Modifying or changing a workout

Some background: My priority is CX season (starting in September), but to avoid last years monotony of doing all short power plans I’m doing the sustained power build and 40k TT plans at the start of the year. I’m also entering some TT’s and crits just for fun.

And now the question: I’m currently doing the 40k TT specialisation (mid volume) with my workouts on Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri and Sat. This has worked well up until now when the TT’s / Crits have started, and they are all on a Tuesday. I tried doing the planned Wednesday workout this morning, but ended up having to dial it down by 10% to complete it. Is it better to attempt the workout and dial it down, or substitute with a similar but lower TSS workout?

Here is a list of the ways to handle workouts that are tougher than expected or intended, after getting into them.

As to when to swap before, that depends on what you know prior to the workout, and the relative intensity of the next workout on the calendar.

  • Look at your normal schedule of the workouts.
    • The default for a Medium Volume is Rest, Hard, Easy, Hard, Rest, Moderate, Easy-Moderate.
  • If you end up with event or schedule changes and stacks hard workouts next to each other, that can often make the 2nd in line more difficult.

Look at the workouts or events you do, and the day they happen.

  • If they match up with a “hard” workout, you are likely fine to follow the schedule (assuming the event wasn’t overly hard compared to the typical workout).
  • If they don’t match up with a “hard” one and maybe even replace an “easy” or “moderate” one, you may need to juggle the workouts, or substitute for reduced effort ones.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single “right” answer. You need to look at the fuller context of what came before and what is planned after the workout in question. Try to be realistic and err on the side of making things easier if there is doubt. You can increase intensity on the fly if you are feeling good.


Thanks for the advice, this really helps. I think I’ll play it by ear and as you say, juggle things around depending on the races.

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