You don’t need an event on your Calendar to benefit from a structured training plan. If you are an athlete who doesn’t race but wants to get faster or maintain fitness, you can use Plan Builder to build a custom training plan. A custom plan can help you build the fitness you need to achieve your everyday cycling goals and the power needed to take on those bigger training goals.
What is Plan Builder?
Plan Builder is an automated training plan creator that builds custom training plans. It uses your current training load, your experience with intervals, your primary discipline and your schedule to build you a custom training plan. You can further customize your training by choosing which days you’d like to train and which workouts you want to do indoors versus outdoors.
Anyone Can Use Plan Builder
There is a common misconception that structured training and Plan Builder is only for athletes who race or complete organised events. While structured training is great for any athlete who wants to race it’s also a great way for athletes who don’t race to build their fitness and get faster.
You can also use Plan Builder if you have just picked riding up or you’ve never done any structured training. When you build your plan, you’ll be prompted to choose the average amount of time you’ve spent on the bike in the past six weeks and your experience with interval training. If you haven’t been riding frequently, or you don’t have experience with intervals that is okay! Your training plan will be adjusted to appropriately meet your needs and challenge your abilities.
Choose a Goal (Or Not)!
If you have a training goal in mind that you want to achieve you can make your plan goal oriented. A training goal can be anything. It could be a tangible goal like aiming to finish a tough local ride in a certain amount of time. Or it might be something variable, like aiming to do the majority of your local group rides without getting dropped. Anything that you want to achieve can be your training goal.
While picking a goal can help you stay motivated when the training gets tough, it isn’t a necessary part of using Plan Builder. You can make a plan simply for the sake of maintaining fitness or getting faster. Plan Builder won’t prompt you to choose a goal when you build your custom training plan, so if you don’t have anything particular in mind, that’s alright!
How Will Plan Builder Build My Plan?
Plan Builder uses a handful of questions to determine which workouts, training phases and training volumes are the best fit for you and your goals. As a non-racer first you’ll answer some questions that help determine training volume and start date. After that you’ll answer questions that determine which specialty plan you should do.
First you’ll answer a few questions that help Plan Builder determine which training volume and training blocks are the best fit and when your training plan should start. Here are the first three questions you will answer:
After you answer these questions Plan Builder will ask you what events you plan on doing this year and what their priority is. You can bypass this question by selecting the option that says “I’m not training for an event.”
When you bypass this question you will answer two other questions instead. These are the questions that determine when your training plan will end and what specialty phases will be added to your training plan. These are the questions:
First, you can decide what your primary discipline is. If you have a goal, choose the discipline of your goal. For example if your goal is to be able to do longer road rides and spend more time on your road bike choose Gran Fondo as your discipline. If you’ve decided not to choose a goal then choose your primary cycling discipline.
On this same page you can choose when you’d like to end your structured training plan. Maybe if you are a seasonal cyclist, your training plan ends when you shift seasons. Or perhaps you end your training plan when you take a vacation at the end of the year. You can end your season whenever you’d like. You can also choose to take a break from training at any time.
If you’re not sure when you want to end your structured training plan, or how long you’d like to train this season you don’t have to choose an end date. Plan Builder will automatically build a training plan that goes out two years. If that sounds like a long time no worries! You can stop or take a break from your structured training plan at any point.
What Will My Plan Look Like?
Before adding your custom plan to your Calendar you’ll get a chance to customize your schedule. You can choose which days you want to train each week and what workouts you’d consistently like to take outdoors. Your training plan will always be customizable though, and at any time you can change the days and workouts in your training plan.
At the end of all those questions you’ll have a training plan composed of training blocks and workouts designed to fit your needs and suit your goals.
Try It For Yourself!
If you aren’t a TrainerRoad user, but you’d like to try out Plan Builder and see what your custom training plan would look like, you can test out Plan Builder here.
For more cycling training knowledge, listen to the Ask a Cycling Coach — the only podcast dedicated to making you a faster cyclist. New episodes are released weekly.