Outdoor Riding Question

I have been training very steadily for over a year 3 days a week with the program. I am not competing nor do I race at all. I just train to be the best I can be at 57 and to improve my stamina for mountain biking. I did my workout on Tuesday. On Thursday I did a 46.5 mile 4 hour road ride with a friend (longest road ride yet) and then mountain biked yesterday for 2 hours. I didn’t do my other 2 scheduled TR workouts because I didn’t feel like doing 5 days. Is it ok to bypass the TR workouts when I either road or mountain ride?

With that much extra riding, you should definitely not be doing the TR workouts as prescribed.

There are different ways of handling this:

  • you could scale back the TR workouts to some of the minus variants. This allows you to stay in a routine of regular sessions and keep hitting the same energy systems, but with less training stress.
  • you could substitute in a Recovery ride, such as Recess or Pettit, in place of the scheduled workout
  • dropping the scheduled TR workout entirely.

With 2 extra days and 6 hours riding (and 1 of those days being your longest road ride ever), dropping at least 1 day was probably a good way of handling it.

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I would not hesitate to take the day off if I were in your shoes, after six hours of outdoor riding. That will certainly help you with your goal of boosting stamina. And after all, you’re training to ride, not riding to train.

That said, six hours of unstructured outdoor riding is generally less effective than six hours of structure. I’ve used indoor training for about four years now, but mainly during the colder/darker months, and my fitness sometimes decreases as the weather improves, due to less structured riding. Last year, though, I started doing TR outdoor workouts, and that’s the ticket. I would try that if you haven’t yet. It could be that you could add structure to some of your outdoor riding, if you don’t already.

For me, outdoor intervals can be challenging to execute because of the rolling terrain here, traffic lights, etc. But they allow me to enjoy outdoor riding and still do challenging intervals. There’s nothing magic about TR’s of course, but I like having them determined for me.