Stacking intensity indoors

Due to some life issues I am doing largely indoor training with maybe a weekend longer endurance ride outside. Generally doing a day off somewhere in there.

My question is how people react to the higher intensity of these rides back to back for a number of days. This week I did bat, 9 hammers, cobbler, today doing one of the one hour vr race movies, then day off.

Last week, vice grips, Norway, other side, fight club.

I’m 59 and have been racing since the early 80s. Looking to do some cyclocross if time permits, but mostly staying in shape.

I feel fine, but just curious about others experience with this sort of training. Left to my own, I’d be doing easier 2 hour rides in the hill or MTB on many days.

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@jroden99 Are you on a plan or just choosing a new video each day? In general, the process is to add training stress and then allow time for adaptation. Most of the plans alternate between easy and hard days plus a day off to facilitate this process and the weeks will be scheduled as either 2 or 3 on and 1 off.

Are you doing anything to record training stress or HRV? Those can be good reference metrics along with your own gut check - eg. getting sick more easily, losing sleep, losing mojo. You might be fine with the volume but look for signs of overtraining and check out the plans if you haven’t already as they are designed to prioritize gains but with the correct recovery intervals.

I use the free version of training peaks. Because my weekly volume is cut nearly in half since I moved indoors it has dropped from say high 500 to low 600 for TSS to mid 400s. But that seems like kind of a dumb metric too since it is impacted by volume and intensity. Since I put more torque on my legs with the higher power output indoors I do feel a little bit more aches and pains in smaller supporting muscles.

I did the cobbler video yesterday, I figured that would be an okay easy day but it seemed a little bit hard for an easy day. If I had my way I would just go out for a couple hours on the mountain bike in the woods but that’s not an option right now.

That’s a lot of intense sessions in there. I’d try to mix it up with some lower intensity sessions. Have a look at the Inspiration section. It would be worth looking at the training plans too to make sure the training is balanced and you don’t end up digging yourself a big hole.

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I guess the thing I struggle to get my head around is the low training volume in terms of time. If I use something like TSS then one of these workouts would be similar to going out and noodling around for a couple hours in the hills but they seem like entirely different training stresses.

@jroden99 The volume may be lower but some of the workouts you are doing are high intensity. On a mountain bike you probably are not hitting that intensity unless you are racing. Further, you are always pedaling on a trainer - different than a mountain bike where you may coast down hills or use your body weight to assist with getting over obstacles. You can’t do those things on a trainer.

Further, the 4DP metrics in the workouts are not always going to interface well with TSS which is really focused on FTP so they are more of a guide than an answer. Note that each workout has stars next to it in addition to TSS and IF showing where the focus is - whether FTP, MAP, AC or NM. Both Nine Hammers and Cobbler do have a lot of work around threshold so that is going to be taxing - Nine Hammers especially. If you look at the graphs you can see based on colors where you are focusing your efforts and that can give you a good idea of the workload.

I would suggest picking a plan. There is an off-season mountain bike plan that I have used several times with good results. You can choose your level - beginner, intermediate, advanced. The levels are volume based so if you think you can handle more volume chose a higher level - you can always switch it out if it isn’t the right fit. The plan will also factor in recovery. You can add yoga and strength if you prefer - I do and would recommend it. Note that the strength will reduce your bike volume to balance out the stress but in the long run some strength is worth it as it can help recruit more muscles that you may not hit all the time during your cycling. Both strength and yoga also are good for hitting all of the supporting role muscles and ligaments.

Hope that helps.

Thanks I ended up doing one of the more aerobic ones today of about an hour looking back over the last few days it did seem like a good bit of intensity

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Have you checked out the new podcasts? There’s an excellent one on low intensity training. It’s definitely not a waste of time doing a relatively short endurance workout, even though in your head you think it would be more worthwhile hitting hard intervals.

It can be quite easy to burn out if doing too much intensity without adequate rest. Having a day or two a week with no riding or a very easy ride can be very beneficial. Also, having an easier week every two or three weeks to allow the adaptations to occur. Without rest, the adaptations won’t be as effective and long term burnout is a risk. Keeping a track of how you feel day by day, energy levels, motivation for both training and rest of life, plus HR response or HRV if you can

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Thanks! I looked at the plans and got a sense for how they are structured. I will keep an eye on my body going into the fall and see how I respond.

My experience in the past has been that too much indoors in winter gets old after a while and that’s when I start in December, for now I’m indoors on beautiful sunny days because I’m a caregiver. Hopefully I can keep the fire burning.

@jroden99 I totally get the indoor trainer issues. In winter I try to mix things up with some weekend diversity - eg. MTB biking with studs, Nordic ski and just general walking/hiking in addition to the trainer. Some of that can replace what is scheduled on the plan depending on the intensity or lack thereof. Fortunately there is pretty good content within the app to which I find engaging and there are plenty of videos I look forward to.