I’m using PlanBuilder to train for an event that has now been pushed to the fall (I adjusted the Training Plan dates already.) I am doing mid-volume Century training, so doing my Tues-Weds-Thurs workouts. When it gets to the weekend, however, as the weather has gotten nice, I’ve been doing outdoor unstructured rides (3.5 to 4.5 hours, 200-300 TSS) on Saturdays and Sundays. Obviously this is nothing like the SSB 2 hour rides or the 90 minute thresholdy / over-under rides. I live in CT, which has a sawtooth topography, so often have to put out big efforts for relatively short durations, as opposed to being able to settle in to a sweet spot/tempo rhythm for long periods of time, or do consistently hard and short(ish) intervals.
Any suggestions how to make this work? I am concerned about working at counterpurposes to the Plan, but also want to be able to get outside.
Replace any aerobic ride with an outdoor one, You’ll be doing more volume outdoors anyway so planned target intensity isn’t as important. And especially with Century training. More time in saddle is always going to be good for you within reason.
Try not to overthink it too much. If you find you’re not getting the key specific workouts done then check your volume or maybe you’re going too hard on the long rides. You wont die, and you’ll be much happier spending time with friends than trying to min max a plan. We aren’t robots!
Unstructured outdoor riding is one of the best ways build a lot of volume. On a 6 hour ride, I’ll pace for about 0.7 IF but inevitably go over that on climbs where I don’t have the gearing, or situations where I need to prove my manhood to strangers.
Going into higher power zones won’t destroy the benefits of a Z2 ride. The main consideration is how will it affect your next workout? You’ll only know through experimentation.