Utilizing Plan + group rides

Clearly new here, but not new to the trainer or TSS. I signed up for the mid-level base knowing it was reasonable given my time constraints. I’ve scheduled workouts outside for the weekends but I’ve got a couple of big group rides that jump my TSS. I use them to practice sitting in, drafting, etc. and I’m guilty of utilizing what I’ve learned on the trainer. Essentially I’m utilizing the trainer on a mid-level plan but after my weekends it’s closer to high-level. So far I haven’t felt any burnout or fatigue… is this normal for people to stray from their scheduled outside rides and let loose? I’m wondering if I should be stepping up my trainer game or just rolling with it? I have yet to complete my second ramp test if that’s relevant.

Just to be perfectly clear, do any of your group/outside rides replace any scheduled workouts? To answer your question, I think a lot of TR users deviate from the plan, come the weekend.

If not and you’re able to handle the stress, good on you! That said, a group ride ‘could’ be easier than a scheduled workout, if you are drafting for most of the time and not drilling it on the front. Just remember that not all TSS is created equal.

That said, bike handling skills are key and group rides will certainly offer the opportunities to improve.

I’d just pay careful attention to what my body is telling me and treat nutrition and recovery with as much respect as a training session.

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Totally normal for people to cut loose and do group rides. Personally I always have and always will, riding my bike outside with other people is what I enjoy most about cycling!

How best to incorporate it depends hugely on the group ride. If it’s a decent approximation of a scheduled workout then just substitute it. If it doesn’t really align with anything on the plan (and you can’t ride it in such a way as to align more closely, e.g. doing long pulls on the front to get a SS workout instead of sitting in) then it may be better to choose a lower volume plan which you can complete as intended, and then supplement with group rides.

I think the latter approach works really well with the LV plans supplemented with long weekend group rides which are mostly sub threshold. LV plan gives you the intensity, group rides give you the endurance. Where I think it gets tricky is with no drop rides that are more like races and include a whole bunch of intensity. These can be great fun and a great workout, the challenge is that they don’t really line up with anything on the plan, and they take a big toll on you which can tip you into too much fatigue if you then try and do the scheduled high intensity workouts as well.

Thinking about this. I’ve been doubting between choosing SSB Lv or MV. I started with MV but both my rides on Saturday and Sunday are almost always in groups and have about 3 to 4h. The only advantage to choose MV is having the training on schedule in case of bad whether and doing it on the trainer.

Choosing Lv has a problem I’ve identified. The 3 trainings are all hard level and I train indoors from Tuesday to Thursday giving no easy day between hard days. By the other hand choosing MV doing only the first 3 trainings that have an easier day between I might be missing some important specific trainings that are schedule for the weekend (trainings 4 and 5).

I would go LV then. If you want to do more midweek then you can either switch to a +1 or +2 version of the workouts. Or look at the corresponding workouts on the MV plan. As and when there’s bad weather or you’re on the trainer at the weekend just pull in an appropriate workout from MV or elsewhere. E.g. a 2 hour SS.


This season/ year, I’m following MV, but I generally get out with my club on a Saturday. So rather than have workouts Tuesday to Sunday, I’ve moved them on the calendar to Monday to Saturday. So the Saturday group ride replaces the “Sunday” moderate workout rather than the “Saturday” hard workout of the plan.

Other years, I’ve done it the other way around, and on reflection I think not doing the “Saturday” workout hasn’t been the best for getting faster. I think this way I’ll get the key workouts done.


I recently started LV Sweet Spot Base where I’m riding indoors three days a week and try to get at least one group ride in on the weekend (sometimes Sat & Sun). Mostly for the same reason the original poster noted - I enjoy getting out and riding with friends, that camaraderie, the back and forth banter, the moments of pushing each other wether sprinting for signs or those long pace lines in z3-4. I know the majority of the miles are junk miles, but I’m okay with that as long as it’s not impeding my progress with Trainerroad. And so far it’s not.


This is exactly my plan, at least for starters. There not much difference between doing this and riding a LV plan with a group ride on the weekend and an additional aerobic session during the week. I think either one is a viable option for those wanting mid-level volume.


My weekend workouts are generally 90 minutes each day, so I’ve been just doing these group rides instead. TSS is usually 2-3x what it would be.

Just a problem for me with that has I stated before. Choosing LV and scheduling all 3 high intensity LV trainings in a row from Tuesday to Thursday doesn’t give a lower Intensity day between two hard days has it is supposed and has it is scheduled on MV plans.

Can you do Monday, Wednesday, Friday? Or something like Monday morning, Tuesday evening, Thursday morning? Which gives you ~36 hours between workouts and a recovery day before the weekend.

If your weekend riding has enough intensity that you need rest/easy days on Friday to be fresh for it and on Monday to recover from it, then you should be cutting back to just 2 midweek rides with intensity anyway.

I can’t do trainings in the morning. Only after 20h00. The ideal deal is the scheme during week days that is given by MV plan but if doing so and then doing on weekends two outdoor group rides instead of the 2 weekend trainings scheduled, I think it’s going to be missing at least one high intensity training a week because both MV and LV have 3 hard trainings in it and MV gives an extra low intensity training midweek and one average intensity on the weekend.

Basic problems for me are if choosing:

  • LV I’ve got to do 3 high intensity trainings in consecutive days (Tuesday to Thursday) and on weekends 2 extra group ride;
  • MV I’ve got 2 high intensity trainings with a less intense training between them (Tuesday to Thursday) and the same group rides on weekend lacking the 3rd high intense training of the program.