Low Volume Build - Weekend Rides

Hi all,

I’m sure this has been covered before but couldn’t find anything quite right in a keyword search, appreciate any guidance.

I have completed SSBLV1&2 and am now moving into the build phase (sustained power) this has me doing 3 workouts a week - Tues, Thurs and Sun.

As the weather and light improves I will soon be able to get out riding again (it’s been a long winter!).

My question is if I go out for a long group ride or sportive over the weekend, can this be substituted for my Sunday TR session or would this be detrimental to my training programme?

Alternatively I could try and get all 3 TR sessions done during the week Mon-Fri and then do a long weekend ride on top of that but I’m concerned it might be a bit much TSS.

Any previous experience of this, or suggestions welcomed.



I would try adding outdoor rides to your week as you are only on the bike 3 times a week - if you have the spare time: but make sure this extra ride is not impacting your TR workouts. If after a couple of weeks you find the load not manageable or you are already struggling with your currant load then I would advise to drop one of the workouts - as most of the workouts are targeted I would see what outdoor ride most resembles the intensity of your TR workout - if that makes sense…

Like all things; what it comes down to is your experience at handling this amount of volume.

I find if i add an extra day of intensity/group ride on the weekend whilst doing low volume build it leaves me pretty smoked.

I supplemented with 3/4 hours endurance type stuff initially then added the longer sustained weekend intervals (usually 15+mins in sustained build) into my weekend workouts.

I would probably do the sunday and thursday workouts during the week and then swap out the tuesday workout for the group ride by adding in the sprints up climbs etc.

I’m following mid volume, but I’m doing a Monday to Saturday schedule, so my 3 key workouts are Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I’m swapping out the moderate “Sunday” workout for a group ride, when whether allows.

Previously, I followed the Tuesday to Sunday, and on reflection I definitely feel swapping the Saturday workout for a club spin hampered progress.

I would say try it, and see how you do? And make sure to take the recovery days?

I’d argue the exact opposite to this. “only” 3 rides a week is subjective and might be more than enough for some people. I would recommend substituting your sunday workout for the group ride. If you make it to the mid way point in the plan (2nd ramp test) and feel really fresh then you can consider doing both the outdoor ride and your sunday workout.

In terms of whether its detrimental, it’s detrimental in the sense that your group ride isn’t going to offer you the same sort of structure and careful stress exposure that following the plan strictly would do, but everyone has to balance training with life so do whatever you feel is best.

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I do the LV plans but move the workouts forward one day so they are Monday, Wednesday & Friday. That gives me the weekends to “freestyle” things outdoors if the weather’s fine (currently here in the UK we are in a run of storms that seem to coincide with the weekends :roll_eyes:) .

The outdoor rides can be anything that I feel add to the indoor workouts, whether that’s a five hour Z1/2 road ride out to a café and back or bike handling skills on the MTB.

I find that using the TSS estimator for outdoor rides (no power meters on the winter bike or MTBs) gives inflated figures, i.e. a ride that is basically Pettit or easier gets a TSS of 100 rather than say 50 which is more how it actually feels. It’s one of those things you just have to figure out for yourself, I’m fine with long steady rides and have had a lifetime of physical activity and/or physical jobs so I know pretty well what I can cope with.


I’d go for LV from Monday to Friday complementing those 3 trainings that are mostly on threshold or higher zones with one large endurance and tempo ride outdoors on the weekend. Thar way you cover it all as it is covered by the MV plan. And 4 rides a week isn’t that much. I do 5 rides a week 2 outdoors on Saturday and sunday and I have a tight scheduled and a really bad recovery system (sleep no more than 6h a nigh in average) and I’m coping with it. If you can’t handle it you may swap the 3rd TR LV session by the outdoor ride instead of making that outdoor ride an extra training, but to start with I’d give it a try for sure.

Thank you all for your advice. Much appreciated. I am going to go with the consensus (And my gut feel) and maintain the 3 TR session but do them during the working week and add on an outdoor ride at the weekend.

I will monitor the situation and if my body can’t handle it I will make necessary adjustments!

Thanks again.


Everything I would have said, except with more elegance. I second this advice.

Good luck. Not to worry you but just thought I should say…
I’ve just tried this and crashed for the second month in a row on the week leading up to recovery week. I was carrying out plan Tues,Web and Fri with a club ride on Sun. I’m now going to skip the 90 min Fri session and see how I go.

You might be made of stronger stuff than me, I hope so. All the best.

I started with a MV plan and include a Saturday fast group ride, well I was missing my Sunday’s rides because the saturday ride was destroying me. I switched to a LV plan and can do the sunday ride but I have to adjust it to finish it. I feel like the Saturday ride really fatigued me for the end of the week but it helps build endurance, intensity and we do a fair amount of attacking on flats and hills. I won’t ever not do the Saturday ride just trying to find a way to include it. Me train so we can ride fast outside, right?

Thanks for the thoughts all. Appreciated.

Weather is currently so bad in Scotland I’ve not been able to test the theory with an outside weekend ride!

After that intense Saturday ride you should do a low intensity or active recovery TR ride on Sunday or none at all. In your case maybe sticking to MV doing the 3 mid week Trainings and skipping the ones on the weekend that are covered by that Saturday ride maybe your best option. I’m kind of dealing with the same problem but in my case I’ve got group rides on Saturday and Sunday sometimes really hard other with an average intensity. Monday I always give it a rest and even so on Tuesday the TR workout is realky hard to take.

Hi Ritchies,

I am looking at the same question you had earlier this year, just curious. What did you choose to do and what was your experience?

Happy to hear,

Greetings from the Netherlands,