Question Before Joininng

Hey I’m thinking about switching over from Zwift because I like the idea of the plan builder. However I usually do 1 or 2 rides a week that I call “mental health rides” that are usually not tracked and are just for fun. Like I might just go practice jumping my mountain bike or ride backwoods gravel with random pacing. I love structured training during my work week but I generally turn it off for the weekend to free ride. However, these are still long rides and require recovery.

My question is how would plan builder account for these rides that aren’t tracked, or would it be easy enough to just to a medium workload on Trainer Road Monday through Friday and continue to not worry about my weekend adventures.
My info if its relative - 35 year old working dad, Have been training for about 6 months (3 indoor workouts a week). 195lbs 325watt FTP

Any guidance is appreciated, thanks and I love the podcast. Y’all are my life coaches!

I think you are spot on with the medium (or even low volume approach) during the week, my suggestion would be to keep an eye on your weekly TSS (yes not all TSS is the same) but to make sure you are not overdoing the weekends so that your workouts during the week are a struggle/frustration. I like the approach, just replace the weekend workouts in plan builder with your outdoor rides.

track everything! it doesn’t mean you need structure on the weekends, but you need to be able to determine your workload, efforts, and recovery time needed.

plan builder doesn’t account for this, but I would just use a low volume plan and go from there. you may be able to step up to a medium.

FWIW, all my outside rides are considerably harder than the structured training workouts, so you may want to plan your week accordingly, that is not too hard during the week, that you can’t handle the hammerfest on the weekends…although with covid-19 SiP, hammerfests aren’t really fun without friends.

my plan leaves M/W open, so I usually do an easy spin on the rollers or trail ride w/ gravel bike. You can add these manually to the calendar and estimate the TSS (very easy with pull down menu). And for the longer Sunday rides, sometimes I delete the TR workout and just take the road bike and ride for the sheer joy of it (this also gets added in, but it’s automatic upload from Garmin 830)

I always choose low volume plans and then add workouts or fun rides as I see fit. I make sure to hit the 3-4 prescribed rides and then just fill in the open days with other rides.

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I just rebuilt my schedule from May to Oct to accommodate more “just for the fun of being out” rides. I went from mid volume that I’ve been riding since Oct to low volume with structure on M, W, F. Other days are play days on mountain or gravel. Option to two rides a day if the weather is outstanding. Still want my structure intensity to keep my fitness high, maybe even grow a bit while I get full on play time. You’ll get faster and still have plenty of fun.

I like to have the flexibility to ride when I want where I want. I chose the low volume plan which leaves me 4 days a week to ride(or not ride when I want) It’s easy to move days around on the schedule to suit what I want.

If I want more structured training rides during the week I will look and the mid volume plan and add one or two of the workouts in as a supplement.

I can vouch for the fact that you will indeed get stronger even on a low volume plan. I’m very pleased with the gains I’ve made on the low volume plan.

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Yeah I’d second opting for a low/mid volume plan- I usually switch to a lower volume plan in the summer so I can work in some outdoor noodling.
I would recommend at least plugging your time/RPE into TR to get a quick tss estimate, as that will give you an idea of if/how it’s impacting your structured training during the week and your progression over time. Plan builder also has the option to move workouts/days around, so if you know what works well for you that can be helpful. I think it has Monday as a rest day by default, which leaves you with some recovery before the week begins :slightly_smiling_face: