Training plans and other athletic endeavours


I’m an occasional cyclist who used to be more active on and off the bike. The other day I stepped on the scale and realized that the number I was looking at combined with how I felt needed to change. So I completed the 4DP prep week and launched into the All-purpose, Medium volume plan with all the fixin’s. It’s been a bit of a challenge to shift my routine to a morning workout but it is definitely worth it. After being fairly consistent during the first week of the plan, I found it challenging to effectively complete the full scheduled workouts. So I changed to the low volume plan.
After that long intro my question is this: In addition to the bike/strength/yoga/mental training from SYSTM, I also Referee hockey which can be relatively fatiguing on the legs. I want to ensure the best outcome from the SYSTM plan, but don’t know how to integrate it with the other physical activities that I need to accomplish at a high level as well. Does anyone have any advice on strategies when doing highly physical activities that you cannot really track or integrate into a plan?
Currently I am just “listening to my body” and modifying the plan to suit my current fatigue levels with the upcoming games. But it’s is pretty demoralizing to constantly have to delete things or shift things in the calendar.


First off, welcome!

Oh man, been there.

Do you mean the workouts themselves are challenging to complete, or it’s challenging to complete everything due to scheduling? Because the first option is the way it’s supposed to work in Sufferlandria!

This for me as well. I’m sure many of us engage in non-SUFF activities as well - I have an active job, rock climbing, etc. (though TBF, I use my RIVAL watch to record climbing sessions, so they DO integrate into my calendar!). But yeah, listening to your body and accounting for fatigue is critical, especially early on in your journey when you’re also needing to be careful to avoid overtraining and injury.

Yes, it grates on me as well to delete or move workouts, but you can come to grips with that not being the end of the world. Especially if your just doing straight training plans, not doing an event prep or something where you have a specific end date and the training blocks, taper, etc. matter. I’ve shifted open-ended plans by a whole week in the past, to accommodate a work event or something. It annoyed me, but it worked for me.

You’ll probably get much better/more specific advice from some of the wizards on here, so I’ll wait to learn something too, but again welcome!


Somethng that I’ve done is to use a third party program to track the amount of stress on my body and to modify or even skip specific workouts so that I can avoid overloading and the more dreaded overtraining. Personally I use TrainingPeaks Premium but there are other programs like that will do this IF you are not engaging a Coach that requires the former.
And there’s a podcast and blog on what to do if you need to drop or move a Sufferfest session to another day.


Same, but Strava.

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I think is free? Strava does this only for Premium members.


Yeah it’s a subscriber only feature in Strava.

I do track my ATL, CTL, and TSB through both Trainingpeaks and WKO5 right now. The challenge remains that I don’t know how to quantify the efforts that I do during other activities. There is a dearth of methods to get data when I am riding, but once I go inside a rink and skate, all bets are off.

Ever wear a HRM on the ice? Like I mentioned, i wear my RIVAL watch @ the gym and climbing. I like it because it’s part of the Wahoo architecture, but really any HRM device combined w TP, Strava, etc. would help you quantify your non-bike efforts.

With my all too little experience, I would like to share a little on how I managed the training leading up to the Knighthood Quest.

Yeap me too actually initially but, I do make it a point to cycle at the very least, twice in a week usually on Tuesdays/Thursdays and Saturdays/Sundays.

The All-purpose plan is a good start, but I would think, the Fitness Kickstart might have been better taking in consideration how long has it been since you last really cycled with high intensity. When I first started with Sufferfest (before it became SYSTM) I started off with the Fitness Kickstarter although I was in relatively good fitness and thereafter completing it, only then I moved onto the All-purpose plan.

I believe most of us here in the forum does their workouts in the morning. I am probably the oddball here who does my workouts in the evenings after work. It’s only the weekend rides I do them in the morning. Cycling to me on the weekdays are kind of like a way for me to unwind from the day’s work :upside_down_face:

The best start to the entire training journey (for me at least) was incorporating the cycling with the MTP only. I left out the yoga and strength training because it was a quite handful especially on days where 3 things should happen in a row (cycling, yoga and MTP) and partly down to my lack of discipline as well. :sweat_smile:

Listening to your body is key in getting back into high intensity training. As for me, when I was doing the Knighthood prep, I didn’t modify like moving or deleting certain works outs if I didn’t feel up for it, but rather just didn’t do anything on that particular day. Then again, it may not be the most effective, doing that but one thing I did when there were a few days in a row which I didn’t feel like getting on the bike, I asked myself ‘Why am I doing this for?’ just as the “Remembering Why” module in the MTP put it. :muscle:

It’s really fine moving and deleting things in the calendar so don’t beat yourself up because of that. As with Sir James mentioned, there’s a blog post and podcast about missing certain workouts and also about replacing missed workouts. Check them out, it should help manage your expectations.


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Thank you everyone for the comments, suggestions, and input. It is good to have some additional context more than my own little world.

It’s challenging to complete some of them because of the additional training load that I put my legs through which is not an integral part of the Sufferfest training regimen. They are hard enough to complete before I add the extra load.

I have, but recently I keep forgetting to put it on or use my watch to track. I also need to find a better app to track the ice sports since the default activity type suck.

Surprisingly, I’ve been able to accommodate all the different bits into my day with Yoga/Strength and MTP. It’s been really rewarding completing it over the past month thus far.

Again, I appreciate the comments and it looks like I am on the right path since there doesn’t seem to be any left field ideas that I haven’t thought of yet. Now to see if I can hit my goals, lots of training to come.
Screenshot 2022-11-04 121500


It’s always a pleasure to share. Every one is different and thus how training affects us is slightly different too.

You will be able to. Believe in yourself, the minions and GvA :wink: The latter two will have you sorted out, don’t worry :smile:

I see that you have about the same power profile as I do. The MAP section of the FF must have been like a walk in the park for you eh?

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Not sure that I would describe it as a walk in the park. There was a lot of swearing during that ride. I suspect my numbers are a little higher by now, it’s been about a month since the FF. I have a half Monty coming up in a week or so.


We all do that don’t we? And every FF there’s a new swear word that comes out.
For me, I think because I did the HM a week before I did the FF again, I knew what to expect and how to pace it in such a way I made sure I gave it the best I could.

Suffice to say, my last FF, is one of the best FF I have ever done. Something I was ultimately really proud of myself at the end of the session although and admittedly, I felt pretty hammered. :smile:

I’ve got a similar issue, in that I used to play hockey 1-2 times a week year round (pandemic kind of blew up my team), I ride outdoors as much as I can in the summer as well as do a 10+ day hike and a few smaller ones, I ski-tour in the winter (including some 4-7 day hut/lodge trips every year), and I own a small business that can be very time demanding.

I did complete a 12 week plan back in March-May 2020 because there wasn’t much better to do, but otherwise I’ve given up on doing the plans in Systm because they’re too rigid and can’t accommodate the kind of schedule flexibility I’d need to work around everything else. I’m at peace with that as the plans really are tailored to people who are cycling to the near exclusion of any other athletic pursuits. Instead I use the plans as a guideline to which rides I squeeze into everything else I’ve got going on and that seems to be working well for me.

The one thing that I don’t think has been mentioned in this thread is that the plans are designed with an 80-90% completion rate for all activities. If you’re missing the occasional workout, it’s not the end of the world.


I would say if you are feeling fatigued from other commitments and have a session planned you can do several things: if it’s an interval session, rest. Trying to push through will increase fatigue and likely won’t be your best performance. Maybe switch with an easier day. That way when it comes to efforts you are rested and can train better and get more benefits.
If there are too many intervals during your week at the moment, delete one high intensity session for each week. It removes the pressure and the training/rest/stress balance will be better off and everything will benefit. If what you’re doing now is too much, reducing one session will make every aspect better. It may feel counterintuitive, but it will result in better fitness

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