Arranging training plans around running/swimming club diaries

Hi there. I originally posted this on the TrainerRoad subreddit, but thought it might attract more feedback here. . I’m a big TrainerRoad user, and have been for about five years or so. After spending those past five years training alone (I was a secondary/high school teacher, and needed the peace and quiet after work!), I’ve recently joined running and swimming clubs. I find it very easy to train on the bike by myself, with the power targets provided by TrainerRoad, but definitely benefit from having someone shouting at me during run and swim sessions. I’ve followed the Full Distance Tri plan in the past, and would like to do so again in 2019. Previously, I’ve used the mid-volume plan, but sometimes struggled to fit everything in round family and work, so will probably follow the low-volume plan this year.

However, I’ve run into a scheduling problem. The running and swimming clubs I’ve joined have sessions that don’t marry with the TrainerRoad plan. They also happen, coincidentally, to be on the same days as one another. Here are their schedules:

  1. Tuesday: 6:15am swim (tough intervals) / 7pm track running (speed intervals)
  2. Thursday: 6:15am swim (tough intervals) / 7pm tempo run (sub 40 10k)
  3. Sunday: 7:30 am long run / 6pm swim based on longer intervals and technique work

I’m not sure exactly where the bike sessions should go, with the TrainerRoad plans traditionally having speed intervals on the Tuesday and bricks on the Thursday. I figure I can keep the long bike workout on the Saturday. Any clues on the others? VO2 bike intervals on the Wednesday? Brick session on the Friday? Should I skip the rest day on the Monday and have it another day? I’m a bit worried about not being able to finish harder bike sessions after the tough running and swimming sessions on the Tuesdays and Thursdays. Traditionally, cycling has been my strongest discipline - my FTP is 283 at 71.5kg at the moment. It was 285 at 70kg back in the summer, but I took some time off after moving jobs in September. I’d like to stay around the 4 watts per KG mark if possible - or improve, of course!

If it makes any difference, my A races for 2019 are the Manchester Marathon (I’m in the UK) on 8th April (hoping to run 2:59:59) and Ironman Italy on September 21st. I’ll be racing the Chester Middle Distance tri on 2nd June as a B race, and then a bunch of smaller events as C races throughout the year.

Thanks in advance for any advice. Struggling to figure this out.

My tuppence worth: don’t worry about being absolutely rigid in following the schedule. What will work better for you? Do you like have Mondays off after a big weekend of training - do the bike workouts on W/F/S. Don’t want back to back bike workouts on F/S - make F your rest day to gear up for a big weekend of training so bike workouts are M/W/S. Whatever you choose, focus on recovery between the sessions (insomuch as life allows). Don’t be afraid to adjust depending on how you’re feeling.

I have to work around pool schedules so for the vast majority of my last season my rest day was on a Saturday. Currently my rest day is on a Sunday. Remember you do this for fun :slight_smile:

It actually seems to make it really managable to go with a TR plan, particularly with low volume. Don’t get married to the days, and just shift the days as needed. Here’s what I’d do if you really want to make all the club sessions.

Monday: Off
Tuesday: Swim/Run
Wednesday: TR (evening) Tuesday session
Thursday: Swim/Run
Friday: TR (evening) Thursday session
Saturday: TR (evening) weekend session
Sunday: Run/Swim

I based that on separating your runs from before your bikes as much as possible. You can squeeze the fourth TR session in on Monday for the weeks where your plan has one (i.e. Pioneer on Monday after the TR recovery week).


Monday: TR Tuesday session (morning or evening)
Tuesday: Swim/Run
Wednesday: TR Thursday session (evening)
Thursday: Swim/Run
Friday: OFF or TR weekend session (evening)
Saturday: TR weekend session or OFF or additional TR session as desired.
Sunday: Run/Swim

This also gives you plenty of recovery after runs before bikes. You can always add 15 or so minutes of running after each TR session as a bike-focused brick if you want, or you could add an easy 30 minute spin prior to your Thursday tempo run as a run-focused brick.

With those 9 or 10 workouts (not including additional off-the-bike running), I can’t see that you’d need a lot more volume. BUT, if you want more riding, you could do the prescribed TR weekend session Friday evening, followed by an additional TR aerobic session Saturday, or add in additional aerobic work on Monday. Personally, I value the day off each week and wouldn’t do that unless TR prescribed it.

I’d probably go with the second plan, because I value off time on the weekends and have time to train during the week, in addition to flexibility it affords.


Super, super late reply to the two of you. Thanks for both outlining how’d you’d incorporate the workouts with the run and swim schedules. I’ve found it tough, but just about managed to deal with hard bike workouts on the day after running. To fit round my schedule, I have to train both days of the weekend, so unfortunately there’s no Saturday off!

Thanks for such informative posts.

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