Accounting for outdoor training

I have a query on how to account for outdoor riding in a training program. I’m still a relative newbie - joined Sufferfest in late November, did the All-Purpose Road program and ToS.

To prepare for the coming outdoor season, I’ve just started the 6-week Power Builder plan. Compared to All-Purpose Road, this makes more use of no-vid interval workouts (usually just one “narrative” workout per week) and allows for a less structured outdoor group ride on the weekend. I still have about a half metre of snow on my lawn, so outdoor rides are a bit premature. I have instead started to experiment with the virtual rides on Fulgaz for this element of the program.

The plan prescribes a “Mellow” group ride on the weekends, 2 to 4 hours below threshold, around zone 2. Well, I guess I was naughty. I did two great rides that totaled the required duration, but pretty much trashed the below threshold part. Both rides involved some modest climbs and I estimate that about a third of the ride was above threshold.

My question is how scrupulous should I be about trying to adjust for this? If I’m honest, I will probably succumb to the temptation to do this on the subsequent “weekend” rides because, well, it feels so great!

Is there a rule of thumb that would say knock off so much above-threshold effort from the coming week’s structured workout to avoid excessive training if an intended endurance ride turns out to be a more strenuous effort? Or is it sufficient to go with your gut, i.e, RPE, and just dial back intensity if you’re struggling to hit the power and cadence targets (à la the training guidelines)?

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That is what I do. I try to stick to the prescribed outdoor workouts. However sometime I just feel like going harder and so then I just reassess my volume for the rest of the week.

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Hey John, flogging station #4 is free and Grunter is waiting for you :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Just kidding, great to hear that you are getting into your training and thinking about getting outdoors soon. As much as possible on the plan follow it to make sure you are not over training and will reap the longterm benefits. Just think how much higher you could push above threshold if you held back and went steady for a few weeks to give your body a chance to recover and improve that muscle fiber efficiency! (okay it’s not as simple as that but it is important you have days where you go steady.)

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Thanks for the reinforcement of what my head understands well, but can be quite difficult to adhere to in the exuberance of the moment on the bike.