Trying to sustain a training schedule of 12/13hrs a week on top of a degree - Any advice?

First year in university doing Radiography - I fit in the riding around it by using my Zwift early morning or late at night and lots of coffee!!. Any advice on techniques or methods to keep the motivation & structure there would be great!! Thanks guys :smile:

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Do you need to read a lot? Hop on a trainer and read.


Wake up at 4 am, do 1-2 hrs in the morning… then go to bed at 9… and repeat…

wait…thats me with kids…
probably useful to you too…



Like your thinking! With all the sweat doubt the books would be much use after one session :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

When i studied years ago, most of my readings were in pdf form so it was pretty easy to do :innocent:

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Meal prep as many meals as you can. Cooking, eating, cleaning, drying, and putting dishes away takes a surprising amount of time. Replace the 1-2+ hours per day you save with riding.


Were you doing 12/13 hours of structured riding before?
If not, drop Zwift - try a TR medium volume plan - then add rides if time allows.

Or do a low volume plan and enjoy university :crazy_face:


Great Tip! - Thank you :smile:

What are your goals and do you need to train that many hours?

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When I was in uni, I’d ride 1-2 hrs first thing in the morning if I had a busy day or midday/afternoon if I had some downtime/no classes. Saturday/Sunday 3+hr rides.

I you do 2hrs Tues/Wed/Th and 3+hrs Sat/Sun, that’s 12+hrs if you take Mon/Fri off. You could even throw in recovery spins on those days for a couple extra hours if you wanted.

It’s really all about making your training like an appointment that you can’t miss – like one of your classes. Schedule a block of time each day for it and prioritize it for that time period.

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Made a weekly plan - Seeing it as a weekly appointment will definitely help, That advice was really helpful thank you :smile:


Goals are too do roughly 200km a week to sustain and build both strength and endurance - I have a trial ride with a local scout in a few months to hopefully get taken on into his small elite group of riders who compete. However think its pushed back because of COVID

Came to the realisation I might have to drop the hours to help balance it all :+1:

I have been retired for the last few years and I only hit 13 hours once or twice. I find it hard to ride that much. You have to do several 3+ hour rides and then you are wasted and just want to take a nap. I also don’t really like 4-5-6 hour rides by myself. I get bored.

It’s not very compatible with having to work, study, or have much of a life. If you are doing the gym and core work that you should be doing, you can easily hit 15+ hours per week of training.

Of course, it might be different if I had goals that required that much saddle time and team mates to go on those 6 hour rides with.

Distance is not a good marker of training.
I bet a well thought out training plan will yield the same gains you’re getting now but on less hours.


Been looking at the training plans on Zwift - Active Off season is only 8 hours and looks promising

Maybe read this and decide which will give you the best return on your time…?

I’m a fan of Zwift and some of there workouts are really good, but they’re not packaged as well as TR for following a base, build and peak schedule. If you know what you’re doing, then you can build a training plan on Zwift that will be just as good as TR, but If you don’t have the knowledge and / or time, then a TR plan or hiring a coach might be a better option.

Speaking as someone who basically used my Masters year as an excuse to ride my bike a lot…

  1. Change your degree. History of Art had a lot less tutoring hours than any of my friends doing BSc/MSc subjects. I had plenty of time to get in 12 hour weeks while they were stuck in the lab.

  2. Ok genuine advice starts now. We were expected to manage our own time when it came to reading, research etc, which meant a lot of people stuck to a normal working week. However, I would ride in the mornings (7am - 11am) and essentially delay my ‘working’ day to a 12-7 or work during the evening if I had a big day on the bike. This helped as the library was quiet, but I had to make sure I was eating well otherwise I wouldn’t have the energy to be productive.

  3. Reduce the partying, keep it minimal or just go out for special occasions. Wanting to do this amount of volume says to me that you’re serious about your riding, so making sacrifices like this won’t be a big deal.

  4. Join the University club or a local club with serious riders. Surrounding yourself with people with a similar drive for training will make it easier to motivate yourself and keep you honest about your fitness. Nothing says you need to train smarter like getting dropped.

  5. We are on the TrainerRoad forum right? From my experience the benefits of 12-13 hour weeks are minimal compared to a well structured training plan of around 8-10 hours a week. Plan everything in advance and be pragmatic. Most importantly, make sure you can find enjoyment in your training. I look forward to my workouts after a day at work - if you dread the thought of an interval session after a long day of lectures then it’s unlikely to be sustainable.


First year students study? Not in my experience :sweat_smile:

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I got my MBA whilst raising 3 little kids and a full time job. I was able to get in 10-12hrs pretty consistently and at least 4-6 15 hr weeks per year.
all the tips above are great. I basically did it with a lot of smaller rides and not a ton of big rides.
basically during the work week i’d ride super early and be home by 7:00am for the kids and get ready for work. lunch at work would be spent reading/studying. after i got home from work would be family time then when everyone went to bed more school. For the weekends i’d switch and ride at night for longer Z2 indoor while watching a movie and/or i’d be able to squeeze in a long’ish ride or racing on the weekend.
Different parts of your life need to take a sacrifice, which my work did and my school i just squeezed by and did not take a full load. Honestly being limited it helped with my gains, FTP and structure and i think i was stronger back then vs current. Now i’ve thrown most real structured training out the door. ride whenever and mostly unstructue z2/z3 but get more hours in. good luck man