Sunday rides feel awful?

I’m new to trainer road and at the end of my second week of mid volume ssb. Been finding the 3 weekday rides not hard at all, the Saturday ride (though I do on Friday because my schedule is shifted back a day) tough but manageable, but both last week and this week have got up to do the 2nd weekend ride and just found any intensity too much.

Prior to TR I was using zwift 5 days a week so I feel like the volume shouldn’t be an issue, but not sure what else could be the problem?

Trainer Road will feel different to Zwift or outdoor riding because it’s introducing you to sustained interval work. Just pushing on the pedals non-stop for 10-20 minutes at a time makes such a huge difference. But it’s a really efficient way to train and it’s really good for you!

If you’re struggling, I would either swap the Sunday ride for a 90 minute Z2 ride (e.g. Townsend), or do it the other way round - swap to a low volume plan and then fill in the “gaps” on Wednesday and Sunday with similar Z2 riding.

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There’s a cumulative load being applied through the plans but I’m surprised you are suffering from it at the end of the second week, or indeed the first unless you are carrying a lot of fatigue already. You also need to consider life stresses: work, relationships, etc. It’s unusual for someone to nail every single workout, especially if their FTP is in the right ball park, but struggling on lower intensity efforts indicates something isn’t right. You don’t say how old you are or general cycling/training background.

The general recommendation (there’s lots of threads on this) is to look at a lower volume plan and add to it rather than skip workouts in a higher volume plan. A lot of the threads are along the lines of: “I can ride 20hrs a week outdoors is the high volume plan right for me?” Why do low volume then add to it? It’s generally better psychologically to complete a plan and do more than required than feel like you’ve failed to do what’s asked of you.

If you’ve an event X weeks out and your plan leads you to that then either skip the Wednesday easy workout and move Thursday’s workout to Wednesday, etc. so Sunday is free - you could do a Z2 outdoor ride if you felt like it. Or move to the Low Volume plan and simply start at week three.

Alternatively if you are just getting a feel for the whole TR “system” then I’d just move to the Low Volume plan and add whatever Z2 riding you can manage.


In the beginning, you have to train neuro-muscular endurance, which means not power or intensity, but just sustaining a certain amount of power for a longer amount of time. That is what the Sunday rides are for: blocks of 15-20-30 minutes just holding sweet spot power.

So it only seems to suggest that you have less experience or training in neuromuscular endurance than in other aspects of cycling. Outside you put a bike in motion, outside you have to keep spinning the trainer, effectively making it harder.


I get it, I too often feel the “Sunday” ride is harder than “Saturday” ride, especially towards the end. The threshold work on the “Saturday” ride is generating considerable fatigue that you’ll feel the next day. The “Sunday” rides look easier on paper but you have to keep in mind that you’ve not had time to fully recover from the previous day’s intensity.

If you’re having trouble you may need to just tone it back until you adapt to the intensity. If you look at the weekly tips you’ll see recommendations for a Z2 ride in place of the Sweat Spot workout. An example for week 2:

Your weekend cements the over-under/Sweet Spot interval combination, one you’ll face every weekend for the entirety of this month of training. And if you’d rather keep things lower in intensity but longer in duration come Sunday, swap Boarstone for your end-of-weekend scheduled workout.

If that’s still too much it might be better to switch to a low volume plan and work your way up.

I think that’s probably a good idea, can cope with zone 2 with this fatigue but sweet spot feels impossible (at least the 10 minute blocks of it)

Can definitely downgrade the Sunday workout to something lower endurance, or go outside even. But it could also be the MV plan is just much more riding stress than you’re used to? I started with LV a few years ago and built my way up. I had the time to train MV, but none of the history that would make it a good idea. I’m certain MV would have crushed me.

A lot of people seem to suggest low volume but it just doesn’t look like enough? Been doing structured training for a couple of years at roughly same volume as mid.

What I have noticed though is erg mode seems much harder because I used to use a dumb trainer and rarely had the same fatigue issues, yet since I got a smart trainer 6/7 hours a week has been tough

Sunday rides felt worse for me when I first started too, but they now feel about the same as the Saturday ride.

Didn’t see your previous training volume, so I wasn’t sure how MV compared. Maybe try the Sunday workout in slope mode (non-erg)? Small cadence changes cause the erg to make repeated corrections and constantly fighting that can be fatiguing. Also, different trainers have different feels depending on whether you’re in a hi or lo gear, so consider switching that up.