Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Training Plan, and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 394

Where is the “Time Cruch 30/45” plan? Or is it just an idea? I believe if everyone benefits from low volume, there would also be those who would appreciate ultra low volume eg twice a week or only 30-45 min workouts. I usually try to squeeze a short workout but using alternates or skipping warm ups to achieve this. Like Alex mentioned, it does knock back my mental game thinking I am stepping down. 2 times a week on the trainer and a weekend ride would be ideal for me as I working dad…

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It’s under the enthusiast specialty plans


Awesome! I just added for January Time Crunch 30… Thanks ya!

Volume names ideas:

Recommended volume
Significant volume
Extreme/extraordinary volume


I might be doing a low volume plan but I like to think of it as “core volume”. The additional rides I add are a bonus.


Surprised I didn’t hear anything about Traditional Base on the podcast. I’m beginning my third season with TR (36 yrs old; no real training prior), and I’m currently in Traditional Mid Volume 2.

My thinking was this: Sweet spot Low volume was going great for 1.5 years, but I reached a long plateau/decline, and I hypothesized that I needed more volume, but SSB Mid-volume doesn’t make sense because it’s just taking Low-volume and adding little 60–90-minute endurance rides. Plus, it’s five days, up from three.

Traditional Base Mid-volume made sense to solve my need of more volume. Part 1 is four days, and rides are longer than I’m used to–that works for me, because once I’m on the bike, time isn’t an issue. Part 2 is already adding sweet spot and tempo; part 3 adds threshold, so some intensity is there.

So far it’s going great. My 6-week avrg is higher than it’s ever been, and I feel really good. Plus, my FTP is ALMOST up to my former peak. I have an A-race in March (snowy fat bike race) so we’ll see how it goes!


I was coming to comment the exact same - hopefully, feedback is taken onboard…

I think many athletes think of volume = hours. That leads to confusion and therefore I’d not use “volume” in the name.

So I’m thinking more along the lines of:

Traditional => Low intensity base

SSB LV => High intensity base (3 intensity sessions per week)
SSB MV => High intensity base (4 intensity sessions per week)

SSB HV => Extreme intensity base (5 intensity sessions per week)

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@Jonathan - great podcast, IIRC you began to raise the subject of Triathlon Training Plans several times but never managed to explore the subject during the podcast, as someone who regularly Swims and Runs between cycling workouts this interests me , I’m not specifically training for a triathlon but curious on how the triathlon plans take into account the additional training stress and relatively low recovery times surrounding cycling workouts, and if a low volume Triathlon Plan would still compliment road riding and cycling events

For the plan names I like Competitive, Competitive Plus and Elite.

Ok, clearly i am bored. :grinning: But for the final word on this here is what the AI Chatbot says:

Q: should podcasts start with an introduction and welcome or just jump right in and start talking?

A: It is generally a good idea for podcasts to start with an introduction and welcome, as this helps to establish the context and purpose of the podcast and can make it more engaging and easy to follow for listeners. An introduction can also help to set the tone of the podcast and can give listeners an idea of what to expect in terms of content and format.

In general, it is a good idea to start podcasts with a brief introduction that includes the following elements:

The title of the podcast and the episode number, if applicable
The names of the hosts or presenters
A brief overview of the topic or theme of the podcast
Any relevant information about the podcast, such as its format, length, or frequency

Starting a podcast with an introduction can help to make it more professional and polished, and can make it more appealing to listeners. However, it is also important to keep the introduction brief and to the point, as listeners may lose interest if it is too long or drawn out.


Spot on. @Jonathan why try and fix something that wasn’t broken? It was fine as it was. Jumping straight into a topic without even the most basic of intros sounds and feels plain wrong. Please restore normality.


I’d argue they are not that similar, just looking at low and mid volume. Low volume SSB 1 has 38% more TSS in 9% less time the low volume traditional base. Mid volume SSB 1 has 17% more TSS in 10% less than time. To get the same TSS as the SBB from traditional you’d actually have to do 29% more time than MVSSB 1, and 51% more time than LVSSB 1 (assuming the same TSS per hour as the traditional base plans).

Another vote for an intro. Maybe we don’t need a hello from every individual but it sets the scene. I miss the Welcome and a quick list off who’s on and who they are. I can’t believe you’re saving more than a couple of seconds :man_shrugging:t3:


As someone who is mildly addicted to NPR, I think you need an intro AND a theme song…

As for names, I would be curious what people want to easily find out when selecting a plan. For me, it’s “how many days of intervals”? I don’t want to do more than 2-3 hard sets per week given my existing load (not giving up the group ride(s) or the commutes). I don’t care how many endurance days are in a plan, because I do endurance most days (outside) anyway and don’t really care about my endurance progression level. But I might be a weirdo, and maybe most people care about the total number of hours per week and/or the number of days per week and/or the average amount of time per day to figure out what works in their schedules.

But generically (just changing the “volume” tags):
Low Volume = Flexible Plan
Mid Volume = Moderate Plan
High Volume = Extreme Plan

Yeah, I thought the old intro was already pleasantly minimal and efficient! But I’m not a millenial. :smile:

Either way works for me. :+1:

Or just substitute the word “volume” with “intensity.”

Why don’t you guys not name the levels, low, mid, & high. Just ask the rider how many hours they have available and just call it base, build, and specialty phases in their training plan. Behind the scenes, you can call it low, mid, & high, but the user would just be selecting 3-5 hrs (or whatever, 8-10hrs) available. Then it shows “base phase” in the plan. The user would probably be more inclined to pick the correct level based on the hours they have available and ignore levels. Get rid of Sweet spot vs traditional naming, just select best base plan for them…call it base.

Also, to make the training plans more customizable, add an “optional day” each week on the calendar, saying that if you’re feeling like more volume, click here and it takes you train now. It can be a clickable option in building a training plan screen.

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I think the problem with this is that it’s not “intensity” being adjusted. If I’m looking at it right, “low volume I” for sweet spot base gets you 2 sweet spot sessions and 1 threshold session. “High volume I” is 4 sweet spot sessions and 2 endurance sessions. If you go to “low volume II,” you get vo2max, threshold, and sweet spot, but “high volume II” stays 4 sweet spot sessions and 2 endurance. The overall TSS is going to be higher for high volume, but is SS/Threshold less “intense” than SS/Endurance?

Then you have to account for reality, i.e., what about for those who are doing extra rides? I’m doing low volume sweet spot base with lots of extra zone 2 and a group ride or two every week. My TSS is actually much higher than if I stuck to the high volume plan. I’d prefer to think I’m doing the “flexible” plan for intervals to accommodate the non-structured fun I’m having. Some day maybe I’ll get smart and move to a “moderate” level or structure. But my habits will probably never be compatible with an “extreme” level of structure.


I rarely “watch” the pod on YT. 99/100 I am listening on Apple Podcasts.