Adaptive Training with unstructured outdoor rides

Hello, I have a question regarding the adaptive training plans in TR and how they account for unstructured outdoor (group) rides.
I bought a smart trainer two months ago and went for a training plan on zwift. My first intention was to first see how much I like indoor training and second to see how much I can improve when following a structured training plan.
I figured that I really like indoor training with the smart trainer (it really was not enjoyable for me with my old dumb trainer) and I can already feel and measure some gains by following a structured plan.
However, I think I could improve and benefit even more from a more adaptive plan like the adaptive training from TR. For now, I gust deside based on my feeling if I should skip a workout and ao on. As the weather is getting, also the numer of outdoor rides increases. I can imagine doing some structured work outside but very limited to be honest. And I go for one group ride each week. How does TR and the adaptive training adjust when I record a unstructured outdoor ride? Does it recognize the load, intensities and so on to adjust the following trainings?

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Currently plans do not adapt to outdoor rides - unless they are matched to a TR workout. But unless you are specifically doing an outdoor TR workout it is not recommended to match an outdoor ride with a workout.

RLGL takes into account outdoor rides.


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Wouldn’t it be easy to also adapt the training automatically if the load is captured anyways, with RLGL (I know that the feature is pretty new)?

What would then be the best way and how to incorporate unstructured training best in a TR training plan?
If I have to adapt the training manually anyway, I do not see such a big benefit in using TR compared to another training plan (provider).

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Hey there and welcome to the TR community!

We often advise athletes to follow a Low or Mid Volume plan and then add their extra unstructured riding on top of that.

A Low Volume plan, for example, would give you 3 structured workouts per week to follow. You could then do your own rides on the other 4 days of the week – though we do recommend keeping those rides at low intensity so you can hit your structured days as hard as you can. :muscle:

If you have a hard unstructured day, like a group ride or a race, we’d recommend swapping out one of your weekly structured sessions for that hard ride/race so you don’t overdo the intensity.

As others here have mentioned already, Red Light Green Light will monitor your training stress and make recommendations for your upcoming rides. Red Light Green Light functions with both TR structured rides and non-structured rides/races! :tada:

Hope this info helps – feel free to let us know if you have any other questions!

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Thank you for all the answers! I think the unstructured outdoor training also has an impact - and training effect - which is not factored in accordingly. Also, considering the group rides, they are quite tough most of the time, and I need a rest day afterward. The day after the rest day, adaptive training could, e.g., scheduling a hard VO2 max training even though I would need more rest or easier training due to the hard, unstructured outdoor ride. Even though RLGL might capture the fatigue, I would have to adapt the plan myself again. Did I get this right?

The other question would be, does TrainNow account for the unstructured outdoor work?

To clarify, I do not have TR yet. I’m considering it, but I have to see the real benefit for around 200 bucks a year compared to a cheaper training plan software.

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Hi, and welcome to the forum.

I think from what your are asking this would be your solution.

Say you are doing two outside group rides a week that are hard. You would then go ahead and add them in your calendar each week when they occur, say Wed and Sat. Make them hard as an event.

Then you would select the plan that most closely aligns with the amount of volume you wish to do. In the plan builder you would then make the intensity days in plan builder match with those group rides on the Wed and Saturday. If you feel that two intensity rides a week is the most you can handle then select a master’s plan and the rest of the rides will be endurance.

If you don’t want to use a plan - as j. You’re not training for an event then using train now will work as TN will use Adaptive Training to suggest the best workout for you based on your history.

If you want to focus on some form of fitness, say base or FTP etc then you can do all of the above in plan builder.

You will need to manually adjust any plan you select to take into account the effort and intensity of the group rides you do and adjust the plans accordingly. It does take aittle know how but there are many posts on the forum to help and many others that would help you if you run into trouble.

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is this not a little out of date with the new RLGL feature? From what I understand, RLGL will adapt your plan after an outside ride that’s not included in your plan. As in, if you hit a yellow or red day because of it, it would suggest an adaptation to your planned workouts.

I suspect, in the example you’ve quoted, it would have been flagged as a yellow or red day after a race and so would have suggested some kind of rest or reduced riding.

Based on what I understand and what has been suggested above from @ZackeryWeimer - I don’t think this would be the way to do things.

It seems TR would recommend a low volume plan with flexibility to add additional rides in where you like and possibly swapping out structured rides. Although, personally (as I’m doing similar to this) I’m planning on seeing how RLGL changes things based on my additional rides to the plan. I’m hoping where I’m close to overdoing it, it will suggested an easier workout here and there to help keep things balanced.

RLGL will capture this fatigue you’re talking about here and suggest adaptations to your plan. If you do a hard unstructured ride that pushes you into unproductive training territory, you’ll be prompted with proposed changes to your plan.

For Red Days, this will be a day totally off with no workout. For Yellow Days, this will be a lower-intensity ride. And that will happen automatically – no need to make those changes manually!

TrainNow also accounts for all of your recent training and suggests a workout based on your recent riding history.