For the next two months, I will be working almost exclusively remotely while my office is undergoing renovation. I have considered using my lunch hour to get in my TR sessions of 60 minutes or less on the trainer and picking up endurance “extensions” outdoors in the evening after work. I am already acclimated to high volume (between 13 and 20 hours per week) and am thinking I can make more efficient use of my time at least a few days a week.
For those who have incorporated two-a-days into your TR plan, other than straight endurance rides, what types of sessions have you incorporated and found effective? To answer a question preemptively, I am already working strength sessions into this model, I am looking for more feedback for on-the-bike sessions.
For context, I am using plan builder high volume that has me bouncing between build and specialty so the typical model is Tuesday intensity, Wednesday endurance, Thursday intensity, Friday endurance, weekends are long rides sometimes with some Threshold or Sweet Spot work. To make up the volume not provided by the plan, I typically complete my workouts and perform endurance extensions within my session. I am not glued to HV if I take this approach, as an MV plan might work better with the extensions structurally speaking. I’m curious as to what others are using.
As an aside, curse covid for sidelining multisport for too long to make it a focus this year, this setup would have been ideal!
I don’t use TR plans but I do many 2-a-days. In the old days as long-distance-bike-commuter and for the last couple of years in my home-office setting. I’m high-volume.
I almost always “just” do endurance or easy for the second workout. Everything else is not sustainable for me. However, you may want to check what other sports are doing, running/swimming/rowing where 2-a-days are common.
Check the recent Fast Talk episode where they discussed this. Trevor talked about doing intervals before work, and then Z2 after. Massive oversimplification, but there was some tentative evidence the Z2 work in this situation had some similar impacts to e.g. the final hour of a 3 or 4 hour workout.
As covered in that Fast Talk episode, the time between workouts is critical. Your body goes through certain chemical reactions after the first workout that makes the second more productive in inducing super adaptations, but only if the timing is right (processes in action). They recommended the second workout be no more than 6 hours after the first. I don’t remember what the lower limit was, but they mentioned long enough that you would change clothes, so I interpreted that as 2 hours minimum.
I aim for four hours between workouts, as a triathlete but sometimes its a lot less. For heavy lifting I prefer to leave it 24hrs before a bike session.
If I’m working from home and have a sweet spot or above session scheduled for the evening, I’l sometimes do an easy session early in the morning. No more than an hour of easy spinning (so 50% to 60% max - the level where I can spin away and answer my emails). Something like Pettit -1.
I find this works really well for me currently on a mid volume plan. Doesn’t seem to have any negative impact on my body or the scheduled training, and leaves me feeling in a really good place for the day ahead.
I would be wary of doing anything more than a really easy session. I want to nail the sessions that matter so don’t want to do anything that negatively impacts them. If I’m feeling really good I might opt for a slightly harder alternative to the scheduled session, but I won’t add in anything more than an easy spin as an additional session.
slow, slow, slow …
It has been observed that the 2 a days produce more signals. In particular PGC-1-alpha mRNA. However, just mRNA. Acutal PGC-1-alpha was not really elevated in comparision. And there is zero evidence that this augments any superior adaptions. So far we only know the more mRNA is produced. But this does not seem to get translated into more PGC-1-alpha so far. A signal does not make an adaption necessarily. For example, you need a receptor as well. The body produces signals all the time without actually responding to them.
I often do two a days simply because I love riding. On days that I welcome in the dawn and bid farewell to the dusk, I feel very content.
Always ridden slow.
I fit in two intense sessions a week and the rest is easy. Manage about 10-15hrs easy most weeks, gained in 90min two a days, 2.5hr one a days, and longer weekend rides.
My work commute in the morning tends to just be recovery or endurance efforts, in the evenings it will depend on what my body says. But intervals (TR, outside, or Strava segments) are done after work. Been doing that for years. Also high volume at about 20 hours a week (plus endurance running and track intervals).
When cycling 2x per day I tend to go for endurance in the AM followed by harder efforts in the afternoon.
When running & cycling in the same day I like to make my hard days very hard and easy days very easy.
I do my hard intvals in the morning then easy z2 in the afternoon.
Triathlete so 2-a-days are common. Monday thru Friday I often do cycling in the morning, and run or swim on the way home from work.
Build up carefully, eat heaps, focus on sleep, you will be fine. Some nights I’m sleeping by 8:30. I get up at 5am so when I sleep properly everything works well.
How early are you guys doing the hard efforts and what’s the quality like?
I do my all my weekday workouts at 6:15am and have no real problems with hard efforts unless I have a bad night of sleep and/or don’t fuel well the day before.
We wake up around 5:15am every morning, have a light snack, and then I am straight on the bike. I try to eat something on the bike and have a recovery drink during cool down, which helps a lot and I could do a second workout later in the day if I wanted to.
I’m mostly a cyclist these days but from a triathlon background up to IM distance, so 2 workouts a day is what you have to do. It took time to get used to early morning workouts, but in Texas you have to do it!
Very similar here, 5am start, on the bike by 6. Solid breakfast of oatmeal and two coffees before the workout and a recovery shake afterwards. If the workout is over 500kj then I also carb on the bike.
This is an interesting idea and I’m trying to figure out ways to add volume without overworking myself.
Do you think a 1 hr hard workout (VO2 max/threshold) in the morning and 1 hr easy endurance in the evening could perhaps be more effective than say a 90 min hard workout in the morning?
same, Its hard enough to wake up and chug a few cups of coffee and head in with a pack. Mentally its easier to do intervals after work, knowing I don’t have to concentrate on anything when I get home.
I can’t do anything above Z2 in the morning. Otherwise I’m just sat at my desk sweating gently and unable to focus all day.
I’m sure it’s trainable but I hate mornings so I’ve never bothered training it. I’ve got 6 or 7 years of training where I’ve done all my workouts in the evening…
If I do a 2 a day it’s an easy z1 or 2 in the morning usually, followed by whatever I was scheduled later on. During the 1st lockdown I did West Vidette in the morning a few times then my normal workout afterwards basically over my commute, but since then I’ve just got in the habit of getting up later!
Long distance commuter here. Easy on the way in, efforts on the way home. Anecdotally, it feels better doing the efforts on slightly fatigued legs as that’s when the efforts count in races.
Wouldn’t your ability to raise FTP and VO2 numbers be capped ultimately if doing easy workouts in the morning then the hard workouts later as you’re almost always carrying enough fatigue to never really hit those higher numbers?
Thinking about a POL perspective where being fresh and going really hard seems to be king.