Sweet spot base muscle fatigue

Hi,

Last week I got into indoor training for the first time, and been doing Sweet spot base high volume.
I just did Antelope +2, and my thighs started hurting a bit for the last 2 reps.
Is it normal for a sweet spot workout, or should it feel easier ?

I also spend 7 to 10h a week riding as a deliveroo courier, so if it’s not normal for the workout to be hard at the end, I’ll know it’s a sign of fatigue.

Welcome

Firstly, thighs hurting and muscle strain are likely two different things. It’s maybe worth considering which is more accurate.

Secondly, high volume TR plans on top of 7-10h of outdoor riding is ALOT of work. Possibly too much, especially if you’re new to structured training.

Antelope is no joke with 50 mins at sweetspot. However, it should be challenging but manageable. You shouldn’t feel totally smashed at the end, as the training plan will only continue to ramp up in stress.

Oh yeah, I used the wrong word. Maybe “fatigue” is better.
It just felt like I could do 1 or 2 more reps at best.

I’m new to well structured training, but 2 times this year I trained for 2/3 months in a row with ~3 interval training days per week ( 3x 20min/5 to 10min, 4x 4m/2m VO2max and some sprint intervals ).
I really want to spent as much time as possible training, so I’m trying if this works out, if not I’ll try the mid volume plan ( I know you’re supposed to go the opposite way, but I really want to see if I can handle this much volume because rinding as a courier is not quality training and doesn’t help a lot ).

Ok, I’ll keep that in mind then.

Thanks !

2 Likes

All power to you but I’d strongly encourage you to do the exact opposite.

Spending more time training is admirable and something you can probably handle if you’ve been riding as a courier for a while. But introducing the sheer amount of intensity from a HV plan alongside those hours you’re working could be challenging. If you feel uncomfortable now then the chances are that will only increase.

Also, if you dig yourself in to a hole of fatigue, as I suspect is quite likely, you could be looking at weeks or months before you can train with intensity again, and that’s hoping that it isn’t so bad that you actually struggle to do your courier work also.

Like I said, all power to you, but best to start off easy and increase volume once you’ve got a few months under your belt than smash it in the first few weeks and then spend the next few months trying to climb out of that hole.

1 Like

I would say some discomfort is to be expected. After all, Antelope +2 is 5x10@94%. The fact that you think you could have done some more intervals is also a good tell sign that it’s likely not too much. So yeah, I would say pedal on.

But keep on eye on how you feel as the plan progresses. You will likely be fine, though if not, acknowledge that and adapt the volume accordingly.

Something I would like to add:
Having done both mid and high volume sweetspot base, I would say the high volume plans are easier as they have no high intensity workouts in them.

1 Like

hmmmm, you’re convincing me.
I’ll try to be more cautious. I’ll finish this week and see how I feel.

I’ve been riding almost every day for 3 years, been a courier for 2 years now, and got into over-reaching 3 times ( and one of them was more brutal than the others ). It’s the only way i’ve been checking how much I should train per week.

The thing I’m afraid of when it comes to going easier first and building up to the maximum volume you can handle is that you train less time than you could.
For example, you start training 5hr a week when you can do 8hr a week. All those weeks you spend building up to 8hr a week, you lose a lot of hours.

I didn’t think about this approach much though, so now i’m wondering if it could be a more efficient way to find the maximum time I can train per week.

You’re in a similar position to me then. I commuted every day for about 4 years before doing any structured training. I actually overreached (I think) whilst JUST doing commutes as I loved racing my work friends to work most days and I got quite addicted to high (what I learnt later to be known as v02 max) efforts. It was horrible. I actually didn’t realise that the riding was causing it and I was worried that I was seriously ill. I actually self diagnosed myself with chronic fatigue. It took a long time to recover from.

So, first of all I understand where you’re coming from, I just want to encourage a cautious, sustainable approach. After all, you COULD train more now but if that digs you into a hole that takes you months to recover from, then your abilities on a bike in 3 months from now will likely be lower than if you’d trained a little bit too easy all that time. Tortoise and the hare kinda scenario!

Also, my concern isnt just one of volume, but of intensity too. High volume has, if i remember correctly, a fair bit more intensity (hard workouts) per week than low volume (which is what I do). There’s nothing stopping you doing the low volume plans (3 TR rides per week) and adding additional volume that is zone 2. That way, you’re not reducing your training time or hours on the bike, but just distributing those hours across levels of intensity that might be easier to adapt to from the beginning and keep you away from fatigue that could cause trouble further down the line.

2 Likes

Haha, the addiction to VO2max efforts is what got me to overreach too !

Actually, HV training plan doesn’t have any above threshold workouts in the base phase ( except the ramp test ofc ).
That’s a good idea, I might try that.
I think i’m gonna start doing mid volume SS, and if doesn’t go well try low volume with some zone 2 rides.
Something that I didn’t consider is the fact that I can see how much TSS my courier session produce.
Usally a courier session produces from 80 to 110 TSS according to TrainerRoad’s estimation ( and I do 4 to 5 sessions a week ), so maybe I could try to match the HV TSS per week using this + the workouts of the week ?

Yup, so maybe mid volume won’t be any easier.
You have more recovery though.

HV doesn’t have any work above threshold because that’s typically not the focus of base. LV base is the same. When I talk about “more intensity” I’m talking about more hours per week at intensities higher than zone 2. Therefore, HV is more intense than LV in the sense that you will spend more hours in a week near to threshold. Not that the individual efforts are a higher % of FTP.

500 TSS is a lot to then be adding even mid volume to in my opinion. But I’m starting to sound like a stuck record now…

Oh yeah I understand.

That’s on me, I’m the one that make you repeat it.

Either way, I’ll see if even mid volume is too much. I hope not because I will be pretty frustrated if I have to “just” do a LV plan. I really want to train all day everyday for the rest of my life haha.

SSBI LV is mostly sweet spot and over/unders. SSBII LV has VO2, sweet spot and over/unders.

There’s nothing wrong with ‘just’ doing LV instead of MV or HV. I did LV plans for 10 months while riding 10-12 hours / week and 600 - 700 TSS/week. Thats more time and training load than HV. I think it is better to start low and work your way up, rather than starting high, blowing up and having to recover and decrease load.

FWIW, my experience in doing Sustained Power Build LV on three consecutive days is it is very difficult and I blew up in the second half. I got through SSBI/SSBII LV fine. But now I know how to adjust my schedule to hit the important workouts hard and with high quality. You should be able to identify which workouts are the most ‘important’ and make sure those are executed with high quality. That will require balancing your desire to ride hard all the time vs recovery so you can go in motivated and crush those workouts instead of being crushed by them. If you’re carrying a ton of fatigue already it could just get worse and workout quality will decrease.

2 Likes

My anecdotal experience is that sweetspot base high volume is very doable. Even with added endurance cycling and running. Can’t say the same about build. There mid volume plus some endurance cycling and running is the most I can do.

Guess it’s down to trial and error. Nothing wrong with that as long as you keep close attention and listen to your body. After all, you can always dial it back (or up).

Anyway, I would say as you cycle a lot due to your job, you should have the legs to get away with it. :wink:

1 Like