Associating an outdoor ride with a planned indoor workout

The other day I went for a ride that lasted for just under two hours. I had Brasstown planned as an indoor workout (90 minutes endurance) but decided to go for a ride instead. I took it fairly easy on the ride and didn’t pay too much attention to my power, etc. After uploading my ride data, I associated it with Brasstown. This in turn contributed to my endurance progression level, which is how I imagined it would work.

However, I’m a bit unsure about how the process works for rides that don’t match planned indoor workouts. What if I’d have increased the intensity of my effort to, say, sweetspot/threshold for the entire ride and then associated it with a lower intensity workout (say, an endurance workout)? Or vice versa, if I associated an endurance paced ride with a threshold workout?

What would happen to my adaptions / progression levels if efforts from an outdoor ride don’t match the intended levels of an associated planned indoor workout? Would any of this matter? Would AT just take care of everything? Would there be any detrimental effects?

On a similar note, how would AT deal with things if I decided to do a planned indoor workout as an outdoor workout and I exceeded or didn’t meet the prescribed power targets?

Am I over-thinking matters? Should I just ride and let AT handle matters?

For outside workouts AT, right now, assumes that you completed the workout as prescribed. Therefore …

AT does not account for unstructured rides yet. FTP Estimation does, and I think Train Now does as well.

So, when I do an unstructured ride I’ll find a TR workout that closely resembles the power profile, schedule it, and then associate the outdoor ride. If no workout closely resembles it I either leave it not associated with any workout or associate it with an endurance ride of the same duration.

In your example of a two-hour ride, I would have deleted Brasstown from your calendar, added Boarstone (or another 2-hour endurance ride with a matching IF), and then associated your outdoor ride with that workout.

Hope this makes sense and helps.


Yes and yes. :+1:t2:

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Hi All,

Sorry if this topic has been talked to death on other threads. I looked at a few threads and I dont see the information I’m looking for.

I am currently doing SSBMV1. The plan had Vennacher and McGregor -4 scheduled for saturday and sunday on the weekend.

I had some time and the weather was ok, so I ended up doing a cafe ride with my buddies on Saturday. Then a random ride on Sunday. I didn’t follow the intervals of the indoor workouts at all. And on the sunday ride I just went all out up any hills I came across. Both ourdoor rides were around 1h30m, that’s the only thing that matches the indoor workout.

Today I looked at the calendar and just quickly associated the outdoor rides with the planned indoor workouts. I am ok with those rides being ‘garbage miles’ as I needed to be outside with my buddies. But doing the association will not screw up the AT logic right? As in it will not negatively affect the ‘adaptations’ to the workouts down the road?

Thanks in advance!

  • It might. If you associate something to a TR workout, and get associated changes to your Progression Levels (assume the linked workout is higher for the prescribed training zone relative to your current PL in that same zone), it will elevate your PL on your Career page.

  • That new PL you have will potentially drive changes to pending workouts on your plan via AT. As such, you may get harder workouts in that related training zone than may be appropriate for you.

Essentially, “Garbage In… Garbage Out” which means that making bad associations may well be bad. Just linking random workouts because we can is not a great plan. We’ve seen people apply this approach with a range of “accuracy” between the actual ride and TR workout they find. Some are “close” while others have little to do with the linked one.

I’d rather not link at all if there is not at least a decent parallel between the prescribed workout and what I did outside. Getting “bad or unrelated” PL’s is not a good thing IMO.

ok got it. Will disassociate the unplanned rides for now and monitor the adaptations.

It’s just a dilemma. I dont want AT to lower the levels of my sweet spot workouts because it thinks i skipped the weekend workouts. I did ride on the weekend, gotta count as SOMETHING right? :slight_smile:

Sure, and if you “want it to count”, you have to put in some effort and find a workout that is at least “close”. But just linking a different one to “get the PL’s” may lead to issues over time.

hehehe, i get it i get it, garbage in garbage out. Thanks for the input Chad!

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I’m loosely following a plan because I do most of my riding outside. What I do ( and don’t know if it’s correct) is find a workout which is as close as I can to the outside ride using a mixture of intensity, kJ’s, Time and TSS trying to match the energy system I’ve been stressing on the ride I then associate that workout with the the ride. If it’s a long ride with lots of coasting which I can’t match I pick the best hour or 1 1/2 hrs or whatever and just do the same with that section. ie if I do some hills or efforts at threshold during a long endurance ride I’ll pick that bit and use that. I’d be interested to see if I’m wasting my time however.

I AM SO SORRY you have to go through the work of doing this!! Cant wait for Workout Levels V2 to do all that work for you, thanks for your patience and for getting creative to make it work for you in the meantime!


I also do the same in order to keep my progression levels from degrading.

An alternative method I have been using when doing a workout is this: Let’s say I am doing three climbs up a hill for 20 min at 100% with a rest of 10 minutes in between, I will then replicate this workout (after the workout – based on the recorded laps wattage and durations) in TrainingPeaks, sync it with TrainerRoad and then associate the activity with the outdoor workout. It will give a progression level for the Threshold energy system.

Not sure how accurate this really is, but at least I do not end up with only 1.0 in progression level :slight_smile:

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