Skipping Workouts to ride Outdoors

I’m one week into the General Build High Volume plan. This has workouts scheduled 6 days a week. I’ve heard various opinions on if I ride outside what to do about that days scheduled workout. Push it one day? Skip completely? Etc.
What are some of you doing in regards to this?
Texas has some crazy weather and one day(today) it’s cold and overcast and a few days later (this coming Thursday) sunny and warm. Hard to commit to trainer with clear skies and 65 outside!

I’ve done this plan a few times. My suggestion is do the key workouts inside but Friday is usually Pettit so can easily be done outside as an easy 1 hourish ride. The plan notes usually say the Sunday workout can be substituted for a longer easier workout. I usually do a 3 hour outside ride instead of the 2 hour indoor workout or longer alternative.

What I suggest you don’t do is ride 7 days. I find after 6 days doing this plan I need my rest day.

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Ride outdoors and skip the workout on that day. You are not going to suddenly loose any progress, or fail to make headway if you go outside.

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Shuffle your workouts around so you do the hardest sessions and just make sure that any outdoor rides don’t leave you too fatigued to hit them. Much will also depend on the nature of your outdoors activity.


I always swap the outdoor ride with one of thr scheduled rides. Adding rides to an optimized plan makes it no longer optimized.

I’d also add that you need to be conscious of the training load. If your outdoor rides rack up big TSS you may do too much.

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Yeah, especially when you go with the Race Group instead of the Social… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


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The mid vol plan is designed for this.

Agreed, I generally swap out a indoor ride for an outdoor one. I try and match it as much as possible but I feel doubling up is going to potentially add a lot of TSS and could push you over the edge a bit.

As long as you are roughly matching the indoor ride outdoors you should still get the benefit from it.

My TSS echoes the midvolume plan so i drop down to the low volume plan and add 2 outdoor rides to that plan to get my TSS to its normal range for me. 1 outdoor ride is usally an easy/recovery ride and the second outdoor ride is usually a z3 power avg ride and generally 3 hours. So you apply that principle to you and drop to the mid volume and add a couple outdoor rides but 1 of those rides should replace the recovery ride so you still get a day completely off.


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I have a very similar conundrum. Last night I swapped Budawang +3 (5 x 9min @ 102%) for a group workout at the local track. The TSS I accumulated was roughly the same as Budawang but zone times are completely different. Budawang +3 would have had me doing 45mins at threshold whilst last night I spent a meagre 5mins at threshold.
Similarly on Sunday I’m doing 3hr fairly intense group road race and I might drop Saturday’s McAdie +1. Again McAdie will have me doing 45mins @ threshold whilst I expected to spend perhaps 15-20 mins @ threshold during my outdoor ride. I’ll accumulate double the TSS during the outdoor ride compared to McAdie.
I think the outdoor rides, if they are indeed providing adaptations, are providing completely different adaptations compared to those I would have had if I didn’t skip/replace the indoor TR workouts. Therefore I’m wondering if I should push my build phase out a week? Or am I overthinking things?

From listening to a lot of podcasts and reading sports science papers it seems that getting 2 high intensity sessions a week is the optimal amount in a higher volume plan, any more and you start to push burnout. Trainerroad generally has 3 but the reduced volume of the plans (i.e not having a V02 session on saturday that is part of a 5 hour ride) seems to compensate for the extra fatigue from a third HIIT session, generally the sunday ride is concentrating on aerobic gains anyway and is great to swap for a longer lower intensity outdoor ride.

By HIIT session I mean sessions with prolonged targeted periods above threshold.

From this I think it is pretty crucial to get the Tuesday and Thursday sessions done, they are pretty much the cornerstone of the week for me and dictate if the week has been productive or not. Past that accumulating volume is arguably more useful than doing an extra interval session. So I would say go for the outdoor ride on sunday as a substitute, and saturday as well even. Besides, if your outdoor rides are anything like mine they aren’t just 4 or 5 hour easy rides, they have periods of high intensity as well, so you aren’t going to miss that entirely by just cycling outside.

Couple of references that discuss frequency and the benefits of more sessions against injury risk.


So if I replaced this morning’s Holt Hill (90min) with a trail run (because getting in a turbo workout before 6:30a is proven outside my reach right now, but a run is not) and I have Phoenix (also 90min) planned for tomorrow, will a 3+ hr gravel ride catch me up? :grinning:

Skip the indoor ride and do your outdoor ride instead. Afterwards you can look at the TSS to see if you’ve been doing too little work outside compared to what you were supposed to do inside and fit in an additional (short) TSS filler workout.

Ha! That’s some serious TSS, but not many kJs. Must’ve been a fun one.

You’re either lightweight, or that must have been lots of surging and sitting in wheels. Good example of “not all TSS is created equal.”

The actual workout if you’re interested. kJs were high too. Combination of group riding (chaingang+paceline) and some race sprints.

I’ve decided to do last night’s workout tonight, Budawang +3. That gives me 2 quality workouts this week instead of my normal 3 but I’ll have done 2 fairly intense (in different ways) outdoor rides to make up. This also gives my legs a chance to recover on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s race intensity 3hr ride. That leaves my TSS at 820 for the week, is v. close to being too much but I think I can get away with it.

So you have a power meter?

Er, yeah.