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Modifying a Workout

Each of our TrainerRoad training plans can be followed exactly as they are and will likely yield a satisfying level of improvement. For many riders though, they'll require some level of modification in order to tailor workouts to personal needs, recovery rates and experience levels - all things that come with time.

Limitation of Canned Plans

But such is the nature of canned plans and although this term diminishes the thought and research that goes into the creation of each of our training plans, they are still canned plans in the sense that they target a wide audience of riders. 

But unaltered, each plan still provides a solid framework and probably 95% of the direction necessary to help you approach, reach and even exceed your performance goals.

The other 5% is a matter of learning just what sort of athlete you are and modifying or building custom workouts accordingly.

Constant Learning Process

The more you train, the more you compete, even the more you ride recreationally, the more you'll learn about yourself.

Do you recover quickly from VO2max workouts? Can you ride 5 hours one day and be ready to do it again the next day? Or do you need a day or two of recovery in order to bounce back to the point where you can do anything after a ride that long?

More specific to indoor interval training is the notion of achieving an effective training dose, i.e. enough to continuously improve but not so little that you plateau or so much that you start going backwards.

Pinning down this elusive and ever-changing aspect of training can come via differences as subtle as a 5% reduction in Workout Intensity during your VO2max workouts, 5 additional minutes during your warmup or adding 3 minutes to each your 12-minute Sweet Spot intervals to list just a few possible modifications.

Modifying Workouts

Knowing when to modify a workout can be fraught with difficult questions though, especially when performing a workout for the first time. Having done a particular workout and you'll obviously have some insight into that particular workout, but more usefully it can steer your potential modifications to similar workouts in the future.

With your intended modifications in mind you can then start to make these mods using TrainerRoad's Workout Creator by clicking the Create Custom Workout button at the top of the desktop player.

Alternatively, you might be able to benefit from existing Alternate Workout Versions since each of these slightly altered workouts is created in response to the more common tweaks requested by TR subscribers.

Then select the TrainerRoad library, key in the name of the workout you wish to alter and name it however you see fit. A similar name is recommended, e.g. Peavine 4x3, but name it anything you find illustrative and meaningful.


Then, go crazy. You literally have hundreds of options in the way you change the workout but some of the more common modifications are described below.

Common Workout Modifications

Probably the three most common workout modifications you'll find are increased warmups/warm-downs, longer recoveries between intervals/sets of intervals, or additional intervals.

The first two of these modifications boil down to increasing or decreasing the duration of an interval which is quite simple and is best achieved by changing the Duration using the up/down arrows or by typing in a new value manually.

Adding intervals can be done a number of ways, but anytime you're adding the same type of interval, the Repeat Selection is the quickest way to go.

You can then modify the extra interval however you'd like. The images below illustrate two of the 3 ways you'd go about increasing the final interval's intensity from 90% FTP to 95% FTP.

The first way entails using the up/down arrows next to START FTP while the second image emphasizes the sizing handles which you would two drag the interval upwards.

Additionally, you can use your mouse's scroll capability (not pictured).

And in the case that you wanted a different START FTP than END FTP, click the Lock/Unlock icon and you can assign different FTP percentages to the beginning and ending of the interval.


Another way to add additional intervals is to pull them from our Snippets library or create Snippets of your own.

Snippets are reusable intervals, sets of intervals, even entire workouts. Simply select an existing section of your workout, click the Add Snippet button, and voilà - your Snippet library grows instantly.

Then, click and drag your new Snippet to the desired location within your workout.

Go Forth, Modify!

In the event that any TrainerRoad workout or training plan isn't exactly the right fit for your training needs, this primer on modifying workouts should be enough to help you quickly and simply alter your workouts and create exactly the workout you're looking for.

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