Mixing with other sports - coaching advice needed

Hi, I am interested in some coaching as I just can’t seem to follow any plans. I’m in my 60s, work full time and, here’s the issue, I also play tennis. Everytime I start a SYSTM training plan I fall off when I play a singles game and there’s no way of automatically adapting the plan for it. I make guesses and always mess it up.

So my question is, are any of the Wahoo coaches familiar with the issues involved in mixing tennis and cycling and can advise? If so, happy to sign up with them.

@mikez I am not a coach and I don’t play tennis but I do intermingle some running, rowing, weightlifting, hiking and also races into my plan and can provide some context on how I balance things.

To account for the lifting, I add the plan to include strength so that the work is adjusted and then substitute my own strength sessions. If I go extra hard or am just not feeling it the next day I may make an adjustment to my next scheduled ride so I don’t go into the red.

If you are playing tennis on a schedule - like every Saturday then you need to think about whether it makes sense to do a double session that day, cancel the scheduled workout for that day or dial back both effort and time. I do this with hiking. If I take off for a big hike one weekend I will delete the workouts that I had scheduled and let myself recover. Same thing for a mid plan race - I rearrange things so that I am tapering and then recovering.

I also upload my workouts to TrainingPeaks which shows TSS and HrTSS and gives me an idea of the overall work that I have been doing. Intervals.icu is also a helpful website. Note that TSS and HrTSS won’t tell you everything and are generally better for looking at trends. You would need to wear a HRM during tennis to make that work. But you also need to be honest with yourself. If you do your rides, then play tennis and also come off of a stressful work week or have some stressful family life you need to make adjustments.

Finally, another metric is looking at HRV. You need to capture it each morning at the same time and position. There are a few apps out there to do this like HRV Elite and HRV4Training. Again this is more of a trend indicator and sometimes provides data that could be contrary to how you feel. Honestly I used it for a while but found it wasn’t worth the effort versus just being honest with myself on workload and how I feel but others find it helpful.

Note that there is the option to schedule a phone call with a coach to get into the details and coaches often will pop in on the chat boards to provide some additional guidance.

Good luck!

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Hi, thanks and all good advice. I too have tried to substitute by considering some workouts done to compensate for the tennis sessions, usually a strength session and an hour long ride. I usually then make the next day recovery. It never seems to work out right and I feel washed out.

Training Peaks is great for tracking total TSS, and I do use it but I tend to over and under do things rather than find the right level. I tried HRV Elite but it kept telling me things totally at odds with how I felt, which sounds very like your experience.

I’m one of those that need a plan to stay motivated and will make the effort to stay on it so when I start improvising around the other activities I lose my focus. My plan is to schedule a call with one of the coaches as I think I need a personalised plan but before I do so I need to know if it is something they can help with or not.

Thanks again for your advice. Always good to chat with someone with similar issues.


Tagging @Coach.Rupert.H so that he sees your post and can get you the right resource.

@mikez Also consider whether you are getting enough and/or the right nutrition and hydration and also whether you are getting the sleep you need.

Sometimes when I have a hard day and don’t eat to the level of work I performed I can create issues for myself.

Hey, Mike, I’ve done several of the Wahoo coaching plans (my coach is Andrea) and she’s great…don’t know about any of the other coaches. I program my own strength training, I travel occasionally, and have group rides and events pop up. She’s able to program around those things, and I do the the monthly call thing (which costs more $$ as you might expect) so if something comes up, we can fix the program to account for it. I’ve had very good luck with it (I’m on like my 4th or 5th renewal) and think it’s worth the money, for me at least.

Hi @mikez,
Thanks for reaching out. The answer is yes, several of our Wahoo Coaches are familiar with many other sports. Sounds like it would be good to get you hooked up with one of them.
Just so you know you are not alone. Many folks struggle to find the proper balance between managing a full plan and other sports. With some help we can guide you to the key sessions and add in strength and mobility that will keep your body feeling good on the bike and on the court.
One important thing to remember is that you want to make sure that your body is recovering and adapting to each stimulus. If you are playing singles that can be a lot of work, especially explosive movements that can leave your legs drained on the bike, and vise versa.

I hope you are able to have a call with a coach to help you through this but if not. Start by choosing a low volume plan with a 2:1 progression and skipping one of the harder sessions (or reducing the intensity) for the first few weeks. I also recommend adding in some of the mobility or yoga sessions to help you recover. Making some adjustments to allow for this adaptation is very important, especially in the early weeks.


Hi @Coach.Jeff.H
Thanks for the feedback. It’s clear I need to have a reset and I’ll start with your suggestion building on the 2:1 strategy. I’ll give it a go and then be able to approach a coach call with more data. Thanks again.