Short overreaching period

I’m currently training for a road racing season and aiming to peak at June. I’ve done base training for about 15 weeks and then higher intensity stuff for about five weeks, mainly vo2 stuff and couple of threshold sessions. I have a couple of weeks of vacation coming up and I’m thinking about doing a short overreaching period / training camp.

How should I approach this since I have never done anything like this before? I was thinking of doing 4 + 4 days of hard training with one or two days of recovery between. So something like this:

  1. higher intensity threshold session or vo2
  2. long threshold
  3. sweet spot or tempo
  4. endurance
    Rest day and repeat

I would take 4 days of recovery before and a week of easy training after. Ideas?

Does “training camp” mean you will train more / longer? If you want to put in significant hours I would reduce intensity. Long endurance rides and maybe mix in some sweet spot intervals. Depending on the time you would like to invest maybe take a look at the long sweet spot base plan for inspiration. If it was me (currently on medium plan) I would aim to ride 4-6 H endurance outside in a 4/1 Rhythm. But I also have never done something like that because I have a wife and two small kids :slight_smile:

No, the “training camp” wouldn’t necessarily mean more training hours but rather more training stress with no other life stressors hindering.

I’ve done ssb 1 and 2 (high volume) and my training volume has hovered around 15 hours per week. My initial plan was to just log big hours but the weather looks pretty horrendeus at the moment so that’s why I’m considering doing more intesity.

I could do just sweetspot and z2 but I wonder if adding threshold sessions would give me additional benefits to that.

The weather turned up to be rather nice so I ended up doing a high volume block with a few added high intensity sessions. I did 5 + 5 days of training with 2 days of recovery in between. I averaged 4 hours of training per day with mostly z2 intensity totaling about 40 hours of training for the block.

Before the block I wasn’t sure how my body would handle the big jump in training stress. Towards the end I felt tired for sure but not as bad as I’d anticipated. Muscles were sore and hitting the upper end of aerobic felt difficult but other than that, everything went well.

After the block I took 5 days of easy riding, then did two days of harder training and now I’m starting to taper for my A races. I definately feel stronger all-around and hope to see benefits once I start to get rid of the fatigue.

Just a couple of notes for anyone planning to do something similar:

  • Cycling 4-5 hours per day turns a hobby into a full time dayjob. Washing clothes, maintaining your bike, organising next day’s gear etc. take suprinsigly large amount of time. You should plan for an additional 2-3 hours per day just for those things. Good and efficient habits make this one much easier.
  • Try to minimise all the additional fuss. Having to go to buy an extra cassette, chain, shifter cable etc. is something you really don’t want to be doing after a full day of training. Buy those spare parts in advance if possible and make sure your bike is in top shape before the block. Having a second bike will also help if something unexpected would happen, especially given the current availability on certain bike parts.
  • Fueling is the key. I didn’t feel particularly hungry during the block but I stuck to my fueling plan during the rides and ate easily digestable foods off the bike. Not necessarily food that you’d consider “healthy” but getting in 6000 kcal per day isn’t going to happen with salads. This is a good time to test your fueling strategies for races/ultra-events. Unsuitable nutrition will become apparent rather quickly. Having some variation is also nice.
  • Mental game is huge. I felt more and more tired after each day and getting “warmed up” before I felt good took longer and longer. You just have to be patient and not pull the plug early becouse you’re not feeling like superman from the get go. I divided my rides into small segments and focused only on one piece at a time.

Overall I feel like I learned a lot. Practical skills, mental skills and my physiology. It was hard but rewarding. If you have a possibility to do something similar, I’d highly encourage to give it a try.


@Vpe - good insight- thanks for sharing that
Did you divide your training into morning & evening sessions?
Can you advise your typical types/qtys of foods you consumed in order to hit 6K calories?

I divided my high intensity days into morning and evening sessions: 60min high intensity in the morning, 2-3 hour z2 in the evening. 4-5h z2 sessions were done in a single session.

I divided my calories roughly:
~ 1000kcal in the morning

  • 80-100g of carbs per hour while riding + maybe a protein bar to keep hunger away
    ~ 1500kcal in the afternoon after my ride
    ~ 1500kcal in the evening

With the food itself, I went pretty barebones: oats with milk, white bread, rice pudding, müsli, pasta etc. Carb heavy but with decent amount of protein (maybe 150g/day) and fat. It was also important that the meals required very little to none of cooking.

Carbs during rides were mainly gummy bears etc. so no fancy gels or drink mixes.

One thing I forgot to mention was taking care of all the little things before they escalate. I got burnt during the first few days (even though it was 5°C…) and after riding 30 more hours in similar temperatures with broken skin, my face looked quite rough :smiley: If I had covered my skin better it’d have made riding that much easier. Maybe next time.


thanks for the info!