Work and life stresses

Hi there

I’m just after some advice please. Over the last few weeks, I’ve really noticed a loss of strength, energy and power when cycling. This is unusual at this time of year when I’m usually starting to feel fitter and stronger.

The main issue here is I think is that work has been very stressful for a 12 month period (I work in local government as part of the pandemic response working sometimes 12-14 hrs a day) and I’m fatigued. Family life has been a challenge as it has been for everyone during the pandemic. I’ve put in weight even though I’m doing the usual things to lose it and mentally I’m very flat. I do love my cycling and was following an advanced sweet spot plan which I’m now reviewing after a recent post on here I shared. My question is do a take a period of rest from cycling while the demands from work are high, or is it possible to keep the cycling going? I.e riding at lower intensity though it’s a hard thing to accept. I want to find the right balance here at this time

Honestly sounds like doing the advance plan is far too much training for you. If you are working 12 - 14 hours a day doing even the basic plan would be a challenge. Most likely over the last several weeks you have not been able to properly recover from the workouts and life stress. That is what you are missing. So over time you have just dug a hole.

Probably the best thing to do at this point is take a step back. Take a week of training and try to recover. Much like our normal offseason training break. Not sure if you took one this year or not. It can be very valuable.

Then I would just recommend you dialing down your overall training time. Do an hour day for your weekday workouts and up to 2 hours on the weekend. You can get a lot accomplished in 6 - 10 hours a week. You can still keep a good level of fitness and strength. Much more than just burying yourself into the ground. If your work life and daily stress decrease you can increase the training load a bit. But even so our intermediate level training is more than enough for 90% of your athletes.


Thanks Jake - sounds right. I’ll take a week off next week. I’ve then got two weeks left of the advanced SS but I’m going to scratch that. I’m thinking that the best thing to do is to purchase the sweet spot plan 3 at intermediate level. How does that sound? The polarised plan was interesting last year and thought that might be good at intermediate level too.

I’m hoping that work levels will begin to decrease so I can do the intermediate plan. If they don’t I’ll use it but in line with what you have said above

I would almost recommend just coming back to the sweet spot 1 or 2 plan. Start light and let your body recover, even after a full week off. You can skip sweet spot 2 and go into sweet spot 3. Then you can do the sweet spot polarized plan. That would be a great change of pace with a bit higher intensity training. But by then you should be ready for it.

With the intermediate plan feel free to cut some of the zone 2 time off. early on. Sticking to 60 - 90 minutes total of riding for weekday workouts, or days are working. Use the extra time to rest and recover. I think you will benefit greatly from doing less.

Personally I use to race as a pro and I am doing a mix of a basic and intermediate plan. I’m use to doing 16 - 20 hours a week but now do 6 - 10 hours. I still ride pretty well, FTP is still good. I noticed last year when I was getting up to a 100 CTL I was far too wiped out to complete workouts, want to ride, and life suffered. But I found carrying a peak workload of 80 - 85 is perfect for my situation right now. Good balance of life, riding strong, solid performances, feeling good through the rest of my life and etc.


I know where you’re coming from as I’m in a similar situation.
One thing that has helps me understand my recovery and stress at work is my whoop band and what stands out is how much work stress can effect your recovery.
Today for instance after a crappy day at work my recovery, hrv, respiratory rate are so bad and I’m going to have a rest day instead of a workout that I will swap for tomorrow.
I’ve had bad results all week from my whoop data and oddly it’s my recovery week which is surprising.

While I’m not in the same occupation, my work hours are very similar. I’m on the intermediate plan and I know I couldn’t do the hours of the advanced plan. The intermediate plan allows me to balance family time (ie. recovery) with work and training. I feel like the hours spent with family pay dividends with my recovery and create an understanding family when it’s time to get on the bike and ride. More balance equals better recovery and motivation to train.


@Jake @stevewegner @marino.griffiths thanks for your replies - it good to get your views. So the plan is to take a week off as suggested by Jake and then start on sweet spot 1 intermediate and see how it goes as I’ve not really seen the usual benefit from my winter training. I think the key thing is the mind set - getting over the frustration and accepting you are where you are . That’s not easy as I’m used to completing training, but hey ho, these are very different times .

During the week off, I’ll probably keep the foundation training going, take walks with the family (the UK is still in lockdown) and do some yoga.

I don’t have a whoop, but I do have an Apple Watch with the Training Today app and this measures resting heart rate to identify where you are with your recovery. Happy to hear other app suggestions.

Thanks again

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