Like a lot of people I have a young family and work long hours . I find it impossible to follow a training plan due to lack of time . I can normally get a hour session twice a week and a longer ride at the weekend 2-3 hours .
Question is am I better to follow a plan and just do what I can or and I am better to just pick random sufferfest videos as I go .
Personally I’d always try to follow a plan. Have you looked at the All Purpose low volume plan? That looks to generally have 2 week day rides and two at the weekend. If you can only fit in one slightly longer ride, and the scheduled ride wasn’t long enough for you, then you could try to add on some zone 2 riding at the end. You might need to move rides around to fit in with family and work during the week, but by following a plan at least you know there is progression built into it, both in terms of load and volume. I’d recommend adding strength training to the plan too. The sessions are short and you might be able to fit them in easier than a bike ride and it will help you get the most from your time on the bike, besides all the other benefits.
First, welcome to the forum. Since TTDragon took one side of the argument, allow me to take the other. Until this past week I have always done my own workout selection. Right now I am in the midst of the Knighthood prep, my first time to follow a set plan.
I do look at the rides and what I want to work on and select my workout accordingly. I do ride 5-6 days a week so I have more time than your schedule permits.
If you can find a plan that fits your schedule, workout objectives and interest, then I would give that a try. If that doesn’t work, I don’t think there is anything wrong with setting your own schedule.
And in between: I usually set up a plan, but if my schedule doesn’t permits me to follow it (or if I want to try new videos), I use the plan as a guide to pick my own workouts and sequence of workouts to achieve my objectives.
@AkaPete that seems like a good middle ground.
I would recommend following a plan, even if you do Cycling > General Fitness > All Purpose plan with low volume and follow a 2:1 progression. Skip the “Recovery 30 minute spin”, and just do the two workouts during the week, and then pick one ride for the weekend, or just go outside and ride. I think having a bit of structure is always helpful and provides a sense of progress and direction.
Use a plan but work to understand what the critical workouts are in the plan – make sure to make time to land those effectively. If you have the creative/engineering mindset and listen to your body, you’ll quickly get to a place where you can be more comfortable directing your own plans.
In terms of fitting a plan to your needs/schedule, the first thing to do is find a plan that gets close to what you want when you make your choices in the plan selection wizard. Plans default to starting on a Mon and put harder/longer workouts on the weekends. Change the start day of the week to shift these. Then you can go in and manually reschedule, delete, add workouts as you see fit.
You can freely add/delete plans to your calendar to see what they look like. I usually do this starting a few months out so they don’t overlap what I’m doing. If you’re currently doing a plan and delete it, competed workouts don’t get deleted and stay on your calendar. You can add a plan that starts in the past, and the workouts that would have occurred in the past won’t be added to or appear on your calendar.