Should I Increase Volume?

Would it be even remotely wise for me to experiment with an increase in (time) volume?? :man_shrugging:

Here’s the situation:

Started TR in September w/ SSBLV1+2 + additional rides…went from ~300-500 TSS/~7hrs/wk total phase.

Just ended Sustained Power Build HV with a peak TSS of 850/10-12hrs/wk.
I handled the training load fairly well (5 hard+1 easy sessions/week) but I was taking daily 30min-2hr naps.
I failed 3 workouts in the plan: 1 from fatigue, 1 from under-fuelling, 1 cuz I wanted end the plan in a blaze of glory!:boom:

Currently in rest week w/ ramp test this weekend (FTP ~300).

Plan going forward is: SSBHV2 --> SPBHV --> 40KTT HV Spec (w/ mods).
‘A Race’ is a 20km TT (+ 110km/3hr RR the day after).

All the increase will come almost exclusively from time in Z2/Endurance – +5hrs in Base; +3hrs in Build & Spec.
(Total training time/week/plan: 16hr, 14.5hr, 11.5hr)

Would doing this be of any benefit or more detrimental both overall and goal specific?

Any and all opinions, suggestions, ridicule, and head-shaking welcome.
You’ve got 5 days to convince me you’re right! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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You fit 20 weeks of training in since you started in September?

All depends on how you recover that’s the most important thing. Previous coach told me I could add as much extra volume in as my time allowed as long as I was recovering and it was zone 2 or lower.


I took out both rest weeks in SSBLV1+2.

I completed SPBHV in 5 weeks (vs 8) by doing 5 workouts/week (vs 4/wk) as well as cutting out the first rest week; currently doing a rest week.

Attached is my TR TSS:

This. The second you stop being able to recover the wheels will fall off the bus for you.

From an eyeball perspective, you seem to be headed for burnout, unless you have a genetic gift for handling volume.

How much are you ramping your annual volume compared to previous years @Captain_Doughnutman?

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Wow, that’s impressive! You definitely must be able to recover quickly based on your last few months of training. I would say based on that, it doesn’t seem like it would be bad to give it a go.

Go the “Nate way” when he says you gotta know and test your limits :blush:

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Have to agree with the two previous posts, it will come down to recovery, and how long you can maintain that training load and still improve form. That’s not always an obvious line and it’s different for everyone.

I’m in a similar situation. Started training in late August after fours years off the bike with lots of volume on the road, started TR in October with SSBMV2 and finishing GBHV next week. my A race was late March but that’s now off the table so I’m planning on doing SSBHV2 and a rebuild to pump the brakes a bit. My fitness came back more quickly than I expected (FTP 270 to 315w Oct -Dec and I’m a 72kg guy) and I’m happy starting my early season where I’m at.

I’m planning to skip the ramp test, hold my FTP where it is (for TR purposes) and get some outdoor rides in when weather allows (not often) to add TSS as I get closer to racing season. I’ll probably be completely off the trainer by April barring a rain day and focused more on building/managing high training load. I know from experience I can push 900-1000 TSS (outdoors) for short blocks to sharpen up if I balance with adequate rest a couple weeks out from a key race.

Fingers crossed I can manage some good results in May, take a quick breather and build back up for a couple late season goals. I’m not quite as young as I used to be…

Looking forward to seeing how you progress. Watch the fatigue and rest before you think you need it and you’d be surprised what you can handle.

@Captain_Doughnutman just so I’m understanding you. The plan is to add 5 extra hours/week for SSB and 3 extra hours for the other plans correct?

Ummm…power meters didn’t exist in my previous years :unamused: so not really sure.
When I was racing in my 20’s I was training ~8hr/week.

I can tell you that last year I went from untrained commuting 50km/week right into doing 500km in a week (Festive500). The first 3 days were absolutely brutal but I came out the other end definitely stronger.
Then the following spring I did 12 weeks of 5hrs/week – 3hrs VO2 and 2hrs Threshold Over-Unders.
I doubt I’ve ever ridden 15hrs/week in my life!

I’d like to…I just don’t want to completely upend my goals.

I do know that I’ve never ridden as hard or as much as I could have (I was kind of a jerk when it came to training). But I do know that my body does respond well to heavy workloads, be it cycling or weights…I just don’t know for how long it can handle heavy workloads…

Yes, correct. And all (or mostly all?) Z2 work.

Furthermore, all plans going forward will be followed as they are structured; no modifications will be made other than adding the hours in question.

I guess the big question is will extra endurance hours really ramp up the probability of fatigue/burnout?
Secondly, will those extra hours provide me with a great enough benefit, esp in terms of my A Race, to risk developing possible burnout?


I would strongly advise against you adding in as much volume as you are proposing. You sound like you are trying to go way over a 15% y/o/y hour bump and frankly I’m not sure if there really is much purpose for it when your A race is a 20k TT and 3 hour race.

If your goal was to win a major multi-day stage race with multiple long races (4-6 hour days), then yes, you might want to train as much as you are proposing.

Otherwise, maybe just start with a full season of following the high volume plans before you add extra credit in.

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I am going to be very blunt here and say that even with current volume, you’re on an express train to Burnout City. The journey will be spectacular, but will end in tears.

If you have an event or two happening over the next couple of weeks, go and smash ‘em. Then, dial that volume right down.


Looks like the consensus is in!
(But there’s still time to sway my easily influenced mind!)

As much as I’d love to give it a go, best to let reason and logic rule the roost on this one.

Like I said, I’ll be following all future plans as they have been laid out by TR.
Probably reasonable as I seem to remember I have a life outside of the paincave. :grin:

My second A Race (120km/4hr) is 8 months away so I might add in some extra endurance hours in a few months.


i did ssb 1 and 2. During those programs I rode 7 days a week mostly and I added a 2nd ride to most of the days. Ive started over with ssb1 again and am only riding once a day 5 days a week and on the 2 rest days I go lane swimming. I find it quite boring. But my legs feel 10 times better. I am approaching 50 in 2 months though so I am sure I need more rest than you. Listen to your body! I ignored mine. I was always sore with tight muscles. Now Im not sore at all… So soon Ill start riding more lol.

I think 700-900 TSS outside for 2-3 weeks is one thing. Inside another. But to string that load over a few months given your recent history I think you run a high probability of being overtrained by March. Not over reached. Over trained.

If you are dead set on trying and think you can handle it I’d probably front load the workouts so the Z2 add on is all after the main set. That way you’ll get maximum fast twitch fatigue resistance.

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I was thinking just the same thing tonight.
The recent weeks were most likely over-reaching. I’m in a recovery week but don’t feel wiped out at all and am looking forward to testing on the weekend…probably wouldn’t be the case if I was in a bad way.

I’ve stated elsewhere that I think my limit is ~700 TSS when accompanied with work and regular life, which is similar to what SSBHV2 serves up.

That’s exactly how I was going to do it.

Best to let caution overrule eagerness in the case (and heed Coach Chad’s advice – train for how you want to race!). I might sprinkle some in here and there…it’ll be a good lesson in getting to know thy self. As was mentioned, probably a better idea to see what I can handle this season and then see if this plan would be viable next season.

Or I might just go for it!! :scream:


Can I say holy shit on this forum? Because holy shit that’s a lot of work!

Great advice above, my biggest worry is that you appear to be committing the cardinal sin of skimping on your recovery, continuing to do that, plus adding volume can’t end well.

@stevemz also makes a great point about the rate at which you are adding intensity, by all means push your limits but I would certainly dial down the rate of increase a lot.

All very sound advice and I’d agree you don’t want to get buried, but to play devils advocate…

True overtraining, the kind that takes you off the bike long term and buries you, is much more common in elite cyclists. Think young domestic amateur elite guys trying to make it. They get buried attempting multiple 20hr+ weeks thinking that it will get them to that next level…

Most regular and even stronger masters or amateur cyclists will begin to physically shut down by necessity well before they ever manage to do the serious damage.

I’ve rarely seen someone get so buried even at 14-15hrs type of work that a few weeks easing off didn’t dig them out enough to start building again.

I’m sure someone can quote it but I know Chad has talked about this on the podcast and Frank from FastCat has addressed it as well.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun, push your limits, and don’t stress the details too much. All the data and metrics are great but they’re only supporting what your body is already telling you. Getting lost in the numbers is counterproductive not to mention, no fun at all…

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Just a thought, but if over-training is such a high-probability risk, then how did this guy go from working a desk job 12 hours a day to training pro-style 30 hours a week, quite literally overnight? :man_shrugging: That’s waaay more than a 15% bump in y/o/y volume!

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Yeah IDK. The older I get the more amazed I am at how amazing human are in general though. I’ve watched Eric Marcotte, Travis McCabe and now Brandon McNulty go from amateur to elite to pro and they didn’t do what this guy did. Marcotte was doing some crazy stuff too, but, it had been years in the making. Same for the others…

You should absolutely try this… but aim higher.

Remember that he’s racing UCI Conti and therefore not necessarily earning a salary.

Get to the World Tour level and you can put a guaranteed 30k euro in your pocket as a neo pro. Or at least 25k for Pro Conti. Then it’s a real job…