Don’t expect TR to release their data sets as its a competitive advantage for them. As it should be.
I might argue (in the intellectual sense of argue) that their data is going to be asymmetrical. They will have a large number of individuals who have done SSB I then II then Build then maybe Specialty. I expect the number of people that actually complete that full cycle and do it more than once is small.
With enough members though they can filter through to find completers and show that the program works. But works will be in terms of improvement from a baseline (starting RAMP test or FTP for most participants vs RAMP tests along the way).
What they may not know is if Program A beats B beats C and probably won’t have good data on any metric other than FTP as tested by RAMP. Meaning I will bet that of the completers defined above, very few will have done the right tests to flesh out a full power curve and TR data won’t readily show time to exhaustion.
Basically, when your primary metric is FTP defined by short tests, that is what you get. But there is a lot more to being good riding a bike than FTP defined by short tests. FTP tests are a proxy and while good, not great.
Here is something we could do:
“I’m a 45+ year old master’s athlete and I feel knackered and unable to complete the TR plan’s”
How about we compare the as written plans to plans with different work:recovery ratios?
Group A does SSB I+II then General Build as written.
Group B does same plan with 3:1 and 2:1 ratios and may substitute one of the weekend SST rides for a Z2 ride.
We can measure FTP according to the plans and we can ask some more subjective questions. Something we could do that TR can’t easily do is ask the participants to record other more subjective data. Fatigue and RPE for example.
At the end of the 20 weeks everyone will have done some good training (so everyone benefits), nobody “wastes” 20 weeks doing something too goofy, and we’d have good info about power curves (and we could do a full set of power tests before and after) and completability.
NOTE: I hypothesize that being able to complete the program for 20 weeks is a huge factor in improving.
If we could find participants, a Group C could be a POL type plan. Need someone to write out what that looks like.
If we had a good group of experienced cyclists we could also compare outcomes to their historic highs as a reference. TR won’t have that data.
I’m thinking out loud here so this is not to be taken as anything other than a conversation that might lead to something fun.