Swapping workouts

Disclaimer: I know in the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t really matter, but I’m curious what people do.

When you swap/substitute workouts, do you aim to keep the same TiZ, TSS, IF or a combination of the three?

Two examples:

Today I had Antelope +4, but opted for Antelope +3 as they were both 6x10’ @ 88-94% although the latter was 15’ shorter, and was all I could fit in. There’s a 10TSS difference between the two.

Tomorrow, I have Geiger +2 (1:30; 5x12’ @ 88-94%) and, if I can’t fit in 1:30, I’ll probably do Picuris (1:15; 5x12’ @ 93-94) though I might knock the power down a little. There’s a 4TSS difference between the two.

How do you swap/sub workouts?

I only generally swap indoor workouts for outdoors ones. At this time of year in the UK I’d rather not do threshold and above efforts outdoors and usually just swap them for tempo or endurance sessions that fit my time window and look interesting.

1 Like

It depends why I’m swapping. But TSS isn’t a good guide. I’d look at the zone, more than the IF I suppose.

1 Like

Yeah, I do swap the Sunday 2hr SS for 4+ hr z2 rides when the weather is okay. Has been a lot of ice down south recently. You’re in Scotland, right?

1 Like

So 5x12 SS for another workout with 5x12 SS but with different rest intervals?

1 Like

At the moment yes. Its either stormy (above freezing but feels below) or clear and sunny but freezing (one of my mates garmins said -7deg :cold_face: ). Occasionally there’s a gap though and I have grabbed a few weekends. Saturday through a snow storm was interesting :thinking: :+1:

Yeah could be, if the reduced recovery doesn’t affect the quality of the session for you.

If the plan is expecting a 90 min sweet spot session but you don’t have the time, select a 60 min one instead. You’re still working the systems expected, sure there’s a hit on TSS but that’s just a description of the work you did in the time.

If I’m doing a time trial I’ll look to swap out the threshold session, or most threshold-like session in the week.

There have been times where I’ve tried swapping 3-5h endurance rides for higher intensity rides but it doesn’t always workout well, you’re better splitting the ride in two and doing the second half when you can, if at all.

In my opinion the vast majority of the benefit is doing a workout at all. Getting every precise element perfect is like…marginal gains if any.

1 Like

I swap/add/subtract something on most weeks and it really depends why I’m swapping as to what I look at.

When subtracting is the goal:
TiZ would be good to look at if I’m swapping out a longer Z4+ for a shorter Z4+ because of time constraints…this typically adds to the IF though.
TSS would be good to look at if I’m adding strength training that day or just need a little lighter activity because of slight fatigue.

When adding is the goal:
I go longer duration of the same or similar workout (or adding some Z2/Z3 to the end) when my legs are feeling good.
I go up in intensity of the same or similar workout when my legs feel great.

As always, this is just what I do…bad or good…and may not work for others.

Lately I’ve been really time crunched, so I’ve been skipping ahead through chunks of recovery intervals. I guess my main philosophy is to get in as much of the prescribed work as possible. But that’s a different ask depending on the system. It’s a lot easier to do that with ss or lower. The way I modify depends on why I have to modify.

One thing that’s a little confusing about the plus and minus versions of workouts is that they’re not necessarily scaling up or down consistently. -1 might be less rest and overall shorter with a higher if, it might be lower intensity, etc.