Questions about TrainerRoad Training Plan and Outdoor Riding Integration

Hello everyone,

I have been a user of TrainerRoad for over a half year now, and I am very satisfied with the results I have achieved on my indoor trainer. As the weather improves, it allows me to train outside more with my HR and power meter. However, I have a few questions about how to integrate my outdoor rides into my TrainerRoad training plan.

  1. Does choosing alternative workouts for the day with longer durations affect my Training Plan, and does it automatically adjust to the increased stress that this training will do? To clarify, I am not picking a random workout but choosing “alternative workout” so it’s still focused on the same workout type just with longer durations. Of course, this is not the case with every ride, but I can imagine that in the spring/summer, this can be 3/5 times a week.
  2. Whenever I need to do intervals, for me, it’s easy and safest to do it on a mountain that is approx. 30 minutes riding from my home. How can I include this riding to this point into my training before the intervals start? Does anyone have experience in this?
  3. Whenever I am doing intervals on my local mountain, it’s sometimes possible that I am descending during the cooldown after an interval. Sometimes the descent takes 1-2 minutes longer than the cooldown before the next interval prescribes. Do I need to worry about this, or can I just start the interval when I’m down again, ready to ascent?
  4. What are some good training screens with info for Garmin 830? I am looking forward to seeing what you guys use. Do you also prefer 3s power or less/more?

I apologize for bundling these questions into one post, but I thought it would be easier than making four separate ones. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts and advice on these topics.

Thank you in advance!

I should also mention that I am using a Garmin 830 cycling computer to complete my workouts outside.

I think that choosing an alternate workout as opposed to picking a random one keeps your plan on track, but you should ask Support to confirm.

I do mostly outside workouts using Garmin 530, but I’m usually stuffing workouts into a commute that’s just long enough rather than too long. I start intervals as soon as I can, and do my best to hit the prescribed power wherever I am (but stopping for redlights and junctions…)
For your long warmup, most outdoor workouts have a “Ride until lap key” pause before the main intervals, so you could just start the workout when you leave home and leave this bit running. That’s not going to help if the workout has some final high power mini intervals to warm you up properly - if you’re riding another 20 minutes then you’ll not be ready to hit the main set.
So, either ride for a while before starting the workout so you arrive at about the right time, accept that you might not be doing warmup intervals at the right time, or just hit start and try and do your first interval on the way to the mountain?

I wouldn’t worry about extra time between intervals when descending. Turning round when going up and down roads is a real pain, takes longer than expected and could be dangerous. Maybe just keep the rest effort /power a little higher than suggested on the way down and put the extra freshness into executing the next interval really well.

For data screens, I have a smaller Garmin than you, and almost certainly worse eyesight. I don’t wear reading glasses whilst riding so my workout display is Interval Time Remaining / 3s power / Workout comparison. The interval intro screen tells me what power range to aim for, glancing at 3s power lets me know where I am, and the “Workout Comparison” field shows the line with the target level as background so I can see trends in the last few minutes. I get close enough with this. I don’t bother watching heartrate during power-based training, I don’t need cadence as i naturally spin pretty quick and i don’t have time of day because I’m busy.

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Thank you for sharing! I’d be great to have someone from TR reply and have some extra input on this :slight_smile:

Have a nice day and good luck training.

How long does it take to ride uphill, at or around your ftp?

It’s been awhile but I believe the TR workouts partly/mostly require you to use the lap button to advance to next interval. Someone with more recent experience can comment. If the warmup requires using the lap button to advance to intervals, then that takes care of your ~30 minute ride to the mountain.

I’m doing 99% of my workouts outside and have some preferences on screens. I can search for some of my posts with screenshots if that would help.

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I have to ride through the city for 1/2 hour before (and after) each outdoor workout. That means, my workouts just end up looking like this:

I don’t worry about the extra TSS, but sometimes I try to avoid getting too tired out with the tendency to go hard then coast from light to light.

For the Garmin, I set it up just about the same as shown here:

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The lap option only works at the begin of the 1st interval.

Thanks for sharing, I will try it as soon as the weather improves here… rainy week ahead…

No, there are plenty of other instances were you are prompted to hit the lap button to continue. In workouts with longer intervals you sometimes get it before each interval, in workouts with set of intervals you get it before each set etc.