Why is there no two high intensity workouts per week training plan?

So everyone seems to recommend to do only two high intensity workouts per week. Three high intensity workouts is already pushing it and only recommended for short periods of time.

Why does Trainerroad not offer a training plan with two high intensity workouts? I’m currently doing the climbing road race LV plan and in the speciality phase I have two VO2 max workouts and a Threshold workout per week. On days I don’t have a workout scheduled I ride at least 2 hours (Z2) and have a long hard ride (5h+, ~85 IF) on the weekend. Basically I’m already doing 3 high intensity days per week.
Sure, I can just ignore one of the scheduled Trainerroad workouts, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a structured plan?

Why doesn’t Trainerroad allow more freedom in creating plans? For example, when selecting a plan, ask me how many days I want to train, how many of these days should be high intensity, how many low intensity and how many unstructured (group rides etc).


Nate has said this is coming


I’m the mean time, I’d swap one of the VO2 workouts for your 5 hour ride. Not like for like but you will get a VO2, a threshold, a long endurance and a long hard ride. That’s a good week.

Also keep in mind the plans as is are not designed to fit well with lots of outdoor rides (not counting doing the workouts outdoors). The “best” way to supplement a LV plan is with strictly endurance rides.

You could also try TrainNow


Yea, I can see that. It’s a bit unfortunate though, since these hard unstructured outdoors ride are the reason I train as I don’t race (yet).


If you modify the plan it’s still structured right? If you want to make it more tailored to your liking you can delete the weekend workout and add a facsimile of your 5h ride as your weekend workout. It’s not automatic, but it’s still a plan.

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I don’t think there are workouts resembling this: Log In to TrainerRoad

Sorry if I confused. You don’t have to associate with a TR workout, you can create your own “activity” and set the duration, rpe and approximate the TSS. There are some 4-5 hours tempo rides in the catalog. This is a bit higher intensity than that so you could create your own TR workout if you like, but I think replacing it with just an “activity” is the better bang for your buck. Regardless, TR isn’t likely to prescribe something like this ever regardless of the functionality mentioned above.

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Polarized plans? They have that option.


I’m currently doing my own ‘plan’ in which I do 2 days of interval work per week, the type of which depends on the kind of block I developed, and 4 days of endurance rides. But in early winter I had SSB HV on my calendar, but did just 2 of the sweet spot rides per week and the rest endurance. Basically got the best of both worlds of getting some adaptive recommendations for the sweet spot progression while kind of doing my own thing with endurance. ANyhow, I’d recommend just dropping one of the high intensity workouts and putting in endurance, whatever key workouts you have will still adapt. It def doesn’t defeat the purpose, and you’re certainly not going to completely screw things up for yourself by freestyling.


Well the 3 workouts per week comes historically from the understanding that you need this as a minimal dose to have good fitness progression.

Of course people do more/less than that. You may be more specific or put in more time, which is great. But because only you know your schedule, it is you who needs to adapt and tinker with the plan.

if you do hard outside rides while following a plan you need to ensure that you can still perform your plan and don’t get overtrained. So people for example do an LV plan during the week and free rides in the weekend. Or an LV plan and as much low intensity as possible.
if you can’t perform in the schedules workouts, your amount of high intensity rides is likely too high. Swap the workouts with your outside rides best on what resembles them most.

It’s all on the podcast but admittedly hard to find.

Good luck!


Especially the MV plan, which offers 2 structured higher intensity workouts during the week, and 2 longer low intensity workouts on the weekend.


But the polarized plans don’t have a Base, Build and Specialty phase. So should I just do 8 weeks polarized and do it again after that?

The 6 Week plan is the Base, the 8 Week plan is the Build.

I asked TR to add the “Base”, “Build” terms into the actual POL plan names, because this detail from the description text gets missed frequently, but they have not updated to improve clarity. :frowning:

For Specialty, I am pretty sure you are supposed to follow one of the typical TR options, that is more intended to aim at the event focus.


that looks like one of my outdoor rides. Due to the number and slope of all the hills, pure Zone 2 is impossible.

Did not know this, was never sure where the polarised plans were supposed to fit in, thank you!

FWIW I’m in a fairly similar place to the OP. Trying to follow a LV plan as best I can but while doing 10-12 hours/week with a lot of outdoor riding and quite a bit of racing. In my case I’m ditching the 90 minute Threshold ride as my assumption is that this is a time-crunched alternative to the traditional long endurance ride, and since I do a long endurance ride every week (though not 5+ hours at 0.85IF, that’s nuts every week…) then I don’t need it. This gets me to 2 hard workouts most weeks, plenty of Z2, and latitude to add in a 3rd hard “workout” in weeks when I race or do a fast group ride. Have learnt in the past that doing 3 hard workouts every week while riding as much as I do is too much for me, especially as my endurance rides sometimes involve some Tempo or SS work if it’s a group ride with some hills. Can get away with 3 hard rides occasionally though, and the weeks I do that I try and be stricter with keeping Z2 rides in zone.

Seems to be working quite well so far. My next A race in October is going to require some Threshold specificity (stage race with a TT and a ~30 minute climb on final day) so I’m thinking for the Specialty block I’ll try and follow the LV plan in it’s entirety and keep everything else strict Z2 or recovery. May struggle with that, races and fast group rides are a large part of my motivation, hopefully only 8 weeks is manageable but if not I’ll have a rethink!


What’s your yearly periodization? Do you have any? Your outdoor group rides are your races. You might not want to do so many hard workouts every week if you want to perform your best on the group rides.

Think about doing whatever you need to maintain fitness through the summer and recover well before and after the outdoor rides.

You can try putting these outdoor rides in the TR calender as your A races and then let it plan around them.

I agree with your premise generally, but are you suggesting making every weekend group ride an A race?

For reference, I suspect that anyone wanting to add a regular group ride as a “Race/Event” should do so as a C Race. A is super limited and requires 8 weeks between A events at a minimum. It also includes a taper which makes no sense for a regular series of rides. B can work, but don’t seem to meet the typical weekly group ride I have seen described.


Slipped by Chad. B or C, whatever works the best.

Some guys race a crit every weekend and want to perform at their best. It’s essentially the same if you want to do a group ride every weekend and want to smash your mates to the best of your ability.

You’ve got to go in rested and ready to rock and roll, not tired for doing multiple interval workouts every week, week in and week out.

Riders that have never raced often don’t think of themselves as “in season”.

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Agreed. I was just going to say the same thing Chad said :rofl:

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