Outside Rides: Structured, Unstructured and DELIBERATE!

So I am convinced by structure in my training. I tend to do all my TR sessions inside on the turbo. I am following a season plan with planned races.

However what I see is a conversation that goes:

  1. There are structured inside rides (Part of a plan)
  2. There is taking structured rides outside (Using the TR features - see episode 306)
  3. There are unstructured rides outside

However, I also do deliberate rides outside that are structured, but I cannot easily associate with a TR session. ( I should explain I am primarily a TT rider, but also try and build by all round road riding capability). Question is partly prompted by making suire ruides are used sensibly by forthcoming AT features.

For example

  1. Intervals at sweet spot or race pace, over 6 or 9 miles miles out and back. Sometimes 2x 6 miles, sometimes 4x6 miles. Sometimes 2x9 miles, occasionally 4x9 (The catch is this 6 mile route has a short steep hill so out is slower than back.) 2-5 min or so rests between intervals. The catch is, "How do i associate these with any TR session?
  2. Long pacing rides: When I was preping and training for the 100m and 12hr TTs I did really long rides steady to learn how to pace feed and find a power and HR I could sustain for long periods. These were experimental. Settle into a comfortable power and see if it I could sustain it. Use that as a guide to build up performance and learn pacing and what I can endure as a maximum.
  3. Hills: On the road bike, head for hillier areas. Attack each hill. So typically moderate sensible pace normally, then push on hills, experimenting with out of the saddle endurance, and high power for a while (say 130-14% FTP. Deliberately stressing a range I do not get stressed in standard structured training. Sometimes I’ll do low cadence climbs - 45-50, simply to create leg strength. (Note these are not hill intervals repeats - the hills are when I reach them)
  4. Fast club Group rides. mostly sitting below FTP (hiding in the pack) but frequently having to put power in above FTP to maintain position, catch up on corners, keep up on hills. When i eventually get dropped, I will Tempo (v long TT pace) for another 20-30 miles to build up endurance.

These are very deliberate and purposeful sessions. How do I find TR workouts to associate with these to make them become associated with “Structure” rather than they being treated as “Unstructured”.

See what I mean - these rides have deliberate structure and training purpose, but because I have no clear association with a TR session, they get called “unstructured outside rides” when they definitley have structure and purpose. …and I want them to be meaningfully interpreted by AT when it gets released…

Advice appreciated.

1 Like

Not sure if you are aware but your whole post didn’t submit.

1 Like

Sorry, was still typing and accidentally pressed submit… All done now…

1 Like

Not sure there’s a good answer, perhaps making a custom workout in TR after the fact and associating it with that? (not sure if that’s possible to associate a custom workout with an outdoor ride, just riffing here)

What’s your ultimate reason for wanting to associate them with a TR workout? I’d say if you have them well thought out then, even if the rides themselves aren’t structured, they fit into a structured training plan. Also do you have power on your outdoor rides or are these RPE based?

But I’ll give it a shot:

  1. This would be a SS workout. Something like Eclipse -3 probably
  2. These sound link they are probably 4+ hour rides. So they are probably high endurance with maybe some tempo thrown in. Something like Appalachian (Endurance) or Excelsior +3 (with some tempo efforts)
  3. Depending on how spaced out these hills are or how long they are they could be Anaerobic intervals (if they are shorter and spaced out; Black Kaweah), Short-short VO2s (if they are short but close together; Ansel Adams), or regular VO2 (if they are 2+min and spaced out; Spencer).
  4. These are probably like SS or Threshold bursts. So maybe like Bradley (Threshold) or Ebbets (SS)
1 Like

I used to add my group rides as C races in my calendar so I could see that TSS.

I think you’re worrying a bit too much about possible AT features here, that haven’t even been released to you. Worry less. It’s not going to matter so much that your outside rides are ignored by AT. Worst case, you pick a harder or easier workout yourself, if you think AT misjudges you.

Also, I don’t think it’s going to help to do the association after the fact. For AT to analyze the ride, it needs the data (probably including lap timings of intervals etc.) from the associated outside workout.

1 Like

I’m not on TR plan and my coach assigns workouts that don’t look like TR workouts. However TR has correctly classified a bunch of workouts thru the end of February, for example here are some threshold workouts:

(sorry the Strava names aren’t very descriptive of workout intent)

So TR has publicly stated an intent to classify outside non-TR workouts and unstructured rides. Evidence that some work has already been done above.

And TR publicly stated intent to incorporate into Adaptive Training (timeline TBD).

Hope that helps.


Thanks for the suggested workouts people. Much appreciated.

So why sdid I post this?

  1. Partly because the podcast discussions seems to classify any outside ride that was not a TR outside ride as unstructured and even “junk miles”. Whereas these are deliberate and purposeful sessions. Not junk miles. In fact I am using them to supplement LV plans. I find that a bit annoying and wanted to create a debate about PURPOSEFUL outside rides off plan, or in addition to plan.

  2. I hear about AT taking into account outside rides, but have seen or heard nothing about ‘how’ AT takes them into account. So I am
    a) Partly wanting to associate structure (workouts) with my outside rides, more than simply labelling them 2x20 SS or whatever.
    b) Partly anticipating (as @bbarrera suggests) (perhaps unnecessarily @gjdev ) how AT might look at rides (does it really go "Oh look he did 22 minutes at over sweetspot in that interval, so we’ll credit that into the SS progression?)

I was going to avoid custom workouts, but simply find almost similar TR workouts that were good enough.

@mwglow15 I have power on my outside rides and inside (Vector 3 pedals and a Kickr core).

I wish I had labeled this discussion Purposeful, rather than deliberate.

1 Like
  • I can make this edit if you want it and are unable to do so.
1 Like

I think with the current framework of the beta, creating custom workouts is the best solution as they are now classified and count towards everything.

As for the outside rides not associated with TR workouts, you’re right. There really isn’t much to go off of here other than the simple “outside rides will be factored into progression levels” line. How they are classified, what they mean, etc. is definitely something we don’t have an understanding of at the moment.

That’s said, my gut feeling is that if it is intentional, there should be some way to indicate that, and currently the best option for that is a custom workout.

1 Like

Don’t recall hearing this repeatedly stated on the podcast. Perhaps implied, or perhaps as part of a general principle that they believe structure beats unstructured (without quantifying how much better).

Does ‘how’ really matter? It is not a current feature of the beta, AFAIK, but technical groundwork appears to be in place (my screenshots) and there is stated intent to support classifying non-TR workouts and using that info to support progression levels and Adaptive Training in general.

There are several ways that I can think of programmatically identifying structure in non-TR workouts, without machine learning algorithms. Both Golden Cheetah and Intervals.icu support automatic interval identification and classifying into a zone, without any lap button presses. There are other ways of classifying without machine learning.

What you end up doing will be influenced by what features are available when you start using it. If classification of non-TR workouts is part of public release, then theoretically you won’t need to do anything.

1 Like

Any idea what you’ve got to do to get TR to classify a ride? For me TR seems to classify some of my rides as Threshold, even though the majority of the ride was recovery level and an IF of 0.6, but the ones where I’ve really put an effort in and had an IF of 0.8 or more aren’t classified :thinking:

Classification possibly only supported for outdoor workouts associated with a planned workout. In my case those planned workouts are sync’d from TrainingPeaks to TR. Looks like I disabled the TP-to-TR sync on Feb 25th, and no outdoor workouts classified since that date. To test that theory I just now re-enabled TP-to-TR workout syncing, and this weekend’s TP workouts are now on TR calendar.

Some classifications are debatable but overall looks good. For example a multizone workout where Xert defined focus as 15 min power (Sprint Time Trialist) while TR classified as Tempo (there were two 10-min tempo intervals). So perhaps TR as a first step is using structured workout, and not completed outdoor actuals, for the classification I’m seeing. :man_shrugging:

1 Like

@HLaB I don’t see any classification of my outside rides. Are you on the AT Beta? What does a “Classification” look like? Cheers


Hi here is what I did last summer and it might help with some of your outside workouts that you consider structred but are not getting credit via TR.
So, last year we were quarantined almost three months so I linked up with a buddy and we did group workouts regularly during the quarantine. In the summer I said I would continue with my TR Tng Plan but everthing would be outside. Note: when i say quarantine I mean quarantine oly outdoors for food, hospital or if you place of work was open. Gov hit us hard and we are still dealing with mandatory mandates, interstate travel restrictions and a 10pm quarantine… but that’s another story.

So here is what I did: Workouts with buddies was open did not use TR Outdoor Workouts(TROW). Unless the group was small no more than 3 and I could convince them on doing a TROW. I would control the start and stop for each interval. Only happend a couple of times. Guys just weren’t into it.

  • If I went with the group and we were just tooling around heehaw heehaw I would use a TR Endurance or Recovery workout to get credit,
  • for a Normal TROW by myself I would find hill or mountain where I could get two intervals in one climb or just do repeats. Worked very well and got me home within 1-2hrs feeling like I accomplished something. Sometimes the recovery interval was a little longer as I had to go further down the mountain inorder to have sufficent time to complete the interval.
  • For those days that I was going to do a long ride 3-5hrs I would use TROW and do the intervals when I knew I had a long climb coming up. Most of the time I finished the TROW before the ride so I just focused on enjoying the ride or exploring etc as I had already done the main part of the structure. Sometimes the intervals would be jacked as I got to the top of a climb and now had a long decent with interval not being completed.
  • I plan on doing the samething this summer but on longer rides I might do hill repeats to complete the intervals then continue the route.

Don’t know if this helps you… Good luck and keep the rubberside down.

@Junio yes, helpful, thanks. I am puzzled by the phrase

I get TSS credit. And hours. Are you getting some other sort of recognition? Or are you doing an association/link with a TR workout so it appears in your plan? Is that what is going on?

Nope I’m not in the AT beta. It in your past rides then you can sort by workout type. I think it only selects ones which are matched to a TR workout.

1 Like

@PhilSJones Right now if you think of the Scooby-Doo cartoon when Scooby goes Ahhhhh… Well that’s what I’m doing based on your follow-up questions.

I don’t know. Yes, I get TSS and Hours credit via TR for those TROWs. If I do another workout not linked with a TROW it shows up on my TR calander and it appears to be associated with a TR workout. A few weeks ago I did an outdoor ride and I did not use a TROW or do any association. However, after reviewing(based on our conversation) they were associated with a TR workout, not of my doing.
When I said credit I meant at the very basic level of TSS and Hours showing up on my TR calanders weekly summary.
I was making the assumption that it would also give me credit on my current Tng Plan. But now based on our conversation I don’t know.
I’ve been with TR for 3 years in the beginning they would show the percentage of completion of the plan you were on. I liked that feature but they were not keen to continue. I guess its time to ask again.

So, yes,

  1. if I do an outside ride it is credited to hours and TSS
  2. If I plan to do an outside ride (say 45m on TT bike) (not a TROW) then that outside ride will be associated with the one I put in the plan.
  3. If I do an outside ride, NOT previously associated with a planned outside ride (and not a TROW), then I get credits for hrs and TSS, but TR makes NO association with any any TR ride.

I am curious that you are seeing associations in case 3.

I can go back to an outside ride I have completed, (unscheduled) and add an outside ride which I can then associate. (Once I refresh the browser) However, that is not the same.