Which workout to swap out for my unstructured outdoor ride

TR User for around a year now, had really good success going from couch to XCO races over the summer. Now i’m looking towards some winter XCM races and am part way through the XCM Low Volume Plan, about to start Sustained Power Build next week.

In order to keep my sanity (and some skills), I always do a 1:45-2h outdoor ride on a Wednesday morning. My current TR plan schedule looks like this;

Mon: 2h Z2 Endurance (added in for volume)
Wednesday: 1.5h Sweet Spot
Thursday: 1h Vo2 Max
Saturday: 1h Threshold

My question is, am I right in ditching the 1.5h Sweet Spot workout for my unstructured (but hard) outdoor Wednesday ride? Number of hours and days aren’t very negotiable, I have a business and 1 year old which both keep me very busy! I don’t want to overload myself by adding that hard ride on top of my intervals, and equally don’t know which of the three intense days I should be swapping out.

Thank you in advance

I see you have sweet spot on Wednesday and then VO2Max on Thursday. You should probably do the VO2Max after a rest day or an endurance day.

Furthermore I would replace the sweet spot with your outside ride. But it depends on the intensity of the outdoor ride.

Ok great, so swap the threshold to Thursday and Vo2 to Saturday.

Outdoor ride is usually around 120 TSS, with my weeks generally be somewhere in the region of 330-360 TSS. Intensity varies but for RPE I’d rate a 7, typical heart rate attached (no power for outdoors)

When I do a midweek ride I usually whether its right or wrong swap it for whatever ride I have that day but if I match the outdoor ride to anything I never go higher than Tempo, as I am wary power is easier to achieve outside and I don’t want my inside PL’s inflated to unsustainable levels.

I’ve been matching to the TR sweet spot that the ride has been replacing, seems like I should just be ditching it and then finding a suitable (up to tempo) equivalent then?

Don’t match the outdoor activity to the scheduled workout. Just delete or skip the scheduled workout and do your own outdoor activity instead. If you match it you will just end up with wrong proficiency levels.


That’s probably a good idea. I also tend to only match a outdoor ride where there’s some structure like a chaingang (paceline for US folk) and not general leisure rides.

Hey @Dan_Sweeting :slight_smile:

Looking at your Calendar it looks like you may benefit from doing:

Mon: 1.5h Sweet Spot
Wednesday: 1:45-2h outdoor ride (make this your Z2 riding)
Thursday: 1h Vo2 Max
Saturday: 1h Threshold

The reason I recommend that swap is because:

A) Add Z2 riding and keep your sanity all while riding outside on Wednesdays :slight_smile: No need to go hard on these rides, just enjoy them.
B) Get in your Sweet Sport training on Mondays without having to match unstructured rides to them, which by the way we don’t recommend. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:
C) You get in all your quality interval training without having to ditch SS workouts or negotiate with hours and days.

Note: Like @hpbieker mentioned, we don’t recommend matching an outside workout unless you actually followed the TR Workout instructions. Matching an unstructured ride to a TR Workout may progress you through your PLs faster than what you are ready for and make, in this case, your Sweet Spot workouts too hard when you complete one inside.


Hey Caro, thank you for taking the time to respond and for the good advice. Wednesday is usually a 6.30am start with a fast friend trying to rip my legs off :rofl:, lots of fun!

I’ll re-jig my calendar and give your try a suggestion, just have to tell my friend to calm it down a little!

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Hehe sounds good!

You could always choose a Workout Alternate for your VO2 Max workouts on Thursdays if your friends totally ripped your legs off the day prior!

That way you’ll still get in the workouts benefits but at a lower intensity and come Friday you can rest.

Just think of recovery as your best friend to be able to progress through training, especially now with a 1 year old!

I have a 1.5 year old at home, and currently started training for a 42K run in April, and I am definitely guilty of getting carried away by the training (which I LOVE and can’t get enough of) but still needing ridiculous amounts of energy to attend mom life, and wanting to do it all. So, that either implies digging myself into a hole or getting real with myself and CTFD :joy:

Let’s say it together, recovery is my best friend, recovery is my best friend!

LOL…never in this history of buddies riding together has anyone ever calmed down after being asked to calm down.

:crazy_face: :crazy_face: :crazy_face:

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