Should I Increase Volume?




Always increase the Volume… to 11!


I don’t want to end up like a Tap drummer! :boom::laughing:


That’s gross. :-1: Even worse is that I’m doing the same plan later in the year! :tired_face:
Stop showing me stuff like that!

And people think doing more Z2 is what’s going to kill me?!


FWIW, I think the frequency of racing is as important as the type of racing for deciding on the timing and volume of base training.

A base plan for an experienced road racer planning a full March-September season with a midweek training crit/group ride doesn’t need to have too much high end work. They’ll get all they need during the season as long as they have a strong enough foundation to build on. Only exception would be if you want to smash an early A race and rebuild for another peak later on.

Very different for the less trained folks that target a race or two or maybe a fondo/gravel event. They can see more benefit from lower volume and more intensity in the Base Buil Specialty progression.


This is a fair point. I do a lot of intensity throughout the summer season - including training crits, races, and Ax group rides, so having a very solid and wide base is very helpful for me.

For less trained folks this might not work, but honestly if your body can handle HV you should give it a try sometime and see how your season goes


It’s no big deal, just some progressive over/unders - and then you get rewarded with those VO2 intervals you do so well with


Says Joe Friel on overtraining:

This is rare but there are some athletes who push themselves hard enough to achieve it.

He also says to advance slowly & cautiously in order to find your personal limits — not wholly because of risk of overtraining but because the body takes time to react & adapt, which in turn will show you the workload you can handle. The risk trigger is in the form of speed, not necessarily load.

Basically if you go too fast you might run out of road even before you realize it.


yeah, the rule of thumb is 5-10% increase a week


If that’s the case, then adding 1 hour of Z2 per week during each plan shouldn’t be that great of a concern.


Great thread!..and timely. Invested a good chunk of time ratcheting up the TSS on my ATP this afternoon…the new calendar is so darn EASY to use!!! At 41yrs of age looking to find my training ceiling. Looking to go from 10 hrs/wk to 14+ hrs/wk.

Came across this interesting chart from TP in my research earlier:


Good to hear you want to test your limits. :+1:

I’ve seen that chart, too – made me think of something I’ve overlooked in my last Build block: total TSS.

The TR SPBHV plan is a total of 73.5 hours and 4,345 TSS, ~60 TSS/hr (IF av is a bit trickier) – 9.2hrs/543TSS/wk.
The block I did was a total of 58.5 hours and 3,737 TSS, ~63 TSS/hr – 9.75hr/622TSS/wk.

My TSS/hr was 5% higher than the plan; TSS/wk was 16% higher.
[edit: for total disclosure, my recovery week has been a true Recovery week vs. the TR Endurance recovery week. Biggest ride has been Beech (43/0.65). And it’s taken the full week to shake that fatigue. Ramp will tell if I did a good thing or over-cooked it.]

I found it challenging yet doable. Pretty sure if I did the mid-plan recovery week (instead of removing it), I could have done even more. Considering all the workouts (including subs and additions) were 0.80+ IF, I wouldn’t see a problem adding extra 0.70- IF work into a plan.

I also read something interesting about CTL which I never thought about:

How you approach your training, and how much of a ramp your CTL is, can be dictated by your event. Take a track rider: it’s not possible to get a large spike as a lot of your rides will be 60-90 minutes and intense, while someone training for a gran fondo will ramp their CTL up quite a bit.

So if you’re trying to hit a 120 CTL, you’re not going to do it with only TR plans.

Pertaining to myself, my first A race is <30 min in duration…will I really need a 100+ CTL (and additional TSS)? Probably not, but for my second A race, a 4+hr Gran Fondo, my CTL will most likely increase.

Always more weeds…


@Captain_Doughnutman. Yes! Thank you for that. I just had a total light bulb moment about TSS. Was trying to reconcile some of the reason I can get to over 600 but other times of the year (when goals/event differ), I struggle with 400 or even lower at times


Was looking over my Dec/Jan data and stuff…found some interesting trends:

During my Base phase, both my fitness and fatigue rose by ~20%/week (for 9 weeks).

During my Build phase (5 weeks), my fitness rose by 22%/week (25%/wk @peak fatigue), but my fatigue increased by 42%/week (59%/wk @peak fatigue).

Basically, doing what I did (vs. standardized plan) created 10% more fitness and 100% more fatigue, with peak fatigue occurring 1 week earlier than peak fitness (in my Base phase, both peak fitness and peak fatigue occurred at the same time).

I was a good experiment and I have no regrets testing my limits but now I can definitely weave some more intelligence into future training modifications rather than relying on pure brute force and over-enthusiasm to pave the way. (I also experimented with 3 weeks of double days, but I can’t say either way how that went.)

So to answer my own question: should I increase volume? I think I will, however it will be perhaps 2-3 hours max of Z2 during my upcoming Base+Build phase, returning to regular volume for Spec plan. Since my A Race is rather short, I’ll focus on intensity and race specificity over volume. Next year (and perhaps later on this season), however, will be the reverse.


Looking forward to seeing the results. You’ve got me contemplating doing something similar myself with volume, although I don’t think I’ll be using a TR plan. More Z2 with some standard interval work and a couple “training camps” probably.

With my A races off the table now I’ve got some room to experiment with TSS and see just how high I can get my CTL without exploding. In all seriousness I’ll still be keeping to a 3/1 build and recover regime for the most part to make sure I’m recovering well enough to get the adaptations I’m working for.