I have a gravel race planned as part of my build-up to the Triathlon season (going for 1-2 hilly half triathlons this summer). I’m currently on the low volume Gran Fondo plan, while swimming and/or running on the days there’s no Trainerroad workout planned. All is going well for now, but I feel like I will need longer duration rides to get ready for the gravel race I have planned. I have the time to do longer workouts but I’m wondering if I should be looking at Workout alternates that take longer, or if I should just do the prescribed workout and then do another Endurance workout immediately after it to up the duration/volume. I assume the most correct answer is “It depends”, but what are the benefits of one vs the other? I’m not new to triathlon, cycling or working out 7-8 times a week, I’m only new to using Adaptive Training for the cycling portion…
The over arching aim is to avoid falling ill or incurring an injury from over training.
Incremental stress and the ability to recover to enforce adaptations is another pillar.
So you’ll need to factor in how to achieve these goals while upping your TSS so with that in mind I would aim for endurance rides. There’s a ride range of endurance rides so pick one that suits your goals. Endurance rides are a great way of building your base fitness
I had the same question so I submitted it to the podcast. Since submitting it they’ve done a hot takes episode and a nutrition episode, so I still have hope. I also added a third option of 30 minutes of sauna for heat adaptation benefits.
Regarding the workout alternate vs add on an endurance workout, I’ve done both. A lot of the time the one of the workiut alternates will be basically the same intervals with more additional endurance time at the start and end of the workout so there may not be a huge difference anyway. I’m interested in seeing what people think about who may benefit from which approach
You can also just extend the “cooldown” of your intensity workouts, throw the bike in resistance mode, and ride for an extra 30-60 minutes.
Last year, I was doing a LV TR plan and a VO2 Max workout would be 60 mins (as an example). This year, the workout is the same, it just has 60 mins of endurance riding at ~60% FTP on the end of every workout. Now I also add a SUPER easy 60 min recovery ride 2x a week, and one long weekend ride ~60% FTP again.
No real endurance background, and this is the CTL for roughly the first 100 days of my season last year vs. this year.
I think Workout Alternatives is the better approach. It’ll fulfill the intention of the original workout while being longer (or shorter) and give you the correct Progression Level.