How to factor in outdoor mtb skills rides

I’m new to trainerroad but not training as a whole. I’m trying to workout how I can incorporate mtb skills riding and a weekly (ish) club ride at the weekends into my plan. From what I can see on similar forum posts, I should choose the low volume option and fit outdoor stuff in around that. Does this sound right? I’m looking at getting at least 2 outdoor rides a week in. My mtb ride is likely to be race pace stuff on a local race course and my club ride will be classic base miles around 3-4 hours long

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The podcast addressed pretty much exactly this question last week. I believe they suggested that if you’re doing low volume (T-Th-Sat) that the Thursday ride is actually the most “expendable”. They also had some suggestions for how to match energy systems used to the training session you’re “missing” with an outdoor ride, i.e. even if you can’t do precise 10 minute threshold blocks (or whatever) try to plan your group ride to spend time in those zones.

The other point, which really resonated with me, was that if an outdoor ride gets you stoked to be on your bike and motivates other aspects of your training, that’s a good thing even if it’s not precisely nailing your training requirements. For MTB (my focus) there’s also the matter of both skill and core/strength work that you only get from actually riding. So for me, I’ll pretty much always take an outdoor ride if I can get it!


Yes, and with practice you can learn to stay in zone outdoors. Of course that’s nearly impossible on single track but we need time outdoors on the trail, mentally and physically.

Something I’ll add is that it’s very possible to push an outdoor workout and add in some trail time afterwards. I’m lucky in that I have areas near me that offer sustained climbs, and flattish routes that I can very effectively use for my workout. Afterwards I’m near single track and I’ll add in some fun time. You can absolutely do both with some slight modifications.

Groups make it tougher. I can only ride with others for the social factor, fun, and skill building. I lost all my riding friends who race with any regularity.

Ok guys, thank you both. I think I’ll stick with the low volume plan and supplement it with either outdoor rides or additional indoor sessions if the weather is bad. I have a pretty good idea of when I’m getting tired, so I should be able to stay on top of fatigue regardless

I do the Low Volume plan but with the workouts moved forward one day to Monday-Wednesday-Friday. Then I’ve both days of the weekend available for outdoor rides depending on weather, mood, etc. I can make them as easy or as hard as I wish, again depending on mood.