How to use plan builder and adjust for real life?

I’m trying to get away from Zwift towards something more structured, and hence signed up to TrainerRoad. It’s difficult with real life and other cycling commitments to really figure out how to develop a good training plan, so my question is what do I do to rectify that and create a good plan withing TrainerRoad.

My life commitments and planned A and B goal rides.

Thursdays: Outdoor TTT + riding there and back. 90minTTT + 60-90min ride to start and back. 180-230 TSS
Saturday group ride: 3-4 hours: 150-250 TSS (I can adjust the TSS on the day by selecting difficulty of group, and of course how much I sit on the front).

Holiday: August 10th to 16th. It’s unlikely I’ll be able to ride at all during this time. I can’t take my bike, and can’t see any rental places near where I am staying.

My big races are:
A: August 23rd - 5 hour 100mile attempt with 1 other rider
B: September 12th - “The Struggle”. 108miles, 3000m climbing.

So… I’ve been thinking of a couple of different ideas.
Either go for a low volume plan, and just do the outdoor rides as well. Or go for a high volume plan, but put both the Thursday and Saturday rides in the plan builder as C grade events?
But how would I adjust for the holiday?

I could drop the outdoor rides very occasionally, but I wouldn’t want to too often. At 38 years old I don’t think I’m going to change the world of cycling any time soon! So I want to really push myself to become as strong as I can be, but not at the detriment of actually enjoying the social side of the sport!

Can’t wait to see what you guys have to say!

I would do the low volume plan and still do the outdoor rides as well.
You can add the A and B events into TR. The only problem is TR and Plans usually want 28 weeks to get you ready for your A event. And wants 8 weeks between events for the plans to be done. You could just do some added base work it is tough working at 88% to 94% but not if you are doing 3 times a week on the LV plan.
As for the holiday, can you take your running shoes and do some running to keep the aerobic system working. You should not drop off too much. Is there a gym anywhere nearby? Even a couple of indoor bike sessions or Spin classes will help. Alternatively. Have the rest week. BUT its really close to your event, because for your A event you will taper a bit going into that. You may need to just do some rides as soon as you are back from Holiday. And Taper for 3 days before your event.
Good luck and happy riding :slight_smile:

I find it easier mentally to add to a LV plan than remove or ‘skip’ workouts in a MV/HV plan. My normal routine is LV plan + 2 x z1 recovery rides + 2 x free weekend rides. Weekend rides might be solo z2, group ride / hammer fest (pre-covid), zwift fondo / race if weather is bad, or TR workout from MV/HV + z2, etc.

I normally do the LV plan on Tues/Wed/Thurs, but find that I need extra recovery during build phases and switched the order around and made the lowest priority workout optional or best-effort. A schedule like this requires some planning, paying attention to your body, learning what works best for you and adjusting. I got halfway through Sustained Power Build before realizing it was all a little too much for me and making adjustments. I start SusPB again in a couple of weeks and am prioritizing 2 workouts (of the 3) so I can really smash them.

For a holiday of that length I would probably just bump everything on the TR calendar out a week and leave it blank on your calendar and maybe make the first ride back a z2/z3 workout to ease back in. VO2 intervals after a week off might not feel so great, and you aren’t really going to lose much fitness after a week off, if anything it might be a good week to deload. You could potentially load up extra the week or two before and aim for a little supercompensation.

I haven’t used plan builder so I don’t know if the recommendation would be to let it do its thing and just skip the planned workouts the week of the holiday or give plan builder a target a week earlier and then manually push the rides out a week to create the gap for the holiday.

Thanks, yeah I have been wondering if I just shouldn’t worry about plan builder. I’m a bit of a nerd with training anyway. I’ve definitely watched well over 300 hours of Chat, Nate, Jonathon, Amber, Pete etc etc as well as another favourite Dylan Johnson, and probably 500 hours of non TR stuff (before I discovered TR!).

So maybe the plan builder is just needless for me. I’ll perhaps try and figure something out and see where we go. It’s a ramp test today anyway, and that isn’t going to change :slight_smile: