TLDR I have set my plan to the lowest volume possible, which is I think 3-5 hours. It spits out 5 workouts. Most weeks I can only do 3, maybe 4. What’s a better solution? Skip the last workout every week, try to do 2 in a row on Saturday, or something else I haven’t considered?
Do the hard ones. Most plans have a mix of recovery rides and more intense intervals. Do the intervals during the week and, if you want to, double up a recovery ride on weekends. Or something like that. Think of the plan as a guide and move things around to fit the reality of your life.
If you only do three, I’d probably spread it out through the week rather than do back to back days. Just do what you’re able to and don’t worry too much about it.
Most of these plans assume people are busy and expect you to miss workouts. Focus on the tough ones and do your best to squeeze in anything leftover without stressing yourself too much.
I agree with the advice offered above. I’m in the off-season for the next 5 months. Although I have time for 5 or 6 workouts, I prefer only 3 cycling workouts to allow additional weightlifting combined with somewhat moderate kenpo/kick boxing for overall strength and flexibility.
Thinning a bit more about it, don’t give up the longer rides if you can schedule them even though they are lower intensity. There’s an excellent Wahoo Knowledge Podcast on the value of low intensity training. An alternative might be to complete a workout and, if you have time afterwards, do one of the Inspiration or Open workouts are endurance intensity, even if it’s only 20-30 minutes as you will get some benefit. With 3 sessions a week I doubt that would push you to overtraining but see how you feel all the same if it is a significant increase in volume for you.
The plans are developed or were developed so you would see benefits if you did 80% of them. I would focus on completing the High Intensity rides (Do As You are Told) vice doing the Endurance rides (anything with the word inspiration or Open in them). On the weekends, one day would be Threshold or Sweet Spot and the other a LONGER endurance type ride (we are talking a MINIMUM of three hours of 60-75% FTP riding out-of-doors). The idea behind the LSD rides is to build up the ability to efficiently burn fuel and to work on hydration.
Love the cross training! So valuable – I love it!!
My fiance is a nurse and works three 12 hour shifts each week, and is usually on call at least once during the week too. She also balances Brazilian Ju Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Skiing with her endurance training, which right now is half marathon training, although she is quite the mountain biker and has her eyes set on gravel racing next year. I recommended to her that she focus on just 3 run workouts each week to prepare for her half marathon. I have her doing a tempo / negative split run, a speed workout on the track where she is targeting her Vo2 max / Anaerobic Capacity systems, and a long aerobic endurance run. Depending on what your goals are, I would recommend something similar for you, where you are stimulating different metabolic / energy systems. It does really depend on what you are training for, but I agree with the folks above, 3 quality bike sessions a week will improve your fitness. Stay consistent, do your best while keeping in mind what is manageable. Happy training!