Good questions here!
Here’s a summary of how TrainNow works from our Support document.
"TrainNow will recommend workouts based on your recent TrainerRoad workouts and non-structured indoor/outdoor riding. It’s important to note that while TrainNow will look at your most recent workouts when making a recommendation, it does not consider periodization, fatigue, or other factors . For instance, i t will not recognize if you need a recovery week . If you are looking for that type of structure and periodization, we recommend using a training plan. TrainNow is primarily intended for athletes who aren’t on a training plan, or for those who like to supplement unstructured riding with occasional structured workouts."
Essentially, TrainNow is a great tool, but needs to be used with some awareness of where you’re at in your training. In my opinion, it’s better to have a slightly higher volume plan on your calendar which allows you to do the workouts that you can each week (sometimes all of them) than to use a lower volume plan and rely on TrainNow to accurately fill in when you need it to.
As for unscheduled outside rides, it doesn’t look like you’ve done much that would prompt adaptations thus far. I see you’ve matched your 20-minute commutes to TrainerRoad workouts, which we don’t really recommend unless you’re following them as Outside Workouts with either Power or RPE.
Either way, they are level 1.0 workouts which aren’t increasing your Progression Levels at all and thus not requiring adaptation to your future workouts, so no worries there!
In the future, if you pair an outside ride with a TrainerRoad workout, it’s best to ensure that you’ve followed the structure of the workout as closely as possible to avoid artificially inflated Progression Levels, which will likely make your scheduled workouts a bit too long or difficult to sustainably continue training with.
As I mentioned earlier, sometimes, in this case, it’s better to have a higher-volume plan in place to give you a sort of training budget to follow each week. If you’re going to do an unplanned activity, you need to replace a scheduled workout with it to ensure that you’re not taking on too much stress and burning out, as you mentioned. This gives you a sort of limit to your hard and easy workouts for the week to follow. From there, you can adjust your training volume to fit your needs as you find what works for you.
Let me know if this helps and if you have any other questions. I pretty much always find a way to get each of our athletes set up in a way that works for them!