Fitting trainerroad in with actual riding?

I need some help coming up with a solution to this very question. Starting with the time change in a couple of weeks, I’m going to be doing weekday rides on the trainer using TR, then weekend rides outside as the weather allows. Stats:

  1. I do two centuries per year, one in July and one 4 weeks later in August.
  2. I generally ride ~6 days per week total, taking Fridays as a regular off day. My current TSS is 600-700 per week.
  3. November until the time changes in Spring I will be riding Mon-Thurs on trainer, Sat-Sun outdoors as possible
  4. In Spring, I will be on trainer Mon and Wed nights with Tues, Thurs outdoors typically riding 25-30 miles at just under Sweetspot. Saturdays will be progressively longer days still just under Sweetspot until I hit the first Century in July and plateauing until the end of August, when we begin to ease up. Sundays are usually 25-30 miles at Endurance-Tempo pace.
  5. Total time on bike weekly is 10-12 hours in warmer weather, it usually drops to 7-8 hours per week in winter.

I’m looking at using the planner with my two major events as an A and B events, doing the Gran Fondo Plan with Sweetspot, Build, and Specialty. I really want to add the structured training, but I’m not sure how to work it in. My outdoor rides are part of a small group and it would be really hard to meet consistent numbers. We’re usually at Sweetspot for me on the total average power, but it’s not consistent. The only time I exceed sweetspot is on the few hills we have, which are short and not very steep (think overpasses). Should I go with the low volume and hope I can meet the demands, or should I go with the medium volume and substitute outdoor rides for workouts? Any help would be appreciated!

As someone who is not currently racing but who has ambitions of doing it one day, I’ve been doing the following:

  • I try to ride a minimum of six hours per week minimum during the summer (averaging around 7-8)
  • Follow the low volume plan, making sure I am fittest/most rested before these workouts (especially the longer ones).
  • The other rides are club rides, solo recovery rides, adventure rides (160km+ with friends etc…) and the occasional threshold ride on my local loop.

This way I make sure I can adhere to the plan but still spend half my time “having fun”. I do all my TR rides in the summer outdoors, it’s definitely slightly less efficient and painful than ERG mode on the trainer, but it keeps me consistent and is more enjoyable. Like the TR guys/gals always say consistency is key. I am much less likely to skip a workout if I can do it outside so when the weather permits that’s what i do. I can still challenge myself if I’m feeling up to it (attack on the group ride, go for a KOM, etc…) but can also stop and smell the flowers and use the extra mileage for fun and recovery. Who cares if some of it is junk miles, its fun!

When winter comes (I live in Canada)

  • Stick to the low volume (3-4 hours a week)
  • Throw in some Zwift Racing if I’m feeling up to it
  • Do some spin classes with the wife (pre covid)
  • take time for some other activity (Strength training or winter sport) or just ride 3-4 hours a week and not beat myself up over it (I mean is that really so bad in the offseason if I’m not racing.

The overall time on the bike during the winter goes down but I find this keeps my riding as fun and productive as possible.

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I thought I’d piggyback on this thread since my question is very much related. Feel free to let me know otherwise.

Like some on here, I don’t race but just want to get faster. I jumped on TR back in April of this year and went through the entire low volume “program” (SSBLV1, SSBLV2, GBLV, Specialty CRR). Loved it and I saw a noticeable gain in my overall fitness. Afterwards, I jumped back on SSBLV2 to maintain that level of fitness. I just finished that block and now I’m trying to ponder my next move.

Before TR, rode only on Saturdays or Sundays. Rides were usually 40-50 miles with ~4000ft of elevation gain. Efforts ranged anywhere from easy Z2 to laying down hard/fast efforts on climbs. Even with the low volume TR plans however, I find it difficult to fit in these types of rides.

Since I started TR, I scheduled my workouts to be done on Mon/Wed/Fri, leaving the weekend open. I’m usually too tired to go out on Saturday after the Friday workouts (the long and strenuous workout of the week) to do those types of rides. If I go out on Sunday, I need to take it easy enough to be fresh enough for the Monday workout (usually something VO2 max related).

In short, what can I do to fit in long and hard weekend rides and maintain my current level of fitness?

The only thing I can think of is getting back on SSBLV2 or one of the LV build plans, but cut out 1 out of the 3 workouts (so total 2 workouts per week). Workouts would be done on Tues/Thu. The question is which one can be cut out? From listening to the podcast before, I should definitely keep the VO2 max workout. I know volume is key to building fitness, but what about maintaining fitness? Are 2 workouts enough?

Any tips/input/feedback is much appreciated.

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Keep Tuesday which is the VO2 session. The main difference between the remaining weekday and weekend ride is duration - 60 v 90 min. If you can do the longer one then go for it. If only have an hour then the shorter one.

FWIW, I think the tue+thurs workoutsFrom SSBLV2 work very well for what you are suggesting and adding weekday structure. If time permits, adding Additional Z2 on wed and Friday is a bonus.

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I feel your pain, brother.

My scheduled workouts are mon/wed/fri, with Wednesday being the long tough one.

Last week I did them almost as scheduled. Thursday was rest day before I hit a relatively easy 80tss vo2 workout on the Friday, before doing a zwift race (in better weather this would be my half decent outdoor ride) on the Saturday.

The two days back to back destroyed my legs. I couldn’t even manage a recovery ride on the Sunday. Hopefully I’m repaired enough to execute my workout tonight but I guess we’ll see.

There’s a big part of me that suspects no matter what the marketing blurb insists, trainerroad plans just don’t fit in with a helluva lot of regular, non-racing cyclists. I’ll get shot down for saying that but no matter.

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Make your wknd rides your priority and build your weekly training plan around them. Allow time for rest. Add weekday TR workouts that complement the wknd work with the missing pieces (VO2 Max, etc).

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