Plan Builder Question - Unstructured Rides

I think that it is difficult to know in Plan Builder how to treat unstructured outside rides.

I like to use Trainer Road say three times a week, then have 2-3 unstructured group rides.

It may be my personal bias, but I imagine this is a common use case.

How should I put this into Plan Builder?

  • Ignore the group rides and select Low Volume - knowing that the actual TSS per week is going to be higher?
  • Include the group rides as Outside rides in Plan Builder, but ignore the workout when in the group ride? (This is what I have been doing to date)

Some explanatory text within Plan Builder on how to treat unstructured rides would be helpful.

Maybe when selecting the training volume.

in principle are those 2 options really any different?

My use case is similar but I just make sure the tss is around where I want it to be + make sure I hit key workouts…so i guess option 1 of your bullet points.

Not sure what the use would be putting outside rides in for group rides as the power is all over the place.

I guess my point is that in PlanBuilder, there is no mention of unstructured rides (which a lot of people do). And as a relative newbie to structured training, it is hard to know how they factor (or don’t) into a training plan.

Yep - this is THE big issue IMHO with all TR plans. They make no allowance for this type of mixed approach. Nate has talked about a much better approach to PB in future that allows you to select the number of days per week and how much time you want to train, but who knows if/when that will come or whether it will allow you to include your outside rides in the the planning?

Choosing LV and adding rides is an issue if your outside rides are fairly hard - LV already makes the 3 sessions very high intensity to compensate for 3 short workouts so you can easily overdo it. LV also only gives you 1 hour sessions for some reason…

Choosing a MV or HV plan and simply ignoring some workouts probably avoids this but frankly I still dont think it works well. The do already mention outdoor z2 riding on weekends but most people arent doing steady z2 endurance rides on group rides with their mates.

There is another option which might might suit you. In the past I have looked a TR plan and simply copied the progression of workouts on 1 day of the week - eg maybe you look at the sessions planned on the Tues each week and see a nice progression of vo2 sessions for 3-6 weeks, and then simply add those sessions to your plan and do your own outside rides the rest of the time. You wont use PB and wont see any AT benefits but AT will be a waste of time anyway while much of your weekly riding is unstructured outdoor rides it cannot analyse.

Lastly you might just use TrainNow to pick sessions on the days you train indoors and simply choose the option you feel suits you best based on your recent riding and fatigue.

Dont worry! ‘Levels V2’ is our next iteration of Adaptive Training that will be able to identify the work you’re doing in those unstructured rides, assign workout levels per energy system, change your Progression Level based upon that ride, and then result in Adaptations of your future workouts if necessary!

In the meantime for wondering how to incorporate those group rides, knowing what to expect on those rides is pretty important. Ie if you know one is always a chill endurance/coffee ride, put your endurance or recovery day in Plan Builder on that day. Or if you know one of those days is always a ‘race ride’, put one of your more difficult Tempo or VO2max workout days to be on that group ride day!

I will bring up to the team though that we should include some verbiage about consideration for group rides and how to structure that with Plan Builder. Thank you for the suggestion!

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Thanks for the feedback Ivy.
That makes sense to me.

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