Best way to approach increased TSS?

Looked through some other threads but didn’t seem to be quite what I was looking for. Currently doing low volume with adaptive training, currently in a build phase. I chose low volume to allow for additional outdoor riding without over doing it.
What I am wondering is during weeks where I am unable to do as much additional outdoor riding would it be better to do an extra workout through Train Now and choose something suggested? On Monday, I attempted to do this but chose something with a little higher TSS than what they recommended.

Or should I not do extra workouts and instead choose a harder alternative of the scheduled workout? For example, I have Aden Crater scheduled for tomorrow and was considering changing it to Santa Rita.

Does anyone have any knowledge on whether one approach could be potentially more beneficial than the other? The TSS between Aden Crater and Santa Rita is pretty small but it does push my progression level up a few points higher. Whereas choosing an extra from Train Now will likely add more TSS but the extra workouts seem to be fairly low level and would not add to progression levels but instead of adding an extra 2-5 TSS from a more difficult workout, would add ~20 TSS to the week.

Personally I would add more z2 rides to a low volume plan just to keep any fatigue in check. Fatigue management is really the key issue in any plan. As long as you feel fresh and can perform in your key workouts you are good.


I would steer very much clear of the gamification of progression levels if you are looking at adding TSS in terms of adding stress. At least in the way we are looking at physiological gains in your case.

Since you’re looking to add intensity on top of the chosen plan, almost any riding is beneficial if you keep intensity in line.

Just like @TomasIvarsson said, key here is fatigue management. If you start adding rides that are a biiiiit too hard, its a bad idea.

What days are you riding? And what days do you want to add rides on?

Doing something like these rides for “additional TSS” would be a great addition.

I would focus on getting an endurance ride in (like the ones above) instead of adding more intensity :slight_smile:


As other have said, base/endurance rides are the route to sustainably increase your TSS.

Previously I have dug myself holes with medium volume so I started with Low volume with three extra base rides per week and increased my weekly TSS on these base rides

I enjoyed good gains and migrated to MV after 4 months without issue.

from early April I’ve joined a local chaingang but will return to TrainerRoad in the late Autumn as there’s no better way to improve your fitness

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Where are you able to view your FTP history like that?

You can see your FTP history under Account > FTP History in the TrainerRoad web interface.

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Wouldn’t adding ~50 TSS of endurance work be more fatiguing than adding an extra 4-5 TSS to each of the 3 workouts (12 to 15 extra TSS in a week) by selecting slightly harder alternates?

My TR rides are generally T-Th-Su. Often I have a race on weekends so won’t have a Sunday workout. Often my outdoor rides occur between Tuesday to Thursday. If I have a race Sunday, I like to take 2 full days off the bike before hand to just focus on recovery, foam rolling and stretching/mobility work.

Different type of loading in terms of muscle recruitment, type of fatigue in high vs low intensity etc.

Hence why just looking at TSS given an inaccurate view of the load, effect on other workouts.

If we make the workouts harder, we might be going too hard, too much, too soon etc. For example by going from 3x8min to 3x10min. On the other hand, adding another 20-30min z2 at the end of the regular rides might be a good way to add load, but not intensity.

But as I suggested, adding 90min of endurance isn’t (in this case) going to be a risk, and also automatically adds another day of riding in the schedule (5-6 rides a week is a sweet spot). So going from 3 rides a week, to 4 rides, where the 4th one is an endurance ride, is great!

I love having 2 days off as well, really makes much bigger difference than 2 days that are spread out. Mentally I feel like it also gives more rest to be off the bike. Otherwise I feel like I always riding.

Typical training week:

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The key to success with any training plan is ensuring that you hit the key workouts.If you have more time/ energy and you wish to add more training stress, ask yourself, “how will this impact my ability to complete the key workouts and make progress in my current Training Plan?“.

It is not the goal of every workout to increase your Progression Levels. Your Training Plan will take care of that progression for you.

TrainNow is a good option if adding an occasional extra workout to a low-volume plan. TrainNow’s intelligent recommendations are catered to your specific abilities and with consideration of your recent training. This helps you add volume without overdoing it or impacting those key workouts.

For example, if I did my scheduled interval workout yesterday and decided I wanted to add 45 minutes today, TrainNow considers the hard workout I did recently and suggests that I should do an Endurance workout today! (See below)

It will be important to monitor how you feel if you are adding to the Training Plan. Adjust if you don’t feel it is sustainable.



Just looking at your screenshot (might be different recommendations for everyone of course), but it feels like a IF 0.67 endurance ride is a quite high intensity endurance ride…

Especially considering someone with a 285w FTP will be doing some intervals at 205-222w, even if its just for a shorter while, thats for a lot a people riding close to LT1.

IF0.55-0.60 feels like it would be more reasonable to keep intensity down while still promoting mitochondrial adaptations.

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Tomyhoi is my go to 90 min Z2 filler spin at the moment :+1:. TrainNow is offering me Andrews at 0.7 - not suitable.

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Yeah, when you’re approaching 0.7 IF for endurance rides, inside on the trainer especially, feels like you’re riding high enough to introduce fatigue but not hard enough to warrant it…

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TrainNow is great if you’re dipping in and out of training. You could hit that workout handily if you had only done a couple of workouts in the week.

I don’t think it works for adding Z2 to a plan. Ideally it would detect if you’re already on a plan and throw you lower IF endurance spins for supplemental rides, like the MV plans do for midweek endurance spins. Feature request perhaps? :thinking:

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Hard agree. TrainNow or Plan Builder.

If you’re doing a TR plan you’re almost certainly already getting [at least] as much intensity as you need, so anything additional should therefore be either a recovery ride or an endurance ride.

If an endurance ride, you can flex the intensity and duration to suit how you’re feeling and how much training stress you want to add.