Once you've chosen the Plan itself, it is time to determine what Volume is right for you. Each plan has a High, Mid, and Low Volume version, and the version you choose will largely depend on a few key factors: time availability, lifestyle stressors, training history, age, and recovery profile.
As you increase the volume of the plans, the time commitment also increases, which can bring about incompatibilities with your schedule. Take a look at each plan and make sure that you will be able to realistically complete the rides in your available time slots without compromising other important aspects of your life.
Not only do you need to have enough time to complete the training, but you also need to have enough time to properly recover between sessions. Small children keeping you awake at night, strenuous or stressful jobs, and any other major responsibilities will cut down on your ability to recover properly and may require a reduction in training volume. Also, keep in mind that athletes of different ages and health levels will recover at different rates, so it is important to listen to your body when starting a new plan.
Training History/ Experience
Your ability to manage and productively adapt to and absorb training stress increases through years of structured training. Through consistent, properly progressed training, your body grows and adapts to the point that it can handle higher volume plans.
Do you feel that the volume you need lies between two plans? Perhaps you need more than Low Volume, but Mid Volume would be a bit too much. Here is how to make small adjustments to either add volume or subtract volume from a training plan:
If you want to increase the volume of your selected plan, you can
- Complete TSS filler. This is basically low-intensity endurance riding that increases your TSS without drastically affecting your fatigue for the week. This can be a separate endurance ride, or extra endurance riding tacked onto the end of your planned workouts
- Select the +1, +2 version when you have extra time and want to do the harder version of a workout. Read the workout closely to make sure that you aren’t biting off more than you can chew. Some “+” versions just have an extra set of intervals, while other “+” versions reduce recovery time and/or increase the interval intensity.
If you want to reduce the volume of a selected plan, you can:
- Eliminate the recovery workouts and replace them with complete rest
- Choose the “-” versions of workouts.
In general, we recommend adding volume to a plan rather than subtracting, so if you are in between Low and Mid Volume, we recommend starting with the Low Volume plan and adding endurance workouts to increase your volume. This also gives you the flexibility to work on skills building, group riding, etc.