Do I resubscribe?

Have you seen the build and specialty plans? Most of them have only 1 SS workouts per week while the rest are VO2Max, Anaerobic, Threshold, etc.
Which I guess it’s even worse if you are looking for a polarised one, but judging by what Nate said in the past about the polarised approach I don’t think we will ever see something like that on TR.


No, TR does not offer a “Polarized” training option. There are not really “options” like I think you mean.

But the lack of POL doesn’t mean SS is all TR does. There are more than just those two training models/approaches.

Look at any Build plan and you can see a range of workouts, and they are far from SS only or SS focused.

1st 3 weeks of Short Power Build, Mid Vol:

1st 3 weeks of General Power Build, Mid Vol:

1st 3 weeks of Sustained Power Build, Mid Vol:

None of those are Sweet Spot based plans.
Here is a reference pic from, with a visual representation of some models:

Depending on the precise TR plan, many fall into the Pyrimadal, Threshold or HIIT models. I just think it is wrong to consider that TR is only centered around SS.

  • NO, that is not what I am saying. Sweet Spot workouts are Sweet Spot workouts.

  • What I am saying is that TR does many plans that are NOT SS focused. Most of the Build and Specialty plans spend more workouts with focus on Threshold and VO2 than SS.

  • Importantly, even some of the TR SSB plans are not what I would consider SS focused. Some of them are heavily focused on SS workout. However, even some of the SSB plans, SSB2 Low & Mid Vol have plenty of Threshold and VO2+ workouts.

In LV cases, the SS is only 1/3 of the week: SSB2, LV:


  • Please see my post above for more info on the other methods besides POL and SS. There are many TR plans that have some SS, but add far more Threshold, VO2 and Anaerobic level workouts.

Yes true. I’ve gone through a full program a few times now.

I guess Base is what builds your fitness and TrainerRoad is synonymous with SweetSpot. My current training is building my base (with a kind of Pyramidal model), which is a commitment for years, and then it is altered at about 5 weeks out from a race (speciality) by adding in 1-2 workouts specific to the race and the rest of the week is base work. Then back to base after that. Hence why I think SweetSpot when I think TrainerRoad. I don’t think I am alone on this.

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So what is “Build” trying to achieve? It is not building Base fitness and not Specialising. It is like a “filler” for some reason; half Base and half a loose speciality.

In my conversations with Nate, he is a firm believer in SweetSpot and talks like it is the way to go based on data and Trainer Road is fully behind SweetSpot. Maybe I misunderstood :man_shrugging:

Yes, Trainer Road also offers “Traditional” Base but with an interesting spread of the time. Plus the intensity is too high (at least for me, based on my lactate testing).

Are these based on known training models? I am curious what their origins are.

Covered here:

“It is in the Build Phase of training where I increase your weekly training stimulus and structure your intervals with the types of efforts you’ll be faced with in your riding/racing discipline.”

which requires mapping the demands of your riding/racing to one of 3 types of efforts:

  • short power
  • general power
  • sustained power

The build phase I affectionately refer to as “intervals designed to kick my ass” and “low volume for the win” :rofl:

  • Context matters. I don’t know your conversation, but I can’t imagine that Nate was applying SS as a full world view of training in the entire TR universe.

    • Yes, they do apply a fair bit of SS in the Base phase and they push that approach over the “Traditional base” option (that the also offer) to most of their customers.
  • But the clear evidence in their posted plans (Low & Mid Vol of SSB2, and nearly all the Build and Specialty plans) are heavily focused on zones other than SS.

    • That is clear if you review the plans and the actual efforts within them. See my examples above or any other plans you want to review, besides the SS Base specifically.
  • I am the wrong ‘Chad’ to answer that with any authority.

  • That said, my take on Coach Chad and his thirst for knowledge and research, I firmly believe he created all the TR plans based on established training research methodologies, along with his personal and coaching experience.

    • My uneducated guess is that these might fall into the Pyramidal model (as I have seen reported in my page while following many TR plans) or Threshold model.
    • This likely varies between phases and each specific plan, since they are all targeted at specific energy systems and those run the range of long/low vs short/sharp and a range between them.
    • It may also change a bit as people apply either the default SS “long Sunday” ride or apply the longer Endurance version that is listed in the notes of many plans.
  • IMO, branding TR as “All Sweet Spot, All the time” is incorrect.

    • Yes, they do apply SS more in Base phases.
    • But, that Base phase is only about 1/3 of their complete training plans. The other 2/3 of the complete plan uses SS sparingly in comparison to Threshold, VO2, etc. They are applying loading in far more energy systems than just SS.

I think there are very good progressions in the plans. However if you’ve been coached or used other plans, its not hard to see the TR plans are designed with more intensity and less aerobic endurance (zone 2) than plans from other coaches (exception being Traditional Base, and Full Distance Triathlon).


Just a thought… doing some traditional base might shift your lactate points so that it is appropriate. You get what you train, or something.


Sure, I make no claims to effectiveness or people who are best served by these plans.

My only point in my posts above is to show that SS is not the solitary focus of the full range of TR plans, and therefore it’s not appropriate to consider TR as SS focused in the full view.

That said, I do agree that TR is “Intensity Heavy” in the majority of plans. That syncs with their apparent focus on the more “time crunched” athlete and/or focus on training times from 4-10 hours training per week (depending on volume).


Hyperbole at its finest. This reads like a giant marketing ploy rather than anything legitimate. I’d rather you say nothing than quote every 6 year old… ever.

I expect that I will be a subscriber every year until I stop riding bikes. Why?

  1. I get to listen to a podcast that provides lots of content and is just fun and I don’t have to deal with ads or sponsor promos. And it’s free

  2. I still find value in the plans even though I tweak them a bit

  3. TR continually improves it product. What I have today is better than what I had 2 years ago

  4. I’m grandfathered I’m at $99. Thats a bargain!

  5. @Nate_Pearson, @chad, @Jonathan, @Pete, @ambermalika are good people. I like supporting good people who make a good product (not a perfect product but it keeps getter better)

  6. I’m faster today than when I started using TR

  7. I’ve tried zwift and I just don’t like it. Personal preference.

  8. I really want to see what Thing #1 is!




So I’m at a bit of a crossroads here. I posted on reddit, but on reflection I think maybe this forum would be more apropos. For background, I’m a grandfathered subscriber from 2014 era TR. I’ve always been happy with the value, and TR has always worked on improvement. I do like the TR gang as well.

There’s pretty much two things that are troubling me.

First, I haven’t used a TR plan in a long time. I am getting excellent results taking more classic training ideas, and adapting to my own response. So I am essentially paying for the calendar and the UI, which I have been fine doing. But I have been toying with just building workouts, sending that to my Bolt, and doing that. Simplify the whole deal and eliminate extra device. So it’s kind of got me thinking, and I guess the question becomes is the calendar worth it?

Secondly, and probably more of an issue, is I’m not sure I like where TR is heading. All the AI/Machine learning crap is essentially 180 degrees from what I would like to see the focus on. Specifically a more varied training plan offering, with masters plans especially. And generally, more offerings for long events. One criticism of TR is that everything they do is informed by a crit mindset. Even the century plan is crazy short intervals. And I think the TR guys truly don’t get this because it’s buried so deeply in the subconscious. But literally every event I do is 6 hours plus, out to 10 or 12. And I’m part of the biggest training segment globally, the sportive crowd. I suspect that there are a ton of people who don’t realize that is the biggest training group until they are pointed to the registration numbers. I keep subscribing in hopes that I can use TR plans again one day instead of having to manually create everything. But is that where this is going?

Anyway, sorry for the ramble, and any input appreciated.


I wouldn’t be so sure that the focus is on AI/Machine learning. Seems like mostly speculation from the users on the forum.

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Good post.

I resubscribed in a hope to see what the Machine Learning innovations will be; see if there’s good tools for planning and seeing the effects of different training and extracting other bits of info from my history. Maybe I’ll drop Xert and keep TR. TR has 12 months, for me.

I agree. Like a diet, it is not a one size fits all. Since I’ve move off Trainer Road training and to Steve Neal Performance. 1) I am not longer bleeding from the eyes each workout and 2) I am seeing more gains. Win win. So, I agree, it would be good to see more work on the training plans.


Nah, Nate has been hinting and talking about it for almost a year now.


I guess we’ll see

Here is some interesting outlook:

“Every 24 hours, the model aims to correlate your best historical performances with your historical training inputs (pace, power, hr) to find a best-fit signature. This signature is then used to personalise relatively ‘normal’ plans that you would be familiar with ie you tell the model your training preferences and constraints. The resulting plans have some degree of adaptability both to your weekly schedule and changes in the signature.”

To me this sounds like what a combination of TR and ML could look like :thinking:

I was in the same boat as you. I’ve been a subscriber to TR for years and grandfathered in. I canceled my subscription this past year. To me, part of the fun of racing and training is experimenting with different approaches and philosophies. I’m now using a coach b/c he does the best job of balancing all of the fun and cross-training with improving and that’s what works best for me. I’ve had a bunch of health issues to contend with this past year and still hit a number of PRs on the bike.

If I wasn’t using a coach, I’d likely be purchasing training plans on TP. Again, I like the variety. I’ve done the BBS in the past and after a while it felt more like a chore and I wasn’t seeing the gains I’d gotten in the past taken a more relaxed approach to my training.

To the points listed here, I felt conflicted as I do believe they are a great group of people with a fantastic podcast. But that’s not enough over time to remain a customer.