Plan building adapting workouts down in TSS after weekend 'free rides'

Hey TR Forum,

I’ve been on a mid volume plan builder workout in prep for a 100 mile “A race” at the start of June.

The plan has been putting workouts on Tu/We/Th with rest on Mo/Fr and then longer rides on Sat+Sun. Now that its beautiful outside, i’ve been going for longer rides on weekends with a combined total close to 100 miles over ~8 hours of riding.

I expect because of the TSS from these longer sessions the program is adapting the rest of my workouts for that week to be of a lower intensity to hit some target variable based on the answers to my questionnaire at the start of the program. I’m not feeling overworked and i’m curious if i’m leaving some training on the table my accepting the adaptations? Perhaps TR is helping me get ahead of burnout that i dont see coming? Perhaps I was safe when answering my previous training volume answers when putting the plan builder together.

I’m curious if others have experience or regrets with accepting/ignoring the adaptations and keeping the plan as written even though you’ve done 4x the volume or TSS prescribed over the weekend.


Are you actually doing “outside workouts” and having your ride synced to TR as well as associated with the planned TR workout?

  • If not, then it may be that TR is not seeing your actual workouts and then downgrading pending workouts in your training phase under the impression that you are not actually doing the workouts.

For reference:


Hey Chad, great question. I’m not actually logging the weekend rides as workout. I’m just seeing ‘2 hour Tyrrell’ for Sat, and then i’ll go do a 4 hour ride which is written back to TR via Strava. Seems like what i’m doing is considered an ‘unstructured outdoor ride’

Based on the second article you linked “Unstructured Outside Rides don’t currently affect your Progression Levels and won’t be considered by Adaptive Training when it adjusts your scheduled workouts, but adding this functionality is one of our highest priorities for follow-on features to Adaptive Training.”

Is there a chance that not actually doing either of the weekend workouts (but leaving them on the cal and riding outside) is causing adaptive training to just coincidentally think i need to lower the intensity of the week sessions?

Yup, as far as TR is seeing things, you are “skipping” tge planned workouts and so it downgrades the next ones in that Zone since you aren’t “progressing”.

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How do you suggest formatting my plan to work with what i’ve been doing? I do like having the endurance rides on sat+sun scheduled in the event the weather is poor or i cant get out, i can hop on and do whats planned.

You could associate the ride with a workout that’s representative of a section of your ride that you did at a chosen target power with no stopping & minimal freewheeling. That should get TR in the ballpark. Relies on favorable terrain & road conditions, & your willingness to turn all of (or a substantial part of) your outside ride into a workout, meaning no stopping even if you want to, & you have to decide whether that defeats your purpose of going out for that long.

People have tossed around the idea of creating a custom workout in Workout Creator that matches the profile of the ride they just did, but I imagine that would be a headache, & workout levels from custom workouts can be a bit off compared to “official” TR workouts anyway. Bring on WLv2! :pleading_face:


You have multiple options, and I won’t claim what’s best since people have done a mix for their own needs and I won’t guess what is right for you.

  • Follow the actual outside workout process covered above when you choose to go outside.
  • Do as roleypup covers as a partial hack.
  • Decline suggested adaptions if you “skip” the TR workout and manually select an appropriate Alternate Workout based on the progression you think you have.

I’d suggest making sure you at least try using the new Red Light Green Light tool in conjunction with your training for now. That’s the best option for looser training until they finally deliver the Workout Levels Version 2 that is supposed to assign Progression Levels from “unstructured” rides.


FWIW, I’m training for a 10 hour “race pace” effort in June. I’ve been riding at least 100 miles every weekend for months. And now that it’s getting nicer, I’m going longer and farther. I get the suggested lower adaptations for my endurance rides every week. And I don’t even think about accepting them.

But, like Chad said, I do keep my fatigue in check using both RLGL and the PMC on TrainingPeaks. But I don’t worry about doing another long ride on Sunday after my Saturday ride turns Sunday yellow. Caveat though: I’ve also been training like this for years, so I know my body can handle what I’m asking of it. If this is your first year, I’d be more cautious about declining the endurance adaptations en masse.


@roleypup I appreciate the suggestion to associate the workout to the long ride. I did get a power meter with the intention of doing TR workouts outdoors. The 2+ hour endurance rides are tricky to emulate given my routes. I concur with regards to the workout creator being a pain to emulate.

@mcneese.chad I’m using RLGL which has been nice. I pretty much always get put in the red the day after a long ride which I do typically adhere to. I suppose ignoring the suggested adaptation is the easiest way to stick to the original ‘plan’ though it feels like i’m really not taking advantage of the plans true adaptive nature then.

@BrianSpang I dont have nearly as much tenure on the bike as you, though i’m a few years into either riding or running consistently and have gotten decent at knowing when i need to take it easy. This is my first ‘real’ effort at structured cycling training outside of some previous zwift plans for a few weeks at a time.

Curious, what would the outcome be if i went out for my weekend ride, and just loaded up the endurance ride through TR as an outdoor ride and basically ignore the prescribed workout but had it capture the ride anyway? Given breaks/stops/climbs/descents would put my power all over the place - would adaptive training think i struggled to hit the workout and downgrade my other workouts even more?

  • Well, you have to recognize the impact that “skipping” the workouts or any other workout info that TR is NOT leveraging means that AT is at least a bit “blind”. As such, we are still responsible for tweaking with the knowledge of what TR & AT lacks.
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Hey there and welcome to the TR community! :smiley:

I checked out your TR Calendar and it looks like the rides you’re doing outside seem to be longer endurance sessions.

If you’re keeping those rides at endurance pace, I think it would be reasonable to match them up with what was planned on your Calendar so you get Progression Level credit for completing them:

That way, your Endurance PLs won’t get lowered.

As a note on that, we’d only recommend matching your outside rides with planned workouts if you complete them as intended. If you try to match a completely “unstructured” ride where your power is up/down/all over the place, it gets tricky to match up with a TR workout. This can cause troubles with your Progression Levels and potentially give you inappropriate workouts as you move through your plan.

Hope that helps – feel free to let us know if you have any additional questions!


Thanks @ZackeryWeimer. I’ve just attached Olympia to my ride from Sat, Mar 30, 2024 at 7:21 AM. Considering the Olympia was supposed to be 1:15 of endurance riding, and i covered ~8 hours of riding that day. Is this a silly match?

Unfortunately with my current config, power meter data is not flowing from my apple health(captured with apple watch as bike computer) to strava and thus also not making its way to TR for unstructured rides like that one. If the Strava import had power data would this process be any different?

Got it – in cases like that where the ride is longer/shorter than what was originally on your plan, you could search our Workout Library to find something that looks a bit closer to what you actually did. You can then add that workout to your TR Calendar and match it up the same way as you did with Olympia.

When it comes to rides that are much longer than what was originally prescribed, I’d be more hesitant about trying to match things up, though. I think it’d be fair to say that an ~8hr ride is probably an exception to what kind of riding you might usually do, and trying to get PL credit for such a ride could skew your PLs up a little too high. The result might be that you get workouts that are then more difficult than they ideally should be for a “normal” training week. It might be a better idea to ignore PL credit for bigger rides like that since they’re more of an outlier.

The process should ultimately be the same even if you have power data.

You can, however, load TR workouts up as Outside Workouts on your Apple Watch if you’d like to give that a try:

It may not be ideal to do if you’re doing an unstructured ride, though. If you do want to try out your structured workouts outdoors, loading them onto your Apple Watch will get the ride to sync up to TR automatically with its associated workout once finished, which eliminates that extra step of manually associating them upon completion.