Balancing 3x TR Workouts w/ Weekend Volume?

Hey all,

I’m new to TR (my first block actually begins Tuesday), and I’m trying to sort out my training plan so that it gels with my weekend rides.

Saturdays I try to put in longer rides for volume, and Sundays I have group rides which range from “tempo” to “dig so deep your soul leaves your body.”

With that in mind, I chose the “low volume” TR plan, with 3x workouts a week that I’m slotting into Tuesday-Thursday.

My concern is that all three back-to-back workouts seem pretty spicy (if short), which kinda defies conventional training wisdom (as I understand it).

Is this a legitimate concern, or am I making mountains out of molehills?

My recommendation… Two workouts during the week. The weekend is also quality. No need to add more.

Nobody on the internet can figure out what will or wont work for you with the little information you provided. I suggest you just try it out and go from there.

IMO Low volume is not that big of a deal to do back to back to back like you propose, but i’m not you so my experience means nothing. Best of luck

Monday Wednesday Friday intervals. Go easy on the group rides. Rest Tuesday Thursday.

I’d go with Monday and Friday off because of the big Saturday and Sunday. If intervals Tue-Thur is too much for you (would be for me), I’d do intervals Tue and Thur, and endurance on Wed.


I’d agree with the above posters- my perspective is that the TR plans are developed from the standpoint of being sufficient as a stand-alone plan of core/key workouts, with any extra additions being ‘easy’ enough that they don’t detract from your ability to perform on the more challenging days.
If you’re looking at incorporating other rides that incur significant fatigue (either through intensity or being long enough to consider “big” in your context) Id look at adjusting that structure accordingly, and I think it’s better to err on the side of caution in that regard especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with how you respond to that particular plan.

Ultimately I think it comes down to a bit of trial and error while you find what works best for you, but I’d be inclined to start with 2 harder sessions during the week if you’re planning to keep some intensity in the weekend ride, or alternatively toning down the latter to more of a strict endurance ride if you want to do all 3 LV rides- though that might not always be realistic depending on the group you’re riding with :sweat_smile:

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Does long rides for volume mean zone 2? If so, try: rest/recover Monday, intervals tuesday and wednesday, rest or recover thursday, intervals Friday, zone 2 saturday, group ride sunday. If that doesn’t work (it is very similar to what is working for me) try the medium volume polarized plan for 2 sets of intervals per week instead.

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Thanks for all the replies.

A little more context about my weekend rides and goals:

My goal: The only discipline I “compete” in is gravel, and gravel races tend to be on the longer side. So the longer days in the saddle are pretty important to me. That said, I want to get holistically fitter / faster, hence starting TR.

Saturday is usually 3-4 hours, at least 100k, mostly upper Zone 2 with some tempo mixed in, and a few very brief anaerobic dips (I live in a very hilly / mountainous area). As I get stronger, the idea is to keep this almost entirely Z2.

Sometimes Saturday will be swapped out for a gravel ride, which is a bit harder (pretty consistently tempo). Sometimes I go a ride with my wife instead, which is way easier.

Sunday’s group ride is sort of 3 rides in one: 45 mins Z2 there and back, and then 1.5-2 hours for the group ride itself. The actual group ride component is generally pretty hard, sometimes “I yearn for the sweet release of death” hard, and I really attribute a lot of my improvement as a rider to it.

Anyway, keeping those rides on the docket is very important to me.

Keeping Monday/Friday as my rest days bookends those weekend days, and serve a double purpose as my weight room days (core, upper body, and mobility work).

I’m honestly kinda shocked TR didn’t automatically rebalance at all when I smushed the days it gave me together to Tuesday-Thursday, and I can’t figure out how to get it to just hand me two interval workouts a week instead of 3 (which seems like the consensus thing to do).

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Have you ever looked at a CTS plan on Strava premium? CTS popularized the original plans for time-crunched cyclist. Here is the first week of the 60-minute climb plan for 10 hours/week, its written for people that ride outside but you can do the mid-week rides inside:

I’ve got off-the-shelf plans from FasCat and Velocious that look similar. A FasCat fatigue-dependent pattern would be something like Tuesday Sweet Spot, Wednesday Tempo, and Thursday Endurance. Velocious looks more like what I settled on with my coach, Tuesday SS, Wed Endurance, and Thursday Tempo.

You gotta figure out what works best for you, and in general a more advanced 5-day pattern would be Off, Hard, Hard, Endurance, Off, Hard (3+ hours), Endurance (3+ hours) - where you have two 2-day blocks with back-to-back higher load.

The issue is that on the LV plan all 3 workouts are hard and messes with recovery if you add extra rides.

Like many here I think you need to give it a try and it also depends on which low volume plan you take, what else you have in your life, how much fitness background you have etc etc etc.

I am doing LV plans which change a little bit in between invents from sweet spot to build and bolster with the weekends. I’ll do the structure on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Usually do VO2 Monday, Anearobic or sweet spot Wednesday and threshold on Friday. Weekends depending on where I am in the block range 5 to 9 hrs of mostly focused Z2 road or gravel or MTB and almost always outside. I have also experimented adding an additional hour or two during the week of low end Z2 on the trainer.

For me I used to pelt myself outside on the weekends, if I wasn’t going as fast as possible, then I wasn’t working. But I plateaued pretty early and often could complete a work out especially towards the end of a block. Since focusing on the Z2 volume around the LV I am been back on a pretty stead climb upwards (both in FTP and progression levels), complete workouts all the time and haven’t dug myself a hole.

Considering your big Sunday rides with the group I might suggest starting off with Tuesday doing a structured low to mid end Z2, Wednesday a VO2 max and maybe Friday do a threshold. I find Friday’s threshold keeps Saturday’s pace in Z2 and helps me not fall into the trap of constantly upping effort chasing everything that moves. See how you go through a four week block, as you get more resilience then maybe considering adding a sweet spot or maybe another VO2 session depending on whether you want the muscular endurance or still trying to build.

Good luck and have fun. Don’t burn yourself out, key at least for me is consistency and quality.

During Covid/ WFH full time I was doing Mid Volume, swapping out the Saturday moderate for the club spin, or during race season it was Saturday easy or an opener, and a 2 hour race Sunday. Monday off.

My Schedule was

  • Tuesday TR Intervals
  • Wednesday Easy TR or Commute
  • Thursday TR Intervals
  • Friday TR Intervals
  • Saturday easy hour-ish spin while doing dad cabs or Pettit +1 or West Vidette +1 (I found these better for me (N=1) than an opener such as Trulli)
  • Sunday Race
  • Monday Off

I’ll be doing the same next season, after a couple of wins, and not feeling it compromised my weekly races. Albeit I’m doing it at low volume, due to new morning time constraints so I don’t have the hour and a half every wfh morning!

Before the race season, I’ll be doing the club spin (or a gravel spin) on Saturday mornings. I go with the one down from the club race group, as it is just too hard for me (racers from a couple of cats higher than me). Plus I prefer to chat than be hanging on when I’m actually cycling with other people!

If you haven’t done any structured training before I would commit to follow the plan and not do anything gard besides that and if you insist on keeping that Sunday hard ride I would not do a plan but use the Train Now option weekdays

My tips: follow the plan, answer the surveys honestly and swallow your pride when adaptive training downgrades your workouts

Think hard and long before doing this, the plan is NOT the most important thing in the world, it is a tool to getting you somewhere, think about the objective and what you enjoy doing, if it’s a long ride on the staturday and a group ride with friends (one of the most import thinks in the world) fit the additional training around that not the other way around, especially if it motivates you to ride

Imagine not riding with other people so you could follow the plan, you win World Championships, and have nobody to tell

I’m on the LV plan and do plenty of additional riding, I just don’t do one of the workouts, I follow the plan because it gives you a bit of structure, LV Base = 2 SS and one Threshold workout, I just lose one of the SS, come build it’s pretty similar

I will just remove one of the V02 workouts, yes this might not be supper optimal, but there is a lot more lower hanging fruit you can do, diet, sleep, strength training that you can do before giving up what motivates you to ride


Its probably already been said @Gax , but mp 2p/2c (or whatever your currency is). I do a lot of outdoors riding at the weekend. I found the LV plan slightly too much on top of that with its 3 x HIIT sessions and a one day a week cycle commute (even though its circa 25miles round). So, during the off season I’ve opted for swapping the middle HIIT session for an Endurance one. What seems to be working for me is after running plan builder, adding Time Off Annotations for the Wednesday and on Wednesdays selecting a TrainNow Endurance recommendation. My schedule Gen looks like this:

Mon - Day Off
Tues - HIIT
Wed - Endurance
Thu - HIIT
Fri - Day Off
Sat - Social Road (circa 60+miles)
Sun - Social Gravel - (circa 45-50miles)

My dilemma will be next season when the Wednesday Chaingang starts again, which usually sees a tempo effort from me with surges, and it may be slightly too much again with me wanting to do TT’s on the Saturday :neutral_face:

Last season at the start I was relatively flying and the chaingang was endurance with bursts (which fits into the above schedule) but as the TT season went on, I seemed to go downhill slightly :neutral_face: :neutral_face:


Question for those changing plans by dropping 1 planned hard session and replacing with endurance sessions: what impact does the calendar annotation have, compared to just deleting the scheduled workouts?

I cant say 100% but it appears to let the plan adapt around them. I think deleting 1 by 1 will only lead to micro adaptions which might not be enough to get the best for your A event. We could do with a more definitive TR answer though.

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Hey all,

Thanks again for all the replies.

Did my ramp test today: TR estimates my FTP at 220, which is pathetic, but feels more honest than the (still pathetic) 235 Zwift gave me.

I think I’ll give the LV 3-interval-block plan a try. TR is smart enough to order the workouts from least to most TSS. Or, when they’re higher TSS and back to back, they target different systems. And they’re all pretty short to boot.

I’m new to the sport (hence my tiny FTP), so the only way to know how I’ll handle this kinda structure is to give it a crack.

Worst case, I do what the consensus has been and turn the middle workout into an endurance workout.

As for my weekend rides, I’ll keep them dealer’s choice since, as some mentioned, those rides are my “why.” If I can’t foolishly chase the fastest dudes in the city only to be immediately dropped on the climbs, what’s the point? :rofl:

This is a tough one but if you get into the spiral of death where you are getting more and more tired throughout the week, consider not riding hard on Saturday/Sunday. Keep in mind that with workouts on 5 days of the week you’re pretty much doing a medium volume plan.

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I don’t delete, which I understand is the advice from TR, and just add another workout when I am doing something like that. Same as if I do something unstructured instead.