Alternate workouts

Frank (and crew): Curious if you can create a library of “plan b” workouts… Living in Chicago, the long rides outside - while doable - suck when it is in the 20’s… And, 2+ hours on the trainer is like punishment… Would it be possible to have a list of if you can’t do this, do that alternatives? Or is it better to stick with the plan and just do a shorter workout?

1 Like

The answer is usually a variation of:

  • “How bad do you want it?!”
  • “Cry in the dojo…”

Being from Indiana I agree with everything you said, and given the usual advice along the lines of “suck it up”, I usually try to. You can shorten a ride but risk affecting your success continuing on the plan you’re currently following, as next week’s workouts will be expecting you to have gained the fitness from today’s.

1 Like

Yes, I have been around Fascat for a while…. A response would likely contain a derivation or combination of the above…. That said, at 52 I no longer need to prove my toughness by riding in 22F, 9F windchill, with patches of ice, weather…. And, having run and ridden through 38+ years, of Chicago winters, I will make that trade…. Also, years of organized athletics have taught me missing a workout in a 24 week off-season plan will have zero impact…

Finally, friends who are advocates of Trainer Road shared the “alternate workout” feature for those times where there is an unavoidable constraint…. So, in the absence of said feature, it seems reasonable to ask the Big Cat (and crew) if they had any thoughts regarding a plan or method of replacement - go short and hard or throw in some short tough intervals or….

I’ve “cheated” zone 2 Sunday rides before, bumped up to low tempo to gather the tss a little quicker. It can shave off a bit of time and hasn’t had a perceptible impact on my fatigue the next day. Winter sucks!

Yeah, you are 100% right. I just wish I had my old tolerance for cold… Now I go out there and am crying like a baby till I get warm… And my hands never really get there… Ah, age…

The other answer @chad (& everyone) is to hire a coach - when you hire a coach you have an expert that

a) knows your wintertime geographical riding limitations + your goals
b) is able to suggest alternatives AND even offer creative solutions.

Also 2 hours is simply your personal preference - I know several athletes happily belting out 3-4 hours indoors. They are hungry, motivated and driven towards a goal. That’s not to say @mejdrich isn’t but our plans are designed to meet a wide variety of preferences :wink:

A coach will also ask you what your goals are and given their difficulty or ease will provide solutions/alternatives that match your goals and preferences.

To @mejdrich’s point - pick your favorite workout from your plan and copy and paste into the day you need an alternative.

These wintertime intensity workouts that are in our 16 weeks of sweet spot plan are meant to serve just that purpose - and they pack a powerful productive punch :muscle:


I was thinking about this more @mejdrich and I really firmly believe staying true to the physiology goals designed into the plan.

This idea of ‘alternative workout’ is actually short changing yourself bc a one hour indoor workout no matter what intensity accomplishes less than the longer workout on the plan.

Choosing an alternative workout is a bad training habit not a feature. Creating a feature that is less effective physiologically is going to meet your preferences in the short term and cut into your performance in the long run. There are no shortcuts to endurance training - it is a function of time in the saddle. That is my beef with indoor training platform training plans.

We have solved for that with sweet spot indoor TSS rides that are incredibly effective on Zwift, here Coach @Jake demonstrates how:

Getting faster is hard work, cycling is a tough sport (!) and I don’t want to undercut your performance with a ‘easier’ less effective recommendation.

I will leave you all with this quote from umpteen time gold medalist, Michale Phelps who knows a thing or two about putting in the hard work:


So, the above is a perfect example of why I am a fan and an advocate of FO and FCC.

Just the simple fact that you synthesized the information, crafted a response, reflected, and crafted a further response illustrates the effort and thought invested in your athletes and your approach to sport.

Additionally, the podcasts and tips are invaluable. Want to learn about training? Nutrition for endurance athletes? Strategies for one’s season? The podcasts are gems and, arguably, shouldn’t be free.

That said, life gets in the way and doing something is always better than doing nothing… Will look at Jake’s post. Thanks again for taking the time to consider!


Let’s have some iPhone wallpapers like this!

2+ hours on the trainer does suck, but I knew it was a weakness of mine and decided to address it in Dec/Early Jan. I started doing 4-5 120 minute or longer trainer rides per week (I retired right before that, so I had the time). It sucked at first, but soon I actually looked forward to the long hours and caught up on a lot of shows that other folks binge watched over the year. I even did a 4.5 hour ride called Disaster that was brutal! I started the FasCat 16 weeks of Sweet Spot last week, and while I know it will grow and get a lot harder over time, that first week of doing shorter rides absolutely flew by and I missed the long hours. I know life gets in the way sometimes, but I really believe you can overcome the “2 hours on the trainer sucks” thing.


True - at 230, the time in saddle does start to weigh on you… Chamois cream I suppose… Have done the Haute Zwift, but remember that as somewhat soul crushing… All between the ears, I guess. Thanks for the idea… Won’t hit positive air temp tomorrow - trainer it is…TdZ #4.

1 Like

Check out adding a rocker plate. Several threads here and on TrainerRoad forum going into the options in depth. It really makes the ride gentler and the only thing left to tackle is the mental fortitude


Wisconsin winters suck for cycling as well. This is my first winter on a smart trainer & Rouvy. 2-3 hour rides seem to fly by now. I ride 2-3 different routes at the FasCat plan intensity with 5-minute breaks between routes. So far I have been doing the #ftfp thing. Knowing I’ll be fit once outside rides start keeps me motivated.

Does anyone know a way to stitch these rides together in Training Peaks to keep the plan green?

Good luck all on those long weekend workouts. :muscle:t3: :leopard:


I just noticed I’m the only one whose name doesn’t say “Training Plan Customer”. How do I get that added?

Have you purchased one of the fantastic FasCat training plans?

Ha. Of course! Was I supposed to do something after that?

It’s in your profile preferences on the forum settings panel, called the “title” field

You can use fitfiletools to combine your rides and then upload the single fit file to TP…


Hey thanks! I got this response from TP & gave it a try. Worked perfectly. I’ll try your method as well.


That’s great to know. Thanks for sharing :+1: