Best workouts to associate with the hard Saturday group ride?

Does anyone have suggestions for workouts that are similar to a hard 2-3 hour Saturday group ride?

While we wait in eager anticipation for TR to introduce its solution to analyze unstructured outdoor rides, I’m associating my group rides with structured workouts.

I haven’t found many (any?) good ones that simulate the efforts of a typical 2-3 hour Saturday group ride that range from short anaerobic climbs to tempo pacelines to sweet spot pulls, etc.

Your suggestions would be welcome and much appreciated. Thanks!

3 Likes

I am looking at that too. I thought the threshold mixed interval workouts are the best match.

Maybe look at one of the short Disaster workouts?

This is where I think the PLs have turned into more of a hinderance than a benefit. Trying to “game” the current system and match up unstructured rides with workouts is tough - I have given up trying to. My current thought is that the 0.5ish increase you might miss out on by not associating an outdoor group ride is not going to cause any harm. If you get to the next workout and you are feeing good and think you can do it, use alternatives to go for a stretch workout.

Hopefully this fabled AT v2* is released in the near future to solve this issue - there are many many many folks are running into the same thing.

*only somewhat kidding about v2 being fabled - it has been mentioned quite a bit by TR for a while now…

3 Likes

matching to TR workouts implies you did meaniful quality intervals during the ride, for a useful time without resting or easing off etc. Most ‘hard’ group rides are nothing like that - they are simply loads of random on/off periods of different intensities. Many people vastly over estimate the benefit of such rides on fitness development and I suspect its largely impossible to relate it to a very focused TR workout. There isnt really a good way to describe group rides in TR unless you simply average it all out as a big tempo session to account for some potentially big TSS, but then it screws with your tempo progression further down the line :man_shrugging:

Best thing is probably to analyse the power file afterwards and see if there are identifiable intervals in there that actually resemble something in a TR session.

Like is said above I think its most pointless to try frankly unless you have a very disciplined and structured group ride.

3 Likes

Possibly a bit of a tangent but one thing I do find interesting is simply looking at power vs considering HR/breathing rate. My understanding of VO2 Max training is that the objective is to accumulate time in a state of maximal oxygen uptake, as that’s what stimulates the training adaptation (this thread covers it quite well - Time Accumulated at VO2 Max (or +90% MaxHR) - Training - TrainerRoad). On some hard group rides and races there will be sustained periods of time where my power is spiking all over the place and certainly not structured, but based on my HR and breathing (=gasping) I’m accumulating a lot of time in a state of maximal oxygen uptake.

E.g. in a recent 1 hour VO2 max session on TR I spent 20 minutes in the VO2 Max power zone (Gendarme+1 - 20 x 1 minute intervals) but only 12 minutes with HR above 90%. . In a recent 1 hour crit I spent 18 minutes in the VO2 and Anaerobic power zones but over 30 minutes with HR >90%. Crit also accumulated some Threshold and Sweetspot time (though not much! Never managed to get a break to stick long enough to settle into steady high power) but I still suspect that an analysis of that crit based purely on power (time in zone, TSS, NP, etc) wouldn’t fully capture the training benefit.

When I did this it really messed with my progression levels. I matched a threshold workout to my group ride (based on time, TSS, and intensity) and it bumped up my PLs way above my abilities. I then realized I should have selected a “Productive” workout that has a similar profile to the group ride so it didn’t bump my PLs too high but ultimately determined a workout of that kind does not exist and trying to do a “workaround” was going to cause more harm than good. I decided to wait for Progression Levels 2.0.

I was on a mid volume plan but then decided it was better to go to a low volume plan and just add in endurance workouts and unstructured group rides in-between. However, I have to be careful not to impede my recovery from my structured workouts by adding too many rides. This method has been working out good for me.

1 Like