Adding outdoor workouts to plans and which speciality plan for Hilly 300km GF?


I see there is an outdoor workout option for rides. However, I am wondering the implications of doing outdoor rides on my desired training outcomes and when best to do them in the plans?

I have used trainerroad on and off for a few years. This biggest gains I have had are when i stick to the programmes. However, riding outdoors is so nice. Looking back at my history, the long weekend and club rides, may have given me a base and adaptations but my FTP and tests progressed more when i did mostly indoor workouts. specifically during SS1/2/Sus Build. It then tailed off considerable even though TSS increased with long rides outdoors

My main goals this year are to progress as much as possible in terms of FTP; both as i want to achieve some specific FTP and w/kg from a sense of personal achievement but also i think this will help my considerably with my events.

I have 2 rides. An “A” event; the Dragon ride 298km in June which has a lot of climbing 5k metres @16k ft. and a “B” event in July which is a L’Etape UK 161Km

Currently doing Mid plan. Cant fit in any more workouts per week although could increase some duration’s, and conscious the Sunday 2 hour ride is the main SS/Threshold workout of the week. I have the option of the 2 hour indoor workout or getting up early and doing a very long ride getting back for lunch.

As the plans are mostly 4 week cycles with the 4th week being the recovery week so cannot do one then as the ramp test is week 1.

Which week, if any, should i do outdoor rides? How long to get an equivalent benefit of a 2 hour indoor ride? Or should i just wait until Build is over and then replace 1-2x Sunday rides per month in the Speciality phase? I’m really results focused, so willing to compromise riding outdoors for a while if this is best to get FTP up.

I’ve read the blog on the training stimulus of the plans/rides and why these shorter rides are still good prep for long rides even though they are shorter in length, but given how long the A event is i think i need to incorporate outdoor rides if nothing else for nutrition plans and bike fit etc…

Also a TR blog on Gran Fondos suggested Climbing Road Race for hilly GFs. Plan builder says Century plan. Any advice?


Century plan, replace one of the long weekend rides with long outdoor rides. You’re definitely going to want to have a couple 5-6 hour outdoor rides under your belt to test out nutrition strategy, bike fit, and get the mental experience being on the bike that long.

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