Low vs medium or high volume

Hi all,
I’m trying to understand better the principles around structured training and AT.
So my next question is what changes exactly when your change the volume of a plan. Sure the volume changes.
But does the intensity of each individual workout change? Let me explain. If I do high volume, I would expect a relatively large number of Z2 workouts. If I do low volume I would instead expect fewer Z2 workouts and possibly a higher average intensity over the difficult workouts.
Does AT actually do this?

Understanding this would help me understand how to best combine AT with my unstructured outdoor rides. Right now I’m using low volume and I’m then adding workouts that match my unstructured rides whenever I can. But is this the best approach?



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no AT only adjusts the PL of your planned workout, they will always stay in the prescribed zone

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What do you mean?

Say I have two clones of myself.
Clone 1 has a high volume plan with an X% hard vs Z2 workout ratio.
Clone 2 has a low volume plan. World the ratio of hard to Z2 be the same or higher?

At completely ignores your unstructured riding so you get your prescribed workouts for the plan. When in doubt between different volumes always pick the lower volume plan (that’s the official TR recommendation btw)

I Know that but I was recommended by support to match my unstructured rides with a similar workout so that AT does not ignore them.

The reasoning behind my question is that there’s no point in having recovery days in my workouts of during those days I do fast paced commutes and group rides

I’m not a coach at all but if you’re doing hard group rides every week consider that 1 hard workout. Then you can possibly do 2 more hard workouts weekly and the rest should be easy endurance.
It seems like you’re overthinking it like me, use low volume plus extra EASY riding.
Swap a sweet spot workout with your group ride and I wouldn’t even try to match workouts. Just focus on your 2-3 trainneroad workouts and nail those every time. If you’re not nailing those, then you’re probably going to hard the other days. If you’re not improving then switch to mid volume with same intention 2-3 hard workouts a week. Which usually means swapping one workout for the group ride and another for an easier endurance day. When I do medium volume, I always swap of the Sunday sweet spot ride for easy endurance ride but you could be different.

Anyways, I’m not coach and those are just my thoughts.

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Well, I want to improve but I also like understanding they principles :wink:

There’s one thing I am not sure about in you reply. What’s the difference between 2 or 3 hard workouts from a low volume plan and 2 or 3 hard workouts from a mid volume plan? Are the mid volume workouts longer or harder?

Honestly I don’t have time to explain every difference but I look at each plan Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Those are the 3 “hard” workouts to nail for low and mid volume, the rest I usually only add endurance. If you look at each plan for those days you’ll see how they are the same but also different. Mid volume during build is usually an extra vo2 day or threshold and not sweet spot like on the low volume ones. Again I don’t have time to explain every difference.

Stop doing that….you need recovery as much as workouts. And while a fast commute or group ride may not be structured, it still is training load.

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Answer the plan builder questions honestly, don’t try to game the system to get the answer you want.

Volume is time x intensity. For the same athlete optimal training as time goes up, intensity goes down.


AT recommends the level of intensity based on where you are for that specific energy system the prescribed workout will develop. Are you a TR user? You can just look at each plan individually and get a rough idea of what would be prescribed.

If not, @ChefAcB nailed the general workouts for low and mid. High volume adds an additional endurance day to the mid volume and also 30mins to your VO2, threshold and sweet spot days.

Stop doing what?

What makes you think I’m trying to game the system? I’m trying to understand how to combine my life constraints with TR workouts in order to get the most benefit.

Stop skipping your recovery days and doing fast commutes / group rides instead.

I’m coming to the conclusion that your commutes and group rides are oil and your trainerroad workouts are water. You’re going to struggle to combine them, and doing both will be overwhelming. I feel a compromise is required.

At some point of the year you’re going to have an extended period where you cut waaaaay back on the fun stuff and focus on the structured (but also fun) stuff.

Or, you know, just do the fun stuff and pick a workout a week via TrainNow.


It;’s not an accusation. I typed a really long answer and then thought that it;s much better if you dont try to understand how it works and what it will do, but simply use it as advertised.

Tell it how much time you have to train and it will give you its best answer.

Plus Power13’s advice.

Long before trainerroad I used to listen to coaching podcasts that were littered with coaches begging their athletes to stop racing all week and then complaining training plans were too hard or ineffective.

But I think Dave gets it.