Time Crunched Training vs back to SSBLV


Probably a regular question but I can’t really find a simple answer… (needs to be simple for me)

I’ve been using TR for about 3y mainly to support road cycling. I ride in a club and have been doing Gran Fondo sportives etc. I suspect that is not likely to change. I can roll on for hours but struggle climbing, especially in VO2 max efforts.

I’ve done SSB low volume many times over now in my programme, some specialty phases and build phases. FTP is 216 and has been pretty stuck there for a while. I’m getting a bit bored with the SSB plan (to the point of thinking about trying Zwift - gasp) and before Xmas have dipped my toe into the Time Crunch plans, though with Xmas etc have not been that diligent. I seem to be able to add 5-10% sometimes over my FTP when I’m doing these and finish reasonably comfortably.

Q: Are the time crunch plans going to allow me to keep my base fitness, and maybe improve on my weaknesses (hills, VO2 max) or do I need to carry on with SSB and then move into a specialty phase later on as the summer approaches and the sportive I’ve signed up for start to get nearer?

I suppose I’ve kind of answered my own quesiton to some extent in that I suspect that if I stick to SSB I’ll get bored and just not do them - but all other things being equal, will time crunch set me back for what I’m planning to do?

Sorry - rambling and (almost certainly) incoherent. But I find all this very complicated (even as a medical professional who understands some of the terminology and physiology!!)



Do whatever motivates you the most.

If SSBLV is not intriguing and you’re gonna skip workouts and resent doing it…then it’s not going to be productive, especially long term.

Remember there’s ways to make it more enjoyable by watching movies or listening to podcasts or watching bike races/sports…etc. It doesn’t only have to be following the blue bars.

Time crunched may or may not set you back. Depends on your current fitness and how much you’re riding/training now.

2 things to try.

Are you getting enough sleep? I found my ftp started increasing more steadily once I really targeted getting 8 hours.

And bored? As with previous suggestion, try watching a few films or a series like The Wire with the subtitles on. That helps distract me from the work!

1 Like

Have you tried using Plan Builder, and see what it suggests? Just put your target event in your calendar, fire up Plan Builder, and see if the resulting plan interests you.

Thanks for the replies.
Still not sure though. My gut instinct says more is better to SSB LV, at 3.5hrs a week, is better than TimeCrunch MV at 2.5hrs a week.
But Time Crunch does address some of my weaknesses - specifically VO2max work.
Maybe do a proper round of TC then back to SSB for Struggle Dales in May.
So confusing!

1 Like

I’m probably not qualified to answer this, but given I only wanted to spend about ~3-3.5 hours riding indoors during the week, I find the Polarized plan (MV) works out well, if you’re stacking up the long endurance rides on the weekends.

I use the plan builder to schedule the workouts and make sure to do the Threshold and VO2Max interval workouts each week. The Z2 endurance workouts are cake, but I hate doing them indoors so if I miss one I make up the time outdoors by riding longer.

I recently learned how to associate a planned ride with an outdoor activity, but usually I just go through and delete the workouts I don’t want from the plan builder (the long endurance ones) and replace them with a repeating outdoor ride.