Anyone gone from Coach to TR and found it better? Or worse?

I appreciate the target audience is TR but I wondered if anyone has experience of this.

4th year coach and I’m a pretty disciplined person to counter accountability, so I’m thinking I could easy revert to the new adaptive platform for 2022 but would love to hear people’s experience.

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I’ll be interested to hear what people thoughts are too.

I’ve just dropped my coach but only used him for the past six months. I’m pretty committed as a trainer so I’m not going to drop my volume off a cliff so to speak.

My coach always wanted to know what my goals were and in January I didn’t really have any goal events due to COVID etc. I’ve really enjoyed the coached workouts (all virtual due to social distance) but this time of year I’ll be outdoors a lot more than on my Wattbike.

My reason for using the coach was I’d trained last year for (precisely 452 hours - 37 hours pm - 8.5 hours pw). I felt the time I’d put in didn’t improve me massively so wanted to see if a coach would give me more gains for the time invested. Top end has improved particularly at VO2 max and theres alot more low recovery spins in my schedule. When he looked at my stats for 2020 the vast majority of my self training/TR workouts were all as zone 4.

Sounds like the coach switched you from SS to Polarized. If so, did he also ramp up your weekly hours?

I believe It is a judgement call on two things: the value you find in using the TR off-the-shelf plans, and the value you find using TR app inside on the trainer. As they say on the podcast, there is more than one way to get fast.

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Are you racing? Do you need to lean on someone with experience for tactical help as well as training plan help in order to peak for events?

  • What was the purpose for you having a coach in the first place?
  • Do you find that whatever that purpose was is relevant now?
  • What makes you think TR is a good platform? (in other words, superior to a coach prescribing workouts)

If I could justify the cost of hiring my last coach, I would. His personality grates on me (he is a happy, high spirited guy, I am a not). But he rides and trains the way I like to ride and train, and the workouts he set for me were enjoyable (even if painful), and effective.

TR can never match that. But TR cost me for a year what that coach cost me for a month.


It was quite a long time between, but I used to have a coach (Triathlon/Ironman training but same same) and I’m significantly happier on TR.

The coach was good, but for me TR is much easier to follow, the numbers and calendar are easier for me to follow/be accountable to, and the TR forum/podcast provide more than enough ancillary information combined with my own experiences racing for over fifteen years.

Interesting responses, thanks. So on this one:

  • What was the purpose for you having a coach in the first place?

I am racing yes, and it was suggested to me as a next step up to get better, more specific advice and training programmes and to that end it has helped with my ability and my nutrition.

  • Do you find that whatever that purpose was is relevant now?

This is a good question. I’m top 1/3 age group (Vet) at best so not remarkably gifted etc and on a middle of the range coaching plan that affords me a coached plan, one monthly call, and some email contact (To be fair I get a little more due to my application). But position in the pack doesn’t demand that a return on investment by going the full - and more expensive - direction of 121 daily coaching is in my opinion something to entertain aka diminishing returns. So yes its relevant, but repetitive and TR would be 1/3rd of the cost.

The thing that bothers me - and I appreciate this is a little egotistical - is the periodic nature of training means I’m rarely at a level with my club colleagues who are much more consistent with weekend rides and a couple of TR workers midweek. This is fatigue - turning up against these weekend warriors at the end of a Training block is a poor show as I’m fatigued, but I can never ride with them at the top of my game because I’ll be tapering, racing, or trying to ride in a Zone instead of hitting the local sprint markers.

  • What makes you think TR is a good platform? (in other words, superior to a coach prescribing workouts).

This is difficult and is why I’m asking the question. In some respects it isn’t because its not specific to me, although the Blogs etc contain loads of information and help. I guess I’m looking at other peoples apparent continued results on here together with the cheaper outlay and wondering if TR is a “better” alternative.

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It sort of depends a bit on how good your coach is… if you mainly get a list of workouts that is somehow adjusted to you power/fitness level, and takes into account when you’re racing, then either will work, but TR will be cheaper.

If you’re looking for additional guidance, how to improve specific parts of your fitness, ot how to build up fitness specific to certain races, then TR will work, but you need to invest time learning about the different energy system, read and ask questions on the forum, etc. A coach could tailor your training directly, and could answer those questions (but you wouldn’t have to learn, if you’re happy to trust them and just do what they say).

Also don’t think it’s been mentioned, but TR’s “adaptive training” is still in beta, and not available yet to the general user, so if that is what you’d want to use, it might depend on the timing of it being released.

I can tell my experience backwards, I went from TR to coach and my improvement was massive compared to TR. I manly changed it because burnout (see the infamous Dylan post).

What I wanted to make sure was that my coach worked with WKO5, so that I can be sure that the training is truly individualized.

Accountability has never been a problem for me, both with TR or coach. For me is weir to see some people saying (or implying) that a coach is only good for that


I am in the same boat, couldn’t even do 5 weeks of TR Mid without getting burned out and sick…

But honestly, the biggest thing is how to adopt to weeks when you might be feeling tired or sluggish, I just write to my coach and he puts in rides that work during my “feeling off” week.

So I am able ride 6-8 hours on my “feeling off” weeks, and then 13-15 hours on my good weeks :slight_smile:

Here is the result of going from TR to coach:

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My power has went down a fair bit since I left my coach in July last year to go to TR. Other external factors have probably affected it though and I think ERG was injuring me.

I went from TR to coach and it was the right move for me. I blew up twice on MV plans, and I am currently watching a fellow racer go through the same on Strava (he syncs his workouts).

I’ve gotten faster with my coach and I am not experiencing the burnout either. Also for me, my coach is local, so we meet up when our schedules align and go over techniques / skills, which has been useful. She found me 100w in sprint technique alone! My mileage is up quite a bit too.

Yes, it’s expensive, but I felt the cost is worth it for what I want to do, and so far has been, and I don’t see that changing until I get less serious about racing (maybe deciding to have (a) kid(s)). A lot of my friends are into grappling now, and my coach is inline with what a good grappling gym costs per month. I also don’t have a limit on contact with mine.


Went from coach to TR and proceeded to blow up on the MV plan and get slower immediately. Went to self coached and immediately gained fitness, consistency, and enjoyment on the bike.

This may be better now that they have more polarized plans but the non polarized has too much intensity in my opinion.


Keep in mind the relatively massive changes to the default plans that just happened. Those are seemingly better in terms of intensity in their standard form, and notably different than the plans of old.

And the pending use of Adaptive Training should lead to even more tailored training plans in use. Will be interesting to see where this all lands a year from now when it is fully functioning and openly released.


I went from coach to TR. I changed mainly for cost. This coach had taken me from couch to a high average recreational rider. Totally indebted to my coach. TR was an adjustment and difficult. Several times I did the longer Saturday ride that was recommended in the weekly notes instead of another SS. I did fail some mid-level workouts but just considered that the price of learning TR. Now, I use a mixture of fascat plans and TR. I am looking forward to becoming a part of adaptive training though. My FTP did go down somewhat but my lower threshold went upwards. I consider the change for myself effective. As I have often said at the age of 60, I am not training for the Olympics. :slight_smile:


Switching to TR is being “self coached”. I think the biggest fault in TR, prior to AT, is that users didn’t understand they need to heavily modify the TR plans. TR didn’t push this concept. Far too many, self included, thought TR was a coach instead of off the self canned plans that provide a framework. Not only that, TR held on to and prescribed too much intensity in their plans. This inevitably led to many experiencing burn out. It took me almost 3 years to learn how to self coach using TR plans.


I can tell what is my experience. I have used many pre-build plans and TR for a couple of years. I have worked with a few coached during that years too. For me, TR is great like others pre-build plans (from reliable coaches) but only with limited volume and if you are able to follow them. In my case (I have this attitude: more is better, no pain no gain, training has to be done) working with a coach let me feel fresher and stronger. Sometimes I had to do train hard as hell (those insane sessions weren’t be a part of any training plan I had followed before - like sets of VO2Max 6x4-5min on 125%-130% of the FTP) but in most cases he hold me back. I was able to do a progress even if I was ill for a couple of weeks. But it has to be a good coach. You have to trust him and follow his advices. And you need to let him to get to know you and your body so you should expect great results after a few months.

In m opinion it’s always better to have a coach, someone who can look at you from outside but you can be successful athelete too using pre-build plans. But you have to collect the knowledge, be honest with yourself, be aware of your body etc. It’s just not easy. So - like always - it depands :slight_smile: :sweat_smile: :joy: :rofl:

In hindsight its easy to look at it that way, but like you said, it has never been described that way. It is sold as a “complete package” and that you do the plans as prescribed.

Also, if I need to modify anything, then am I just paying for the library of workouts? So there are a lot more issues that kind of arises with the thinking that users should be ready to modify things.

The number one most important thing that having a coach has taught med is how to do basic aerobic rides, and build base. I have never before actually ridden proper endurance rides, but instead always been doing smash fests.

There are so many more things that a coach brings to the table other than what workouts you are gonna do, that is fundamental to a sport such as cycling (if you actually wanna be good at it, and improve year over year)


IMO, if you can afford a coach I believe you’d be better off spending the money and finding out you didn’t need one than not spending the money and never knowing if you did. Most people laud the input they get from their coaches, and a lot of people find themselves not improving with TR (many do, but many do not). That doesn’t mean that all coaches are great, some are not. However, there are many good coaches and it shouldn’t be difficult to find one. Ask around.

If I had the funds available for month-to-month coaching I absolutely would invest in it.