Integrating Group Rides to My Plan

I’m currently in the build phase of my mid-volume training plan and I’d like to add one high-intensity group ride each week. I have one scheduling constraint, no Sunday riding. For example, here’s what I got next week: Mon 90min VO2 max, Tue 60min Endurance, Wed 90min threshold, Thu rest day, Fri 90min VO2 Max, Sat 120min Sweet Spot. Club rides I’m interested in are either Tuesday night or Saturday morning. How do I work one or two of these in each week without interrupting my plan progress too much?

I would only add one of those group rides per week. Though you could maybe alternate them if you want to do both and do Tues one week and Sat the next.

To integrate, just replace another high intensity workout. For the Saturday ride, I would do SS on Friday and do the ride instead of the second VO2 workout. Or if the ride is really hard, just do endurance/tempo on Friday.

For the Tuesday one, I would do the ride Tuesday, then just do endurance on Wednesday.


Also, OOOF. Is this really the schedule for the build plan? Not wonder I was always burned out of my skull after that. Holy intensity Batman.


It really depends on your goals/races and your plan volume. I have a criterium and climbing road race back to back at the end of June another criterium at the end of July. What was your build plan schedule that was burning you out?

I agree, one group ride per week sounds like solid advice. I guess I just didn’t want to lose out on the benefits of that 3rd high-intensity structured TR workout so I was trying to figure out how I could keep it and squeeze in the unstructured group ride. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have a choice as it would put me at 4 intense workouts per week, which doesn’t allow me enough recovery time to fully realize the physiological adaptations of those workouts.

I’ve done both General and Sustained builds in the past. Usually MV but I did HV once with a bit of modification. After the intensity of SSB and then into the build it just got to be too much. It wasn’t so much a single plan in isolation but doing all of them back to back there were no blocks of lower intensity riding.

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That is a pretty full schedule. I think the key is what you would do on the group ride. If you can sit in and use it to build leg speed and pack skills, that is one thing. If you are likely to end up throwing down for 90, that is very different. I would maybe do the Saturday ride and keep the easier Tuesday workout.

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Both these group rides are race pace with lots of surges. I would say they’re more like a VO2 Max workout. The Saturday group is probably a better option but the Tuesday ride can be really fun. Last night they averaged 26mph for 30 miles including stops and slowdowns.

I’d simply swap out an intensity session for a group ride.

Additionally, I’d agree with others here. That’s a hell of a lot of intensity. That’s almost the polar opposite of modern science backed endurance training.

You ride 5 days a week. 4 of them intensity. Just a single day of endurance work.

Have a read up on modern endurance training. You’ll find that a pyramidal distribution is the common method of distributing training volume. Particularly in cycling.

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Well, right now the mid-volume plan has me doing 2 VO2max, 1 Threshold, 1 SS, and 1 Endurance workout. That’s the plan’s recommendation. Maybe the plan is suggesting too much intensity? The group is more intense than any of the planned TR workouts, but I agree that at the very least, I should swap a TR intensity workout for the group ride. Furthermore, if I do the group ride, perhaps I should skip the SS workout as well. Even then, I’d still be getting 3 intense workouts per week.

From what you’re saying and what the research is suggesting, maybe I should be leaning more towards polarized plans.

Could also drop to low volume and add group rides as you feel. You can always do train now to add trainer/structured workouts if you end up not joining them for one reason or another.

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Yeah, I thought about that but those TN workouts don’t consider your goals or upcoming plan workouts. I think it’s great here and there but not sure I’d want to use that feature more than ounce a week. It’s a great suggestion though. The TN feature does seek to give you a more well-rounded fitness.

I think the key to adding outdoor group or solo rides to a TR is recognizing the load. If they are truly zone 2 rides (IF below .75 or even .70) you can just add the a LV plan or swap in as the Sunday ride for MV. If they are 0.75/0.8 IF and above, they need to replace one of the 3 “intense” workouts. The mistake that seems to happen a lot is people doing the LV plans and then think they can add hard group rides or races. That is too much intensity for most people.

If you do 2 TR workouts plus a hard group ride per week, that’s a lot. Workouts that aren’t endurance that is.

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This is where I think many folks (myself included) struggle - which TR workout do we replace? Especially on LV plans. Trying to figure out and plan which workout to replace is the hard part- what does it best match up to? Which one of the three is the “least” important and replaceable? It would be nice if there was a easy to follow recipe for this.

This is just my opinion, but unless you are a pro or trying to be a pro, you are over thinking it. If you get two solid TR workouts plus a hard group ride in, that’s better than most. If you want to be particular, look at the typical profile of the group ride. Is it more Ss, threshold or VO2max. Then replace that one. Or just alternate which workout you replace each week. Any of these strategies will work for what 99% of us are trying to do.

Others may disagree, but this is what I’ve found in my 5+ years of structured training.


No doubt about this at all! It would be nice if there was an easy button for this from TR - your group ride is like xxxx replace this workout in your LV/MV plan!

I like the idea to alternate which workout is replaced - nice way to go about it. Too hard to categorize a smash fest type of group ride in one of the three, at least for me.

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The group ride I would be adding would be like a long TR VO2max workout. Super fast. This is why I was thinking it would be best to swap out the second TR VO2max workout as it seems to be the most comparable.

As far as what constitutes too much intensity, I think that depends on a number of different factors. For me, 3 intense workouts is the absolute limit. I don’t understand why MV plan gives me 3.5 intense workouts per week (2 VO2max, 1 Threshold, 1 SS), the SS being the semi-intense one. Almost seems contrary to TRs own philosophy.

I agree with you. And great strategy. That way you aren’t consistently neglecting one type of workout