Added Long outdoor rides on the weekend

I’m training for Leadville right now with Climbing Road Race selected as the type of race. Mid-volume plan, but may go to the high volume plan in the Spring.

I want to log a lot of mileage outdoor on my MTB. I will have powermeter pedals for it, and I know I can do the workouts outdoors.

But, how can I incorporate big long rides in on the weekend while:
a) Not necessarily following a TR workout
b) Getting the targeted benefits of that day’s programmed workout
c) Not affecting the following week’s rides

In theory, I’m thinking I can do a long ride which incorporates similar efforts to the programmed ride, in the middle. Then just make sure the back-half of the ride is easier effort.

Just looking for input from riders who have done something similar.


It sounds like you are trying to get the benefit of “big long rides” instead of the “benefit of that day’s programmed workout.” I think I’d forget the programmed workout and focus on the “big long ride.” If you want to sprinkle in some sprints or whatever, do so, but I would just replace the TR workout and do the ride you plan.

As far as not affecting the following week’s rides, you need to manage your training stress. Reduce intensity and volume as needed to keep your training stress progression reasonable. You probably wouldn’t want to go from 300 TSS to 600 TSS for very long.


This is what I do and while I am not a professional or a coach, it seems to work well for me:

Monday - VO2 Max
Tuesday - End
Wednesday - Threshold
Thursday - End
Friday - Anaerobic
Saturday - Long ride
Sunday - Rest

Saturday is my long ride day. Gravel, road, or MTB, it doesn’t matter. I am carrying fatigue from the week of training, but I am not in a total hole. I will have some efforts in there if there are hills or segments I want to crush, but for the most part I am just trying to get miles in my legs at a Z2 pace. And this is my time for fun. The rest of the week, although I enjoy it, is all on the indoor trainer and not near as fun as being outside.

Once I started increasing the distance and time of these rides, my fitness went to another level.

So for me, I hit all of your requirements:

a) no TR workout
b) the benefits are long hours at Z2 (And also, having FUN)
c) The Sunday after for rest allows me to come back strong on Monday


I wonder if doing a Low Volume plan with only 3 key workouts a week, but then my own added outdoor rides would also be a solution.


I would just pick a Low Volume plan, nail those 3 key workouts during the week, then go ride long at the weekend and keep it mostly Z2 or below. If you’re consistent with doing those weekend rides then any effect on the following week’s rides will be similar from one week to the next so isn’t going to throw TR off.

Alternatively pick a MV or even HV Polarised Plan, which kind of achieves the same thing as it will prescribe you 2 hard workouts per week, then lots of Z2 which you can do on your MTB.

What I would avoid would be doing a MV or HV non-polarised plan, doing all the prescribed intensity, and then adding a lot of extra mileage on top. Think that’s too much for most people.


Thanks. I think your reply here is a good summary of what others said and where i was leaning.


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I personally vote for LV.

The TR HV plan isn’t a normal HV plan, it’s for people who can handle more volume but don’t have time for 15-20 or more hours on the bike, so it uses lots of intensity.

With a LV plan you get 3 scheduled intensity workouts a week, nail those on the trainer, and supplement with as much outdoor riding as you can handle without impacting the workouts.


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I would do Low volume and swap one of the key workouts with a Z2 ride and count your long ride as a key workout. 2 high intensity workouts is plenty.


I would just replace one weekend workout for the long ride. Don’t try to do any of the intensity that day in addition to the duration. Just keep the intensity low and purposefully extend the duration. Don’t go 8 hours right out the gate. Start at something completely doable + 30min and then extend it 15-30min each week.

If you’ve been feeling very recovered through the plan till now then you could replace the lower intensity SS workout and if you’re thinking you’ll need more recovery then skip the higher intensity one. And don’t worry if you feel like you have to drop the intensity of the other ride also. The SS is mostly there to get stimulus while not riding long durations. So if are riding the long durations then you can drop the intensity. And especially for something like leadville, the extra 4hr/wk (or whatever it turns out to be) will give you much more benefit than the 3x10 SS you’re supposed to do.

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