Training Cycle Split 2 on / 1 recovery

Last night I was mulling over the idea that ‘We’ve got nothing to loose’ whilst the world is in COVID lockdowns, and trying to become a better athlete overall.

Prior to the birth of my first child, I had so much time to train, and recover, that adherence to sessions was very easy.

Now I’m finding my sleep quality is not what it once was. Stress levels increased etc. I’ve been struggling for about a year with nailing my sessions, I’ve either shortened them or have had days where I just don’t want to train because I’m wrecked or cant be stuffed. Post race, im done with the training structure for weeks on end.

So Ive decided to do a training block change. Instead of the traditional 3/4 weeks on, 1-week recovery. I am considering going down the past of 2 weeks on, 1-week recovery. This is believe will level out the stress across the year, so I can handle the additional workloads and bigger weeks, without burying myself that by the time I get to a recovery week, im not struggling just to complete that.

Is there any pit falls of this that im not seeing, other then adding weeks to training plans. What else have people tried?

Been there, done that, and I like it.


Bloody Legend Chad - I knew you woul have done this before. I should have just searched your posts hahahaha

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It is a pattern I decide to try after success with my modified Sweet Spot Base worked well. My 46 yo body and life schedule likes a bit more recovery in each phase.

How did you find it all? Did you start to nail sessions, did you find your body reocvered better, less stress etc.

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I just had solid energy in each work week. The 2:1 schedule kept me from hitting that fatigue wall I sometimes experience in the 3rd week, especially on the Thur and Sat workouts in my typical Mid Vol plans. It helped mentally as much as physically for me too. No dreading the workouts in week 2 wondering how I would handle week 3.

And from a regular life perspective, the more frequent recovery weeks lead to me feeling more on top of the chores. So I like it on pretty much every level that I could think of.

How have your gains been since using the 2:1 format Chad? I would like to add more volume at some point, but do find the need for added recovery these days.

I am hitting all time best powers for Strava KOMs, Zwift races and IRL group rides. They are at a wide range of power (short and medium range) so I am happy with my progress this year.

Big stuff at 1.5 mins thru 7 mins, still gains from 7 mins thru 21 mins, and then again at 1 hr 20 mins to over 2 hrs.

Here is the link to my career info (if it works).


I have good experience with this too and did it prior to TR (for triathlon). But a 2 week/3days off cycle.
As chad said I felt fresh and generally not so run down.

Right now I’m using the same scheme again because I have a long vacation and I can do many nice rides with only a few days off. Works very well for me.

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That’s awesome. So Schmidt did you do 3 days completely off the swim bike run, or just very easy spinning/swimming?

In a load week it may be

Mon off or easy run/ bike
Tue TR workout + hard swim
Wed Gym + hard run

For 3 days recovery
Mon off
Tue Easy run
Wed Easy bike

I usually feel fresh by Wednesday. Thursday back to normal work.

I moved the bike to wednesday as compared to the normal schedule because I would generally feel the most fatigue from cycling.

I’m not religious on the 14d load cycle, if it ends up a little shorter (eg 12d because of a weekend away) that’s fine. But i make a point of ensuring recovery.

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If I’m training g for an event, I use a 3:1 schedule, but if I have nothing on the horizon, I go to a 2:1 schedule. Been doing it this way for 7+ years now.

Really, a 2:1 schedule doesn’t “lose” you that much over the long term. Say your “on” weeks were 12 hrs of training (for me that means 3 hrs swim, 6 hrs bike, 3 hrs run) and your “off” weeks were about 8 hrs total (reducing everything to 67% of the “on week):

This means that over the course of 12 weeks, the 2:1 schedule would be 128 hrs and the 3:1 would be 132 hrs. Meaning, you only lose 3% of your volume and your “off” weeks come quicker.

Again, it may not be for everyone, but it helps me mentally as well as physically. One caveat is that regardless of “on” or “off” week and regardless of 2:1 or 3:1, I always take 1 day/week totally off except for some stretching/walking.