I’ve been a mid-volume athlete for 3 years, then spent 2020 doing high volume, as I trained for a criterium race series in Oct/Nov/Dec. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the high-volume training, it kept me sane through Covid, and I won the series, so, clearly it worked.
However, after the birth of my daughter in December, I’ve dropped down to SSBLVI, and OH MY GOD I’m loving it.
I’m finding that I am nailing the workouts with much more reliability, and I still have energy to throw in some running and team sports. I finished Eclipse today, which I’ve always found an excuse to avoid. I’m feeling stronger than I was after completing SSBHV last year.
So, if anyone is wondering whether they should start with anything other than LV? Sure. But why would you? It works!
Indeed - it’s all about cumulative fatigue…I ride 6 days/week plus run as well and Tuesday - the day after rest is the easiest. That said of course everyone has to make a judgement on the other stress factors in their lives from other sports, relationships, career etc and chose the plan that fits them best…sounds like you have done that
I also use to be more of a mid-volume athlete. This year is first year using TR, on the HIM Low Volume plan. Finding it easier to stay consistent with the training due to less hours being required. It’s an easier balance with work/life stress and commitments, and I feel as though I’m making as good progress as on a higher volume plan. Will continue to see how it goes, but I agree, it works!
I’m doing “mid volume-1”!
I can do up to 90mins mid week otherwise I’d have chosen low volume.
I sub the Weds workout with Recess -4 which is 45mins at 50% ftp. I also do this on Friday if I feel like jumping on the trainer.
On the weekend I choose one of the workouts and then do an aerobic ride on the other. I’ll do these outside weather permitting. If I can’t get out, I keep the zone 2 ride to 2 hours for my sanity!
Similar here, so I am considering LV for the 60 minute workouts, and extend 30 minutes of Endurance each time.
Or I can easily sub in one of the “plus” versions instead. Could be good to have options this way and even set a normal extend and plus for the Tuesday / Thursday layout.
Then keep the Saturday ride as is and do a long Endurance ride Sunday.
TBH, SSBHV (and SusPBHV) are kind of burn out plans*. So LV is probably working for you simply because you’ve got more time to rest & recover…as much as you can rest & recover with a new baby!
*I’ve done both and they probably way overshoot the min effective dosage. Currently doing my own (long form) SSBHV plan - 3xSS/wk w/ 1-2 Z2/off days between sessions. Like you, I’ve got way more freshness & energy & nailing the workouts with quality & feeling much stronger than when doing endless days of SS.
I’m also on the low volume program. I love it cause it leaves room to throw in non structured rides in the week of my own. Average 8 hrs / week 6 days of riding per week consistently for the past month. Feeling great, nailing structured workouts and feel the improvements.
Yeah, the interrupted sleep is definitely not making anything easier! LV is much more suited to life right now.
Yet I still feel like I’m making progress, which is encouraging!
Thanks for this post. I really benefit from hearing how LV plans work for athletes.
I am expecting a baby boy in June, initially I was really stressed out by what this may mean in terms of sleep and recovery, probably more than finding the time to train actually.
I’m currently using a mixture of Fascat 18 wk SS, TrainerRoad workouts but with a emphasis on zone 2 instead of some of the SS sessions. Building up the base nicely so I can then drop into a TR LV plan around about June and be able to enjoy being a Dad and training.
Congratulations! I’m 6 weeks in, and although the volume is dropped, the quality has improved, so it feels great! Enjoy your special time coming up!
Also this was a good confirmation of sorts too! : 5w/kg on Low Volume Training with Michael Brophy – Successful Athletes Podcast 36 - YouTube
He’s following the same logic.
Selecting mid or high volume and not being able to give 100% to your workouts or missing a few workouts per month doesn’t do any good to your (my) mental game (everybody is different obviously but it wasn’t doing me any good, personally). So if you go low volume, give your 100% and never miss workouts and consider anything you ride on top of that a cherry on top / bonus, improvements and consistency follows with a great mental health as well.
Also a fan of the low volume plan. Have tried mid volume a couple of times and found it a) builds fatigue too quickly (esp in build); and b) gives me a lot fewer options during the week. I like to look forward to my workouts, but if there is something on the plan every non rest day then it starts to feel like a drag and there is no space for life or for just riding. It is fun to be able to go on a club ride (remember those?) or throw in a weekly race without feeling it is compromising your training. Like others have commented I find the mental benefits to be huge.
This base season I have kept to low volume, stuck to the plan, nailed every workout, done at least one Zwift race a week (in the ZRL) and added in other rides in as I feel like it. I tend to do something everyday even if it is 20 minutes Zone 1. And my numbers have been great, with power PRs across the board and a small bump in FTP after SSB1. Cannot say this is entirely down to keeping consistent with training, as I have also improved the fuelling of my workouts and also added in a weekly race, but I have enjoyed the training block a lot more than previously.
My takeaway is that low volume with extras is a good alternative to a fixed mid volume plan.
I think the mid volume plan is TR’s worst product, just too much intensity. Actually I think TR needs to address the intensity across the board of all their plans, but that’s another conversation.
I have the same, a young kid, a job, and all kinds of responsibilities besides that. LV gives me the space to do all of it and ride some more when my schedule and body allow it.
Consistency is key I guess
Like so many, I have focused on MV in the past and find that LV works and leaves time to add in some weight training as I attempt to move through the three levels of TR Strength training for cyclists.
I’m a high volume rider, 20ish hours a week for several years now. I went low volume as I don’t want to lose too much on my outdoor rides. It seems like that is a good idea.
Though I was recently in a major car accident, so my riding shut down at an instant. LV is probably going to save me as I try to build back up.
Low volume is great for those who enjoy outdoor riding or commute - you can fit some quality structured work in around enjoyable outdoor rides.
I tend to agree that MV plans have a touch to much intensity. Maybe if they were only 4 days instead of 5 it would b better and then maybe I could be consistent. That would still allow for a group ride and two rest days. Jmho
I’ve done low volume for years. I add on where/when I can. Sometimes hitting my LV workouts Tu/Th/Sat and doing gym work Friday and a long easy ride Sunday. But, if I miss the long easy ride I know I’ve at least hit my marks for the week.
Ahhh @BarnabyG my nemesis! Great work in the Super Series but I’m coming for ya this year