What To Do When You Cant’t Finish A Workout

I’m new to Trainer Road. I started the SSB HV 1 plan a couple weeks ago and find myself struggling to finish the second 2hr SS workout on back-to-back 2hr workout days.

The way I see it, My options are: 1) reduce the workout intensity and finish the workout, but at the lower intensity I’m not sure I’m getting the intended workout benefit, 2) call it quits at 75% complete (which is what I usually make it to on that 2nd workout) and use the extra time to rest and recover and hopefully come back stronger then next week.

Alternatively I could swap to a shorter workout on that second day and try to increase it over time… but my concern is that I’ll perpetually be struggling to finish that workout as my FTP (hopefully) increases.

My objective at this point is only to increase fitness and raise my FTP (i.e. speed and endurance) to be as competitive as possible when I start to race next summer.

Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


I would HIGHLY encourage you to step back to Mid Volume or Low Volume and add as you feel good. High volume is TOUGH. I initially made the mistake of thinking “yea i have this much time to commit per week” but just because you have the free time doesn’t mean your body has the ability.



You can always ADD to the plan. But TR has repeatedly stated their data shows once folks start cutting rides, compliance / completion of a plan falls off significantly.


Often people can get through 2, maybe 3 weeks of HV plans and then the implosion occurs. It’s a lot of stress from indoor training, and it’s not the same as TSS from outdoor riding.
Dial down to MV, recover, and then add either through extended cool down, or +1/+2 variants to the existing workouts in MV.
Having base be this hard, this early into the off-season is just going to lead to burnout long before next season even begins.


Personally what I did was Low Volume SSB 1 and 2, and then added a Tempo workout on Wednesdays and a Recovery workout on Sundays. I still had great gains, way more than I thought possible, so its really about quality here. My one friend who knows training plans well told me from day 1 not to do what I was doing, I didn’t listen, blew up after a week and a half, then took his advice and had a great rest of my training season and am crushing my numbers from last year.

If you want, take a look at my calendar of activities in this link and see how I modified the SSB Low Volume Plan. Start with the week of January 7

This article is useful to review:

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Thanks for the comments everyone. Great to see an active community out there willing to help!

I should have mentioned that although I’m new to TrainerRoad - I’m not actually new to structured training. I’m actually a recent convert from another online, subscription based training app that I used for the past year… I got hooked on the podcast and then couldn’t resist trying the app. I’m really glad I made the change!

That said, I read through the comments and the article (thank you - very helpful!), did a little more digging into my own workout data, and experimented a little this weekend achieving what I think was a good result, i.e. quality training sessions. I was a little reluctant to scale back to a mid-volume plan as my first course of action, so I took some advice from the article and scaled back the weekend workouts from 2 hours back to back to 1.5 hour back to back. Additionally I dropped my cadence to the 90-95 rpm range from the 95-100 rpm range I was typically spinning at. Keeping in mind that I could try some short back peddling if I found myself in trouble (another tip from the article).

The other big change I made this weekend was workout working out later in the day. I normally do fasted workouts early in the morning - in the case of longer workouts I eat a little before and during the workout. This weekend, however, I trained in the early afternoon.

So lots of changes (maybe too many) all at once, but I’m encouraged by the good quality workouts I feel I put in. Going forward I’ll have to return to my early morning workouts, but I plan to eat more in the evening and during the workouts eventually trying to stretch it to 2 hours back to back over the next couple of weeks.

Does this seem like a reasonable approach? Am I missing anything?

If not, are there any clear warning signs I should look for in case I start burning myself out?

Just to confirm, did you choose the high volume plan because the weekly hours matched what you were doing before on the other app, OR, did you choose the high volume plan because the weekly TSS matched?

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I choose the high volume plan because it was around the same weekly TSS I was doing before (on average it’s about 50 TSS more, so +10%).

Do you do all your training inside or do you try and get out on the weekend? The reason I ask is that if it were me, I would keep one of the longer SS Sat/Sun rides and then on the other day go for a long endurance ride outside.