Tips for managing increased session time in High Volume SSB II

Hi all, I’m a new TR user and just completed the High Volume SSB I. The length and structure of the rides were perfect for me - no longer than an hour and a half on the weekdays, with the longer 2-hour sessions on the weekend. This allowed me to get my 7-8 hours of sleep, wake up at 5:00 am, be on the trainer by 5:15 am, get showered, fix a quick breakfast and get to work on time.

Well, I guess I should’ve looked more carefully at High Volume SSB II before I put it on my calendar, but it looks as though there’s many 1.75- and 2-hour sessions during the week. My current plan to tackle these longer workouts is just to suck it up and wake up 15-30 minutes earlier (it’d be hard for me to go to bed much earlier); however, I’m a tad bit worried that about this messing with my sleep quality and performance on the bike. I know this might sound trivial to some but from personal experience, I can definitely notice a difference in getting that extra 30 minutes (probably the difference between waking up during a sleep cycle and at the end).

I’m wondering if others have experience modifying the structure of the high volume SSB plan to better accommodate their schedules. For example, are there additional workouts you have added to weekend rides to make up for reduced volume during the week? Have you substituted slightly harder 1.5-hour workouts to maintain a higher TSS?

Just looking for ideas. Grateful for any tips I can get!

Best,
Ryan

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Hey Ryan,
The last few years I have been more concerned with volume and let sleep suffer. This year I have placed more emphasis on sleep quality and switched to a low volume SSB Plan. As a triathlete this works for me. I will add an additional ride if well rested. Just look at the high volume plan to see what ride you are missing if you switch to mid or low volume, and then look at the other versions of that ride and see if there is a shorter duration ride that fits.

Aaron

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I didn’t modify it, but I did complete SSB HV II

I think that what I would recommend would actually be a bit simpler than swapping workouts out. SSBHV is ALLLLLLLL sweet spot work, no VO2, no threshold, just sweet spot

This means that you can fairly easily just shorten the workouts whenever you don’t have time. By this I mean just skip the last interval. Get the sleep you need, start the planned workout when you wake up, and do as many intervals as you have time for. Sometimes it might be the full two hours, sometimes it might be less.

Because the workouts are all focusing on the same system you’ll miss out a bit on the volume, but the total benefits should be fairly similar

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Thanks for the tips. I think that’s probably what I’ll end up doing - just start the workout as is and complete as much of it as I can.

I need to be less anal about nailing all the workouts as prescribed.

This is really great advice. The aim of sweet spot work is just to accumulate time at these levels, so getting as much done as you can is the main goal. There’s not much harm in skipping an interval here or there, especially when life gets in the way.
My two cents are to also focus on nutrition during your workouts. These longer rides can be quite tough to do when fasted (just after waking up), and sometimes a few calories taken in around the 1hr mark can make the second half of the workout much more doable. Good luck!

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Good point on the nutrition.

For the 1.5 hr rides, I had generally been doing a pre-workout drink (https://crankednaturals.com/products/beet-berry-superfood-mix-with-maca-cordyceps-ginseng-guarana) w/ a bit of sugar and caffeine, and then throwing back some dates on the bike when I felt my energy start to wane.

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Ooh, dates!!! :yum: That’s a perfect on-the-trainer snack.

One of the mental tricks I use on longer rides where the calories and TSS are really accumulating is to set aside a bunch of small snacks and then reward myself with them as I proceed through the sets.

Sweet potato, clif blocks, a left over Christmas cookie…whatever it might be. This gives me something to look forward to and a regular cadence on the eating.

When I’m burning 2,000 calories in two hours I start eating early and let it taper down the last 45 minutes, but depending on your FTP and fat adaption rate you can get away with waiting to start eating later

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I have the same issue with the high volume plan. I only have 1.5 hours on Tuesday and Thursday so I moved the 2 hour ride to Wednesday and did the best 1.5hr Sweet Spot Workout I could on Tuesday and Thursday. Then tried to keep the rest of the plan the same but did add a little more endurance stuff if I had the time and energy to bring up my TSS. I usually ended up with a higher TSS then the plan had. I’m just wrapping up my last week this week. All this sweet spot has been brutal mentally. Basically I wasn’t against tweaking the plan because I feel like I got an abundant amount of sweet spot in and will have a solid foundation for the next phase.

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I’ve definitely done this myself to get through intervals, even outside with the Clif shot bloks. :yum: It’s literally dangling the carrot on a stick to get through your workout. :wink:

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