How to get Adaptive Training to give you a bunch of Z2 Volume over the Off Season

So I primarily race road and XC but also the odd gravel race and will try CX for the first time a few weekends this fall.
What I am wondering is at present with no events in my calendar past this weekends road race my plan ends after next week’s recovery. I will plug in the CX events after this race so that should give me adaptive training through Cross season but after Cross I want to start building a big base, I just started using a trainer last winter and started with trainer road in April so haven’t previously been able to train with power over the winter. I find my stamina is a bit of a limiter and I suffer a bit on the road with rides >60k with groups that I can hang with on shorter rides, I want to move up to the next Cat in Road and that will mean 70-80k races instead of 50-60k races.

So to keep adaptive training working I will need to put in a fictional event in the spring but I am concerned that putting in a fictional XC or Road race (as I won’t know the race calendar till roughly March) won’t give me a big Z2 base building focus to build up my stamina.

I am currently doing low volume which gives me 3 to 3.5 hours a week generally. I would like to try and get closer to 6-8 hours per week but don’t want to ride 5 hours per week as mid volume requires. Should I follow a low volume XC or Road plan over the winter and just add in extra Endurance category workouts like Boarstone or Pinacolo a couple times per week, or is there something else I can do to further emphasize and optimize a focus on building my base?

This makes the most sense to me.


Yep. And you can progress them yourself by using workout alternates to select slightly longer workouts as your block goes on. If you have, say, 6 hours to do Z2, there’s more benefit in having two 1 hr rides and one 4 hour ride than having three 2 hour rides.

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Ah a 4 hour trainer ride sounds brutal… Don’t have a power meter which makes outside riding less effective but not sure if I will be able to tolerate over 3 hours on the trainer.

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You could look at two a days, there’s a thread on it somewhere and a fasttalk podcast. Gives some of the benefits of a longer outdoor ride.

Another option you could look into is low volume traditional base 1,2&3, with extra zone 2. Then go through the typical TrainerRoad plans sweet spot base 1&2, build and specialty.

Might be worth putting in a 6 block of the polarised plan to start? Lot’s of Z2 in there.

Are you guys talking about not using adaptive training?

I am in a similar situation and usually start a low volume traditional base program which takes me until Xmas. Then usually take the week off between Xmas and New Years and start a typical sweet spot base, build and specialty program at the beginning of the new year. FYI…adaptive training does work with Traditional Base plans.

No problem at all. I only ride outside for less than ten days a year. I prefer to ride inside.

The only time I watch television is when I’m on the trainer. Love it. Let me watch a bunch of episodes over 4-5 hours on the long ride days. Gets a couple movies out of my queue

Riding by HR is more than accurate enough to do Z2 riding outdoors without a power meter.


A number of coaches say going by HR and Perceived Effort on Endurance rides is just as effective, if not more so, than going strictly on Power.

I’m on the 6 week plan and although it’s not got goal dates or any thing else it is adapting to my efforts.

It sure can be. If I’m aiming for a long ride I’ll usually do it with a Pace Partner on Zwift. With plenty of company, a podcast or two and some music 100km flies by. Ish.

On the flip side - once you’ve got into the mindset of being able to do long rides indoors, it makes shorter rides much more manageable psychologically.

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Indeed, after last year TBHV, Gibbs (2h) felt like new Pettit (1h). Unfortunately over summer this mental patience is gone and now have to get accustomed again for long indoor Z2 rides.

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Adaptive training will still work on standard plans…don’t necessarily need to use Plan Builder.