Endurance training using adaptive feature

I’m using the adaptive training feature for a 100 mile gravel race, but the longest ride is only 2 hours. Does adaptive training ever pick rides longer than 2 hours? My ride will take 6 plus hours…

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Adaptive training doesn’t exactly pick the rides: for that you would have a plan using plan builder and then adaptive training would change future rides based on your performance on the planned rides. Or are you using Train Now to pick a ride each time you train?

What you currently see in your plan, aren’t necessarily same workouts that AT proposes according to your [changing] progression levels.

With my current Endurance PL 9.0, I see 4h Vogelsang in POL6HV. But to be honest, for long Z2 rides, I do not use AT suggestions but do my own +30min weekly progression.


I’m using Custom Plan Builder with adaptive training. I set my A race at 6 hours for April 15 ( 100 miles on gravel) and it populated rides. I picked the days and picked high volume and level was the one just under expert. I think experienced.

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Thanks for the reply. I’m trying something new. I’ll just replace with longer weekend rides if I can’t figure it out. Thanks for the info

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Cool. It should start picking longer rides once your progression level gets high enough that short rides are no longer productive. There’s always the chance it’s capped at a certain number of hours per week though, so using workout alternates or searching the library to replace with longer rides like you plan to do makes sense.

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Hey @jackiverson! Welcome to the TrainerRoad forum!

Great question.
Our Training Plans are built around the physiological systems required for specific events. Therefore, you don’t actually have to ride for inordinate amounts of time to be competitive for your long-distance events and rides. High-intensity interval training isolates specific energy systems to prompt specific physiological responses.

Duration is just one aspect of progressive overload, which we will be sure to utilise as you progress through your Training Plan. However, there are many other ways we can progress your training. In a progressive approach to training, we can’t continually task our bodies with event-distance training. Not only is it unnecessary, it has potential to be a detriment to your training progression in the long-run.

And as others mention, your dynamic Progression Levels will help guide how we progress your training! Check out this article here: Progression Levels: What They Are and How to Use Them.

Let us know if you have any other questions about this :blush:

Hi, I’m jumping back on this thread, because I still don’t have any rides longer than two hours scheduled through the adaptive training program. And my event is 100 mile gravel race which takes place mid April. Something isn’t right. And I realize the shorter rides can improve strength, but we’re missing out on the endurance element. At two hours I am barely through my glycogen stores and not yet using on course or fat stores for nutrition. I need to train my body to do that. I’ve done several full Ironmans and understand how important it is to train your body for long endurance events. I’m not sold on this tool.

I agree. I’ve been training for a four-race, 100-mile gravel series in Jan/Feb using the high volume polarized build plan. The 90-min midweek z2 sessions have been helpful in adding endurance, but I’ve supplemented with 4-5 hour gravel rides on weekends to dial in nutrition, adjust psychologically to 5+ hours in the saddle, and manage climbs amid endurance riding. I do like that the polarized plan gives me long, uninterrupted stretches of z2, similar to what I’ll do during a race.

I wouldn’t really count on TrainerRoad suggesting any super-long workouts. It might do so if you e.g. go for high-volume plan and hand-pick the traditional base or something similar.

I suggest you instead rely on TrainerRoad to give you your high-intensity work, and then replace some weekend workouts with a longer endurance ride. Often the plan even includes notes that suggest you do exactly that.

You probably don’t need as many long rides as you think you need. IMHO the main goal of these longer rides is to make you comfortable with spending that much time in the saddle and dialing in your nutrition. As a general rule of thumb, doing half a distance of your target event beforehand should be enough.

As you seem to be new to TrainerRoad, I suggest you also reconsider whether you really should be doing the high volume plan. It’s really a “f**king huge amount of volume” plan. For comparison, I’m preparing for a 1200km event, and I’m currently on a low volume plan.


I have gone to replacing weekend rides with long z2 workouts or similar events in my area on adaptive training, and progressively made them longer as training goes on and time allow. I was told that want to peak your longest training ride to be about 4 weeks out from the main event because any more z2 benefits and training benefits will not show up by the event after that point for long races. I would rethink about high volume, because it is not preparing you for long distance necessarily. It would destroy me.

Hey @jackiverson!

I totally understand that it can be disconcerting to know that you will be riding for several hours during your race without having completed any rides over 2 hours in duration. It sounds like you are an experienced athlete and know yourself well. This is great.

While your scheduled rides will still not exceed 2 hours, choosing the XC marathon Event when going through Plan Builder will be most appropriate if you’d like to focus on aerobic and muscular endurance. The XC Marathon Plan is best for off-road events lasting 3 hours or more. Check out this article to learn how: How to Change your Current Plan/Plan Volume.

From the physiological perspective, I’d like to reassure you that if you have selected the appropriate event when going through Plan Builder, your Plan is optimal for training the systems required for your event. The abundance of data we have collected supports this. If the data ever suggests otherwise, we would make adjustments. Coach Chad has been very deliberate and clear about this.

Two-hour rides at the intensities prescribed in your Training Plan will deplete glycogen stores, and you should practice fuelling during those harder rides. Your Workouts, and ultimately your performance on race day, will benefit from this.

With that said, it sounds like your experience with endurance sports has taught you that incorporating longer endurance rides pays dividends in allowing you to practice race-day nutrition while getting used to the unique discomforts of being in the saddle for extended periods of time. If this is the case, we encourage you to implement lessons you have learnt about yourself from personal experience!

You may wish to substitute one of your weekly rides with a longer endurance ride. Due to the differences in the efficiency of riding inside versus outside, doing this extra ride outside would allow you to extend the duration without adding too much additional training stress.

Ensure to be cognisant of how your body feels in response to adding training volume. If the added duration implicates subsequent performances, I’d suggest you switch to a lower-volume Plan. Check out this article to learn how to do this: How to Change an Individual Training Block’s Volume.

If you choose to do this, you could add an additional Endurance Workout or substitute one of the scheduled weekly Workouts. I’d discourage you from substituting harder interval Workouts as they are designed specifically to target the physiological systems required during your event.

Good luck with your training, and please let us know if you have any questions further down the line!


Thanks for the advice and the Z2 suggestion. I agree, constant high volume would be draining, just feel it would be good to experience a few long rides.


Thanks for the info. The high volume plan looked to be too much so I went to mid volume. I am starting to ride 3 hour ride every couple weeks. Though when outside isn’t an option for a long ride. Also, I am new to adaptive training. Been using TrainerRoad for 8 to 10 years. Thanks again!


You might take a peak at this guy or check out his socials, because he talks a lot about prep for ultra distance events. https://www.tri2max.com/plans. He has trained a lot of people to success for ultra-long distance in my area. I can not afford it, but you can buy a plan for a race like Unbound 200, etc…

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