SPBLV - substitute Saturday TH with Z2 while running on Sundays

Hi. I am now entering SPBLV with 3 runs, which are in preparation for a run race at the end of April. Then I am expecting to drop or reduce runs to 1x week. I am feeling stronger base fitness this season, which means a lot of suffering on SS and TH after FTP test.

I would like to replace Saturday 1.5-hour TH workouts with long outdoor Z2 rides, at least while I am running on Sundays. Not sure if such a change would be detrimental to building FTP. My season is several fondos spread throughout the calendar.

What’s the forum’s thought on this?

TL;DR Pick which is most important, work towards that goal and be satisfied with whatever happens on the other hand. If raising FTP is your primary goal, make 100% compliance with TR plan and recovery between workouts paramount; if running race is most important, be OK with just maintaining FTP and use the bike as recovery for your running workouts. Trying to do both is likely to end with disappointing results for both.


IME, such a change would be detrimental to building your FTP. Your running is probably also detrimental toward building your FTP and the running probably isn’t helping your Fondo training. The running you have scheduled is likely to cause you to experience inadequate recovery between your hard workouts, and it is likely that your performance in your trainer sessions will suffer because of it. Specifically, your modified weeks would be scheduled as follows:

Hard (bike) -> Moderate (run) -> Hard (bike) -> Hard (run) -> Moderate/long bike -> Moderate/long run

If you want to run, then by all means run. Just be aware that running and its impact on your compliance with the TrainerRoad plans is likely to impair your improvement vs. if you attained 100% compliance with the TR plan, or even raised it up to a MV plan. Your modified plan looks like an awful lot of intensity, though I acknowledge I say that knowing nothing about your background.

Quite simply, training for top performance in a running race while raising your FTP are goals that are at odds. One or the other will probably have to give. So, which is more important? If raising your FTP is, then comply with TR, and reduce running volume and intensity. TR is giving you plenty of cardiovascular intensity that will translate well to your running. Odds are you don’t need as much intensity as you’re programming in your run to do very well.

If the running race is truly important to you, then you need to reduce cycling volume. I would treat the bike as good recovery for the run. You could probably do two easy sessions and one moderate long session in zone 2 and not see much drop off in your FTP, then hit it after your running race and start raising FTP then.

Another option: If you want to mix running and cycling, why not pick an appropriate Triathlon training plan and omit the swims, then shift over to cycling plans after your race?

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I would say go for it, but you should also then pick your tempo or speedwork run as the only one you do each week, and then do z2 as the other one. So your week looks like:

off, TR Bike, Z2 run, TR Bike, Run intervals, Z2 bike long ride, Z2 long run

I’m on week 5 of doing short power build this way as part of my custom xterra triathlon plan. 2 hard bikes, 1 hard run, rest z2. Compliance was some of the highest I’ve had since joining TR, just make sure your TSS isn’t a big drop off from the originally planned. Also, those Z2 runs should be LOW z2, RPE 4 or so, conversational pace.

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Thank you. I was suspecting my plan had too much intensity. Considering my objective for the run race is to finish, I will probably swap one of the interval runs with the Z2 ride, keeping bike effort workouts intact.

EDIT. Did the ramp test and was left utterly disappointed. Previous test - 220, new test - 230. Up to date training was done with old FTP 224, with difference vs test irrelevant for SS and VO2 base workouts. I felt my muscles cease at the end. Thinking muscular endurance might be the limiter in this case. Oh well…

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How much running did you do entering the ramp test? Running is a real hindrance to recovery if the bike is your priority. If you did a long or hard run within 24-48 hours of the ramp test, you no doubt underperformed.

I did not do much running in the week leading up to the test. But certainly there were other factors: work stress, travel, poor nutrition choices, irregular training. Upon reflection, though, if I really have a higher FTP, then I will test as such in 4 weeks. Until then I have an opportunity to ease into build phase.

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