Low volume + extra rides

I’m completely new to bike training… so bear with me please. I’ve been listening to the podcasts every day and recently heard Jon talking about people having success with Low Volume + “extra”. I’ve tried searching for articles to help explain this but haven’t quite found what I’m looking for. If I choose the low volume plan for 3 weekdays (indoors, I don’t have a power meter) and then add in outside rides when I can, can the outside rides be of intensity or should they be “endurance/easy”? I’m not looking to choose “add a workout” and try to adapt an outside ride to a workout, I literally just want to go out and ride on the weekends and am unsure of how intense it is ok for them to be. Thanks!


In the ideal world from a fitness point of view all extra outside rides would be a steady Z2 but with group rides, races etc it doesn’t happen from a social point of view. My body seems to be working with dropping the middle LV ride’s intensity or dropping it all together if I ride outside on that day with riding weekends. If I’m in a group I just enjoy and on the occasions I’m solo on outdoor ride I normally ride at a low intensity. I would suggest selecting a LV plan and just ride (if its a group just enjoy and if its solo keep the intensity down), then tweak around it if you feel its necessary.


Here’s what I do. I’m on the Low Volume plan and have workouts scheduled Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Then on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday I do some Z2, either outside, with Coco/Yumi on zwift or I actually pull up a TR workout. The Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday workouts vary depending where I am in my plan but it’s usually something like:

Tuesday: 1 hr VO2 max
Wednesday: 1 hr Z2
Thursday: 1 hr Threshold/Sweetspot
Friday: 1 hr Z2
Saturday: 1.5 hrs Sweetspot/Threshold, if I can go outside I’ll swap this out for a long Z2 ride sometimes.
Sunday: 1.5 hrs Z2 if indoors, long Z2 outside if I can

I’ve been doing this since January and have never felt better on TrainerRoad. I’m riding more days a week than when I was doing mid Volume but I feel much more fresh and no where near burnt out. I’m also in the best shape I’ve ever been, sitting around 4.25 w/kg.


Hey @Lorichka6 !

I agree with @HLaB :slight_smile: A Low-Volume plan has enough rest in between workouts that allows you the flexibility to add extra volume at your discretion; whether it’s though an MTB ride, group ride, or going on a long endurance ride.

The key thing here is to keep in mind how the “extra” rides affect your scheduled plan workouts. If an outside ride left you feeling pretty fatigued for your next planned indoor workout, then it’s probably best to bring the intensity or duration down a notch. Ideally you always want to prioritize the scheduled workouts from the training plan over the “extra” ones

It may take a bit of trial an error, but I see you’re a pretty avid outdoor cyclist and probably know what sort of riding will enhance your indoor training.

Here is a good article on Low-Volume if you haven’t read it yet!: Low Volume Training: Is It the Right Volume for You?


That’s a pretty good plan you got there @wistoon33 !! :muscle:t2:


Welcome to the forums :slight_smile:

Just go out and ride and enjoy it!

As you are ‘completely new to bike training’ you may find you are pretty tired initially, so you only want to go out for an easy ride at the weekend.

The main thing to avoid is being wrecked when you have a hard workout planned for the next day. And a lot of people go out on the weekend on really hard group rides where they get dropped, and have to crawl home every weekend and sleep for ten hours, wake up with painful legs and hobble down the stairs.

As long as that’s not you, I say just go enjoy yourself :slight_smile:


I’m going to assume you have ridden for a while and not new to riding.
Going by perceived effort or a heart rate monitor.
Start off easy outside. In a few weeks I would add more miles or intensity.
Depends on how well your body is adapting to training is how much extra you can handle.
More easy miles will give you a stronger base. More intensity will build upon your base.

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If you’re already doing some riding, here is my suggestion: Instead of starting with a TR plan and adding extra, consider starting with what you’re already doing and seeing what TR plan fits with that. How much riding are you currently doing? What kinds of rides? Which days?

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Yes, not new to riding, new to structure :slight_smile: Thanks!

Thanks! This makes sense. Its just that doing anything social is NEVER going to be easy so I’ll have to keep an eye on how hard weekend rides make Tuesday’s TR scheduled ride.

If you’re gonna do a weekend social ride, skip your Saturday ride. Feels free to do easy aerobic on Wednesday’s.

If the weather is no good, and there is no weekend ride, do your Saturday ride and an aerobic on Sunday.

Random question… are you related to Sofia Gomez Villafane? :smile:

Yes, I agree with @Deej, that’s why ideally you’d follow the planned workouts to the T to make sure you’re ready for your A Event, but sometimes life calls for a nice endurance/group ride outdoors to recharge the bike soul, and this is fine! I’d encourage it. :white_heart:

However, @Lorichka6, just be mindful that you are pretty close to your A Event. If your weekend rides are NEVER easy and leave you pretty fatigued, I would consider skipping your Sweet Spot workouts on Tuesday’s since they are closest to the trained energy systems on your group rides and continue the week as scheduled. As for the week of your A Event, I would try and follow strictly the TR plan since it’s tapering you so that you are fresh on race day :slight_smile:

@alvaroe16, YES! I am Sofia’s sister :upside_down_face:


If you are completely new to bike training then I would be wary about adding any extra intensity. So if you’ve got 3 rides from the plan and you want to do a hard group ride then I would do that in place of one of the planned workouts. So you would end up with 2 workouts and 1 group ride. More than 3 intense rides in a week can be very difficult to effectively recover from. Especially without a deep aerobic background.

Any ‘extra’ riding should be low intensity, endurance riding as much as possible.

As always, listen to your body and don’t be afraid to drop a workout to endurance or skip it entirely if it feels like you need a bit more recovery.