TSS Slope/Gradient and Burnout

This is my 3rd season with TR. First one was great - with significant FTP improvements and modest weight loss. Last year was poor performance wise, with illness during Jan and into Feb (back to below previous years start FTP), never got the weight off from the winter, followed by being knocked off the bike by a car in August. Never did regain the previous years FTP.

Both seasons had started in Jan.
Both seasons involved Mid volume plans and outdoor riding.
First season averaging 450-500 TSS during the spring/summer (2/3 rides on trainer)
Second season averaging 550-650 TSS during the spring/summer (1/3 rides on trainer - none in the summer)
Both seasons felt like a bit of burnout by Aug.

This year I started in November, on SSB1 Low
Using Intermittent fasting for the weight loss/control
TSS on SSB Low felt too low - and by my nature I wanted to do more (yes maybe a mistake again)
Added a few workouts - and by the end of the block ended up doing virtually the same TSS and type of workouts as SSB1 Mid
About to go into SSB2 Low with (again) manually added workouts

If I stick to the lower TSS of SSB Low Vol am I just going to go backwards and/or stall?

Would I be better off adding in something different to SSB2 Low Vol other the missing workouts from SSB2 Mid Vol?

Just do SSB2 Mid Vol and see how I feel and choose a lower volume plan for build?

Once you’ve started training and show you are capable of handling the TSS increases/Gradient/Slope - should that be maintained apart from recovery weeks and find another strategy to stop the burnout ie. do less, long club rides outdoors in the summer?


Looks like SSB low is not enough. I’d do mid and just skip a few workouts as needed.

Why would you do low vol build, are you worried of burnout or don’t have the time? I’d do Build mid and skip workouts as needed to be consistent with your base phase. If you’re worried about burnout see below.

Ideally as you go through Base - Build the TSS and/or intensity increases to continue adaptation. Ideally you would follow the Base - Build - Specialty progression (28 weeks) heading into an “A” event or race season. This progression would take care of the TSS/intensity for you and allow proper adaptation.

So the previous two seasons you started in January and were burnt out by August. So you thought starting even sooner this season (November) would be better? :grimacing: At this rate you’ll be burnt out by Spring! Not really, but you get my point. January - August is a long season for some expecially when you consider your previous stressors (illness, accident) and cycling history.

In the off-season you may need to just take some time off the bike, cross train with another sport and/or drop structured training and just fall in love with just riding outdoors. This may only need to be a month or two, but you should be chomping at the bit to get back to structured training when you eventually do.

Burnout can have lots of causes but just recognize it early and take a break. You’d be surprised how just a week of no riding refreshes your energy and soul. If a week is not enough take more, your fitness loss will be minimal and your passion for training will reinvigorate. You’ve had two seasons of experience so don’t make the same mistakes. There’s an old saying in TrainerRoad: “Fool me once, shame on, shame on you… Fool me, can’t get fooled again”. :thinking: @Nate_Pearson


Also, I’d change your title “TSS Slope/Gradient” if you want more responses, as it doesn’t reflect your questions. Your question truly is about structuring/modifying plans and avoiding burnout.

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Most of my fellow UK club members seem to be involved in events by spring time, so I started in November to try to remove that rushed/pressured feeling of trying to drop the winter weight and be ready by the spring. Using a lower volume plan seemed to be a good start. But then again didn’t feel like I was doing much.

I don’t have any A events although local 10k TT’s could be on the agenda from April - Aug 2019, so there is no peak.

I am aware of the potential burnout hence this post and agree sticking to rigidly a plan would lessen that probability - then again - you have to mix is some outside rides or there is little point in training in the first place. How far off TSS does everyone go when mixing in club events etc? Going back to Low Vol doesn’t suit my nature - Mid does, but looks like the extra club rides all need to fit within total TSS?

The yearly ride /mix plan is still puzzling. I wish there was a way to visualise the overall picture for a season and see where you have gone off track and what you needed to do to remain on track. The TSS line isn’t actually any help. It only reflects the plan ahead and your current mixture of past rides - there is no way to see where in relation to your current yearly plan it should be. Not blaming the tools - just reporting that I find it frustrating. We come to TR because we want to be shown how to structure things - and basic plan wise that couldn’t be better - but never shown how to structure a whole year?