I am about to start the 18wk SS plan next week. Looks like the first 4 week block should be relatively easy for me to accommodate in terms of time. My question relates to later in the plan when the mid-week workouts ramp up to 2 hours. I usually crunch through my workouts before heading into work but it will be difficult for me to consistently smash out 2 hours every morning. I am wondering if I could split these sessions into two workouts and incorporate them as part of my commute which is usually an hour each way. So steady endurance on the way in and SS on the way back?
My recommendation is that you do your sweet spot in the morning and just zone 2 on the way home. This way you are fresher. Ideally you would just do 90 minutes in the morning and spend the rest of the time recovering and not on your bike twice in a day, but we know that does not always work out like this.
Zombie post here: same topic, but different angle…
Right now, life is making it difficult to break away from home for the full 4 hour Z2 Sunday rides #newdadlife. I think right now it would be easier for me to ride twice: 2 hours in the AM and 2 hours in the PM, or something resembling that. Basically, riding while the baby is napping. With the context that I’m a CX’er and thus 4+ hour rides really aren’t specific to what I’m going after from a competition standpoint, am I doing any harm by splitting the long days in the base phase? On the other hand, have you guys seen any benefits to two-a-days, specifically for athletes such as myself who are not focussed on long endurance events? I’m proposing a pattern such as what @Jake describes above, with the harder session in the AM and the endurance session in the PM for mid-week, and maybe a Zwift Z2 in the AM and an outdoor Z2 in the PM for Sundays.
I’m fascinated in applying two-a-days, which are so prevalent in every other endurance sports, to cycling.
With base training you are mostly just trying to race your CTL. So you can do that by doing two a day workouts. You would end up with the same TSS as a 4 hour ride. The longer rides are great for building endurance as you work your aerobic system and never let it recover. Once you stop it is basically just like doing two training days.
Personally I would find it very challenging to want to get on the bike a second time. It’s a little different with it being a commute. But if you feel like that won’t be a problem or lead to burn out you can. My recommendation would be to just make the 4 hour endurance rides maybe a bit more intense in 2 hours. Riding more tempo and sweet spot. Get that TSS up to 125 - 150. Then instead of riding that second time for another two hours you could take a nap, do other household things. Having a new born around can be very draining and you might be better off just focusing on recovering!
You could also just a do a mix. Maybe every couple or few weeks do the two a day on the long endurance day. But I would not recommend doing that on a weekly basis. You just want to keep your CTL building. Really don’t need to hit your peak CTL till mid to late summer. So I wouldn’t be too stressed about 4 hour rides now.