A mix of #2 and a very good friendship with a coach. I follow the standard trainer road plans, high volume, as that’s what I’ve been able to do, and I ask for guidance when needed. The one thing that the coach has been admit on is LSD (long slow distance) rides. So lately I’ve been replacing a weekend workout with a 4+ hour ride.
My goal event this spring is Belgian Waffle Ride (almost a month away!!), but I’m mainly a criterium and XCO racer.
Number 2 - Replace weekend sessions with long rides which has been really beneficial for racing, choosing the high volume plans as well. High volume base with only sweet spot has been a complete game changer for me in terms of race performance, it gave me tons of confidence that I can ride really hard for 2-4 hours and really attack races from the start, while I used to be a lot less aggressive and my results would suffer.
I pretty much do 2, but the degree to which I modify the plans vary depending on the time of the year.
I actually wrote a blog post on my team’s website about how I used TR to prep for Redlands and now, the UCI Joe Martin Stage Race this week here that hopefully gives a bit of detail:
I have had a lot of success using TR (my 3rd year on the platform), actually posted about some of my modifications and results on this forum topic
In general, I follow high volume plans very closely in the Sweet Spot base phase, mainly because it’s easy to do with the minimal racing that takes place in this time period. The only significant modifications I make are very low intensity commutes to work and tacking on additional zone 2 to the end of the weekend sweet spot workouts.
Generally by the time I’m into the build/specialty phase, I’m more fluid with the plans. I still follow a high volume training plan, but make some updates:
Aerobic rides are frequently outdoors because it’s finally nice/light enough to do so and it helps save mental matches for indoor quality workouts
If I’m racing on the weekend, I reduce the number of workouts that go over sweet spot by the number of races I’m doing, replacing these rides with aerobic work. With the intense workouts I do, I try to prioritize the efforts I’m not getting in racing, which is typically Sweet Spot/Muscular Endurance workouts, and Threshold/longer V02max intervals. Road and criterium racing has so much shorter anaerobic/sprint oriented work in it inherently that I rarely do intervals on this end of the spectrum.
Sometimes race week/weekends take more out of me than I think think they will, and so I modify the plans to give me more rest. Sometimes I only need to take another day before a quality workout, others (like after Redlands a couple weeks ago) I had to cut the entire week following and shift the hard workouts to the next week.
In weekends I’m not racing, I try to get at least 1 4-5 hour ride in. Sometimes this is a TR workout + riding as in the base phase, sometimes a fast group ride + riding, other times just long and “slow.” But these have a huge impact on being able to race 100 miles into a road race.
I will caution those less experienced; don’t “do as the pros do” and expect it just to work. I have tried multiple times to manage the high volume plan and have dug myself into a crater before having to take time off. Inconsistency is the biggest impediment to growth, being able to follow a plan consistently and hit all targets is far better than over-reaching and failing. So heed the caution, build to the level slowly over multiple seasons, and most importantly listen to your body.
and just being honest now, I will probably not renew my TR subscription (still have quite some time to decide). This winter I’ve done most of my interval work on Rouvy. Only used TR for endurance rides when watching movies. Still have PerfPro on my pain cave PC.
Yes, absolutely! LSD rides were the one type of ride that I rarely did in 2017-2018, and my aerobic engine suffered near the end of races. I’m still a big proponent of Sweet Spot workouts on the trainer (1.5-2.5 hrs), but since the weather and daylight are cooperating now in the midwest, it makes these long weekend rides easy to do.
I’ve had two knee surgeries in the last year and a half, and trainer road has helped me bounce back from each.
In the long run, consistency of training will be the largest impact of a rider’s fitness. Last year my CTL peaked out at 75 a few weeks out from my A event, and now I’m at 85, with race season about a month out.
Get Faster with TrainerRoad
Sign up and download the app to start training. Available on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac devices.
Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast
This is the only podcast dedicated to making you a faster cyclist. Listen to the latest episode and more.
We Are Here to Help!
Browse hundreds of articles in our Support Center or contact our world-class support team to get back on track.