it is progressive, what I describe is my current training program. I started to deliberately train about 3 years ago, from FTP at 180W. Back then it were 3-5 1 hour sessions per week plus an obligatory casual social ride at the weekends.
I gradually increased my training intensity during the week (I have a smart trainer at home), and my weekend riding volumes were increasing as well, as I was riding longer and longer distances. At the end of the second year in training I rode my first couple of brevets, 200kms ones. Before that I’ve already had rode 150kms distances a few times as well.
That was also about time I hit the gym for the first time in my life, during the winter of 2021. I took a leave from my cycling activities for first few mothns in the gym. Then after adapting to this new load, I gradually started to add cycling back, with lower intensity, after each gym session (which were twice a week).
Due to the time spent in gym, and COVID taking me out for a month (and another month spent on recovery from it), I reached the start of 2022 cycling season at FTP that wasn’t that much different from the one I was at in autumn 2021 (about 240-245W). I spent may be one more month on interval training to get whatever fitness increase I could - and then rashed into breveting will all I got (well, that could attribute to overtraining a lot, I guess). There was a month I rode 200kms each weekend, and hardly was able to recover before each of them. Then 300kms followed, 400km, 600kms… The later two felt brutally hard for me. There were a lot of other hard weekend rides in between. I also tried to train at VO2max and FTP wattage levels in between when I felt like I had some strength left. I also increased my usual training session from 1 hour to 2 hours (but simply by adding 40-50mins of zone 2 spinning after the heavy interval work).
Then, in August, after all that brevet madness subsided, I thought I should now add some basic strength training to my routine, to get prepared to the next visit to gym this winter. That was another hour on top of the two hour of spinning, still 2 days per week. Plus the obligatory weekend long ride, as it became the main ride of the week for me and my friends.
That’s the full history of it. Worth noting that I dealt with some signs of overtraining all this time. First year I made a rookie mistake by training almost every day. But it quickly become obvious it won’t work, so to my second year in training I finally resorted to that routine of 3 rides per week, 2 “hard” training session and a weekend long ride in a free tempo (usually mild, sometimes hard as well). I tried to get enough rest between the sessions, like at least one full day of rest, 2 if it didn’t feel enough. Perhaps, it still wasn’t enough, as I was experiencing most of the signature symptoms of overtraining throughout that year (as I now understand). Back then, it wasn’t that harsh, so I waved them off. Occasional rest for a week seemed enough to recover.
May be I really overdid it this year…