Endurance Ride plus scheduled workout

I am restarting my training plan, but due to my work schedule I am limited to MWF and occasionally on Sunday. MWF I can do at most is 3 hours.

What is a good plan to squeeze the most productive training out of my MWF?
longer hard workout?
or should I do 2hour endurance ride before my 1 hour schedule workout? or z2 after?
or this approach is counter productive?

here is my TSS in the last the few months

also FTP is stagnated :frowning:

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Depends on what you are training for and your individual physiology.

Some guidelines I can think of:

  1. Monday your hardest workout (but not so hard that you can’t do your workout at Wednesday or even Friday)
  2. Wednesday an easier workout
  3. Friday a harder workout (as you now have Saturday and occassionally Sunday to recover from)

Perhaps for progressive overload, increase the density e.g. do the same workouts you did last week, but now switch the Friday workout to Wednesday (i.e. 2 hard workouts in a shorter timespan).

And the week after you do 3 hard workouts, the week after again the same workouts but with higher intensity/less rest… etc. (which also increases CTL slowly over time).

In the same trend, you could do the 2-hour endurance ride after your 1-hour scheduled workout to begin with and see how you feel, and progress with doing the 2-hour endurance ride before your 1-hour scheduled workout (i.e. progressive overload by doing it less fresh).

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Thanks for the advise. Im training for a 3 day race on Sept/Oct.
It’s an ITT, followed by 2 hilly route 150km and 120km.

I did select the grand fondo plan LV. looks to be best suited for my event or should I go a different plan?

mwf is my dedicated training day. Plus Sunday if I get lucky.

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I’m not too familiar with the TR plans. Perhaps what you could do, if you are able to do this (physiologically), is to increase the TSS/CTL or keep doing workouts during the weeks even if the plan demands a recovery week (again I’m not sure how this plan looks like, but looking at your graph above, I can see some weeks where TSS is low or perhaps even zero). This could massively help with getting the CTL as high as possible, which could be very beneficial for something that last multiple days in a row i.e. you will (hopefully) recover much better from the ITT as well as the 150 km hilly route the next day if your CTL is higher.

Although I wouldn’t skip the last recommended recovery days/week (unless you are very experienced and know very precisely whether you will be fresh enough or not).

You could start experimenting with this via easy and short workouts to begin with during the recovery days/week and see if it doesn’t hinder your dedicated training days after the plan demands a rest week.

For a bonus, perhaps you find this research paper interesting, which basically says that increasing your volume (in an unsustainable manner, but only for the short-term such that you are recovered during the race), can further improve (time trial) performance:

Effects of tapering on performance in endurance athletes: A systematic review and meta-analysis - PMC (nih.gov)

The results showed that a tapering strategy with a reduction in training volume of 41–60% that maintained training intensity and frequency, lasted ≤ 21 days, and used progressive or step tapering could significantly improve the TT of endurance athletes (P < 0.05; Table 2)

For further exploration the training features of overload period preceding the taper, we further tracked the original research studies and found that the mean training intensity of pre-taper overload training remained at 85–95% of maximum heart rate (HRmax), an increase of 23–26% over the mean training intensity of normal training. This was consistent with the findings of Thomas et al. that an increase in pre-taper training load of approximately 20–30% was effective in improving post-taper performance. Another study found that pre-taper overload training produced higher training-induced adaptations and facilitated supercompensation. The studies by Hellard et al. and Le Meur et al. showed that improvements in V˙O2max and cardiac output of athletes who underwent overload training pre-taper were significantly higher than those of athletes who underwent conventional tapering only

…Unless the TR Gran Fondo Plan already has something like this implemented.

Another option could be to select the Mid (or even High) Volume Gran Fondo plan and squeeze them on your MWF (if able to recover from this).

But to simply summarize: I think for this 3-day event, a focus on ending with as high as possible CTL would be a high priority.

TR gran fondo is sweet spot and threshold mostly during base annd build and some vo2 workouts towards the end of the plan.

Yes, this year my training is not ideal. Encountered a lot of mishaps.
February got staph infection + minor op so had to stop training for 2 weeks.
Then mid april got involve in a crash which sidelined me for another week.

Last Sunday, just finished my first (A) event of the year and its a disaster. :slight_smile:

I’m on my revenger arc now. Lol

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I think going with a LV Fondo plan sounds like the right move here!

You should be getting a good mix of Sweet Spot, Threshold, and VO2 Max workouts to prepare you for your event.

How you want to order them is up to you – I personally like having the harder workouts earlier in the week so I’m fresher for them.

If you wind up getting some extra time on Sundays for a ride, I’d recommend keeping it easier at zone 1/2. That way, you can get some extra volume in, but keeping the intensity down would be a good call so you can knock out the other workouts in your plan successfully.

Hope this helps! Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions. :slight_smile:

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Will the additional 2hr z2 on top of my scheduled workout helps?

Yes - absolutely. I’d ease into building up to it but I would do the Z2 before to get the Z2 adaptation more effectively and if you can nail the workouts at the end of the Z2 your zones are then set correctly and you will be used to the feel similar to race day.

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As long as you can tolerate the extra ride time, you can’t go wrong adding in Z2 to any ride.

Outside of my commutes, most of my rides are “long”. Did a 4 hour loop this weekend and through in sweet spot in the middle of it.

It would increase the training load every week, which could drive more adaptations in a shorter timeframe.

2 hours at something like 70% intensity, would give a TSS of 97 per session. For reference, if you do the 150 km race in ~5 hours at let’s say an average Normalized Power of 76% intensity (lower Z3), that would give a TSS of 287.

The additional 2-hour endurance rides would allow you to both race faster due to potentially achieving more adaptations in the meanwhile building up to the race, but it would also increase your race performance due to simply being able to handle (and recover from) a higher training load i.e. being more recovered from the ITT would mean you can put a better performance next day with the 150 km route, same with the 3rd day 120 km.

You could start with adding this 2-hour endurance ride on top of Friday as you have 2 days to recover from this and later on move this session (or add extra Z2 sessions) on top of Monday and Wednesday.

Alright. This makes a lot of sense. I will slowly build up on the volume. Initially i am thinking of doing +2hrs z2 on all my scheduled rides but im also not sure if i will be able to sustain that right away. :joy:

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For reference, these are the general guidelines in terms of ramp rate:


Source: Training and Racing with a Power Meter (Hunter Allen, Andrew R. Coggan), p. 228

So even going with the highest value that’s sustainable/safe long-term (+10 TSS/day every 14–28 days), adding another 2-hour Z2 ride at an intensity of 70% (97 TSS) is something you should add at a maximum of every ~19–39 days.

For example, the highest continual CTL loads we have seen have been in riders at the Tour de France who can maintain a CTL between 150 and 160 for most of the year. After the Tour, they have a CTL of 170 to 180. (Ask any rider after the Tour de France if they would like to do another one and you’ll get a firm “No,” which indicates that a hypothetical genetic limit on CTL could be somewhere between 180 and 200). If they started the Tour at 150 CTL and ended at 170 CTL, their ramp rate would be in the 7 TSS/day range, so even the best riders in the world have a relatively shallow ramp rate when approaching their limit.
Source: Training and Racing with a Power Meter (Hunter Allen, Andrew R. Coggan), p. 227

You have plenty of time until the race in September/October. Adding another 2-hour Z2 every month and in August you already increased your CTL with those Z2 rides with ~42 (3x97 TSS Z2), which can be a lot depending on where you currently are + the TrainerRoad plan probably also ramps up over time.

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Given this schedule. will I be able to reach 100-120 CTL by Sept-Oct? or need more volume?

I’m currently @ 60 CTL following a 1week off.

So you want to double your CTL in 4-5 months. It’s possible but a recipe for disaster.

I would look at how much the TR plan itself already ramps up with (and add whatever you think might be realistic).

Whether it’s realistic, depends on your training history (e.g. if this CTL of 60 is relatively low compared to your all-time high, this could add to the feasibility). I see you were able to hold somewhere around ~600 TSS for multiple weeks in a row (~86 CTL), but with a relatively large dip somewhere in February 2024, although the CTL seems to double once again from ~43 in a matter of ~2 months.

So it would somewhat have to be a steady line upward to get it to ~100 CTL in 4–5 months (e.g. keeping volume relatively high with low intensity during recovery days/weeks).

The following could be a picture of how it would look like once you have ramped up to somewhere at 100 CTL (to help gauge whether you think it’s feasible to work toward something like this or not).

If you try to keep the recovery days/week at ~66 TSS/day=462 TSS/week = 154 TSS M/W/F = 3x3h@70% IF (or however much TSS you personally like to do, I provided the formula below).

With the overloading weeks (e.g. 4 out of 5) being at (using the formula to calculate the weighted average):

((66 CTL · (1/5)) + (x · (4/5))) = 100 gives x=108.5 TSS/day on overloading weeks (or 253 TSS on M/W/F). If you have longer or shorter overloading weeks, replace “1/5” and “4/5” e.g. if you have 3 weeks (21 days) overloading with 3 days of rest, it would be "((66 CTL · (3/24)) + (x · (21/24))) = 100 gives x≈105 TSS on overloading weeks. Same with the other numbers (I like to keep my rest days/recovery week above ~66% of the volume on overloading weeks).

So you would have to subtract the TSS of the TR plan on M/W/F and do the remaining in whatever style you like (e.g. Z2). E.g. if the TR plan has a workout of ~100 TSS, you still need to do another 253-100=153 TSS on that same day (which can be a lot, as that’s still ~3h@70% IF).

Another way to look at it: you currently do (with 60 CTL) a workout on M/W/F somewhat equivalent to 3x3h@70% IF (3x146 TSS). To get to 100 CTL, it would be 3x~5h@70% IF (3x243 TSS).

If your nutrition (or other things) is currently subpar, improving them could also add to the feasibility.


Source: Rethinking the 60% Carbohydrates Rule (trainingpeaks.com)

Adding those 2-hour zone 2 rides at ~70% IF slowly over the course of the months (+42 CTL on its own) together with the TR plan ramping up as well, would I guess bring you to ~100 CTL (to actually end up with 100 CTL, you need to shoot a bit above your target as CTL is a 42-day weighted average, so these extra 2-hour Z2 rides together with the TR plan ramping up might do it).

It’s perhaps theoretically doable, but just barely (while having everything optimized as well).

Best answer is “whatever fits best in your schedule and gets it done with the least amount of life stress.”

There can be some benefits to doing endurance time before intervals, but there are also drawbacks if your endurance isn’t great.

With your training history, I’d ask you to do your intervals first then ride endurance.

Caveat: as long as it’s easy enough that you’re not incurring excess fatigue. There’s a big difference between adding 2hrs at 75% and adding 2hrs at 60%. The latter is absolutely the preferred way to go for starters when adding volume like this.

Yeah this is a pretty terrible idea. What’s the largest CTL you’ve maintained in a season? 100 CTL means you’re basically doing 700TSS every week on average, including recovery weeks. In the last year you’ve hit 700TSS in a week once, and realistically you’d need to be around 750 each week to get there. Increasing by 150-200TSS/week (which is what you’d need) is about 4-5hours of extra endurance time at around 65%. Can you sustainably do that?

Planning by CTL is an exercise in futility anyway. What is the maximum amount of time that you can REALISTICALLY and CONSISTENTLY ride in a week? Start there. Make most of that low endurance time as you build volume (low zone 2), and do 2x interval sets each week focusing on limiters. As you adapt to the volume, you can start increasing the power, but it should be a slow progression there, and you can add bouts of tempo, etc to your long rides.

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The highest CTL I maintained is around 85-88 but I was doing like 10-13hrs a week. 3day z2, 2 days hard session, 1 hard grp ride.

But this past 2 years, I dont have the luxury to ride frequently. So been doing longer but fewer rides instead.

Still trying to figure out what is the most optimal training for me given my schedule.

I just aimed for 100 CTL, cos based from exp higher ctl = fitter. But my understanding of CTL, TSS is very shallow. :slight_smile:

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Yes, the drop off in feb and apr is due to an operation and an accident.
Still trying to find my groove this season. :frowning:

Horrendous result in the last raced I joined.

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Higher CTL = fitter if everything that makes up that CTL is working the right stuff. CTL, by itself, is a very shallow metric, just like TSS.

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