Am I wasting my time on TR? Update: no

Ivy, Thank you for responding. I agree there are lots of really good questions in here and I’m finding them all a little overwhelming honestly. I am new to this forum and amazed by all the positive responses compared to the Reddit forums I usually lurk. I would super appreciate any advice you can provide on how to make the most out of my outside work outs. Its quite a generous offer of you to make and I will message you as soon as I figure out how to DM.


Go to Ivy’s post click on user name
Click The Message button

Good luck


Kudos to you Ivy (& TR) - above and beyond!

Also got me thinking this kind of interaction could be a really cool recurring segment for the podcast. Invite a user who’s data says they could be making positive impactful changes to how they are interacting with their plans/workouts etc. and discuss what they could do better. Could be a cool way of highlighting best practices and shutting down common errors.


“The Struggling Athlete Podcast”



That’s going to sell out faster than Springsteen concert tickets in New Jersey.


I just ask a small royalty from the $5k tickets :wink:


I suggested that a few months ago:

and I’m completely serious, was quickly contacted via direct message by the podcast host.


Ha Ha. You guys are awesome. For real though, I bet a lot of us would really benefit from something like that.


Would be super cool - It makes me think of how they have really good racers doing race analysis videos. Instead of racers/races, it would be coaches doing training analysis.


I agree a fuller expansion of the idea is very worthwhile. They have done at least a handful in shallow depth on the AACC podcast, via answering some questions. Nate & Jon (IIRC) have pulled open a few riders’ TR calendars to dissect them a bit and better understand and identify suggestions related to the initial question.

Taking this to a true and fuller review with the athlete in question and greater view of their life, training and all that surrounds it seems like a win to me. As we’ve said before, learning from mistakes can be very beneficial, for the person in question but to others listening as well.

I will add that people need to be pretty open if they step up to that type of review. As we see in similar topics here on the forum, the greater introspection can sometimes lead to discoveries that are not always easy to accept. Having people point out our misses may be tougher than someone patting our back, especially in a more public way.


I think another part is that many of us (myself included) don’t keep a great diary about what is going on in our lives away from the bike.
I play hockey but rarely denote this on my TR calendar out of laziness. Many of the users on here also have young children which brings the constant risk of minor sniffles.

After my event in September I am going to try and make some off-season changes and I guess adding in the need to document it on my calendar may be useful.


I really like the idea.
That would be a learning experience for all of us, showing how to adapt our training plans to life stressors, personal abilities, etc. Although I think I’d make a video as well, because for some of the explanations I am sure you’d need to see the athlete’s training plan and e. g. workout details. Inviting people who are or have been struggling or who need some tips would complement the other episodes, too.


If you are doing this more than once a month or two than I’d say either your power target for these is too high or you are fatigued and not recovering enough.

In endurance sports, more volume (up to a point, periodized, etc) will almost always make you faster. However, TR’s MV and HV plans are pretty intense. So when going from LV to MV you didn’t just up the volume but you also added an extra day on intensity and probably made some of your hard days harder. I think it would be worth it to try dropping one of the interval days and just doing Z2 to keep the volume but drop some of the intensity.

Also, if your life allows, getting outside and doing some longer Z2 will almost always be a good idea.

Also, if you are still using a ramp test as your FTP test, that could be part of your issue. A ramp test isn’t really an FTP test. It’s more of a VO2max test which is then correlated and calculated into an FTP value. So I think it would be worth doing a longer form FTP test or just thinking about how your FTP intervals feel.


Fantastic advice here.

I agree with the assessment about TR’s “volume” plans. I did TR MV plans (the old school ones) for 18 months or so back when I didn’t have the time to plan and develop my own plans. The difference between “low volume” and “mid volume” on TR is one additional long SST workout and one shorter Z2 ride. So you add an extra day of intensity (for four total!) and a “filler” endurance ride.

IMHO, LV is the only plan I would recommend on TR. I would then supplement any additional volume desired with zone 2 riding in low-to-mid Z2 (and that can progress some as you become fitter). This is what every TR user that wants to just plug-and-play should be doing, IMO.

If TR wants to program a proper “high volume” plan, they need to restructure it to include ample zone 2 riding with 2 days of intensity. They’ve got the good workouts to do it, it’s just that doesn’t support their target client. The reality is, basically all of TR’s plans are low volume plans… they’re just low volume with intensity heaped upon intensity. In no way am I saying TR needs to make 15-hour plans under their current structures. That would be insanity (really the HV plans already are, and the MV plans push that boundary).


Yes. The TR use of “volume” to describe plans is misleading and certainly led me down the wrong path. Great post @mwglow15 although I would add that you can ‘structure’ Z2 rides for better results (for example see the Inigo San Millan / ISM thread). I’ve come to believe that a plan starts with properly ‘structured’ zone2 rides and then intensity is added, sometimes it seems to be the polar opposite of the design of TR plans that started out indoor and time-limited.


Definitely agree here.

I am going to Concur with @WindWarrior here. now mid 40’s (46) been cycling most of my life since a teen. I’ve ridden in 20’s up to 6-700kms a week 20hrs a week.
Now fast forward to 35 trying to ride on as much as I can and getting frustrated with not performing. beginning to go well and then burning out, because I thought I had to ride Long and often to ride fast.
Now I joined TR a few years ago and tried to ride mid-vol SS programs and didn’t see a lot of gains. I thought I’d actually listen to someone else and try low vol mon -fri and add in outside on weekends.
WOW what a change its been, in the last 8 months I’ve added 40w to FTP, and still going. I do 2/3 interval sessions mon -fri sat group ride (now every 2nd week 100+kms) Sunday is Funday do whatever.
I am enjoying it and improving on LESS WORK. Now in my mid 40’s I figured out the rest is KING. if I am tired I rest, flat do an easy day etc. This has been the biggest change for me.
So if you are not getting the gains you think you should be, don’t look at the training look at everything else, and ask Am I really resting enough? With your lack of background @Murdoc, I am going to suggest your not. especially if you need to back off the intensity to complete intervals. Either your FTP is overestimated OR you’re going into that session fatigued for some reason.
FWIW I have a degree in Exercise Science and work in coaching but just don’t apply the same rules to myself because I thought they didn’t apply to me. Boy am I idiot.


Yeah, I’ll be one that disagrees with that.
Being able to suffer may be 1 difference between pros and amateurs but it is probably like 10% of the pie.

Oh, I really like your turn of phrase! :man_biking::beers:

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Emphasis mine.

Not sure what you are disagreeing with, I said it is just one thing that separates. I never quantified the percentage. Just that it is an influence.