Plan builder hack to allow group rides

I’m on SSB1 LV, with group rides on Wednesdays (which I usually skip in favor of TR workouts - I don’t love that but I do it anyway) and larger group rides Saturdays. The Saturday rides are the ones I don’t want to sacrifice. (What’s the point in having all this power if I can’t show it off once a week?)

(Stats: 48 year-old male, FTP 2.95 W/kg, living in flat-ish area of Florida panhandle, mainly road riding, but also a couple sprint tris per year, and a few running races as “D” events. Attempting to qualify for Nationals at Cheaha this May, for practice if nothing else.)

Option 1: I could put in my Saturday rides as C events in Plan Builder. That would substitute the 90 minute workouts for my “C events.” Seems like cheating though, since it’s no longer structured.

Option 2: The Saturday rides have A, B, and C groups. I usually ride with the A group for 60-75 miles. So maybe I should do an outdoor workout and ride with B group. Really, I’d just ride alongside B group and hammer during an interval, and let them catch up between intervals. In theory that’s how it would work, I’ve not tried it yet. Of course, then I’d have to finish the remaining 90 minutes or so with B group, which actually is kinda fun being the strong guy in a group for a change, but also not a great workout.

Option 3: Stay indoors all the time and be miserable and never be seen on the road again.

Option 4: Are there any option fours?

Appreciate any advice out there. Awesome podcast and software, btw. Thank you!


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Option 4: Do your group ride as scheduled and later in the day a shorter interval session on the trainer.

Make sure to fuel appropriately tho.

Are people going so easy on their Saturday rides that they can do an interval session later in the day?!

I’m usually shelled from either intensity or length of ride. No way I’m able to do intervals later in the day.


I wouldn’t either, but since option 2 suggests
“Really, I’d just ride alongside B group and hammer during an interval, and let them catch up between intervals” I reckon they are easy enough.
Personally I would no more than one additional interval session midweek and some longer Z2 TSS filler rides.

2 other thoughts:

  1. Just do the A group ride in place of whatever TR has down as your long weekend ride, and don’t worry about it. Yes, it’s not structured, and it will involve both more high intensity and more easy intensity than the scheduled SS ride, but it’s still ~3 hours of working in the saddle and that’s going to help to maintain or build your aerobic base. Plus riding with strong people is going to hugely help you develop the skills you’ll need to do well in your qualifier event
  2. Pick a LV plan which enables you to do all your TR workouts during the week and then your weekends are free to ride however you want. You get the psychological benefit of high compliance to the plan and the LV plans contain the most important stuff anyway

On a tangent it would be super cool if TR could analyse group rides and adjust the plan to fit around them. Maybe not on the fly, but for rides you do regularly you could copy and paste a previous ride onto your calendar, TR would look at how much time in zone, TSS, etc is involved and then adapt accordingly.


That would be EXCELLENT!


Cartsman: Those are both excellent suggestions. Maybe I try to squeeze in all 3 rides during the week, and if I can’t, I’ll just substitute the longer TR ride for the A group Saturday ride. You hit the nail on the head with the ‘psychological benefit of high compliance:’ I really want to trust this plan for my training, and I don’t want to cheat. I want to go to qualifiers knowing that I put the work in. But your suggested plan seems do-able. Thank you!

I’ve left the TR fold (temporarily?) and am doing a Fascat base/build plan this winter focusing on sweetspot training. The standing Saturday workout throughout the plan is a “Sweetspot Group Ride.” The length/TSS targets vary from week to week but the structure/goal is simply to do a group ride and get 30-60 minutes of sweetspot in, either from hanging on for dear life on a fast ride or taking repeated pulls if with a less challenging group.

This has two benefits - first, you’re going to do a group ride anyway so now you’re “on plan.” And,if done right, it is an awesome workout.


Yeah, that sounds like my situation. I’d rather hang on for dear life than pull B group. Sounds like a perfect substitution according to your plan. I’m feeling better about substituting 90 min TR rides for Saturday rides. (I still need to fit in runs, weight training, and swims during the week too, so time is at a premium.) Thank you for the suggestion!

If you’re subbing group rides for plan workouts, you do need to keep an eye on TSS and intensity vs plan targets. Sometimes you may have to add on to the ride but you also have to always be up for bailing early. A group ride can be a great workout but you have to make it your workout not someone elses.

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Yeah, I find that the Saturday rides blow my weekly TSS way over target. Typically they’re about 250 TSS or so, when the 90 min TR workout might be 100. So adding onto the ride isn’t the problem. I figure those extra TSS are bonus, but I don’t want to overdo it either. Last time I did a half marathon followed by a 60 mile ride the next day, and got sick. (Gives me new respect for real triathletes!) Maybe that was coincidence though. I hope so.

I do a regular Saturday group ride that’s about 60 miles and can be a hammerfest at least on key sections. Over the years I’ve noticed something. The non racers who show up always do the whole ride. Among the racers, they often do the whole ride but over the course of the whole summer, the higher the race category the more likely someone is to bail early.

The Tuesday night group ride is the “must do” for the local racers and the smart guys are modifying the Saturday ride to stay on whatever training plan they are on.

Interesting observation, and smart. I’m modifying (skipping) the Wednesday rides in favor of structure, and I’ll need to start paying more attention to time in power zones for the Saturday rides, and modify those rides as needed. It’s really hard to bail on Saturday rides (psychologically) though.