Adding group rides to a workout schedule

Hi all

Prior to getting sick last month, I had the following schedule:

  • M: 1.5 to 2 hour threshold workout / 100%-109% FTP
  • T: 0.5 to 1 hour recovery ride at 30%-40% FTP
  • W: 1.5 to 2 hour VO2/Anaerobic workout / 110% FTP and above
  • Th: 0.5 to 1 hour recovery ride at 30%-40% FTP
  • F: 2.5 hour easy group ride / 50% FTP average watts
  • S: 2.5 hour hard group ride / 65% FTP average and 80% normalized
  • Su: Rest Day off bike

I’m taking the next week off to just recover a bit and refocus. I want to keep training but I really want to get out and keep riding with groups. I was thinking about adding another group ride on Wednesday and reducing the 2 interval days to 1 hour workouts and taking out a recovery day, so the following:

  • M: 1 hour threshold workout / 100%-109% FTP
  • T: 0.5 to 1 hour recovery ride at 30%-40% FTP
  • W: 2.5 hour group ride / 55% FTP average watts and 75% normalized
  • Th: 1 hour VO2/Anaerobic workout / 110% FTP and above
  • F: 2.5 hour easy group ride / 50% FTP average watts
  • S: 2.5 hour hard group ride / 65% FTP average and 80% normalized
  • Su: Rest Day off bike

What do you guys think?

Looks pretty good to me. I’ve been replacing both weekend rides with group rides with one being hard and the other being quite easy but still over 2 hours. It’s been sustainable for me and I see you doing a similar thing with your group ride choices.

it also looks to me like you’re also getting in the workouts you want/need to touch up the proper systems as well. Lastly, worse comes to worse, you take Tuesday off the bike in addition to Sunday in the case you’re finding it to be too much and need more recovery.

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Thanks for your comment.

Yeah my coach originally had me on 3 intensity days with 3 endurance days and 1 rest day, this is prior to starting group rides in April. He dropped me down to 2 intensity days and reduced the endurance to recovery rides so I could fit in the 2 group rides.

I think I would be able to hack it but I didn’t respect the recovery week. Instead I did three group rides on the recovery weeks and my TSS was about 3/4 my standard work week. Just not enough recovery.

I want to play it safe this time and will see what that looks like :stuck_out_tongue:

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JMO random thoughts. Take it, leave it…

Day 4 should be day 1; 1 should be 2; 2 should be 4. Get rid of the %FTP avg and %NP for group rides. Just ride and put the computer in your pocket. What does your coach think? What phase of training are you in? Working towards what goal(s)? If the group rides are hard enough you have too much intensity for your experience.

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What would you say the balance of fun vs short term improvement vs long term improvement you are trying to achieve with this schedule?

If you are leaning towards fun being #1, looks fine, maybe even drop an interval session. If you are prioritizing short / long term improvements or trying to balance all three, it seems like too much but also not enough. I encourage everyone to do something they love every week on their bike that they love and put it in their plan, I’m just trying to see where you value or balance fun vs development (not that they are mutually exclusive) as that is a personal valuation.

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Thanks for the reply!

I’ve yet to discuss this with my coach, I wanted to get some ideas before going back to him on it. As for the %FTP on the group rides, these are just what I usually end up with after I get home. I almost never look at the Garmin while on the ride.

As far as phase goes, I was finishing up a stinking hard 4-week build phase before I got sick. Actually when I look back on it, it was a 12-week build with 4 weeks of sweet-spot in between. I’m taking a couple weeks off structured training at which point my coach will be re-starting me in his version of sweet-spot base. He thinks I need a hard reset right now because of the amount of mental and physical fatigue I’ve built up.

Yes, the W and S rides are high intensity. I was stupid and basically screwed my last two recovery weeks (which is probably why I’m so fatigued now) because I decided to do the group rides during the recovery weeks.

I want to say that at this point, I want to have my cake and eat it too. I want to get fit but I also want to have fun. I was looking forward to racing coming back to my area this year, but after a promising start basically everything got cancelled and is being rescheduled to 2022. All I have to look forward to, competition-wise, are my local group rides.

Thanks for the reply.

I’m basically looking to balance fitness with fun. Last year I was too slow to even hang onto the group rides. This year I can hang on and have fun. So I guess I want to have my cake and eat it too, right?

I think you need to figure out the balance that works for you. I would even go so far as to assign a priority number to each ride / workout in your proposed schedule and see how you can shuffle things around to make sure you can hit the highest priority fresh, the medium priority as not-so fresh, and have a couple that you can toss if too fatigued or do steady endurance rides in replacement.

My take on the schedule you proposed is that Thursday intervals aren’t going to do much. If Wednesday is a hard group ride do you think you’re going to have a quality VO2/anaerobic workout on Thursday? So I think you either need to pick Wed group ride or Thurs workout but not both. For Friday, if you tend to average about 50% of FTP, that means you are spending a ton of time below 50% (how much time in z1 or coasting do you have on this ride ?) I doubt I would be getting much training benefit from that ride although one could consider it a skills session or social time. But I’d rather do a steady z2 ride with that time or make it an active recovery day. Right now I think its too long for active recovery by not steady / hard enough for aerobic conditioning. To me a balance choice one could make might be, I’d like to do 3 group rides, but I also want time for training sessions to get stronger: so I will drop 2 (or 1) of the group rides to free up time for training and it will be pedal to the metal on the remaining group ride.

I think being anti-social makes these decisions easy for me. I noticed long-term improvements starting to build when I cut back from 2 group rides a week to 1, and then even more when I dropped the weekend group ride and did 3-4hrs of steady aerobic endurance riding. When I finish moving I’m going to join a local Saturday group ride but probably will only do it 1-2 times a month. I don’t think it will provide fitness improvements (too much z1 and random z5+ time), but the goal is group riding skills development.

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