Cutting workouts short - Consistent failure on Thursday of 5 day plan - Thoughts?

Hi there.

I have been a regular user of TrainerRoad for just over 1 year now, and have seen my FTP rise from 265 (3.4w/kg) to most recently 323 (4.25 w/kg). I am a big fan of the 5 day plans as they fit well around my working life.

I have, however, noticed a recent trend… not finishing workouts. In particular on Thursdays, which on my current plan (Rolling Road race) usually have an anerobic workout like ‘Merced’. The key thing that stops me from pushing on is my legs simply can’t produce the power - I am very head strong and can grit, but when your legs feel like led even the hardest of people can’t keep up. I find that its not reflected in my HR, but generally the feeling in my legs. I become aware of it in the warm-up and know that, if they feel heavy there, the chances of finishing are slim.

There are a number of variables I have considered:

  • Fatigue: I always complete Tuesdays hard workout, and run on Wednesday, amongst commuting to by bike (10k each way). I do around 170-200k on the weekend, which will usually be a long outdoor ride and a TR session on Sunday.
  • FTP not capturing full power profile: I have a background in rowing, and am able to perform well on tests, perhaps disproportionately to my training capacities, in particular anaerobic. I usually find Vo2 or sweet spot have higher success rate (not necessarily easier, but can push on)
  • Not headstrong enough?
  • Warm-up not warming me up enough…

Please share any similar experiences you have had and tips for getting round this. Thanks!

I think you’re too fatigued. My suggestion is to either reduce the workout intensity or the length of the workout when ever you “chances of finishing are slim”.

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I can’t help thinking the Wednesday run is your culprit. Even if it isn’t high intensity running, it’s still going to have more impact on your legs than the Wednesday Z2 workout in the TR plan. I’m not surprised they feel like lead the day after.

You need to figure out how much that run is taking out of you, and adjust accordingly. Either lose the run, or lose a workout or some intensity from your TR plan.


Agree with the above two statements.

Thanks everyone, I have an update…

So I altered my training plan this week, starting on the Monday:

Day 1 - [Striped +1] workout completed, tough but completed.
Day 2 - [Pettit] Chose not to run. Instead opted for the recommended TR workout which my legs felt tired on at first, but manageable.
Day 3 (the one i normally fail) - [Kern +1] I opted to not cycle into work and get the bus. I got on the turbo for what was set to be a hard workout… AND I COMPLETED IT. NO BURN out! This is to acknowledge though that the first interval i found incredibly hard… but as i settled in and my legs got used to the effort, it became more apparent that I could do this. Tough, but I did it.

So, thanks guys for your help. I’ve overcome my former inability to complete Thursday sessions. I think that run was responsible for a lot of unnecessary fatigue.




Great to hear. Figuring out what works for you (training load, scheduling, rest periods, nutrition) is a constant process of experimentation. For the first 12 months or so I could do every workout for a mid-volume plan fasted. My FTP went from about 250 to 310ish and then I started to fade on the longer endurance workouts and not be able to finish the last few intervals of VO2Max. I experimented with eating something before those tough workouts and then I was able to finish things again. Happy days! Just an anecdote to point out that if you’re struggling, try changing things around, or add something, or take something away and see what happens. Also, even if you have it figured out now, it might not keep working in the future!

Also, if you start missing your runs, you could try adding them back in on the same day as your Tuesday workouts (assuming you ride Tuesday morning and then would run in the afternoon). You may find that the extra rest from doing the run on Tuesday as opposed to Wednesday might be enough.


Thanks Julian for your insight. Your story is very similar to mine… I have increasingly found TrainerRoad getting ‘harder’ since i first started it a year ago; similar to you with an FTP of 250! I remember finding it difficult, but being able to complete cycles easily. But a lot has changed since then; i now cycle to work, I have a more stressful job etc. etc.

As for what works for me? Preferences:

  1. Train in the evening
  2. When I get home from work, eat a bowl of cereal and have a 20 min power nap (the nap is a game changer!)
  3. ALWAYS listen to music that reflects the intensity of the workout (lo-fi stuff for endurance, drum and bass/rock/electro for harder sessions.
  4. Recovery drink after harder sessions (SIS rego my preference).

Great to hear what others habits/preferences are.



As a point of comparison, I did some strength exercises and plyometrics (e.g. 2 footed box jumps, goblet squats, one-legged squats etc) yesterday.

Today I did a fairly easy workout (Beech) as I’m on recovery week, but I was really feeling it in my legs. If I’d had to do anything harder, let alone a vo2 session, I think I’d have really struggled.

All really good learning for when I start trying to mix strength and plyometrics with the weeks where my workouts get a whole lot harder.