Any non-cyclists here that use TR purely for general health?

It seems like everyone here mainly identifies as a cyclist with cycling related goals/races/lifestyle. Which is fine and expected of course given TR is literally designed for improving your cycling performance.

But I was just curious if there’s anyone else similar to me that uses it essentially as a way to efficiently burn Calories and keep a healthy cardiovascular system with no actual cycling specific goals.

I know there are cheaper options if that’s your goal too, but there’s something just nice and concise about TR as a whole where I can just hop on the bike, get my workout in and not mess around with insane loading times (Zwift) and get out before the kids wake up.

And if you do use it for general health, what plan do you use?


This is an interesting question as there’s some evidence that you likely don’t need any Tempo, SST or Low THR if health is your objective.

Aside from the fairly recent foray into running it’s a cycling app so I’d expect everyone using it is either a cyclist (or cyclist curious).

I’m planning to go on a hike instead of racing this year but I’m still using TR as a platform as it’s convenient. Not on a specific TR plan at the moment but traditional base (Medium ish) would probably come closest (along with lifting, a bit of running, and a circus fitness class).

Aside from fitness for me it’s an excuse to watch biathlon.

I have no race-goal in mind with my riding, but still I’d absolutely call myself a cyclist as I ride my bike five times a week (more on than below) and I do have a goal in the sense that I want to get fitter, month my month. So far this has been the case.

I use TR because I love the user interface, I really like the persons running it and love the podcast. I think it’s a very low price to pay for all that i get with my subscription.

Riding my bike is what I love to do; it’s fun, it’s exciting AND it’s a great way to increase fitness and/or to simply stay in shape. And I also happen to think my bike is about the prettiest thing there is. :slight_smile:
I just turned 50, so I am under no illusions I could be the next Pogacar or Sagan, but what I can do with certainty is to improve, to constantly become a little bit better.

I’m 100% sure this could be achieved by following a number of the plans TR offers, and maybe I’ll use them eventually. But for now I have made my own workouts and follow a very structured plan. I got help with this, from a trainer working with the pro-team Bora. He knows my limits, my physique and he knows what I want to achieve with my cycling.

We started out with 8 weeks of what I would call base riding, did an initial FTP-test in order to set my training zones. Five times a week I rode, usually four zone 2 rides and one VO2max session, averaging at about 6-8 hours per week,
That phase was followed by four weeks of three zone 2 rides and two VO2max rides per week, again averaging about 7-8 hours/week.

The next four weeks we switched one of the VO2max session with a Threshold session. Again, 7-8 hours a week.
The forth week of every month is always very easy, with four short zone 2 rides.

So basically I do most of my riding at 75% of my FTP and the rest at 100-120%. So far I have raised my FTP from 212 to 272, according to monthly ramp tests, and my VO2max have gone up with 7 poits. But I do my training with FTP set at 95%, as this seemingly tiny reduction makes the effort level sit just right.
I have still had no issues with fatigue, over training or anything like that.

Good luck and enjoy your riding!

1 Like

Yeah it is interesting. Since my time is so limited and I don’t like riding in the dark, I’m only riding indoors and tried a stint of just Z2 cruising but found it pretty hard to not get bored. Also, most of my sessions are 60-75 min (depends when I wake up) so not super conducive for quality Z2 work.

60-75 mins of z2 work seems ideal for early workouts. Maybe even fasted. Your muscles should have enough glycogen for that type of work, and you accelerate the adaptation given the added stress.

1 Like

Maybe I’ll give it another go and see how it goes. No problems with the fasted training, it’s how I have trained in my morning for years for powerlifting, strongman and running. I did find though with some SST and all Threshold and above workouts I needed to have some carbs to complete and not die. 30g of dextrose on my threshold workouts made a huge difference.

1 Like

All HIIT isn’t for general health. Think about the health benefits from walking. Your heart is a muscle that responds to low-intensity exercise. Same with your legs. Do lots a low-intensity, some high intensity. Periodize the high-intensity to align with your events. Win win, health and higher fitness. Its pretty simple.

Let as get away from this shibboleth when we are talking about optimizing health.

ok, lets get away from HIIT focus when talking about optimizing health.

1 Like

Yep - my partner is using it - she’s mostly using the ‘train now’ choices - 30-45 mins everyday watching Netflix, sometimes longer. Works very well for her.

Actually HIIT is good because you want to fight the VO2max decline. My hypothesis is that you don’t need tempo, sst, threshold and periodization, which are linked to performance success specifically.

1 Like

I’m living proof of fighting the vo2max decline with a lot of endurance (6+ hours/week) and a little work above/below threshold (another 2 hours/week).

1 Like

I’m not a cyclist at all, in the sense that for me cycling means going around town with my wife and kids during the weekend.
In my mind spending more than 1k on a bike is pure madness :smile:.
But I love to train and to be really fit.
I’m using a bastardized self-made version of the high-volume plan. I always select a one-hour alternate and replace 2 rides with runs with similar zones/energy systems as the plan originally intended. Plus an additional one-hour run or ride on the rest day if I’m not too busy.
I end up doing 3-4 one-hour indoor rides and 2-3 one-hour outdoor runs, for a total of 6-7 hours of “cardio” x week. I add 25 minutes of stretching as many times a week as I can and some short strength training sessions using bands and bodyweight a few times a week.
So far so good.
I love TR and love keeping up with the forum but I never heard the term “group ride” in my life before subscribing a few months ago.


You could definitely use TR for general health, IMO.
If I didn’t love riding and training, I would do a low volume plan with 3 days of lifting. I would even say skip one of the low volume plan intensity days and make it a long run, hike, bike ride, a long day on the kayak, anything outside basically.
The plans are great but sometime you have to adjust on your own to fit your own needs. Even the time crunched plans or maintenance plans would be great. Who knows you might try out TrainerRoad and sign up for a gran fond or some fun event/race :joy:

1 Like

I probably won’t do any events this year. I still plan on using TR to keep my head on straight, as I do need cardio in my life, competition or not.

No plan needed for this, just use train now and pick your poison. That’s my plan, just ride when I feel like it and plug in workouts that match my desires.


Yep, work mostly low intensity exercise into your days and a dose of high intensity every 5-7 days, some resistance work, some impact work for bone health, some balance work and you’ll be fairly golden for health benefits from exercise.



For me, I find that flexibility work should have a very high priority.

There are loads of posters on this forum in the same position as you, and there is no need to ‘optimise’ training for general health - good enough is…good enough.

TR has a format and structure that lots of people enjoy, just pick any plan you like the look of and go for it :slight_smile: While you’re deciding use the TrainNow feature to get you going today, and maybe stick with that if you like it :slight_smile:

If you’re only interested in cycling, low volume Sweet Spot Base or Traditional Base are you’re starting plans around 3.4-3.7h per week.

If you run as well, or have other significant aerobic sports in your life, the triathlon base plans cope with there being non-cycling load - you can start with even lower volume Sprint Base (only 1.5hrs cycling per week)

Yeah, I would use fasted training extremely judiciously. There isn’t even great evidence that it leads to greater adaptations so especially for someone not on the cutting edge of fitness the downsides are not worth any benefits. It has been shown to increase the signaling molecules for aerobic adaptation but that increased signaling leading to adaptation isn’t necessarily proven.