High volume plan

choosing-a-plan

#1

OK, so stating the obvious here, but the High Volume Sweet Spot Base plan is hard.

Anyone thinking that’s just a step up from the mid-volume plan…it’s not.
At least I’m finding it significantly harder - although I’m also older with a weakness in sustained endurance, so the 3x20 / 3x30 etc workouts are rather uncomfortable.


Choosing a plan (high vs mid volume SSB)
#2

First, bro, you’re absolutely right! :smile:

Second, they say in the podcast that you could up your TSS by 5-10% per year. I was able to add a bit TSS to my mid volume plans and thus, I’m upping my TSS with 15% for the next season – and that already looks hard. But if you think about it, with this pace (+10-15% per year) I could handle the 50% increase from mid to high in for years (2022). And that would mean that I improve my recovery also.

Third, have you considered going slowly from mid to high volume with small increments in TSS from year to year? There might be something useful in the forum from coach Chad: Adjusting Your Training Plan


#3

Interestingly, it’s not (necessarily) the TSS that is the issue; I’ve been at around 600 TSS a week pretty much most of the past year, with TSS of around 700-800/week if running is included since July.

But as I think the guys on the podcast have noted - not all TSS is created equally. The focus of the High Volume SSB plan - perhaps obviously - is on muscle endurance and higher fatigue resistance - it’s the successive 3x20 and 3x30 workouts that I find harder than the mid-volume plan, which only had one or two 3x20 workouts; the rest were ‘5x9’ and 4x12’ and such.

I’m sure it depends on your strengths / weaknesses, but I’m finding I may need to really ensure I’m properly recovered for the workouts - that never seemed like a major concern with the mid-volume plan.


#4

Last season, I got into TR late and decided to do specialty road mid volume right out the gate. It was harder than the sweet spot high volume I’m doing now, but only slightly. I was under the assumption that sweet spot high was going to be just crusing along at 80% of ftp. Well, it is, but it’s much harder than I thought it was going to be. Its forcing me to recognize the fact that my sustainable power needs work and I’m looking forward to seeing the results.


#5

@WattsUp cracking username :slight_smile:


#6

Possibly wishful thinking :wink:


#7

That’s a good point! I think for most people sweet spot is mentally and physically quite easy; until you get to those 20’ and especially 30’. However, in the mid volume, you have also those 3min VO2Max intervals which are mentally and physically very difficult, too.

I’d argue that the high volume is not 50% harder; but only a tiny portion of people could ever take the 50% higher load.

And when it comes to all TSS not created equal, that is a very important point. I can do LSD with much higher TSS than SST and threshold stuff. In my opinion, TSS is not actually that useful since the type of the workouts matter so much.


#8

“TSS is not actually that useful since the type of the workouts matter so much.”

I’d agree to a point… TSS needs to be personalised a bit more to be more useful.

My strength is in long distance / marathon events and I found SSBHV challenging but pretty doable. I found moving onto the Short Power Build HV plan quite a bit more challenging and interestingly I then did four weeks of the General Build HV plan which I found really hard, and couldn’t finish one or two of the workouts as prescribed (which pissed me off!)

I shouldn’t be surprised though - it just reflects my previous training, and my weaknesses…


#9

Doing my second year of SSB-High Volume as my foundation.

It is taxing, but achievable. BUT - I semi-cheat at it by skipping the weekend workouts (weather permitting) and riding outside (I do this as traditional base rides so I get more TSS and time but not all TSS is created equal) so I don’t always end up hitting the 20 and 30 minute intervals. That tends to save my sanity more than anything though.

That said - it doesn’t tend to feel like I’m at my breaking point until week 4 or 5 in SSB II. When you’re doing 2 hours on Tues/Thurs and 90 minutes on Wednesday I just don’t have a lot of time to recover physically


#10

I’m not sure but I guess that the difference between SSB HV and Short/General Build HV is in the intensity – and amount of intensity. As the SSB HV doesn’t have high end work, handling the high volume and a great deal of high intensity in the build may be much more difficult than just the high volume alone.


#11

I’m just finishing SSB mid vol (but i add in a lot of extra rides).

i ‘seem’ to be able to take a fairly high TSS (maybe cos i come from running ?) and i am can’t work out whether or not to choose SSB HIGH VOLUME …

i was planning on doing high vol but am a little scared now haha …

i have done mid vol x 2 in past so fancied change …

is the main thing you find hard physcial or mental ? how far into it are you atm ?

thank you! any info really appreciated! :slight_smile:


#12

For me, it’s just the longer intervals at sweet-spot that I find tough - the 3x20 or 2x30 etc.
But that’s just probably because it’s a weakness for me.


#13

Thanks for your reply!

I might give it a go - as i’m the other way round … vo2 and anything anaerobic is super hard for me , but the long steady state i prefer.

When i start i’ll post on here for future ref.

thanks again and good luck!


#14

If you have the time for high volume, particularly on the week days, then go for it. If you’re already doing all of mid-volume and adding in rides outside for extra TSS you should be ok with the volume.

For me the biggest challenge between the medium and high volume plans is finding the time in my weeknights. For me it is rough to get home from work at 5:45 or 6, get on the trainer for two hours, get in dinner, a shower, and some house stuff and still get a reasonable amount of sleep. Requires a lot of focus for me to follow that schedule four nights a week.

If that isn’t a concern for you then definitely try high volume and see how your body reacts. You can always drop it down to mid volume (or swap mid workouts into the high volume a few days a week and create your own combo)


#15

thank you for your reply!

i am self-employed (lucky or unlucky depending on how you see things !!) and an early riser so typically finished work by around 2-3pm so i think i do have the time .to commit …

i really appreciate your advice however … it has made me more confident in being able to give it a go and not kill myself …

seeing as my TSS is 700-900 atm i hope it will be ok - but am aware not all TSS is created equal as they say!

will let u know how i progress - any other tips/advice v welcome!


#16

Nearly at the end of my second “season” of SSBHV, 2 weeks away from finishing part 2. Tough but doable, for em its more a mind game so I ensure my entertainment is on point for the tough days.

I also eat a metric ton of food every day and do my best to get more than seven hours of sleep whenever possible which has helped recovery tremendously.

The extended SS workouts have really improved my durability.


#17

awesome to hear thanks!

haha - i too seem to eat more and more !

great to hear everyone’s feedback … and how they deal with it …really excited to give it a go now !


#18

Rather than attempt high volume and fail (or fall behind) a different approach that may be more beneficial is to do mid-vol and supplement with some high volume plan workouts. Mentally its a far better feeling to crush a plan and be hungry for more than be beaten down and have to take some time off because you are struggling to get through.

For example if comparing the two sweet spot II plans;
Replace the standard Tuesday VO2max workout from the mid-vol with the Tuesday sweet spot from high-vol which is 2hrs long, keep your 60min recovery pettit, replace your thursday mid-vol 60min with the 2hr high-vol, keep your friday off and then stay with the prescribed weekend workouts.

That way you are easing your way into things while preserving some much needed rest/recovery days to see how the body feels. If you do a cycle of that and its fine, just supplement your way all the way into the high-vol plan.


#19

Hey, @WattsUp. Yeah, those longer intervals are brutal, even if you’re good at the longer, steadier-state intervals up close to FTP. Couple suggestions in no particular order:

1 - Be flexible with your recovery weeks. You may find that 5 weeks of the HV plan is simply too much stress to adapt to in a week of easy riding, so consider breaking the 12 weeks into 3 weeks of loading followed by a week of recovery; maybe even 4 weeks on then 1 week off.

2 - Pick reduced versions of those workouts or add your own breaks. If the endurance necessary to make 20-30 minutes at a stretch isn’t there, break them into shorter efforts but only separate them by 30-60 seconds. These micro-recoveries can go so far in terms of productivity without utter annihilation by slow-fatigue.

3 - Trim off 5% from your Intensity if those longer ones are burying you and outpacing your ability to recover enough for the next long-interval workout. It’s better to have a little left over than find yourself utterly fatigued and dreading the next round of potentially fruitful effort.


#20

Ditto. I found 3x20 or 2x30 intervals tough, perhaps more mentally than physically. Like others have said, I, too, substituted in weekend outdoor rides or due to work travel, I could not hit the target TSS for many of the weeks. I also tried lower cadence - for mtb - but it seems to me that SSBHV might be better with high cadence to reduce the chance of any injury in the face of the large volume of workout time.