XC marathon, XC Olympic, Road races(granfondo ), master racer, not a pro… 30+
I’m training for years now , had a private coach, also used used fascat plans etc… i like variety so i dont get too bored…
I was building my plan on TR and see that longest ride is 120min , i didn’t have such short rides on any of the other coaches plans( was having weekend rides up to 4-5h) , my XC marathon races are 3h and up… so i have reserves about how prepared could i be with such a short rides in the plan?
My toughest year was up to 25h weekly but average around 15h with larger volume over the weekend…
Didn’t manage to find a topic about why even on high vol plans max is 120min ?
Well I think all TR plans are tailored to folks with somewhat limited time on their hands to train, that’s not to say you can’t substitute your own longer rides on the weekend. Personally, I find that even at 2hrs you can build a lot of fitness. This year I did sweet spot base HV all inside over the spring and at the end of the plan I did a 5hr solo century ride with no breaks/stops. So you can get a lot out of just 2hrs if you do the right type of intensity.
I do the Low Volume plans, weekends would be freeform outdoor Z1/2 rides of five hours or so - in the year since I rejoined TR my FTP has risen 13%. That’s with 90min max trainer rides. My events are typically minimum of 18hrs but often multi-day. It does work.
Different philosophies on time crunched athletes really. TR believes you can do almost any ride/race on their plans without the long rides. They do often say you can add zone 2 time if you want as long as they don’t sacrifice future workouts.
You’ll get different opinions anywhere you look. Figure out, if you haven’t, what works for you and how to make a plan match that I’d say. I know the long rides help me out so I do the 3-5 hour rides on the weekend with the intended intervals mixed into them.
I wouldn’t want to do more than the 2h session I’ve done indoors, outdoors yes but not indoors, it would just be mind numbing. Fortunately, I had the Vuelta, without it, that would have probably been too long
I had the same concern so I’ve been doing the following:
For the Sunday workout (usually, the workout is 1.5 hrs to 2.0 hrs), I do it outside on the road on my mountain bike. Then ride the mountain bike to a trail and ride another 2-3 hours at whatever pace I feel like to make it a long duration ride.
The plans substitute intensity for extended time. You can always add extra endurance to the workouts, or take the option to skip the 2 hour weekend ride for a 5 hour ride.
I usually tend to do that if the weather is nice and I’d rather go outside rather than get on the trainer.
They talk about this fairly frequently on the podcast.
You’re training energy systems. A 2h sweet spot workout is a way to achieve similar adaptations to the 4-5h long ride. There are also options in the weekly notes for substitutions if you do want to utilize a longer Z2 ride.
Fitness wise, if you stick to the plans, you’ll be ready. They do suggest one or two long rides per month if you’re training for a long event, just to get used to being on the bike for that long/fueling.
The “long ride” is hard to beat for etching the endurance into my masters age legs. I cut out the weekend SST stuff in the TR plans and do Z1-2 long rides of 3-4 hours outside when possible. For me this works best. With that said the TR plans with the shorter higher intensity sweet spot stuff can work as a substitute for longer rides. Just like Nate on the podcast said, he did a maximum of two hour SST rides and was pretty decent at Leadville.
Would echo what everybody’s said above from a fitness standpoint. It was also mentioned that trainer sessions of above 2 hours understandably have a pretty low compliance rate, so in assuming that the plans would be executed indoors the longer SS sessions are a bit more practical.
In terms of performance, you might benefit from spending more time in the saddle and testing your nutrition/equipment/etc in a more race-specific environment (or simply because you prefer it!)
It’s pretty common practice to either swap out one of the weekend workouts for a longer outdoor ride (provided the purpose of the session remains the same) or supplement a lower-volume plan with additional endurance work.
I do think it’s preferable to do at least a couple of longer rides leading into those sorts of events to get a handle on logistics, but the TR plans approximate that pretty well IMO and I certainly haven’t felt my performance in longer rides has been lacking after a winter spent on the trainer.