SSBLV : 3 workouts or 2 workouts+group ride?

I just started a new SSBLV plan.
I commute on a bike 5 days a week to and from work, and usually manage 2 TR workouts. 1h each. Right now they are SweetSpot, and later I will have VO2Max.
On WE, I used to do a 1h30 workout (usually threshold).

But a couple a month ago I joined a cycling club, and for the first time in my life I’m riding with people.
This is not a fast ride group. They are older people (60-80). Some of them used to compete.
The area is hilly, so the flats/descent are usually easy ride/coasting, and then we will have a few 5 to 30 min ascents with everyone trying its best, and we regroup at the top.
The ride is about 4h long, with a lot of stops/coasting (25%-30%)
If I look at yesterday’s group ride, I have :
0.74 IF
231 TSS
38’ endurance
26’ tempo
16’ SS
24’ threshold
15’ VO2Max
9’ Anerobic
compare to the workout I missed (Starling -2, Threshold 4.0):
Starlight -2 is 3x10-minute over-under intervals alternating between 3 minutes at 95% FTP and 2 minutes at 105% FTP with 6-minute recoveries between intervals.
The set of over-unders is sandwiched 2x18-minute Endurance intervals spent at 65% FTP.
98 TSS

I have a lot more TSS from the group ride because it is longer than from the threshold workout.
I also understand that TSS quantity!=TSS quality

So my question is : should I continue to skip my 3rd workout and ride with the club ?

Which of the group ride vs TR workout is getting me the most fitness/progression ?


Monday - Sweetspot
Tuesday - Sweetspot
Weds - Off
Thurs - Threshold
Fri - Off
Sat - Group Ride
Sun - Off

That’s what I’d do. Most intense workouts after a rest day. The first sweetspot ride will become your VO2 Max ride when you get to SSBLV2.

100% most of your progression will come from your structured workouts.

Whatever makes you happy on the bike. 2 intensity days per week is enough for many, especially if supported by overall volume. If you want to do a group ride, and you feel motivated by it - of course do it. The biggest driver of adaptations is always volume. If group ride makes you to ride more - it’s always a good thing. And during the group ride there is plenty of intensity, not to mention technique.

The most basic truth of endurance training is volume. I’d look at that first.

3 hard days of LV is planned at 3.5 hours/week


3 hard days with one being a group ride at 6 hours/week

If it’s not that fast for you, then consider working on progressing the climbs, then turn around and sweep the back of the climb instead of waiting at the top.


Right, that makes sense.
Your plan looks great, but I don’t think I can able to handle 2 SweetSpots workout 2 days in a row. Especially with the commute on top of that.
I really need a day off between 2 workouts.

The group ride feels more fun and less like working. For a given power, my RPE trying to hold on a wheel in the group is always much lower than trying to stay at that same power on my own in a workout.

And even though parts of the ride can be boring, and sometimes too slow for my taste, after 4 hours, because of the few bursts/hills, I’m really, really tired. Legs and whole body. I just feel like lying down for hours after that

Really ? I had no idea. Most of TR is about structure, that’s why I was wondering if I was missing a lot of progression by missing my weekly threshold workout.

I guess the main issue would be progressive overload then. What is easy with PL, having the next workout just a tiny bit more intense than the previous one, is impossible on the group ride.

Good tip, thanks

In that case, for me the general rule would be “don’t do sweetspot when you could be doing threshold”. I’d move the threshold ride to Tuesday and really try to progress it. So if Adaptive Training suggested a Productive workout of, say, 3 × 10 mins over/unders for 1 hr, I’d look for an alternative Stretch workout of maybe 4 × 12 mins in 90 minutes. All assuming you feel strong, of course. Make your hard days hard.

On Thursday I’d do whichever sweetspot workout of the two offered that has you going for longer intervals. Assuming your group ride is going to count as your second Hard Day each week, I’d probably keep this ride at the lower end of sweetspot (88% to 92%) but work my way out to longer intervals (2 × 20+ mins). That way this day shouldn’t get too fatiguing. When VO2 comes into the plan, it should replace this ride.

Ditch the other sweetspot ride in favour of the group ride.


1 Like

I see your point. Remove the easier workout and keep the harder. Make sense. Thanks

1 Like

I do a LV plan (3 workouts) with 2 group rides at the weekend (I might occasionally associate them with an Endurance workout but I usually dont bother) but at this time of year there also tends to be a midweek paceline (chaingang), whilst its not as targeted/ intense as the workout scheduled it is pretty intense. The last one was 1.5h of IF 0.72 and I associated it with a tempo workout. But even if it was less intense and I wasn’t associating it for me the mental health benefits of a group ride outweighs the extra fitness benefits of a workout. Occasionally everyone will call off the midweek night ride and I’ll do the workout but I’ve no qualms if I don’t. Very occasionally other group rides or something else appears and I’ll swap them for a workout if it arises.

FWIW my week tends to be:

Sun - Relaxed Gravel Group Ride
Mon - TR Workout (Threshold ATM)
Tues - Commute 25-35miles
Wed - Paceline/ TR Workout (Threshold ATM) - Paceline takes the priority
Thu - TR Workout (Threshold ATM)
Fri - Rest Day
Sat - Group ride (Vary intensity of Endurance)

That’s a pretty intense week, with 2/3 threshold TR Workout. Are you able to increase the PL after each of these workouts ?

1 Like

It is, I don’t know why AT has made everything of late Threshold :exploding_head: Most of my wo’s of late have been outside and I was completing them earlier in the year with my own estimated FTP but AIFTP has put things up a bit (circa 8-10%) and I’ve put them down as fails of for the last couple of weeks.

Need to disagree here….maybe in terms of TR Progression Levels, but those are automatically irrelevant as soon as you start mixing in outdoor rides.

As @WindWarrior noted, the primary driver of endurance training remains volume for most people. Structure helps increase the adaptations, but volume is the basis.

TR is largely based around time-constrained athletes and obviously indoor based. Those elements are conducive towards prioritizing structured workouts.

You also need to give us some context on your commutes…how many additional hours does that add on a daily / weekly basis? It all counts towards your weekly training load.

1 Like

Depends on the mix. In the week I outlined, 3 of the 4 rides were structured.

If that were flipped the other way, then I’d agree that unless the outdoor rides are “junk miles”, they’ll likely be the primary driver.

Just a matter of how much of what gets done.

Outdoor miles are not “junk miles”.

They can be, though. Hence my use of the word “unless”. I didn’t say they all are. That would be ridiculous.

In exactly the same way, indoor miles can also be “junk miles”. Riding around aimlessly without any real training intent and without any sort of planned progression.

Well, it’s not a whole lot really. But I don’t have any power data on my commute bike (It’s an old/rusty/heavy bike with rear racks/bags) to measure the training load.
It’s around 50-55 minute daily (remove 10min for the downhill/coasting). Sometimes split when doing the groceries on my way home.
But with the elevation (250m/800 foot a day) I need to push to go forward. I go as light as possible, but I don’t think I could go really in “recovery” mode without going backward :grimacing:

That is a lot….you are getting almost 5 extra hours of volume that you really aren’t accounting for. Doesn’t really matter how intense those miles are, it is still added training stress

Do you use a HR monitor? If so, you can use hrTSS as a proxy for true TSS. Not perfect,l but it helps.

1 Like

Now you’re scaring me, lol
It sure don’t feel that way, such tiny bit here and there (even though the few days of the year I cannot commute for a day or two, I do feel fresher the next day)

So you got me interested. I looked up the few times I used my road bike with power meter to commute (I think it was the days where the only time I could train was during my lunch break).
The load varies quite a lot. I had number between 14 and 34.
90% recovery here:
Screenshot from 2022-08-31 19-59-07

vs 30% here:
Screenshot from 2022-08-31 20-01-10

And that’s expected I guess. Every day is different. Sometimes I chill, and half the trip back home is coasting, sometime I race cars, sometimes I have to get rid of the stress of the day. Commuting is one of those freedom moment I have every day, and it would be a very different experience if I had to constantly keep in mind the next day workout.

Anyway, if we take 25 as an average, time 6 is 125. Not huge, but still 25% of my weekly load (~500). (And that’s not accounting for the extra load of the heavy bike I use most of the time. Maybe 10% more ?)

So I don’t whether that clears the picture or not, but now you know everything about me :grinning:

No, If group ride is longer than like 4 hour, great proportion of progression will come from this ride.

It massively depends on what work actually gets done in that ride. If 40% to 50٪ of it is either in Z1 or not moving, it’s not going to be hugely productive. Just because a ride is long and/or makes you tired, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to move the needle wrt training goals.