BC Bike Race 2022 - low volume vs mid volume plus outdoor

I’m new to TrainerRoad and haven’t quite figured out the best option for training for BC Bike Race this year. Suggestions welcome!

For the last 10 years I’ve had a coach (skills and fitness) but always followed a more “traditional” structured training plan (Lots of long base miles in winter etc). It’s time for a change - my brother has used TR for a few years with great success so time to try it out!

I’ve set up adaptive training with my A (BCBR) and B (4Islands, Croatia) races - with Sustained Power builds and XCM as the Specialty phase.

Although I’ve started out with Low Volume, I have time to do Mid Volume in terms of riding hours - BUT - I need time outside to keep working on my technical skills and I enjoy social rides with my friends at the weekends too! Outdoor mtb rides just aren’t always that easy to include specific training intervals - even though my weekend rides aren’t always “easy”.

I think my two options are:

  1. Stick with low volume doing my 3 workouts midweek but add in 2 x weekend mtb or gravel rides. If I can do a TrainNow session during the weekend rides I will……

  2. Move up to mid volume, set my weekend rides to outdoors and try and make them work within my mtb rides (at the start maybe) even if I drop the time of the TR workout to 45-60 mins then carry on and enjoy the rest of my mtb ride?

For reference, I live in the UK. I also do 1-2 strength/core/yoga sessions per week. And this will be my 3rd BCBR so I know what to expect!

Help!

Most people, including myself, do a low volume plan and add outdoor rides. Some will do mid and exchange trainer rides for outdoor rides. It’s the same result.

You can match an outdoor ride with a TR session, so if you are someone that likes to have a full training calendar then using mid and exchanging rides may work best for you as at least there is the prompt in the calendar for riding type and intensity. (By match I mean that once you upload your outdoor ride you can select it from the calendar, and you have the option to match it with that days TR session. This technically deletes the TR session)

I normally go LV, do a longer easy Wednesday ride, and depending on the weekend ride outside either or both days. I may move the Saturday TR session to Sunday and have MTB fun on the Saturday, or do vice versa. Whatever works.

Medium volume really only pads out two extra low intensity rides. I’d rather Fulgaz, Zwift, or do the real thing on those days. But still get the benefits of the three intensity workouts.

Whatever you choose, listen to your body. Take the easy days easy, and the hard ones hard (or as hard as you are able).

Good luck

Thanks - that’s really helpful.

AT doesn’t presently account for unstructured outside riding. So unless you can match them to an accurate outdoors workout, there’s a danger the too positively or negatively affect AT. I had a similar queerie and TR support recommended that I go LV to have AT calculate correctly and just do the unstructured rides also for now.

Low volume plus added endurance rides works very well.

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I did BCBR in 2019; Loved it! I ended up doing the high volume plans and tried to replicate the tr workouts outside; we have a fireroad climb that leads to single track where I would do my 20 minute sweet spot intervals; I found this to be a good balance of technical and work out.
If I did BCBR again I would probably include some long rides at high Z2 and maybe do a full week of really long Z2 rides 4-6 weeks pre to simulate the stage race. In addition, I would improve my hydration and nutrition as I know this was lacking the last time.