How to make plans work

Hey everyone, I have really been trying to figure out how to make this work for me but it’s just not been happening so i’m looking for some tips.

I am a full time professional bicycle mechanic and store manager for a local bike shop as well as a single dad of a 7 year old (50/50 custody) and have her from friday afternoon until monday morning every week. This makes it essentially impossible for me to find a way to get the prescribed long rides in through the resistance/sweetspot plan that I have.

I’m really kind of at a loss right now and am beginning to wonder if a structured plan is really in my cards at this point in my life with work and my custody set up. Any tips will help! I am currently a cat 4 road/crit racer and am 35, I’m not racing to make a living (that opportunity was long ago but didn’t come to fruition) I’m just looking to improve and improve as a cyclist and continue to stay in shape or get in better shape for general health reasons.

Thanks everyone!

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I am in a similar situation with working full time and also 50/50 custody of 3 kids (9, 5 and 3 years old). I have them every other weekends. So a typical training plan is a little harder to follow as it’s not specific to your needs and schedule.

A few things you can do.

  1. Hire a coach full time so you can get the one on one help to design a training plan that fits your needs best.

  1. You could get the coaching subscription that can help line up you your pre bought training plans and rearrange workouts every 6 weeks.
  1. Arrange the workouts on your own. There is an important flow to the workouts that you should try to adhere too. Such as completing the more intense days after rest days, endurance days mostly following interval days and etc.

For me I am lucky that I can ride on the trainer for at least 1 - 2 hours while the kids are home with me. They play or watch a movie. I do a lot of sweet spot work during this time. Sweet spot training allows to get the most work in the short period of time, all while being able to recover day to day by not going to intense. or I will do it when they go to bed or before they wake up.

More on Sweet Spot training:

On your off days from work and without your kid is when you should focus on getting in your endurance rides. If you have no time for endurance rides you will want to focus on more on TSS and hit a higher TSS target. Again through sweet spot this is the best way.

It could be possible the resistance training plan doesn’t fit your time frame the best. However during this time long endurance rides are the least important. Right now you want to focus on building strength. So as long as you are able to get your gym work in and two muscle tension workouts in you are doing good! If you can only get 60 - 90 minute rides in it is just fine. It is what you have time for.

When you switch off the resistance phase is when you will go into sweet spot and that may take a bit more rearranging of workouts. Pushing long rides during the week, an off day during the weekend. For I switched my off days to Thursday / Sunday (2out of 5 possible days I would have kids). My long day would be Friday before I would get the kids on a weekend and Saturday would be my interval weekend ride which tends to be shorter.

So those are a few options for you. There usually is always a way and many people deal with tough situations. Good luck! Let us know if you have any other questions

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thanks a ton for the reply. Its really helpful especially knowing your time is equally as valuable as mine

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It’s a challenge and some days are harder than others that is for sure! The best thing you can do with your training is be consistent. Try to ride 5 days a week even if just short. When they short rides make sure they are focused on some work that will make you better. Not just a random workout. That is why the plans help. Even if you aren’t doing all the times, you are doing the efforts.

Routine can help as well. Having things set up and ready to go. So when you do have the time things are ready to go and you are not wasting time just trying to prepare. That is some of the best advice.

Here is a good podcast to give a listen to:


This may not help you on the weekends, but consider the tips here too:

The morning workouts habit could do you some good. Most bike shops around me open at 10AM, do you have time before work? I think that’s a great place to start, it certainly helped me. I was missing workouts or cutting them short when I’d try to squeeze them in over lunch or try to do them after work. The gym’s a whole lot less busy at 6AM too.

Hang in there once you get a routine going, it’ll all be too easy.

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Obviously your plan will have to be adjusted some, but here are some other ideas:

When my kids were younger sometimes I would do long rides where I would get up early and ride half the ride outside and then half on the trainer. I never liked doing long rides entirely inside, but splitting it up made it more fun. The kids would usually watch a movie with me for the trainer portion after they woke up.

I also did rides where I would pull them in a trailer for part of the ride. A seven year old is pretty old for that, though.

I know two-a-days aren’t quite the same as a single long ride, but I had pretty good results riding a couple hours before work and a couple after for some of my big days/weeks for training during the week.