Something in between SS Base low volume and mid volume?

I’m looking to start a SSB plan and need some help picking the right strategy on volume. Just a brief background to provide context to my question: I started structured training 2 years ago and have been pretty consistent with two 1-1.25 hr trainer rides per week (Tues/Thurs), usually in the 55-80 TSS range for each one. Early this spring, I decided one of my cycling goals for the year would be to ramp up duration and be able to handle longer rides (I’d never really ridden more than 1-2 hrs). I have very consistently added a long ride (usually outdoor, but sometimes on the trainer) on Sat or Sun, building from ~2 hrs in March to ~4 hrs in the past month or two. Over that time, my overall 6-week avg weekly TSS has grown steadily from 130 to 290.

As winter sets in, I want to try a TrainerRoad plan and figured SSB would be the best place to start. But I feel like the Low Volume might be too low (it’s lower overall TSS than where I was 4 months ago and I’ve built up since then). The Mid Volume seems too high of a place to start (2 really high TSS rides on both Sat and Sunday - I can’t take that on with everything else). So what would be a good approach for something in between. The two approaches I thought of are:

  1. SSB Low Volume 1 - but add in a 45-60 min easy zone 1/2 aerobic workout (e.g. Carter or Petit) in between or right after the two mid-week workouts.
  2. SSB Mid Volume 1 - drop one of the Saturday or Sunday workouts each week. Since SSB MV1 usually has a mid-week lower TSS easier ride, this approach would be very similar to option 1 above

or am I underestimating the LV plan and I should just start there and work through it, and maybe add in an extra ride in those weeks when I really feel like I’m not getting enough adaptive stress in the 3 rides per week?

The key weekend workout of MV is the Saturday, same as LV.

I don’t get out on a Sunday, and generally take that as my rest day. I do the three key workouts, all things being equal, on Monday - Wednesday - Friday. And then the “moderate” workout on a Saturday is either swapped for an outdoor ride (not an “outdoor workout”) or Zwift or sometimes I just do the workout.

I’m in a similar boat but between MV and HV. I’ve tried HV, but it’s too much intensity. So I use “extend cooldown” for extra endurance on midweek workouts and do an extra Whorl or Pettit on the extra rest day of MV. N=1, but seems to be working.

So are you often not doing the “key” workout? Seems a strange one to skip.

I also “extend cooldown” for 15 or 20 minutes after every workout. I’m on the trainer anyway so why not? Also, I think there’s some training benefit to adding some zone 2 immediately after an intense ride.

I probably didn’t explain it well.

I do a Monday to Saturday schedule, so my key workouts are Monday - Wednesday - Friday. My Saturday workout is the “Sunday” Moderate workout, which may get swapped.

My week, in normal times, is Monday - Hard, Tuesday - Easy, Wednesday - Hard, Thursday - off, Friday - Hard, Saturday - Moderate (swapped for an outdoor spin), Sunday off.

Since no commute, I’m putting in endurance on a Thursday as well, so MV+? I’ve also experimented with condensed weeks, extra “recess” etc. My overall NEAT is down, no commute is more sleep and less stress, I’ve been trying to fit in a few zwift events and races, and the lack of no A, B or C events happening… I’m kinda taking advantage to try a few things out too. But the “normal times” schedule really worked for me when it was “normal times”.

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Yeah I’ve often thought there might be some benefit to doing exactly that. Is there an easy way to do that in TR, other than just taking it out of ERG mode and adding however much time you want with the “+[minutes]” buttons? (which admittedly isn’t hard)

For your “easy” Tuesday workouts, what are those like, TSS or Zone wise?

What’s your overall average weekly TSS?

Here is what I did: when I created the next season’s training plan, I wanted something in between mid- and high-volume. I started by comparing mid- and high-volume plans. With high-volume plans, you work out 6 times a week, with mid-volume it is 5. I have decided to keep it at 5, so I based my training plan off of a mid-volume plan.

Then I asked myself what kind of extra work I’d like to do. My goal for the next season is to increase the size of my quiver, so I have added about an hour-and-a-half of zone 2 & 3 workouts like Taku (-1) and West Vidette (-1). I do those after my weekend workouts for the most part. Depending on how draining the main workout was, zone 2/3 riding can be mentally challenging.

Moreover, when I can I am replacing workouts with a harder version, e. g. on Thursday I am doing Monitor +2 instead of Monitor +1.

In the previous season I have tried adding an easy Friday workout to my schedule, but that didn’t agree with me. I felt much more exhausted, and I canned that idea.

So if I were you, I’d ask myself: how often do you want to train? IMHO you could go for 4 times a week. I’d start by adding zone 2/3 work, i. e. to stick to the mid-volume plan during the week and simply do one workout on the weekend. That means you’ll be doing easy workouts like Carter or Pettit on Wednesdays. And on the weekends you have one free day to ride as you please. See whether this schedule agrees with you.

A harder option would be to train twice during the week, but both days on the weekend. I wouldn’t recommend that as your first option, you can still do that once you know you can handle an extra hour of easy work.

This is typically exactly what I have done in the past which is a very easy way of doing it. Makes it easier to commit to if the race/show im watching in the background goes on q5 to 20 mins longer than the 1hr session to begin with!

In response to the OP, I do a hybrid from LV myself too, similar to last year which worked for me. I like getting out once on the weekend for a longish z2 ride so do that on whichever day is best in the winter (in the UK), then the hard Saturday session on the other day. Also add a Wednesday z2 ride stolen from whatever the MV plan would be.

What i am also trying this year is the +1 workout on one of the weekday workouts to extend to 1hr 15mins too. Had experience of that with build which added that extra bit of time of intervals. Quite liked that.

Pettit is what the plan says 39 TSS. Remote working, I usually go for whorl, which is the same intensity (and much of the same drills, but 75 minutes).

Averaging around 600, but it’s normally the outdoor spin that bumps that up, when we’re allowed out on a group spin.

I wasn’t doing that much when I was in the Office, commuting, had significantly higher NEAT. Remote, I have to work to get to 6,000 steps, in the office I’d be well over 10,000 without even trying.

You can leave it in erg. Just click “extend cooldown” and choose your additional duration.

The one downside to this approach is that now, at a glance, the workout data is hard to compare with my my previous efforts of the same workout because the added Z2 changes the IF and NP etc. It’s not the end of the world since I can just open the workout and select all the intervals without the Z2 at the end if I want this information. However, I might consider in the future adding a totally seperate Z2 workout for 15-30 mins instead of adjusting the main workout.