Im doing the custom plan to train for a 152km 3100m fondo with a 900m climb after just a few kms. Mid volume im prescribed 4 interval sessions and 1 short endurance ride with 2 days off. The fondo is going to take me 5.5 to 6hrs but there is no ride longer than 2hrs in my plan. It seems my plan is the complete opposite of the 80/20 tried and tested polarized plan by prescribing a 20/80 in favor of hiit rather than endurance. Im 3 wks in and im enjoying the workouts but i wonder if im getting enough rest before my next interval session. for example, on saturdays i do a hard threshold 1.5hr ride then the next day i have a sweetspot interval session. Monday is a day off before vo2 max on tuesday. Would it not make more sense for sundays to be an endurance ride for a couple of hrs so my body heals better from the previous days high intensity by not triggering my bodies stress responses on consecutive days? If i were to manually switch sundays to endurance, how will it affect the plan adaptations feature? What are others experiences on this plan? Im sure lots have used it for fondo training. For reference, im 42, 6’4 and ftp is 3.52w/kg.
The low and mid volume TR plans are for time-crunched athletes. You can certainly use the TR Polarized Base and Build plans to get more of an 80/20 split, especially if you have the time for the long rides. The plan notes for the other plans also mention substituting the sweet spot workout for a longer endurance ride.
I’ve had great success with the Polarized plans but no longer have time for really long rides now that kiddo soccer season has started. Best of luck on your fondo!
To follow up on rkoswald, Sweet Spot training is aimed at building endurance for time crunched athletes. In theory, they’re swapping out more hours of zone 2 with fewer hours of Sweet Spot to get the same adaptations. As rkoswald says, it’s okay to swap longer endurance for sweet spot. At least that’s the theory.
Personally, I’m on a low volume plan (so 3 days of prescribed train) and I add a lot of endurance/ unstructured riding on 3 other days of the week since the mid volume really does seem to intense. Plus I like long slow riding. The TR crew has mentioned suggesting that people added endurance rides on top of their training plans if they want more–I doubt what I do is exactly TR approved, but I enjoy it and I’m happy to keep riding this way.
I did the same plan for my 102 mile, 6000’ climb race.
5 days on, 2 days off. On Sunday(sweet spot day) I did my long rides instead of the prescribed workout. Built it up to 85 miles, 2 weeks before my event.
For reference I’m 72.
This is the way (of the time crunched athlete).
Thank you. I think I’m going to switch out sunday’s ride for endurance.
Yes, if you have the time and patience to do so. Essentially, lower volume plans utilise more frequent intensity to “compensate” for a lack of time on the bike. This is only effective for so long, though. As you continue to improve, more low intensity training is the only way to get sufficient aerobic adaptations required to keep progressing, but most recreational athletes won’t reach that point, and it sounds like you are recovering fine at the moment. Long endurance rides are never a ba idea, and if you have the time, go for it. If you only have 8 hours a week to train, a greater percentage of those hours will be at a higher intensity. Since the volume itself isn’t severely physiologically taxing, you get way with more intensity while still recovering adequately. If you train 30 hours a week, the volume itself is extremely taxing, and the intensity distribution is skewed towards 80/20 (or more like 90/10). If you start to find that you don’t recover from the intensity between workouts, subtract some hard sessions and replace them with easier ones. If you find more time to train, add endurance ride time, not more intervals. If you stop progressing due to fatigue, ride easier more often. If you keep progressing and you enjoy training, keep doing what you’re doing.
Great post. This is cut and paste worthy for every time these threads pop up.