Thinking of switching from Zwift, some questions

Dang man! Some times I feel like the only cyclist that doesn’t have enough money to ride Tuesday morning at 11am! I hate the long hours, but for right now it is what it is. Glad it’s working out for you, that gives me some inspiration!

Yeah, I’ve noticed the community here is insanely helpful. I am part of a beginner group on Zwift with some great people, but overall the TrainerRoad community seems super helpful so far. I did my first TR workout today and it was definitely engaging and I loved the text that came along with it (ramp test).

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From what I researched and saw, I signed up for the Century, Mid Volume plan. It turns out my FTP is actually 194… I’m not new to structured training and do have a bit of base fitness built up, I want to go further, faster and for longer so it seems like a good choice. My only concern is while most days don’t top an hour and 15 minutes, Sunday is irrelevant but Saturday has a longish ride… I’ll just see what I can do.

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Thank you, Tim! I did notice, TR has some really cool stuff for mountain biking and off road riding. That’s cool stuff. Same here too, the avatar is nice and all but it’s all about the numbers to me.

Sounds like you might be new to TR, not sure if you’re already on them, but the podcasts are a really good resource for information on getting faster on a bike in general.

You aims of ‘just being in good shape’ is very common, and I think in one of the episodes Coach Chad mentions that if that is what you want, you can pretty much just rotate between Base and Build over and over. You’ll build up a generally strong “engine” that way, and not only will you get in better and better shape, you’ll probably have the legs to keep up with fast group rides eventually or just have a bit of fun with that big engine.

re: allowing for Sunday ride, I asked a very similar question in the past as well, and have taken up the community’s recommendation of going with the Low Volume plans, and just tacking on my weekend rides. It works well, and I’ve seen improvements in body composition and ability to ride. So yes, it is compatible with what you want to do too. Hope this helps!

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Re Zwift/TR for training. For what’s it worth, I mix Zwift workouts with TR plan at times and find that I have to crank Zwift workouts to max 110% to challenge me anywhere near TR - not only Zwift workouts are usually shorter but also feel less intense. Their recovery intervals are way too long as well. I never had to increase TR difficuly, it is spot on. Following TR will make you stronger I am sure.

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Is this an available spreadsheet?

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Yes, here it is.


Follow instructions on the first tab if you want to make your own copy for editing and adding your info.

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Thanks!

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Thank you! :smiley:

Well, this is what has me confused. I plan on just doing TR for awhile. Going to give up the long sunday ride and zwift for a bit. I simply want to improve my performance and I’m not new to structured training. I started the century mid-volume plan, it seemed to be a good match.

Thanks for the advice! I actually went with the century mid-volume plan. Was enjoying it but yesterday, on my 6th workday, at the end of an 11 hour day I tried to hop on the bike and do the 1:30:00 McAddie ride and got 20 minutes into it before literally giving out. Made me really depressed. I’m not new to structured training, according to TR my FTP is 194 so I figured it would be a good fit, but still unsure…

Wait. A bit confused. Did you jump straight into a specialty phase without doing the base or build phases?

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I believe so? :fearful:

I thought what I’ve done over the past year and a half, the FTP builder programs, several training programs on Zwift and going further in the real world had built up my base? Do I need to start with the base and builder programs on Trainer Road? If so I totally don’t mind, it would explain some things. I think if I weren’t working 60-70 hours a week I would be okay, but I couldn’t complete the McAddie yesterday and got halfway through the Antelope+5 today… (About an hour and 10 minutes into it before giving out).

I don’t want to start out too easily and right now because of time constraints am going to give up my long weekend ride, so what program would be best right now, for me?

Honestly, you are overthinking this.

Start with the base. Try the Sweetspot low volume.

Then go to the build phase.

Then get to a specialty phase. We can help you pick which one(s) to use.

Here is some honest information – do with it as you wish. You are new to cycling. Only been riding about 18 months. New to structured training. Keep life simple. Start with the Sweet spot base low volume. You can always ADD to the rides but when you start skipping or being unable to finish them, you will get hit with a negative mindset that if you are not careful, will snowball and derail everything.

How many hours a week do you have to ride and do other things? Here is an easy way to do the weekday rides and keep Sunday for long ride. SSBLV (Sweet spot base low volume) will give you 3 rides per week. Start with it setup Tues, Thursday, and Sunday. See how you feel with this setup. If you want to go outside for a long ride instead of the TR ride, do that.

I personally have to do something every day or my body runs into trouble. So on the other days, do some yoga or pilates. (great threads here w suggestions). If Wed you want to add a ride, do a RECOVERY ride.

This setup will also help with your 60-70 hour work weeks.

You WILL see progress. It will NOT be overnight – but it will be long-term if you stay consistent and with it. One other things – being on the trainer for an hour is NOT the same as outside for an hour. I think you add about 50% of the trainer time to determine outside ride time.

Great progress on the weight loss. Great job coming here and asking questions.

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I also came to TrainerRoad after Zwift and doing a couple of the training programs. Sweetspot Base (SSB) is a lot different from what you did there. And SSB is far from easy. SSB1 has McAdie and much harder, though you’ll progress your way up to them. And SSB2 takes it to a whole new level. The SSB workouts also include a lot of instruction and drills (e.g., cadence, pedal stroke, aero position) that aren’t so much in the Build and Specialty programs. You’ll feel like a new cyclist after completing SSB1 and 2.

Looking farther down the road, here’s a common progression you’ll find recommended in the forum for building up endurance and FTP:

SSB1
SSB2
Sustained Power Build
Century Specialty

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Having tried both Zwift and TR, what I find is that the training schedule I followed on ZWIFT (TT Tune up) was great as most workouts were 1hr or less. Whereas TR my plan has very few shorter sessions, most are 1:15—2:00.

That said, as a training tool I find TR far better for data and no distractions. I found the Gamification of training on Zwift distracting.

Actually, that’s not very accurate.

  • Most of the Low Volume training plans are based largely on 60 minute workouts. They do also include about 1/3 of the workouts at 75-90 minutes.

  • Then consider that there are over 1200 workouts less than 90 minutes long. Over 250 of those are less than one hour. Considering that the entire TR workout catalog is about 2000 total, that is over half of the workouts at less than 90 minutes long.

  • Point being that there are more than enough workouts and training plans in TR that are under 90 minutes long.

  • And most workouts include a “minus” version, so even it the one on the training plan schedule is longer, you can likely find a similar one that is 60 minutes. Making that substitution is common and often recommended by TR reps as well.

I’m just speaking from my personal experience, which isn’t inaccurate. I agree there are tonnes of sub-1hr rides, but the pre-built plans are surely the main attraction for TR. That’s why I’m a convert anyway.

Having used both platforms, I believe i’m on general build which suggest 7hrs/week over 5 days, in contrast my ZWIFT training plan (also ~7hrs/week) had almost all sessions ranging between 50-72mins. Which was great, of course some weeks weren’t 7hrs. And some workouts were optional. TR on the other hand mainly comprises of 75mins +..

Don’t get me wrong, I love TR, maybe I haven’t found the right plan for me yet. I also like that ZWIFT allows you to skip workout sections, not sure if you can do that on TR. I’d make for a great update for those who are time-poor.

The TR plans, applied to the Calendar, are massively open to adjustment. You can juggle workouts, delete them, add them and so much more. The setup dwarfs Zwift’s relatively strict and linear plans (that don’t allow near the adjustments that can be done in TR).

  • Skipping a workout is as simple as not doing it. It will automatically show as “Skipped” the day after it was scheduled, assuming that you just don’t do it.
  • You can also just delete it if you want, but I like leaving it as “skipped” unless you are actively adjusting the calendar ahead of time.

I suggest some reading to take the most from the options you have in TR. It is really much more malleable and possible to make just as you need.

This in particular for active edits.

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Just to add on to this, I followed (all low volume) SSB1/2 into Sustain Build. Now I’m in Climbing Road Race Speciality, and after a couple of months of following the plan pretty much verbatim, am now comfortable moving things around a bit and planning my outside rides around the TR calendar too.

So while yes, the structured plans are really good to follow to a T, life happens and really, we’re really only riding indoors to better enjoy our outdoor rides. I’ve come to appreciate the ability to move things around while still being ‘on plan’.

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