The Time-Crunched Cyclist, 3rd Ed.

Race-Winning Fitness in 6 Hours a Week

By Chris Carmichael, Jim Rutberg


The Time-Crunched Cyclist can help you capture your best performance—all in the time you have right now.


The Time-Crunched Cyclist reveals the fastest way to get fit for road racing, century rides, gravel grinders, cyclocross, Gran Fondos, and mountain bike events. With elite cycling coach Chris Carmichael’s innovative, time-saving approach, busy cyclists will develop fitness, speed, and power in just 6 hours a week. Now powered by Strava, this new third edition of The Time-Crunched Cyclist training program taps into the most popular cycling social network to help cyclists get fired up to crush their workouts, one segment at a time.

Through his popular endurance coaching service, Carmichael noticed that many busy cyclists are unable to make performance gains using conventional training methods; they simply don’t have enough time to train. So CTS developed a new approach—the Time-Crunched Training Program—to help cyclists achieve competitive fitness and power without the impossible time demands of traditional training methods.

The Time-Crunched Cyclist shows cyclists how to build fitness on a realistic schedule by tapping the power of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. Cyclists learn the science behind this alternative approach to training before performing the CTS field tests to get a baseline reading of their fitness. Nine comprehensive training plans include effective time-crunched workouts, nutrition guidelines, and strength training to develop the speed and endurance for a wide variety of cycling races and events. The new Time-Crunched Training Plans cover:

  • New and Experienced plans for criteriums, road races, and cyclocross
  • New, Experienced, and Competitive plans for century rides and Gran Fondos
  • Gravel racing and ultraendurance mountain biking plans
  • Intermediate and Advanced plans for commuters

This new, third edition integrates Strava, the popular ride tracking and analysis program. Powered by Strava, the Time-Crunched program becomes interactive, social, highly motivating—and focuses riders on the training data that matters most. It also adds the Time-Crunched Diet, a sports nutrition approach designed to help riders optimize their power-to-weight ratio with new guidelines on eating behaviors and delicious recipes from chefs Michael Chiarello and Matt Accarrino. A new chapter on hydration and managing heat stress will show athletes simple ways to avoid overheating that lead to better performance.

The Time-Crunched Cyclist can help you capture your best performance—all in the time you have right now.

Check out excerpts, FAQs, and example workouts from The Time-Crunched Cyclist on the VeloPress Time Crunched page.

The Time-Crunched Cyclist: Racing-Winning Fitness in 6 Hours a Week, 3rd Ed.
Chris Carmichael and Jim Rutberg
Paperback with two-color interior, illustrations and tables throughout.
7″ x 9″, 440 pp., $21.95, 9781937715502

The Time-Crunched Cyclist, 3rd Ed.: Race-Winning Fitness in 6 Hours a Week

Chris Carmichael, Jim Rutberg

Paperback Two-color interior, illustrations and tables throughout.

Shipping Dimensions: 7in x 9in x 1in 320pp $21.95, Inventory 9781937715502, Shipping 1.75lbs

Foreword by Mark Gainey, CEO and Co-Founder of Strava


Part I: The Time-Crunched Advantage

1 The New Paradigm for Endurance Training

2 The Science of the Time-Crunched Training Program

3 Terms and Conditions

4 Measuring Intensity in the Information Age

Part II: Training Programs

5 Time-Crunched Cyclist Workouts

6 Criterium, Road Race, and Cyclocross Training Programs

7 Century and Gran Fondo Training Plans

8 Gravel Racing and Ultraendurance MTB Training Plan

9 The Commuter’s Plan for Race-Ready Fitness

Part III: Weight Loss, Nutrition, Hydration, and Heat-Stress Management

10 Weight Loss for the Time-Crunched Athlete

11 Fueling High-Intensity Workouts

12 The Time-Crunched Kitchen

13 Hydration and Heat Stress Management

Part IV Making the Most of Your Fitness

14 Supplementing Your Training Endurance Blocks

15 Making the Most of Your Fitness

16 Strength Training on Limited Time


References and Recommended Reading


About the Authors

See what’s new in this 3rd edition!

Preview book.

“Chris Carmichael’s newest book, The Time-Crunched Cyclist, is worth a look for anyone with a real life.” —

“For those with tight schedules and real life demands, The Time-Crunched Cyclist offers an alternative to hanging up the bike in frustration.” —

“It’s very hard: a) to put this book down and b) not to pick up a useful amount of beneficial knowledge from it.” —

“With the training plans, nutritional information, case studies, race and ride tips, success stories and more, The Time Crunched Cyclist certainly gave me new hope that I would be able to train well to truly enjoy the sport that I love. If you are, like me, a cyclist with too little free time on your hands, I would definitely recommend that you buy and read this book.” —

“A major overhaul from previous editions… Very well laid out… An easy read and expanded from 262 pages to 430 pages…A good book with sound research and science that is made easy to understand. Any time-crunched cyclist can come up with their own plan to fit their schedule and have fun racing.” —

“Carmichael explains superbly in the book how a training program which features shorter but higher intensity training coupled with good recovery periods can deliver spectacular results.” —

You may also like…

  • Gravel Cycling by Nick Legan GC 600x500

    Gravel Cycling

    Read more
  • Rocket Fuel by Matthew Kadey, RD RF

    Rocket Fuel

    Add to cart
  • PMH The Power Meter Handbook PMH 96dpi 400pw stroke

    The Power Meter Handbook

    Add to cart
  • The Cyclist's Training Diary by Joe Friel

    The Cyclist’s Training Diary, 2nd Ed.

    Add to cart