New to TR, should I be reducing my outdoor rides / TSS?


Newbie TR user here. Been riding on and off the last 7 years but for the first time trying to seriously improve / learning more about the benefits of indoor training. 5’10, 165lbs/75kg, 35yo, ~200FTP.

I’m currently on Base 2 - mid volume. I may be mistaken but is there any downside of doing one long ride outdoors per week (3+ hours) at the cost of doing some of my less intensive TR workouts? Based on how my graphs are looking, should I look to dramatically reduce how much I ride outdoors (once per week) and lower my TSS?

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If you’re doing one long ride per week and still find that you’re able to complete your scheduled workouts, I’d say absolutely not.

The TR team have often talked about the benefits of the long Z2 ride. You can experiment with nutrition and encourage adaptations within the body during this type of ride. I think most TR users on this forum enjoy their long Sunday ride. It’s a chance to reset and get some much needed fresh air :+1:


It’s fine as long as you can do the other workouts ok. Note that as you move through the plans this may be quite a bit more challenging compared to now.

Some alternatives

  • take the Sunday MV workout and replace with longer Z2 outdoors (see weekly tips)
  • take a structured workout outside by pushing to your head unit

What’s your outside Power source? do you do very long or very hard rides? I ask because your outside TSS are similar as indoors.

I also noticed you changed your FTP a few times (presumably you didn’t test that often). You can adjust the workout intensity during each workout if you feel a slight adjustment is needed.

Hi, I also do x1 or x2 outdoor rides a week as the weather improves, I substitute for one of the 5 Mid volume rides, I would recommend not doing the ride if you have scheduled a VO2 session the next again day. One of those sets of intervals above FTP, 120% of FTP. Short shorts. I try to do the 3 hour ride the day before my rest day. I am flexible with my calender and move the sessions around. TR coach Chad recently said that’s okay to do.

Thank you for the thoughtful/helpful responses all

As for power source - I have a s-works power meter that tracks this. Yes my intensity is pretty high and I go long (usually 50mi w/4K climbs) and thats once per week. Perhaps I should dial this down and try to stay in Z2?

Yep I think I messed around with my FTP not realizing I can change the %.

If it ain’t broke, why fix it? :upside_down_face:

As long as you’re doing well and progressing, enjoy yourself and those outside rides! If the fatigue adds up, you can still adjust it down or just replace your “self-guided” outside ride with an outside TR ride. My guess is by week 4-5 of SSB2 and in build you will feel it :wink:

It is a good idea - a long zone 2 ride outside on a Sunday will be more beneficial long term than the 90 min SS on the plan (they are there to save you time if you only have 5-7 hours/week). That said keeping the midweek structure and Saturday o/u is important as they really help and the Sunday ride needs to be 3-4 hours to really be beneficial :smiley:)

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Go for it. Plenty of benefits to a long ride, and if it’s a steady Z2 type effort that you’re used to doing then it’s not going to cause any undue fatigue that would impact your higher intensity workouts.

I think the reason the TR plans don’t include longer rides (unless it’s something like a Century or Ironman specialty plan) is that if you’re limited to, say, 6 hours/week then spending 3 of those hours on a Z2 ride isn’t going to give as much benefit as doing more shorter workouts with higher intensity. Plus as a platform that started out purely focused on indoor training, maybe they simply figured that nobody would want to spend more than 90-120 minutes on their trainer unless the demands of their A race required it. But from the podcasts, and some of the blog posts and even the blurb that accompanies the plans, they’ve always supported longer rides for those that have the time and desire to do them.

I remember that chad discussed on the podcast that these long rides were in the plans before, but they swapped them out for sweet spot instead because the compliance with the workouts was very low. they’ve kept the alternative to go ride steady Z2 in the weekly description though


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What do you think about 2H Z2 on trainer (TR) vs the 90min SS for the Sunday workout ? (SSB MV2 plan)

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2 hours zone 2 is ok to replace a 90 min SS ride - in fact I think that is an option in Chad’s ride notes. Boarstone with a TSS of 97 could replace some of the 90 mins SS rides. But in reality if your going to do zone 2 it should be longer. Given the choice I would rather do SS something like Galena, Monitor+5 or Carillon+2 than any of the 2 hour zone 2 rides. BUT I would rather do 3-4 hours zone 2 than either of the above. If you have time for 3-4 hours do the zone 2 if you don’t do the SS. :smiley:

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So I will probably go for 90 min SS. I cannot imagine my self doing 3-4H indoor :skull_and_crossbones:

Well No - the zone 2 rides indoors could be shorter - there are plenty of the 2 -2.5 hour versions - can’t you go outside? - summer is nearly here in the UK and I have more time so I’m riding outside as much as possible especially as I am taking a break from structure as there is no racing - come next winter or if we get racing I will be back on the structured TR sessions - for now it is sunny zone 2 to top up my Vitamin D and mental health! :grin:

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I mean if the 2H Z2 TR workout is not enough so I prefer to stick with the 90min SS. I cannot stand more than 2H for an indoor training and outside ride is still not an option here.

Actually if you can do 2 hours then the 2 hour SS/Tempo sessions are probably the way to go - something like Round Bald or Spruce knob but the +2 or +3 versions - they are only at 85% but they give you a longer workout. Most of the people I know who post on the UK time trial forum reckon that time in zone trumps intensity so 4x20 @85% is better than 3x20 @90% - also I find the 2 hour SS sessions are less boring than the endurance…the pain keeps you occupied - if you can work up to doing Wright Peak or the -1 version you know your in good shape. Shame you can’t get outside - I did 4 hours zone 2 in the sun this am - lovely day, solo ride, me and my thoughts…mental health boosted! :smiley:

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