Limited Training Time

Hello everyone out there in Sufferlandria! I am trying to build my next little bit of training plan and have hit a bit of a road block: I can only ride Friday-Monday right now, which really limits down the high intensity blocks since recovery is such a big thing to perform at your best. I’m a teacher and I don’t have much time on Tuesday-Thursday due to meetings, extra lessons, second job, etc so I am trying to keep those days as light as possible in regards to time. I might be able to squeeze 30 minutes in on those days. I have Saturdays and Sundays completely off this year (as of right now) so I could do longer rides/double rides/etc on those days.

So I guess my big questions: What would you do if you were in my shoes? Is a 3/4 day block of training back to back ok? If you did this how would you schedule your rides? Start with NM/AC and then move towards MAP/FTP Endurance? Rest days? Cross training could be added as well to help offset the time constraints I guess? I can use all the help I can get.

P.S. I know talking to a coach or having a custom plan would be the best thing to do, and I would love to do that, but being a teacher and the sole provider for my family means that the funds are not there to do this at this time.

Thanks for the help and suffer on!

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So many variables here. If it were me, I would do intervals Friday, a long ride on Saturday, easy spin or off on Sunday and intervals again on Monday.

The Friday interval session would be harder than Monday. What exactly they are would depend on what part of the season I’m in.

Edit: Forgot to add that I would strength train on Saturday and Tuesday.

The beauty of interval training is you don’t really need a lot of time to get great results - but, be clear on what you goal is.

I’d hesitate to recommend doing an “X” kind of workout on one day, and a “Y” on another. It’lll get repetitive and predictable and you’ll probably lose enthusiasm. Variety is the spice of life!

The 3 or 4 week block works well for planning your month out - think 3 weeks on, 1 week off (rest). Give yourself a theme for the month - FTP, sprinting, etc; You’ve probably seen the plans under Special focus / Building blocks. You could even theme a month to include loads of yoga. I think try something relatively “easy” like that for the first two months, just so you get used to fitting it all in, to see if it works for you. You don’t want to commit to a 12-week “bigger” plan, then realise it doesn’t work, get annoyed and bail on the whole thing.

I’m just finishing the 4 week “Speed demon” plan and it loosely follows this day-by-day structure for each “on” week: Recovery, hard, hard, recovery, hard, recovery … and one mid-strength “drill” thrown in.

So looking at your schedule, perhaps:

Mon: Go hard
Tue: yoga
Wed: yoga / 20 min recovery ride if you can, but don’t stress about it
Thur: 15 min meditation or breathing
Fri: go hard
Sat: go hard
Sun: 1 hour zone 2 recovery ride

That’s what I’d do if I were in your shoes and my goal would be to get “overall stronger”. I’d try that for 2 months and see if you can make it a habit in your schedule, then you’ll know if you can commit to more/less. First month try an FTP block and then the NM/AC one.

And it’s worth mentioning: you have a packed schedule already with two jobs + family, so go easy on yourself; it’s ok to miss a session or two. “You’re already becoming the rider you want to be”. Stay healthy. If you don’t feel like tackling Defender, drop it to 80% and treat it like an hour of ‘me time’.

What are you trying to accomplish? What is your goal?

As of right now it’s just a getting healthier/stronger/faster things. Don’t have much time for events/races.

For getting healthier, i would make sure you are eating properly, and getting the right amount of sleep. This will also help with your recovery.

Why don’t you take a look at some of these plans: Fitness Kickstarter (6 week or 10 week), or The Couch to Crusher. They do not require a great deal of time, and are generally 3-4 rides a week. If you recover quickly, you might be able to do those in 4 days.

As someone else suggested you could do yoga and/or strength training on the days where time is constrained. As @Imminent noted, you an always lower the intensity of any ride if you are not feeling up to it.

The key thing is this kind of program is to pay attention to when you body tells you that you need to recover from stress. Stress means from both cycling and real-life activities.

Hey @Trialsdude ,
Looks like you have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders right now. @Imminent and @Heretic gave some excellent advice. Of course my suggestion would be to have a chat with one of the coaches to totally map out your schedule to fit with your life. In lieu of that, I’d suggest going with the building block plans. Start with a mild one such as base or tempo as you get into the routine of the school year and just doing 4 rides/week and fir in yoga and strength if you have time. If you can ever find the funds for a coaching chat, I guarantee it’ll be worth it. Good luck and keep us in the loop on how you are getting on.


Hi, I would start training on the days that you can. While the body will get used to it, and then you will increase the load according to your capabilities. :v: