Going to get banned for creating a million threads lately!
So this might be one of the few times in life I get to ride a heavy amount of hours per week, but I can’t see any plans that are structured and will easily sync over to my Garmin headset (I really want to do all the workouts outdoors - I’ve moved home temporarily to a nice spot for riding).
TrainerRoad syses to Garmin and shows the intervals etc graphically? I remember years back having a Wahoo and this feature first came out, but a little hazy there.
I’d want a build plan, I think my base is good now. Seems I can handle quite a lot of hours on the saddle outdoors, but don’t want to do anything too boring.
Can’t see any polarised plans anywhere that can easily sync a whole plan to my head unit. So maybe adapt a TrainerRoad Build plan? I don’t want to do those 4x8mins either, sounds dull riding easy all week then doing one session like that. Need some variety, but it needs to be legit, I do want to see some progress after 8 weeks.
Anyone done this, lengthened a TR plan, how’d you go about it? Also bonus here is I might get into beta and see what the adaptive trainer recommends.
I haven’t ever done this, but there is (to my mind) a bit of an issue with the plan.
If you’re looking at polarized, and/or greatly increasing hours in the saddle, then a lot of your riding is going to be easy or ‘dull’. If you’re going true POL, then by definition c.90% of your time is going to be Z1 Seiler or Z2 Coggan. It kind of has to be.
If 1 really hard session plus 4-5 easy ones sounds boring to you (and that’s legit if you find it so), I’d personally look at another plan.
I am currently following a loosely POL plan - see if you think it sounds dull, then go from there:
Mon: 90-2hr steady state; can be road, gravel or on the trainer.
Tuesday: hard interval session (4x8, 2x20, micro-bursts) - usually on the trainer
Weds: as Monday
Friday: 2-2.5hr steady state with 2x20 sweetspot pushes or pick a hilly route and just go 7-8 RPE up the hills. Road or gravel.
Saturday: 4hr steady state or 2.5hr/coffee stop/2.5hr, keeping it very easy. Road ride.
Keep in mind that you only want two or three hard days in a week, including long endurance rides as hard on the body and plan your recoveries…recovery is where you get faster after all.
I’m biased naturally, but I like the Full Distance Triathlon Build plans, HV should give you two interesting hard days and a long ride (that’s your three) and if you want to add volume, step up the workouts with +1 +2 versions that you can handle, and add an extra 1hr aerobic riding per day.
Personally, I would suggest you build carefully. Completing 15 hours a week takes a lot out of you if you are not used to it and if you have a full life beyond cycling. Not suggesting that it is not possible, I have done it a reasonable number of times, but go at it too hard and you will feel just as grim as if you were knocking out hours of sweetspot training.
My model would be:
Sat and Sun - two endurance rides (each 4 - 5 hours, on back to back days ) - find nice routes to enjoy the journey.
Tuesday or Wednesday- one structured interval session (something like 6X4, total time 1 hour)
A couple of punchy rides (about 1hr 30 each, nothing to serious, just not holding back on hills etc if you feel like it
Monday and after the intervals? - a couple of really easy rides (of about 1 hour)
The two endurance rides and the interval session are the non-negotiables and the others are just about how I feel. If I am tired I would make all four easy.
If I was doing something like this, I would have built up to it over time, particularly on the endurance rides.
The gains and the consistency lay within those ‘dull’ Z2 rides. Make them interesting- make nice routes, explore the land. Just because you aren’t dead at the end of it doesn’t mean it hasn’t give you good gains. Then nail the hard workouts. 15 hours a week- the easy rides are key for the overall progression.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. I’m sure that can relate in some way to this situation haha.
Shows intervals graphically assuming you have a newer ‘30 based Garmin (530, 830). Might work on 1000 too, I believe that has new Workout Comparison (name?) field.
FWIW I prefer syncing from TrainingPeaks as it is easier to modify workouts (web editor) and more control/flexibility over what is sent. TrainerRoad syncing works just fine, just less control over what is sent to Garmin.
Thanks guys, I’ve been playing with the plan builder but some of the workouts when put into outdoors versions just aren’t that great. 15 to 45 second intervals it was giving me in some of the speciality workouts.
Sustained power HV looks the easiest to pull off as it does away with short intervals. What would you do about the sweet spot on Sunday here? Thinking this is a pitfall…
Lose the sweet spot, then turn it into a Seiler Z1 long ride then add Z1 extensions to everything else too? I can’t find a calculator online that lets me work out Z1, but it looks like recovery and endurance fall within that so should be fine to just use TrainerRoad’s endurance range?
The HV build phase destroys me and I believe I would benefit by adding more Z2 volume. I love the progression in the plan, and don’t want to lose the structured workouts, so here is my thought on adding / changing up the calendar.
Flicking back… I’ve got a lot of weeks just under 700TSS and in September a week even pushing 1000TSS. Goal here is to really push the boundaries rather than follow conventional wisdom. I’m not time crunched at the moment so really want to take the chance to go for it. This year could be my only chance to try and go big volume.
According to intervals.icu which I started last night, I’ve been doing a ton of threshold and sweet spot work in the past 6 months.
I do that since about two-ish years. I take the stock mid to high volume plans and add endurance time to it. Also some running though that wouldn’t apply to you so perhaps even more endurance time instead.
With base either mid and high volume sweetspot seem to work. With build its sustained power mid volume for me. Sunday rides I either keep as prescribed or replace with easier endurance miles. Saw and see some great gains.
imho the endurance workouts in TR are too high in Z2. Most of the workouts are spent around .7 IF, which is kind of hard for 2 hours when you have vo2 max the day before, and then have to do 105-108% the next day. They’re not recovery rides at all, you’re doing work.
Also, keep in mind when looking at these plans that when you switch them to outside they get extended. I think workouts like andrews/brasstown get extended to 1:45 or 2:00 total. The other intervals get naturally extended too, in my experience. For me it takes a bit of time to ride to/from a good interval spot, so I end up adding 10-15 mins on the front end and 10-15 mins on the back end of each outside workout. Then a 2hr workout becomes 2:30 and over the course of a week this adds up.
HV + additional miles is a recipe to cook yourself if you don’t have years of significant training/base under you, and you’re not prioritizing recovery/nutrition/sleep in your off time.
I think there is more to it. I didn’t bother looking it up but as far as I remember the intensity bits are longer and plus there are also more intervals with the high volume build plan.
For me it was always too much. Mid volume build plus endurance time on the bike and run is the most I can get away with. Lots of 600-700 TSS weeks. At some point it also becomes very mental. Not much of a fan of sustained above threshold efforts. Like Stromlo and Buddawang. I prefer the over and unders or then again efforts ar 108%+.
I’ve burned out on the HV plans in years before (so you’re probably wondering why I’m trying something so crazy now), but I think I’ve done good work the past 6 months with a lot of heavy TSS weeks with back to back days at intensity (still holding 45min sweet spot intervals on 5th day for example).
I was always cutting calories before and doing this stuff indoors. I still will cut cals a bit now but not hard, and doing it all outdoors I think will be easier, purely mentally easier.
Also I’m not afraid of failing and just taking a week off and trying something else after. Those efforts you’re talking about, I wasn’t a fan either on the trainer, but give me a long hill and I love it. Like Christmas or something.
Honestly, I am not making any recommendations but only stating what I did as per your question.
The mid and high volume plans itself can be quite taxing. Adding to it won’t make it any easier. So I would trust that you are aware of that and that you are mindful about what you are doing. Dito for rest and nutrition.