Best way to get TR to adjust workouts around unplanned rides / social riding?

I’m wondering about how to get the most out adaptive training on days when I’m riding indoors or alone while still riding socially. My main motivation for using TR is to get faster to ride with my friends.

I commute by bike and have been enjoying using the suggested outdoor workout for TR on my ride home as a way to keep things interesting and productive when riding solo and to motivate me to ride indoors on the rare occasion that conditions make outdoor rides untenable.

That said, TR schedules my bigger training rides for the weekends, and usually on the weekend my plans will be determined by what my friends are up to rather than what TR says, so instead of 1 1/2 hours of sweet spot work I might end up doing 4 hours at endurance pace or 1 1/2 hours of highly variable mountain biking. Then it’s Monday and I’m riding solo and I’d like TR to tell me the best thing to do based what I did over the weekend (it’s a little tricky because it seems like TR always starts a fresh week on Monday, but it’s much easier to think about adjusting my plans based on last weekend than to anticipate plans for the next weekend given all the variables (weather, family plans, etc)).

I realize the “better” thing would be just to follow the plan, but I’m not going to do that since my goals revolve around enjoyment and what riding is fun and good depends so much on weather and family schedules.

I assume there are lots of riders like me out there. What have you figured out as the best way to get TR to adjust your plan on the fly based on the other choices you’re making. I know there’s a “TrainNow” button indoors, but ideally I’d like to know what workouts to do outside since that’s where I do the vast majority of my riding.

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TrainNow is not specific to indoors. You can use it for outdoor workouts also - load the workout as outdoor after you select it. This is what I would do if I were you. The one thing you will need to pay attention though is deload/recovery weeks as TrainNow will not provide them to you so you will need to make sure every few weeks you take it easy to let adaptions occur.


Whether you used Plan Builder or ‘dropped’ a training plan onto your calendar, you can adjust the days that various workouts occur on. By default Saturdays tend to be a longer / more difficult day but you can move it around to whatever day best fits your schedule.

Depending on what volume plan you’re following (e.g. LV 3 days / week, MV 4 days / week, etc) I would adjust the days such that Saturday was a day off or an endurance day, knowing that you’ll got outside and do something harder. Then you can use Train Now to fill in the blanks in case you ride inside on Saturday (e.g. weather) or on any other day you ride that isn’t in accordance with the plan.

I am sort of in the same place.

I used to do LV polarized and basically just do the 2 mid week workouts indoors, maybe one outside ride per week, and then ride either MTB or outdoor group (or solo) rides on the weekend. I would skip the scheduled third workout almost every week.

I recently made the decision to ditch a training plan altogether and do 2 indoor TrainNow workouts per week and my normal outdoor mtb/group ride sessions same as before. BUT, I don’t know that I fully trust TrainNow yet to give me the perfect recommendation. For example, I did a 6 hour, 328 tss, MTB race on Sunday (Ouachita Challenge in Arkansas), and today’s (Tuesday) TrainNow recommendation is Goddard, which I am doubtful I could even complete right now due to still being pretty fatigued.

The easy solution for me has been to listen to my body, and rather than do Goddard today, I’ll do the TN z2 workout to allow myself another day to chill. Bottom line is, I don’t know that TN is perfected yet to work in complete harmony with unstructured outdoor rides.

As the weather gets better outside (hopefully, it’s currently snowing) I’m in this same boat. It seems like suggestions go between a LV plan and TrainNow but I need something that’s more flexible than a plan (know knows when the weather is going to be nice and I can sneak out vs too cold/rainy/snowy/windy) so TrainNow seems to be the way to go.

I seem to have the opposite problem that @treyspillman though. TrianNow always seems to recommend easy endurance rides. I just did one yesterday and getting the same thing recommended today. On the training plan I just wrapped up gave me 1 endurance ride a week…where as TrainNow seems to think I need 5.

So yesterday I did a 100 mile gravel ride (opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t resist). TR made no adaptations which seemed odd.

I read that it only adapts to planned outdoor workouts so I associated my ride with the planned 1:30 ride, and it said I’d made slight progression in the anaerobic target, which seemed odd.

So then I went and found the longest training ride I could (Gasherbrum) and scheduled that retroactively on the calendar and then associated it with the ride. At that point it showed me endurance progression going way up, which makes much more sense, though my guess is it’s giving me credit for successfully completing a 4:30 endurance ride and not the 7:30 hours I actually rode :rofl:. In spite of that one ride being more tss than the whole week TR planned they’re still recommending the same workout as before for the next day.

Adaptive training did make one adaptation, a slight change in next Saturday’s anaerobic workout to make it match the workout I was supposed to have done when I did my big ride. Of course now I’m wondering if trainer road thinks I have not ever trained the anaerobic zone since it wasn’t telling me to (nevermind all the winter mountain biking and fatbiking in anaerobic zones when it was telling me to do sweet spot).

So I guess I have two options: 1. Admit I’m not one to follow their plan well enough for it to make any sense. 2. Keep trying to retroactively change my planned workouts to match what I actually rode.

Currently AT doesn’t take unstructured rides into account when adapting workouts so you need to listen to your body and recognise what your overall arching aim is for yourself for next few months.

Two 1 hr rides and a 5 -8 hr ride at the weekend was enough to provide a modest FTP over the summer months. I was happy to sacrifice gains from TrainerRoad for the benefits of riding for the pure joy.

That said I’m currently having a long think about going the same route this year or moving to something like point 3 below and seeing how I get on with less fun rides.

The one thing is last year was a write off personally for cycling and it’s taken 7 months to overtake my previous fitness levels and I currently making good gains.

That said you need to enjoy what your doing otherwise you’ll burn out

Just make manual adjustments. If you go for an endurance ride this replaces sweet spot otherwise pick whatever is closest in training type / intensity.

If you can influence what you do on the weekend: endurance, sweet spot and threshold are better for outside. Keep the short stuff on the trainer.