Base, and the Build and Speciality phases). The only time I have not been able to add volume is during SSBHV 1 & 2 because it is hard enough just to complete the scheduled workouts during this phase.

The thing I find most important is to make your hard days hard and your easy days easy. I think you are taking a risk by riding on Monday and doing 2.5 hours on a Friday. Monday I always reserve for a rest day. When adding volume, recovery and rest days are even more important than usual so I don’t use recovery/rest days to add volume.

That means I will only add volume on the days that TR has scheduled intervals (normally Tues, Thurs, Sat). I like to keep Wednesday and Friday as shorter, easier days. Sometimes I have found extending the Wednesday ride can work as long as it doesn’t wreck me before Thursday’s intervals. However I find it’s important that Friday is a true easy day going into a difficult weekend.

The Sunday ride I will switch for a longer endurance ride 3-4.

The structure normally looks something like this:

Monday: Rest Day (Always)
Tuesday: TR Planned Workout (Intervals) + Volume
Wednesday: TR Planned Workout (Aerobic Endurance) w/ Option to Add Volume
Thursday: TR Planned Workout (Intervals) + Volume
Friday: TR Planned Workout (Aerobic Endurance)
Saturday: TR Planned Workout (Intervals) + Volume
Sunday: Switch TR Workout for Endurance Ride

If you’ve been following Mid-Volume plans successfully for a while then adding volume without removing intervals will be okay - just start slowly and be cautious. Adding an extra 200 TSS to your normal 500 weekly TSS is quite a lot. However, I suspect adding an extra 200 TSS from endurance riding a is less taxing than a whole week of work so you might be fine.

On whether to spread the intervals out throughout the ride. I imagine it is an okay thing to do as long as the extra volume doesn’t affect your ability to hit your power goals. It might alter the kind of training adaption you’ll get from the workout. For instance, you’ll be improving your repeatability of efforts if your 3 x 12 @ 97% is spread over one hour instead of over two hour.s However, like others have said, it’s probably more important to just get the work in at the given intensity regardless of rest.