Commuting and Training

I commute 300 miles/week, and have been for the past year. I know that not all TSS is created equal, but I averaged between 600-1000 tss last year, with no issues that I know of, just commuting and doing weekend rides (no racing, no training). I’m currently trying to work through a low-volume rolling road race plan, but I’m really not sure of the most effective way for me to train. I need to commute by bike - driving in the bay area isn’t going to happen. My commute is about 30 miles each way, but I can be flexible on route. It could be pan flat on bike trails, or 2000+ feet of climbing. I can keep my heart rate in zone 1 for the commute if I need to take it easy. My question is…what’s the most optimal way for me to train? Should I take one of the 3 workouts and do it on my climby route home, and do the other 2 on the trainer? Should I just get up an hour or so earlier, work out, then commute in (I’ve done this a few times)? Generally, I ride in fasted, and do so at a pretty low intensity.
About me: I’m 38, started racing this year, so cat5. 175 pounds, 364ftp as of my last ramp test, and want to concentrate on non-crit road races. My plan is set to have me taper for sea otter. There’s so much seemingly conflicting information…I’m not sure what to do/how easy or hard I should be going on my commutes/etc. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!!

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Hi Ivor!

That’s a ton of commuting, so kudos!!!
What I would recommend is to keep your commuting rides to the lower recovery/endurance zones. Then, do your harder, more technical interval workouts indoors away from stop signs and traffic.

You’ll get the highest quality of training when riding indoors, but you likely don’t need to spend a lot of time on the trainer doing easier rides, since your commuting miles and TSS can count for that. Once you get to a recovery week like Week 4, for example, you could probably just skip those workouts since you’ll be riding at similar levels on your way in to work.

The majority of the workouts in the Rolling RR plan are extremely technical, high-intensity, and pretty difficult to safely and effectively recreate outdoors. Because of this, if you can do all 3 of the weekly workouts on the trainer, that’s what we’d recommend. Best of luck with your training, and see you at Sea Otter!