Substituting Workouts in a Program

I’m in the first half of the 12-week All Around training program. Looking over the whole program, I’ve noticed that there are no Pro Rides in the schedule. Coincidence, or do these rides not lend themselves well to this structure?

I’m thinking of making a substitution or two, since I really enjoyed the Pro Ride concept when the Tour of Norway was introduced in the last ToS. For example, around mid-January there is a day where the program calls for two workouts, Making an Hour Record and The Way Out. These are both good workouts, but I have done each of them already. I’m thinking of substituting Strade Bianche 1, which is about the same total time although at a higher intensity factor and also a different overall focus - the scheduled workouts are predominately about FTP, while Strade throws in some significant MAP and AC development as well.

This would occur in the middle of the program so that it will be a followed by the active recovery/prep workouts that precede the Half Monty test that is scheduled one week later.

I’d be curious about others’ experiences or comments if they have tried this kind of substitution. Would this completely throw off the benefits of this structured program? Would it be better to look for workouts that are more closely aligned in their focus? For example, some of the On Location rides seem to be a better match to the focus of the two rides. Would this be a better way to go?

The workouts in your plan are selected according to your strengths and weaknesses (assuming you’ve done Full Frontal). So it maybe means that the algorithm doesn’t think you need or would like a Proride. But what does it know, anyway? :wink:

The overall TSS of Strade Bianchi is a tad higher than the combination of your two planned rides. Plus, as you say, it includes some AC and MAP work. One option would be to dial back the settings on the AC and MAP. I do this by starting the workout, fast forwarding to the peaks and seeing what percentage brings them down to, say, at or just above threshold, deleting that workout and starting again with the new settings

Another option would be to just go for it but substitute the next day’s planned ride for a much easier one

Doing something that you enjoy whilst being aware of your body’s reaction to it is better than blindly following a plan, imho


The next day is an off day, which is followed by Cadence Builds and Holds, A Dog’s Life 1, Kayabike, another day off, Primers, and finally Half Monty. So I’m reasonably confident that any extra stress from the substitution should have been dealt with.

I’m inclined to agree about not slavishly following a protocol. I ride a bike to get (or stay) fit, not the other way around.

Thanks for the feedback.



Sums up what I was thinking to a tee.