Are there plans to make a plan for Masters (or to customize existing plans)?

I was curious if anyone was aware if there were plans to make plans (or allow existing plans to be “adjusted”) for masters athletes?
I understand everyone is different and there is no “standard” masters athlete or a fixed age when one becomes a “masters” athlete. However, based on common findings in the research, I wonder if there would be value in allowing TR plans to be “tweaked” for masters.
For example a recover week could be added in more frequently.
You can do this manually, however, it then throws of the rest of your plan in terms of ending at a specific date or race.
Just a thought.
I am suspecting I need a bit more rest and recovery after a flat SPB.
I am looking at other ways of getting a bit more rest each week before manually tweaking the TR plans which I prefer not to do if possible.

Tweaked how? Lower intensity, shorter workouts, more off days?

I’m still pretty new to TR (started in Nov 2019), so new to the TR brand of training but not 100% new to structured intensity. I’m also at an age (52) where I have heard other athletes say they needed to back off the intensity or incorporate more rest days. But what I have read on the topic (Fast After 50 and The Sports Gene) plus my own experience have convinced me that there is not one correct way to adjust a training plan for masters athletes.

In my N=1 experience, six months of pretty good compliance with TR’s MV plans (SSB, SusPB, and Century) left me with almost no FTP gains and hungry for more of… something. My first attempt to find that “something” was to switch to the Short PB and Crit MV plans. Six weeks of that had me digging the additional intensity but I still tested pretty flat and felt like my body wanted something else. During the past six weeks I have been putting in about 2 hours per week of endurance on top of my MV plan. The result: I finish my workouts thoroughly knackered, but also feeling like this is the challenge my body was wanting. My last FTP test gave me a 15 watt bump, equivalent to all the gains I had made in the 4+ months prior.

So at 52 I am handling similar volume and more intensity than I did 10 years ago and I feel like it’s beneficial and sustainable, at least for now. I don’t mean to imply that anyone should draw general conclusions from my experience other than this: everybody is different, including masters. The best way for any one of us to train will be unique, and finding that best way is a process. Or better, it’s an adventure and part of the fun :slight_smile:

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To be honest I am not sure but I was assuming more frequent recovery weeks, possibly some HIIT and or VO2 max sessions put in more frequently in all phases, … but again, not sure.

This is good to hear @msteed even if it is n=1.
I gained 20 watts through SSB 1 & 2 but only 2 watts through SusPB.
I also had poor workout compliance in that I could not do the target for most of the threshold workouts. VO2 I had better compliance with but still not 100% (I am on a dumb trainer with power pedals).
I am frustrated by not getting many new watts through SusPB and it was only 8 weeks and it sounds like you went a lot longer with minimal gains until recently.
I will just keep at it (I am relatively new to endurance sports and TR with about a year of pretty structured workouts).
I am moving into century low volume which I will add to with a longer outdoor ride on the weekends and maybe another 60 min recovery during the week (so 4-5 rides per week).
I do think I need a least 1, maybe 2 days a week of doing nothing or maybe stretching/yoga only.
However, I am trying to run 1-2 times per week as well.
Before I was putting these on my “rest” days but now I am thinking that was a bad idea as I was not getting a rest day really.
So now I will try to do my runs on days I bike as well so that I do get a full rest day or 2.
I may try or have to put 1 run on a day I have nothing else but if I do this I will keep it shorter, 45 min or less, and try to run slow, my all day zone 2 pace.
We’ll see how this goes.
These are my thoughts for this next stage of my training (i.e. century 8 weeks).

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Related thread in a different Category, but I may merge them at some point?


Cool. Yoga has been great when I manage to squeeze it in. I am also doing some running & strength training. I used to do a lot more running, but that is one activity where my body seems able to tolerate much less volume than in the past. So my current schedule works out like this:

Mon - 2 hours TR
Tue - 40 min run + 20 min strength, maybe 20 min yoga
Wed - 2 hours TR
Thu - 2 hours TR
Fri - 40 min run + 20 min strength, maybe 20 min yoga
Sat - 2-4 hour outdoor ride, mostly endurance/tempo
Sun - off

For me, the patience required to figure out what works best can be a challenge, especially at an age where I am increasingly aware that I won’t live forever. I remind myself regularly that it really is about the journey :slight_smile:

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Thanks @msteed
I am thinking about something like the below through to Sept/Oct when I may stop riding outside (Low volume TR plan). I may move the runs around depending on the weather as if possible I prefer to not run in the rain. However, I do want to try and have one day per week of nothing and another day of only low intensity biking/yoga in order to get a bit more recovery than I have been getting in a week.

Mon - 60-90 min TR 1 + 60 min run
Tue - 60 min recovery TR (added to low volume plan) + 30-45 min Yoga
Wed - 60 min TR 2
Thu - 60 min TR 3 + 30-45 min easy run
Fri - Yoga (or put the above 30-45 min easy run above here)
Sat - 2-4 hour outdoor ride (sweet spot to threshold I am guessing)
Sun - off

Regardless of what happens during my next phase (as during SusPB I only gained 2 watts and found the plan very hard and I could not meet the power targets based on my ramp test) I think I just need to try and remain patient, try different approaches (during each TR phase but not changing things any more frequently than that as need to give things a shot), prioritized rest and recovery, nutrition, … challenging not being a patient person.
Good luck with your training.

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  • There are numerous discussions about how the Ramp Test may give an FTP that is not ideal for some riders. It can be too high in many cases, and may well need adjustment (up or down) when doing the first few hard workouts of the next phase.
  • Be open to understanding the intent of the given workout, then judge your feeling and performance in it with respect to the FTP. After 2 workouts, you should have a gut feel if the FTP is correct or needs adjustment.

This is key to training because working from an incorrect FTP (by more than a few watts) will lead to issues, that could be present in your case.

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As a sub-50’s Masters, I’ve smashed out a few TR HV plans and have become acutely aware of the greater requirement for rest/recovery. TR is based around Sweet Spot and Threshold work which builds up a lot of stress in the body – muscular, hormonal, chemical, CNS etc. Older bodies might be less efficient and/or fast at dispersing that stress, especially before continuing to pile on even more stress. That said, it’s probably a best first move, like you are doing, to create more recovery during the week vs taking more weeks off.



Agreed. I am amazed at how much better I can handle volume & intensity when I have my sleep and nutrition (on and off bike) dialed.

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:+1: Thats been my position, build more recovery into the week. Regardless of age I question the wisdom of doing 5 sweet spot workouts per week during base training. And then loading for 5 weeks before a rest week. Is SSB HV better than taking the same number of hours and doing 3 days sweet spot and the rest aerobic endurance? I don’t think so, but it looks bad ass on paper and after doing it you can tell everyone to HTFU :rofl:

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