Riding outside during a plan in place of a workout

Hi Guys -I’m new to this structured training malarckey and i’m deffo nowhere near anything that could be considered race level - BUT i love to ride and i want to get better/faster/more efficent, rather than training for a specific event. As with many others i work far too many hours so I want to make the most of my time on the bike.
I’m 4 weeks into the Sweetspot base plan. The two 1 hour weekday worksout are fine - but fitting in the 90 minute weekend workout is difficult. If i forgo my sunday social ride, i can fit it in, but the sunday ride is my sanity. We ususally do between 50 and 60 miles with 2500 and 4000 ft of climb. Intensity varies depending on route and whos there- my winer bike has no Power meter but i’m in no state to do the workout when i come back. If do the 90 minute workout on the saturday - i find my self struggling on the ride.
If i swap the 90 minute workout to a weekday would i still need to stop the sunday socials while i’m on the plan or will the 150 miutes of workout + the sunday ride be enough to make the plan still be worth doing ?
Sorry for the long ramble!!
Thank you!!

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I would do your Sunday social ride.

Then look at which tr workout it will likely best match that week and drop that, shift the other 2 as required.

You can also try and replicate your weekend ride outdoors on the social ride. This may not be too successful mind.

Of course it’s not the end of the world if you don’t slavishly follow the plan. However keeping an eye on weekly tss progression is important. Don’t want to put yourself in a hole.


Ride outside. You don’t have to follow these plans to a ‘T’ - it helps, but getting outside for 3-4 hours of fun group ride/endurance is huge.

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Like everyone else said, this structured training malarkey (:joy:) is just that - you don’t have to follow it perfectly. Tweaking your plan and/or riding outdoors is entirely up to you, and you can still see improvement from your outdoor rides if you approach them with the training mindset and work on the pedaling drills, sitting/standing transitions, and bike handling. Additionally, I think outdoor rides are immensely valuable not only as an escape for sanity, but they can be great measures of how you’re improving throughout the plan. If you ride with the same people on similar routes, you’ll soon start to notice the differences in your riding and that’s often the encouragement you need to keep at it.


@Bodbong Valid question. I’ve been using TrainerRoad for two years now, and the most valuable piece of advice I can give is never, ever skip the outdoor rides that you love. There’s no point training in a garage, bedroom, etc. if you can’t take that fitness outside and use it how you enjoy it.

I spent all of last triathlon season only riding indoors (except racing). Yeah, my fitness was high, but emotional fatigue was higher, and I missed the entire point of cycling - being out in the fresh air.

I understand the ‘worry’ and ‘fear’ of skipping an indoor workout, but your fitness isn’t magically going to disappear, and the break will likely help you come back stronger and harder for your next indoor session.


Music to my ears!! Things like under and over intervals and surges should be realtivly easy to replicate on an outdor ride. Long steady output intervals could be more challenging. Peddling drills and the trying to keep a good form are something I can do on any ride. Cheers guys. I did feel better last Sunday - just about kept up with my mates up a couple of rises where I usually get royally dropped. So yeah I think it’s working. :woozy_face::rofl:

In my opinion: over unders are quite difficult to replicate outside, unless your eyes are fixed on your powermeter the entire time. Long and steady, given the fact that traffic is not an issue, is easier to do.

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+1 : This has been my experience as well.

I tend to look at the time I have available then see how this maps onto the training plans. If I’ve got time for a mid volume plan, I’ll do the low volume plan and use the extra time for riding outdoors or adding in sessions that I want to do for fun (like the occasional sufferfest session) when riding outside isn’t possible.
I look at trainerroad mostly as a tool to enable me to have as much fun as possible when I ride outside. I train inside so I can just ride and have fun outside. I don’t try and replicate trainer sessions outdoors as I just find that its not fun. The key point here is that riding should be fun and that you shouldn’t feel too much pressure to stick religiously to a structured plan if doing so would get in the way of having fun.

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