Do you measure your training volume in distance or time?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

Moderator: Moderator Team

Post Reply
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:36 am

by savechief

I've always used distance to quantify my weekly training, but as I ride more off-road events (MTB, gravel), I'm re-thinking this approach. What do you do, and why?
Time VXRS Ulteam (7.16 kg)

Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:47 am
Location: Switzerland

by Grobar

Hours because 80% of my training is indoor, even in the summer, and I dedicate 5 hours Mo-Fr to cycling. I go out only for races or group rides on the weekend. In total it's 7 to 10 hours that I spend weekly on the bike :)
Km depends of the speed wich is always variable so I find hours more reliable for my case.

by Weenie

Posts: 4567
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Distance or time are both a bit arbitrary.

15 hours/300km at level 1, is a whole different kettle of fish to 15 hours/300km at level 4.

So time at effort/time in zone/time at power are what i've variously used over the last 30+ years.
Just about to venture into power training outside, as i've managed to pick up a PM for €350. Rather than the ~€1000 they cost last time i was racing seriously. Cheap enough to buy as (almost) a bit of fun.

Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb


Chronic Training Load (CTL).

I've stopped looking at distance almost completely, other than on "special" or "different" rides.

Posts: 3004
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 4:57 am

by Nefarious86

Using Tapatalk

User avatar
Posts: 846
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:52 pm
Location: PHL

by prebsy

TSS. Hours if it's i'm not using PM, distance is truly irrelevant

Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:41 am

by SloRacer


But I also look at the volume, as high TSS/low volume (only intervals) means no increased aerobic capacity in the long term.

So a mix of maintaining proper TSS, along with volume is what I see. Distance is irrelevant. Depends on wind/gradient/a 1000 other factors.

User avatar
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

Neither, by altitude gain! I seek out mountains and hills or do repeats if less time. I aim for 7000 meters a week. Okay, maybe not much use to you if you live in Holland, the Fens or Florida etc.

Posts: 371
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:14 pm

by petromyzon

TSS/CTL, but similar to SloRacer, I worry about not developing sustainable aerobic fitness.
I like the idea of focussing mainly on KJ of work done in the off season and build phases as the only real way to accumulate a lot of KJ is with subthreshold work of some sort.
Hence I plan riding and rest with TSS/CTL, whilst trying to maximise all of KJ, power at 5 sec, 1 min, 5 min and 20 min if that makes sense.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:47 pm

by dims

Observation at the time is not a bad factor but it is only one of many other metrics.

When you see your data, you can firstly focus on the most popular of them, like Chronic Training Load (CTL), Acute Training Load (ATL) and Training Stress Balance (TSB) as mentioned above. Also, they are a result of your Power, HR in relation to time. ΚJ as mentioned in a comment above, is a result of your power so it should be considered as only one factor that affects your TSS or your volume. But if KJ is what you want to focus is a metric that you should control among other metrics as well.

After tracking CTL, ATL, TSB, you should develop a periodization model or maintain a constant increase in performance.
Moreover, mental fatigue is something that anyone should consider about. There are some scales like Borg’s scale that really helps you and most of the time your coach should do this, if you have one.

However, you have to keep in mind that there are also some other valuable and quantitative metrics to use and many of them can help you for setting goals, but knowing how to apply them is what’s most important.

by Weenie

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post