Beginner trying to get faster during quarantine

Hello, to introduce myself, I’m a 16 year old student (74 kg, 165 ftp). I bought my first road bike in summer last year, but because of the weather and lack of time I haven’t trained much. I’ve now bought a smart trainer and, so I thought trainer road is the place to go. Now to get to the question. I currently have quite a bit of time thanks to the lockdown, so I’m really tempted to start by doing medium volume base training. But from what I’ve read, it seems like low volume may be better for beginners? What do you think? Which one of the plans will ensure the bigger fitness growth?

The more volume you can do well (and recover from) the faster you should be able to get. The key is the part in brackets though, if you jump in too high you’ll either get injured or burn out.

If I were you I’d follow the Plan Builder recommendations and select Low Volume initially, if after a few weeks you’re finding you can handle to load start by adding some extra z2 (Carter / Pettit / Baxter etc).

Good luck with the training!

Great way to use the quarantine! Definitely start with Low Volume, if you feel the need to do more then just supplement by choosing longer versions of the workouts, extending the cooldown, or adding in extra endurance rides.

At 16 and with races cancelled for the foreseeable future, one thing you certainly have on your side is time! No need to rush it, you’ll get a good boost just from following structured training plans, and you’ll learn more about how your body copes with the volume.


With volume it’s not necessarily like the more the better. You have to work yourself into it and figure out what works best for you. Not only in terms of exercise but also in terms of recovery.

When I started a year ago with mid volume, I saw good adaptations. Recovery wasn’t much of an issue. Nowadays, I am doing customised high volume plans and feel it’s even better in terms of adaptations. Though that’s my anecdotal evidence. I am sure with others it might be the other way around. If I were you I would rather start low and add to it rather than starting high and cut down from it.

This was my journey. Maybe it’s a bit of help.

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Don’t underestimate the improvements that can be made in Low Volume, I was in the same position around 8 weeks ago and went into the low volume plan and have made solid improvements all round.

In my opinion it’s easier and more beneficial to hit the low volume plan and add workouts around that when you feel good than go mid volume and not hit all the workouts.

My current plan is complete sweet spot base LV1 LV2, build LV1 and Lv2, then back to sweet spot base LV with a higher FTP and see how far I can go on Low volume before bumping it up.

All the best on your training


Hiya! Welcome to TR :blush:
Ultimately the plan that will give you the biggest fitness gains is the one that challenges you to a point where you can consistently recover from it- in other words, more isn’t necessarily better!
I’d agree with the above posters about starting with low volume. The TR plans are all pretty challenging, so you’ll likely see some big improvements there while also getting a bit more confidence/experience in your own capabilities. It also gives you a bit more wiggle room for other riding- maybe some time outdoors if you’re able, or you could try some zwifting!

This is perfectly said :point_up_2:.

Start with Low Volume and see how that feels in terms of recovery week to week. How do you feel after Week 3? If you feel good and strong and want to add more, I recommend starting out by adding TSS filler rides. These are endurance paced rides that are designed to increase your overall training volume without cranking up the intensity. Pettit is a good example. Adding TSS in this manner is much easier to gauge, and you are less likely to bite off more than you can chew.

Then, if you get through SSB I LV with this added TSS and you’re certain that you’re ready for more, then you can move onto mid-volume. If you follow this route, I’d recommend repeating SSB I again at the mid-volume, especially if you have no specific timeline.

And all this being said, if you find that you are adequately challenged by the Low Volume, stick to it! Consistency is the biggest key to your success, so stick to a plan that is tough but manageable.

Good luck!

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Consistency is the key. Doesn’t matter which Plan you choose if you can’t complete the work consistently.

If this is your first dabble with structured training, turbo trainers and TrainerRoad, as other users have said, start off low and build gradually. Learn about your body and listen to it. You’re young and this is a great opportunity to build good habits.

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