Obsession with hitting every workout?

I notice often on the podcast that people have questions about whether they can “skip” a TR workout to have an outdoor relaxed/fun ride with friends, even if it may impact their training schedule. Or they carry some sort of guilt that they went outside for a “zone 2-ish” ride as opposed to some indoor intervals. Or those who are afraid that riding outdoors on an unscheduled day will affect their performance the next day.

Is this a normal mindset to have as a cyclist? I personally feel that if its nice day and I had a TR workout scheduled, I’m going to pick the outdoor ride every time. Sure I could get the same TSS in 60min on the trainer as a 90min outside ride, but being outdoors is WAY more exhilarating and refreshing. Especially where I live (along the IM bike course near Madison, WI) with an abundance of hilly country roads. In the summer, most of my rides are relatively unstructured and outdoors and I still see gains (physically and mentally). All miles and seat time are beneficial, and if you have to take the workout intensity down 5% the next day, so what?

Maybe that’s just my mindset as an endurance cyclist as opposed to racing crits or something. Thoughts?


The average person who will spend 5, 10 or 15 hours per week in their basement on a stationary bike looking at blue blocks on a black screen while sweating profusely, agonizing about the next FTP test and listening to a podcast talking about spending 15 hours in the basement etc, has a high probability of suffering from OCD.


Equally you could do the opposite, get the same or more TSS outside as 90 minutes inside if its a boring Z2 session.

Don’t let the marketing machine get to you, this is all for enjoyment, or should be.


yikes. guilty as charged.

And I don’t consider it to be OCD. I just like things done properly. Every time. Once, I had my Lasko fan out of alignment by 3 degrees. The entire workout was rubbish.


Exactly. Nobody understands the importance of that alignment. Nobody. Thankfully, there is this forum where people understand these things.


Yes. If you’re training to have fun riding, you’ll have a different process and mindset than people training to hit Cat 2 this season. (And that’s okay. Live your bliss.)


For me, this “training” is my only competitive outlet. I’ve always had some sport to focus on and try to be competitive in. Given that is now cycling, I find the process and resulting progression the most rewarding which is why I’d choose an indoor ride TR over outdoor free-ride 95% of the time.


Box tickers unite. Totally understand, although the definaition of a box ticker is interesting, re: “follow protocol blindly”

" A box - ticker is then a derogatory term for someone who simply selects from existing choices instead of coming up with something original. They stereotypically follow protocol blindly instead of taking appropriate initiative."


Shows me why you should set yourself free, box ticking isn’t a good thing, although most of us do it.


After reading that definition, I am definitely a box ticker. Especially on a topic, such as cycling, where I feel uninformed. I’ll blindly follow the “expert” until I feel confident that my modifications are correct. The podcast actually helps a lot with that.

1 Like

Edit: added a nice little picture, I think most of us are.

Blindly follow our beliefs after we think we are the expert. lol!

1 Like

I am curious how long people who have that focused / obsessed / short-term view have been into cycling or triathlon. Are they new? Have they been riding for decades? in-between?

I think some of it comes down to not having a big picture view and ‘missing the forest for the trees.’ Consistency, love of the sport and doing something you love every week as part of your ‘plan’ are, in my view, essential to long term development.

I left a comment on one of their recent youtube videos. When did long endurance / z2 rides become junk miles? Especially as in some TR plans they recommend specific Z2 / endurance workouts to replace weekend sweet spot rides. How they addressed that question / segment seemed very strange to me.


I don’t think that mindset is normal, or healthy. I’d rather train in the winter and enjoy myself in the warm months outside with friends going places and making memories, other guys would rather sweat 45 weeks a year in their basements to train for a dozen events (that may all be cancelled). To each their own I guess


No. But it’s the mindset an athlete who wants to perform at the maximum of their potential. There’s nothing wrong with just riding around, though!


For some value of “enjoyable.”

I will forgo riding with my best mate because he doesn’t know the meaning of z2. He only knows how to hulk smash even with 4 hour rides.

I totally get it. Because once I’m in a hole, getting out is hard.


Don’t call me irrational. You know that drives me crazy.


Had to double-check that I didn’t write this. Followed up my vo2max interval workout yesterday morning with a hulk smash ride with a buddy an hour later. Dreading tomorrow’s threshold workout.

1 Like

If I have a goal event and I’ve used TR Plan Builder to help me prepare for that event, I’ll do my level best to follow that plan. I’m not slavish to it and if I do miss a workout, I don’t beat myself up or even try ensure the outdoor ride replicates what I might have done on the trainer.

End of the day, I own my bikes for the adventures I can have on them. I like TR but I don’t own my bikes to ride them on a trainer. My garage isn’t that exciting anyway.


I think there are plenty of athletes who want to get as strong as possible and realize their potential that don’t have this mindset. I think it is possible to adhere to a training plan and execute workouts well without obsessing over individual workouts and still do the things that we, as individuals, enjoy about cycling every week.

The main concern I have with this kind of mindset is that I think it focuses on the short term adherence at the expense of long term consistency and longevity.


There seems to be a fair bit of “I know better than you” going on in this thread. To say this to folks that choose to do workouts rather than ride outside, is saying you know what they like better than they do. Different strokes for different folks. It is neither short-sighted, nor un-“healthy” to train all year round. And what you enjoy or choose to do is totally cool.