Q: I’ve gotten enough time in with the plan to ask this question.
I’m working on the intermediate plan and am trying to adapt it to the
following things going on in my life right now.
#1) I bike commute 15 miles a day 4-5 times a week
depending on weather. This usually, works our to about an hour a day at
level 1-2. I’ll throw in a few pick ups once in a while on these rides.
#2) I mountain bike with friends once (usually) or twice (occasionally) a
week during the Mon-Fri work week. These rides last around 2 hours,
500-800 meters of climbing. I’m spend quite a bit of time in and out of
level 4 work on these rides.
#3) Weekends I typically do a long ride (I’ve got a 150 mile ride coming
up this summer I’m getting ready for)..trying my best to keep my level down
around level 1 but it often creeps up to level two on me.
#4) I shoot for one session of specific strength on roller skis each week.
That is my only roller ski session right now. I also do general strength
once a week.
My question is “Given my commuting and mountain biking sessions, where can
I scale back the workouts in the plan? I ask this because the total volume
of these rides and the plan workouts is too high for me right now.
A: All good questions. It sounds like you are putting in a lot of time right now and it is smart for you to evaluate your training plan.
Note that each workout has a priority designation with it. They range from “Least Important” to “Most Important”. That would be the first thing to look at in a given week. I would replace or remove the lesser important workouts before anything else.
Now, which of your workouts are easily transferable to other means (road biking, mountain biking, etc.)? It seems like you are getting a lot of easy volume already in your daily commute and long ride on the weekends. Typically we value bike riding as less time training (not weight bearing, very non-specific to skiing). I don’t think it needs to be this extreme, but in college I was told to count road biking as 1/2 time. Again, maybe that isn’t quite the right ratio, but I wouldn’t be afraid of getting too many hours out of road biking. This may be the easiest place to scale back however. I would encourage you to begin transitioning your long rides on the weekends to roller skiing once we get closer to fall (and transitioning out of biking season).
Your level 4 work on a mountain bike is good. It would be nice if you could be a little more controlled with the rhythm of your workout, i.e. intervals vs. time trial. That being said, this can serve as your intensity for the week.
Our plans are written for athletes like you in mind. Swapping out a level 4 roller ski work out with a mountain bike session might not be quite as effective, but you are doing what you love and getting a pretty dang good workout in (even if it isn’t ski specific).
I don’t know if I helped you trim much off of the workouts. But I hope you would feel comfortable with replacing some of the prescribed workouts with what is important to you.