Dylan Johnson's "The Problem with TrainerRoad Training Plans": it's gonna be a busy day around here

submitted without comment, I just started watching lol


Is it too early to start the popcorn?


After watching, it’s a fair video. TRs response will be easy to guess; their data backs up their methodology, data in which they will not share (for good reasons, I have to believe).

How’s that masters plan going?

Still a TR fan! I use the platform to make my own plans. And, waiting for what the masters plan might look like. He makes a very good case concerning what’s covered on the podcast and what the plans lay out.


it’s gonna be a jumbo popcorn kind of thread with all the usual suspects coming out (including anyone I’ve blocked on the topic of training lol)


I’ve just watched this on YouTube. Looking forward to the next Podcast…


He made some good points but everyone is different and I’ve had no problems with using TrainerRoad. It’s fun and challenging, sorry it doesn’t fit in his ideal training plan set up.
Sounds like he’s trying to get some customers…


Cancelled all my plans for the day.
Let the show begin :popcorn:


I’m fine with DJ’s assessment in this video and personally after 3 years agree that the TR plans have too much intensity. I’d like to see TR address their plans. I think it’s absurd that for MV and HV plans Sundays have MORE intensity. I know, it says in the tips to do z2 if you want, but that should be the default not the alternative. The alternative should be to ride longer at z2 not more intensity. Additionally, the “recovery” rides on Wednesdays and Fridays (HV) should be at a lower intensity.

I appreciate TR and all that they do. I also recognize that they have an “AI” type training program in the works. However, they really need to fix their plans.


As someone who follows SSB HV, I can kind of get on board with the notion of maybe too much SS, I enjoy the plan, but I think it might have gotten to me as my build cycle has been pretty meh and I’ve backed off on my targets. I think Dylan also doesn’t have the context that SSB HV used to have endurance prescribed for weekends and that people were not doing it and TR still advocate for that in lieu of the plan workouts. WHen I do SSB again in a few weeks I may adopt that approach and see, even if I can’t get in 3-4hrs z2 on each weekend day


I really like the TR platform, the people and the podcast, but my experience with the training plans is exactly what he says athlete tell him. The two years I have strictly followed the plans I am run into the ground during the build phase. I start to fail workouts, have poor race performance, get sick, and everything falls apart.

The second year I recognized this was happening again and got a coach. The coach prescribed way less intensity workouts but still used tempo/sweet spot during certain phases of the year.

It’s really hard to develop plans for an entire spectrum of athletes. Some people will follow the plans without adjustments and it gets ugly in a hurry.


He does enjoy controversy and knows what gets clicks, likes, subscribers and coaching customers. He tailors his videos with said intentions. He also lacks extensive coaching experience and his review of the science is petty at best. That all being said, he’s likely not wrong.


It feels like he’s mostly focusing on the HV plan. LV SST seems pretty reasonable to me.


LV only works because the volume is so low that you have enough days to recover even from a poorly laid out plan.


Yeah, that’s fair. HV SST would kill me.


Thought it was pretty balanced and a fair assessment.

Base plans are too long. Anecdotally, I’m always in a hole by the end.

To be fair, TR, do actually promote a polarised/pyramidal approach if you use TiZ. Most podcasts they say it’s best to do low volume and add in endurance. I’ve been doing this and currently training polarised with short power build. I’d imagine this would become pyramidal on other plans.


You’re making this an N=1 thing. I never struggled with the Sunday SST ride after threshold on Saturday.

I think TR have addressed the Sunday Z2/SST issue on the podcast before. They said that basically people won’t do long Z2, so made SST the default. I understand the current app doesn’t have this functionality, but agree it would be good to make the user actively choose between the two rather than lumping everyone into the SST bucket if that could be done.


That’s a horrible reason to put in more intensity. I finished SSBHV 1 & 2 and currently in ShortPBHV week 3. Changing Sundays to z2 and riding Wednesdays and Fridays by feel (lower z2 at times) made all the difference in build. I was headed towards burnout and this modification made all the difference.


Really? Back that up please.



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Just do some research on him. It’s not a dig, it’s just that he’s only 24 and is newer to coaching.


This post is relevant in any of the topics floating around pitting low volume base/polarized/any other non sweet spot approach against TR’s plans:

an optimized plan > sub-optimal (but still good) structured plan > non-structured plan

COMPLETED structured plan >>>>>>>>>>>>>> poorly executed optimized plan.

I’ve seen all these forum topics and have spent the winter playing with polarized training, and replacing rides w/ z2 and reducing intensity days, and it derailed me. I got sick of the trainer. I am privy to training science, but I’m not a coach, so trying to build my own polarized plan from November to June was bound to end poorly. I spent more time building out training weeks and less time actually training. I had no confidence in my training plan.

Now, I’ve committed to one of my cycling goals this year: complete a full TR base, build, & specialty plan. I’ve stuck to SSB MV II for the past 5 weeks, and guess what: I’ve improved. I don’t hate the trainer because I haven’t subjected myself to 3+ hour z2 rides. I don’t feel burnt out. I have confidence in the training plan. I’m monitoring my recovery, and I’m not digging a hole.

Could I get faster with an optimized plan? Maybe, but I use TR because I don’t want to work 1 on 1 with an expensive coach to help me dial in that plan. An off the shelf polarized plan (from Dylan Johnson- who I like, or any other coach) is just as likely to short change me as a TR SS plan is. And for the record, I’m a former college athlete, Cat 2, ~350 FTP (before I moved to altitude last month :laughing:), w/ over 8 years endurance training experience, so the notion that SS burns you out, or only in new athletes, or won’t get you over a plateau, is not true in my experience.

Don’t fall into the trap I did over the winter of trying to consistently optimize your plan at the cost of your consistency. If something is working for you, stick with it. When it stops working, investigate why, and then change it.