New to Trainer Road and want to understand the lack of Longer Road work for Century

I;'ve just joined up and set everything up to go from Jan 7th. I have an A event in July 3 days of riding/Racing. day 1 118km 2200m vert, Day 2 90kms 1000m vert and day 3 160kms 2100m vert.
I have set things up with SS Base med volume, SS base 2 Med vol, sustained power build med vol finished with Century Med Vol.
I have noticed in all of these the weekend work has not got an allocation of road work. I have been reading forums about doing road work with the same TSS allocation and the indoor work.
The problem I am having is that I am from the older theory that one needs to do 80+% of the biggest ride regularly. so it’s doing my head in.
What are has been everyone’s experience following the lower (shorter) rides on the weekends?
I am worried I will not have enough juice in the tank for the volume of work over the three days.

Open to suggestions and keen to hear what others with TR experience have to say on it all.


You can replace one of the weekend sweet spot rides with a longer aerobic ride that ends up with similar TSS.

The philosophy that TR uses is that you can spend more time at a higher than usual intensity so that your FTP rises and you can work at a smaller percentage of your FTP at the event.


As @ErickVH said. Doing more work at a higher intensity and that can serve as a fine substitute for the longer rides.

You can read the Weekly Tips in the SSB2, Build and Special phases all include an optional “long” ride that can be done instead of the shorter Sunday Sweet Spot ride.

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@ErickVH @mcneese.chad thanks for your input guys. so what your saying is there is not as much need to do the “volume” as such due to the intensity of the training done.
The main ride should be completed at a lower intensity of a HIGHER FTP thus making it more achievable.
I am sorry @mcneese.chad I’m having difficulty locating those weekly guides. Where would I find them?

Find the plan you are interested in, for instance, Training Plans -> Base -> Sweet spot II mid volume. When you get the view that is close to a calendar with Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 etc, look under the “Week 1” square and you’ll see: “Week tips”. Click on it.

I stumbled across it a while back. It’s a pity the same tips are not added to our calendars when we choose and schedule a plan.




As others have said you may not need to do the outdoors volume to be ready for the long stuff.

Work on the trainer generally gives you more efficiency in your workouts as you aren’t freewheeling or stopping for lights/junctions/cars/coffee. You’re also (hopefully) raising FTP & improving your ability to hold a given power for longer periods through the intervals.

I would still do some outdoor riding to work out nutrition/hydration as that’s difficult to replicate when you aren’t out there for the hours.


Personally for an outdoor event over multiple days i would definitely sprinkle in a weekly endurance ride with some rolling hills that are similar in difficulty to your goal ride (or do loop repeats if nothing similar locally) … in my experience the trainer will not prepare you for that body, neck, arm fatigue along with technique on the bike, as previously said also time to practice your eating and hydration variants and timing… you can manage this with a training session on previous day (quality) and the the endurance ride the next, will also help with compound effects of back to back rides… as always only you know you capabilities body and what gaps you are needing to fill to make the most out of such a good event.


Go to the TR website and click on Training Plans.

Click on the desired plan phase (Base).

Click on the desired plan (SSB MV II).

Scroll to the weeks and click on the “+ Tips” text (next to the week ID).

Look under the “Weekly Description” section, and the last paragraph includes notes about the recommended substitute if you want a longer ride.

Note: this was documented via web on mobile phone, so the steps may vary depending on device interface.

Also, this is the common place where people will take this type of longer workout outside, rather than doing it on the trainer.

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I have an open Feature Request for getting these pulled into the calendar. It was acknowledged, but no firm inclusion or timetable stated.


Thank you for the input guys much appreciated. @mcneese.chad got it mate thanks.
I didn’t add that I do have some volume under me over the years and have done plenty of big rides, up to 240kms with 4000m+ vert. So I am ok with nutrition etc etc. it’s more the fatigue resistance that worries me. going from 2hr trainer rides to 5hrs on the road.
All going well I will keep some road work up to say several a month, up to 120kms at a time. Just to keep that side of things topped up.
Looking forward to the changes the different training will bring about. Looking at this am’s group ride I only managed a total of 15mins @ either SS or threshold. With 20mins in anaerobic range over 60kms (100mins) Dedicating the whole 1.5-2hrs delivering up to 80+min at SS should see some significant changes.
Rock on


That sequence of plans should have you comfortably meeting the physical demands of those rides.

But as well as being physically fit enough, there other elements of completing a sequence of long rides like that such as bike fit/setup, nutrition pacing and mental stamina. And certainly there is no real substitute for some longer road rides in developing these “learning” aspects.

But I’m not sure I believe that 80% of the distance is a useful benchmark. 60% or 5 hours is probably all that you need to be doing to get these “learning” benefits. Trying to get to 80% may boost your confidence, but in terms of training and fitness benefits, you are really accumulating extra fatigue for not much be.nefit. You are probably better off keeping your long outdoor rides to 60%, and putting that training stress into harder mid-week trainer sessions


Great input thanks @mcalista I will use it wisely

I did the Century plan last winter leading up to Majorca 312 in April. I completed the 312 without problems and did hardly any road work all winter either short or long. Two weeks before the event I did 225 km on the road but that was really just a mental exercise and not really a physical test.