I'm convinced, help me customize my program

Hi All,
I decided to give a good try to structured training. I ordered a power meter and I bought a cheap (but decent) bike to have exclusively in the trainer.

Here’re my personal constrains:

  1. The closest thing to an event I have to plan for is this ride that I’m planining for January/21

  2. Because summer is beautiful where I live, right now I’m doing 2 unstructured rides a week. By mid october I will go to mostly indoor and 100% structured.

  3. The two rides I do a week are as follows:

Wednesday typical Route: 30-35 miles, 3000-3500 ft elevation gain. 2-3 hours

  • 10-12 mile flattish or -1% >> Endurance and/or sweetspot
  • 6-8 mile 6-7% climb >> Good VO2max, threshold work (45-60 min)
  • 10-12 mile flattish or +1% >> Usually just endurance if I went hard on the hill.

Weekend typical Route: 50-70 miles, 5000-7000 ft elevation gain. 4-6 hours

  • Could be long climb or >> Endurance + Sustained Power
  • 2 - 3 hills combined. >> Endurance + Sustained Power

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  1. Given the unstructured routes I do, seems like I can get a lot of threshold, vo2max, sustained effort, sweet spot work.
  2. While I will not do strict workouts outside. I will be diligent on achieving those thresholds of power and time in order to get most of the systems work prescribed (using the guidance of some of the workouts)
  3. I will add one day on the trainer.


  1. What kind of workout or series of workouts would you add to that 1 day on the trainer in order to complement what I can do outdoor.???
  2. What would you do different outdoor (terrain, duration)???


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I’m not totally sure I’ve got your plan right - you’re looking to do one indoor workout in addition to your two outdoor rides?

If so, then I’d think about doing a vo2 max indoor workout on Tuesday, then back that up with long sweetspot or over-unders on the Wednesday outdoor ride. E.g. just go up the climb at sweetspot, see if you can get to 90% FTP for an hour or more.

Then if your long weekend ride is the only other ride you’re doing, I’d look at doing it mostly zone 2 but introduce some tempo intervals (progressing to make the interval length and time in zone longer each week).

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Come at it the other way round, start with a plan and then figure out how to do parts of that plan outdoors. What you’re doing at the moment is a routine, it’s not a “program”!

My approach would be to start with Sweet Spot Base Low Volume and do something like:

  • Use your indoor ride to do the scheduled Tuesday ride.
  • Use your Wednesday ride to complete the scheduled Thursday workout which is normally 60 minutes long. E.g. week 2 of SSB1 has Monitor on the Thursday which is 6 x 6 minutes of SS work with 2 minute breaks. So you warm up, then complete those intervals on the flattish and climb section, maybe do 7-8 of them instead of 6 if you’re feeling good, then cruise the rest of the ride at zone 2
  • Use your weekend ride to replace the long weekend ride. If you’re going as long as 4-6 hours then I wouldn’t worry too much about structure, maybe do the climbs at Tempo or low sweetspot and everything else at Zone 2.

This is why TR developed Plan Builder. I don’t want to belittle the question, but this is the exact application for the program.
Plug in your key event(s), and answer the questions it provides you, and see what it spits out.
You can then decide what you might need to move around during the week, what workouts you want to do outside (this can be pushed to your device) or which workout you want to skip altogether in favor of a group ride or the like.

If you don’t have a key event there are blog posts that discuss how best to approach the next 12 months using plan builder to put together a proper training program for you.