High Volume Training Plan Mega-Thread

My typical schedule looks like that:
(1) 4 am get up
(2) 30 Minute run
(3) Get ready for work
(4) Drive to work 1 hour
(5) Start work at 6 am
(6) Leave work at 2 pm
(7) Arrive home at 3 pm
(8) Workout 1-2 hours
(9) Dinner at 6 pm
(10) Time with the misses
(11) Snacks!!! (Nuts and stuff)
(12) Go to bed at 10ish pm
(13) Read or watch a movie
(14) Sleep in somewhere between 11 and 12 pm

Sleeping has always been like that. I never needed much sleep. Even as a student, I hardly slept more than 7 hours on average. So I am fine with 5ish hours during the week.
With food it’s similar. I never was a breakfast person. Not even as a kid. I just cannot stomach it. Lunch I skip because it’s a useless hour. I rather leave home earlier.
So yeah I only eat in the evening. Mostly after my workout. It has never been an issue. If I though feel hungry during the day I have some snacks. Mostly nuts and fruit. Maybe 1-2 per week.

I don’t think my FTP is set too low. I ramp tested till 230 watts. Eventually stopped doing it as I was prone to undertesting. My self assessment is now more based on a 8 minute protocol. If I can do 4x10 minutes at FTP or 4x8 at 108% FTP I know I am about right. If those get easyish I bump it up by 2%. I then have a really hard time completing those workouts. That way I worked myself up to 250 watts by now. That places me at about 4watts per kg. Started at 180 watts and 2.5 watts/kilo.

I quite enjoy the longer rides, I’ll always have headphones in with either podcasts or music on.

Because I’m on a dumb trainer I need to watch the power and cadence quite closely to stay on track, otherwise as my mind drifts so will my output. However a big thing that helps for me is to break long efforts down into 30s chunks when I’ll usually change position, even just going from the hoods to the drops - so simple but the time goes in pretty quickly

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Tip of the hat mate, but I think a few weeks of that schedule on the training plan would break most people, you are a machine

Okay, so I’m not an expert. I only did TB HV1 before I started on SSB MV1 this year, but the one thing I will say is that it blew my mind how much quicker the time passes if instead of TV or music or podcasts, you find a way to read a novel. Seriously, try it. It’s insane. I realize that that only works for low intensity, but that’s what I found. Hardcover book could be quite easily balanced on my handlebars + garmin front mount.

Whenever this HV talk comes up I always ask myself, “are the people who complete the HV plans actually seeing a significant bump in FTP?” Sure you are completing it but are you absorbing it or just always in a state of fatigue? I experimented with HV all of last winter and although I had a very small bump in FTP I felt like the mass amount of SS goes against everything I learned as a runner. Always in the zone that leaves you just a little flat so you never really recover enough to absorb it. This winter I’m testing the Polarized approach that worked excellent for me as a runner. So far two weeks in and I’m mentally and physically fresher for my hard workouts and actually enjoy my long aerobic rides on the trainer where I can zone out mentally watching The Sapranos. I’m on the trainer right now.:nerd_face: I figure if I don’t try something different I will always wonder.

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700-750 TSS/week is the high side of what most of us with full-time jobs can adapt to, and if you’re doing 14 hrs a week or more, then the IF has to go down.

I wouldn’t try to do one of the SSBHV plans. I do 14-16 hours a week, but I’m strict about only two days being “hard” – and that “hard” is relative to the period. Right now, my hard is 80-90% of FTP.

I think that the FTP payoff for high volume only happens after 2-3 years on that kind of load. The big gain is in durability and TTE. More volume = more strength late in the race. To be honest, I don’t think a sprinter or a puncheur needs to bother with all the volume – USCF races are pretty short for the average rider on this forum (30-55), and smart drafting and having a nose for the right break will lead to more success than an extra 100 hours of training in a year. If you’re a TT’er/rouleur, however, to get the strength to play your breakaway game (presuming your power is high enough to actually make that happen), then you need that volume and the strength that eventually comes from it (presuming you don’t cook yourself).

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Well the increase will be limited by your potential. As long as i increased my fitness i increased FTP for the first 2 years no matter what type of training i did. Now the base is most for following the structured plan.

My goal in SSBHV is to raise my time in SS to max during the 12 weeks, also every saturday is building up to 3hour 0.9 IF. So main goal is getting a huge base which i hope I get to build on for the next 9 months. I probably would have bigger benefit of doing a big TB but i don’t think i would manage that much easy training indoors.

I’m at the end of week 4 of SSB1. So last year I did ssb1 starting at 275w and it ended up being too easy and gradually worked my way to 295 during build. This year I did a mini block of ssb in October while racing cross at 285, and then started ssb in its full form at 290. It’s definitely doable this time but not a cakewalk like last winter. I’m not sure at this point if I’ll bump up for ssb2 or not, I’m going to see how week 5 goes plus I’m sure week 6 will help me freshen up. If I do go up it’ll be 5w

I’m 44 now and ran for 6 years before I started riding 2 years ago. The running definitely helped my base endurance. I peaked really fast on the bike. In about the first 7 months of training I got up to 278FTP at 142lbs. I couldn’t seem to make anymore gains so I joined TR and trained my ass off all last winter. Ended with 274FTP (ramp test). After a summer of not much structure I am now 266FTP ar 145lbs :neutral_face:. So this new approach I’m trying this winter will be a great test. I’d love to get my ftp in the 280 range and back down to 142lbs

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Just to touch on the original question, I have a variety of entertainment. Sometimes I’ll also run Zwift, a lot of times I listen to local sports talk, on weekends I’ll watch premier league soccer

I don’t really do much more than drink on the trainer, I guess I do my eating before and after, but dates are a good trainer food that are easy to pop in.

It’s not always all about FTP. An HV plan can substantially increase your basic fitness or TTE or muscular endurance or your lactate capabilities or your short power, etc. All depends what you’re doing with that high volume.

My FTP didn’t change that much after doing SPBHV (4%), but doing SSBHV after that, I found I could push much longer times at SS. I was targeting 40min intervals for my A Race but would do 60min intervals weekly. Wasn’t able to do that after completing SSBL/MV, even with a bigger jump in FTP.

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:rofl: I’m with @RobertK. I will start off with usually music but will probably turn it off after a short while after it starts to annoy me. I have enough thoughts of my own to correlate and file to keep me mentally engaged. :wink:

I agree with that.

I don’t really think it’s that special. Like I said I never needed much sleep. Also never been a foodie. Guess that makes it quite easy.
For me the key success element is consistency. I try to maintain my sleep and food patterns 365 days of the year. If I fail to do so (like during holidays) I really feel the consequences. Workouts become more of a challenge, nutrition quality decreases (weak spot is sweet stuff) and overall motivation decreases.
I guess I am that type of person that needs structure in their life. With structure it becomes all so much easier. Oh and endurance sports aren’t really work for me. It’s something near and dear to my heart. Been a (Ultra) runner now for a decade. Only new cycling. Though if I run or cycle I just feel so much better. It’s like a prescription drug. :slight_smile:

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I decided that I wanted to do HV plans (I’m on TB now) because I just upgraded to Cat2 and I feel like I really need a big aerobic engine to be successful. So FTP bumps are great but I will be just as happy or even more so to see longer TTE, more repeatability, less degradation in my PD curve after 2500Kj, and so on.
Over the past couple of seasons, I have seen that I can build good short power (9.2 w/kg 1m) really quickly, which allowed me to race and do well in cat 3 crits, but just having a good 1m power won’t cut it anymore. I also noticed I have raced the best when I have a (relatively) large number of miles in my legs and weeks/months of consistency.

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That’s a good call and perhaps one that most people don’t entertain — the WHY.

Don’t do an HV plan just because it’s there, or you think you can. Think back from your goal, does it actually require HV training?

Had a look at the Enthusiast Maintenance HV plan (6.5 hrs/wk) and I’d say anyone who did this entire plan (4 months) would come out ripping! It might not take you to the end of a 4hr road race but you’d definitely crush a 35min crit. That’s to say, a HV plan doesn’t have to be 15hrs/wk and 5,000kJ/day.

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@Captain_Doughnutman good point. Though for some people it’s not about goals.
I can only speak for myself but I enjoy every minute on the bike. Doesn’t matter whether it’s an outdoor ride with the misses or a two hour sweet spot session. It balances and grounds me in a way that it’s recognizable by others. They can tell the difference whether I was working out or not.
That way I worked myself up to 4 watts per kg and in the past year to a sub three hour marathon and several 100k+ runs. So rather than working towards a specific goal it’s more about the „why not“ do more if it’s fun. I sometimes get the impression here that for some it’s just a means to reach a goal. Just a tool to accomplish something. But, well, it can be so much more.

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For me all my goals are soft goals. It’s all about enjoying the process. That’s why I switched over to biking. I set a bunch of hard goals as a runner and every time I accomplished a goal it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I thought it would be. It led to burnout.

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My entertainment is movies/series for anything below 95%, harder i do music + youtube videos.

Yeah its obviously working for you, probably best sticking to your routine rather than trying to shoehorn something in which isnt sustainable long term, but maybe something to look at if you have a specific goal coming up, easy gain to make

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