Best approach for integrating weekly club ride and crit race into a plan?

I saw a few threads with a some help but they seem a bit old (before adaptive training) and talk about only one of the two.

I want to do a weekly 45-60 minutes, fun, training race (Monday) and a club ride on the weekend. The race is going to be on zwift (except a few select days IRL) and they are typically 80% tempo with a few maximal efforts and a sprint or two. The club ride is with a social group (not the competitive type), approx. 4 hours on undulating country lanes.

I just completed the Mid Volume Base I and the planner suggests Mid Volume Base II. The description of the plans, suggests to use the Low Volume if the plan is to add other rides. Seems reasonable but I am unclear with a bit of detail and maybe some advice will help to prevent burning myself out.

My questions:

  • The club rides are sometimes rubbish miles (I go out with the social group, as I said) and the races don’t usually add so much load. Will the Low volume be enough?
  • Do I add the weekly races and bike rides as events to the plan or do I replace some workouts? Or do I completely hide them from the plan and do them in parallel?

Any pointers to make the right choice would be helpful as I miserably failed doing this in the past.

Cheers

Hey there!

Sounds like you have the right idea to start with here. Low Volume plans are great because they give athletes plenty of flexibility around life and rides outside of their structured plan.

Low Volume plans will give you 2-3 structured workouts per week that you can build your other rides around.

In general, if you’re looking to add a high-intensity session, we’d advise replacing one of your workouts with that ride. In your case, that Monday training race should replace one of your Low Volume plan’s workouts.

If the club rides you plan to do stay at a low intensity, it sounds like it would be a great add-on! 4 hours on country roads sounds like a solid endurance ride – but make sure to keep your eyes on your power. Too much intensity could start to add up, so make sure to try to stick to Zone 2/Endurance as much as possible.

Adding the races as events on your Calendar could make it a bit easier to keep track of those, and you can add unstructured rides you have planned coming up to your TR Calendar as “Other Activities.”

So, in summary:

  • If you have extra intensity days you will add to your plan, replace one of your workouts for the week with that session so you don’t take on too much stress.

  • Low Volume (3 sessions per week) + your 4 hour club ride is likely a great starting point – if you find you’d like to add some additional volume in, you can always use TrainNow on days when you don’t have a ride planned. This TR article also covers some good tips on safely adding volume to your plan.

Hope this helps! Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions. :slight_smile:

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I’d simply replace one of the intense days with your group ride. E. g. if you stayed on your MV plan and your group rides are Saturdays, just do the group ride instead of the Saturday ride.

Thank you for your response.

OK, looks like adding the race is too much load and I need to replace one. Given that I am used to ride 5-6 days each week, would it make sense to modify the mid volume to replace a high intensity day with the race and add the club ride? Or that would be too much? I can always add a zone 1/2 ride to cover the gap in the low volume.

If you’re already riding 5-6 days per week, I think either option would work well!

Mid Volume will give you 5 rides per week, and again, we’d advise replacing one of the high-intensity sessions with a race should you have one that week.

The (default) Sunday Sweet Spot rides on the Mid Volume plans are meant to be Achievable (instead of Productive) as more of an aerobic maintenance day. A longer Endurance ride (like your club ride) could be a good substitute for that.

Or, of course, you could use TrainNow to slot in a low-intensity ride for the Low Volume plan should that be what you choose.

I know it ain’t fun to hear, but a weekly race may actually be detrimental to your acute fitness. As an N=1, I’m losing some fitness during cx season when I race every weekend. It’s usually tues or Weds before I feel ready to do an interval session, depending on what day/s I’m racing, which sometimes doesn’t leave room for a 2nd interval session that week.

What day is your club race and how does that fit into the rest of your schedule? Obviously the 4 hour days are a sat or sun?

The structured athlete is often the lonely athlete haha

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This has been my experience with my favorite weekly drop ride. It’s amazing fun and keeps the motivation high, but the time in the proper zones is insufficient. Plus, it carries too much fatigue to the rest of the week, and my subsequent workouts suffer.

I struck a balance with hammering with buddies every other week on that ride, and it seems to be working well this year.

I might also consider this soon.

Working from home, the weekly intense drop ride is my main social event these days. I know I’m leaving fitness on the table.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to go back to just showing up once every 4-5 weeks like when my kids were really young and I couldn’t make Sat mornings work very often. That put too much ‘pressure’ on what should have been fun but challenging rides.

The big thing to also remember is why you’re doing this. If training is ruining the fun of cycling, it ain’t gonna last. Don’t miss the fun things, just maybe be conscious of how often you do it or what impact it has on your long term goals

For me, this time of the year, im working hard, but my goal is to be ready to roll come sept for cx season. If I miss an interval or harder workout to do a hard, fun drop ride, so be it. That will change come July/august.

Thank you. I think this sounds like good idea. Mid Volume with two days replaces by race and club rides will still leave two workouts.

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That’s very true. I was willing to do pure training in the winter but now my goal is primarily to enjoy and train on the side. I have been “either full structure or no structure at all” until recently but I am determined to find a good formula this year because the structure does wonders in my fitness!

I believe that. Last year I decided to not do any training and rely on races and hard rides. I lost 10-12% power across all durations, even at 10 second power that in theory all these sprints and primes would help me train.

I may have been exaggerating on the weekly. I would be happy with once every fortnight. I don’t want to go back to the first 12 weeks that I have abstained from everything. I felt like a monk, LOL.

Drop, competitive club rides are definitely not working for me as beating myself for 4-5 hours leaves me fatigued for days. I found the Z1/Z2 social ones work well with weight control and offer a mental break.

The structured athlete is often the lonely athlete, haha

Quote of the day :sweat_smile: