Adjusting plans to account for off-bike TSS

I’ve been working through the mid volume progression this Winter and it’s been great. Solid FTP gains, but also huge gains in repeatability and muscular endurance compared to where I was last year headed into Summer.

I’m not training to race or for a specific event, but having fitness and going fast is fun. I’d like to keep progressing, but my main pursuit once the weather turns nice is hiking/backcountry camping. I will probably have time for one 2-3 hour ride on the weekend and I typically ride 2-3 evenings during the week, but if it’s nice on the weekend, I’m headed to the mountains. On a typical weekend, I’d be doing 6-12hrs of hiking with 1000-2000m elevation gain.

Now that outdoor workouts are a thing in Trainerroad (and hopefully the Garmin API stuff is coming soon too), I have some structure to integrate into my outdoor riding, but how can I best account for/integrate the training stress accumulated from hiking into my training plan so I can keep getting faster over the summer?

The quick option is to simply switch down to a Low Volume plan of your choice. It includes 3 rides total and can be scheduled on days (Tue, Thur, Sat are default) as needed within your other activities.

You may have to look to the Weekly tips in the Mid volume plans and pick a Sunday ride substitution if the default Saturday ride is not what you want to do for the weekend. The weekly notes give an Endurance level option compared to a Sweet Spot default. The Endurance one is often a bit easier to implement for a fun outside ride if desired.

I’m definitely leaning toward switching to Low Volume with some customization.

I’m still wondering about how to factor in the training stress from the hikes. I’m usually pushing pretty hard going uphill and it feels similar to sweet spot efforts on the bike (at least, aerobically). Is there any transferable benefit from that?

Would it make sense to do something like General or Short Power build and focus my indoor work on VO2 and over/under work, covering sweet spot with hard hiking efforts and 1 longer endurance ride per week?

Yeah. That plan makes sense to me. Mix it up and try to cover the whole range a bit, especially if you keep it fun. That sounds like a good variety.