Good feedback. But let’s be honest. 7-8hr per week is not 'a little more time" then 5-6hr per week. That’s roughly 35-40% more time on the bike. That’s significant.
You can buy FasCat plans without the subscription model at TrainingPeaks, not FasCat site.
I’ll add that, at least on the Podcast, Frank often talks like you really should be trying to up the hours from what those of us on TR plans are used to. Please don’t take this as an exact quote, but he says things like “you can absolutely train on 8 hours a week”, but soon thereafter says things like, “just work your way up to 12”. Again, not a quote, just the general gist of how it comes across to me.
If you want to and have the time then that sure is good advice.
Sure, but at the time I had no clue. Back in late 2017 I read a few TrainerRoad articles, and listened to a few podcasts. TR convinced me to try a more structure / less time approach. TR worked ok for base, but I crashed and burned on build. A lot of HTFU and follow the plan encouragement on the forum, so I tried again for a second year. Definitely felt better when following TR Traditional Base 1 and 2 before TR SSB, but at the end of the day the pre-AT SSB and Build plans had too much intensity for me.
Even now with AT, from where I sit it still looks like threshold approach (TR) vs the pyramidal approach from coaching companies (FasCat, CTS, Velocious). With AT it looks like TR eased off threshold a bit, but there are still some basic differences to the approaches.
To be honest I was blown away by how much fitness I developed averaging 7 hours/week by doing a lot of endurance and some intervals (4x8, 4x12, 3x15, etc.) and then being able to go out and do stuff like 45+ minutes at threshold. Muscular strength endurance seems to be one of my strengths.
More structure didn’t win for me, and to be clear my first TR plan was SSB HV 1 which is 8-10 hours/week. I even started down the path of TR CEO one-year of SSB, but I started getting slower and abandoned that.
Hope that helps, my only goal is to get faster on a reasonable number of hours per week. If TR or any other coach/company convinced me that 4 hours of low endurance with 30 second full gas sprints would make me faster, I’d try it.
Find and do what works for you.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree with your conclusion; don’t overdo high intensity. Max two intensity days and the rest endurance pace is my mojo as well.
Its just that I would definitely expect performance improvement if time is increased (sustainably) with 35-40%>
Wish that back then, someone on the forum would have been more insistent on that point. Instead it was HTFU, base/build/specialty, and more structure / less time works. However as a result I learned a lot in the process. No regrets.
I’ve done some Fascat plans. To me the big difference was that those extra hours generally come from longer weekend rides which, while they usually have a target goal (e.g. X time in sweetspot or ride until you get to X TSS) they are not full of intervals. I liked that both because it more fit the way I was actually riding on the weekends (ie. Group rides) and my old masters body seemed to respond better.
Since Fascat in no way is tied to indoor trainer workouts, overall the intensity seems lower even though you may be getting more total hours in per week. You still have hard intervals/workouts but I was starting to feel (at the time, things may be different now) that TR was just beating me up because it had me for an hour a day, not because that level of work every day was necessarily best for me.
Thanks. The optimize annual subscription is only 150 USD at the moment, and includes a ton of stuff including coach support. I am tempted!
If TR or something else is working for you, keep riding that wave!
Personally I’m a relatively slow responder and try and give myself a longer timeline to figure out what works. Trying to evaluate an approach on as little as 3 or 5 months doesn’t make sense to me. Last week I heard an interesting Empirical Cycling podcast where Kolie Moore interviewed coach and WKO product lead Tim Cusick. If you are interested in self-coaching its worth a listen.
This one and the Coggan conversation are both worth the time.
Thanks for the reply. Another point really is that I like to train 4 days a week rather than the fascat prescribed 5 days. TR allows a little more flexibility in that respect.
Huh? Plans are made to be modified and adapted. No matter if it’s TR or FasCat or …
I agree with you, but it does go against the FTFP marketing that they espouse so often.
I object to that philosophy, too. It doesn’t set the right tone IMHO.
Meh - I think the FTFP is just a more cheeky way of saying that you need to stay consistent. Certainly you can do 4 days if that is your desire, but drop the easiest day there is. I am sure the FasCat coaches would say the same. I think the tone is just fine and makes me laugh. A little tough love from your coach is all.
Agreed. I like the repeated use of one liners they to get the a message across. FTFP, and also Winning in the kitchen. Haven’t followed a FastCat plan yet but am considering it for 2023.
Maybe, but to my ears it sounds quite bro’-ey and has an echo of HTFU to it.
I really like “Winning in the kitchen.” as well.
Right on the plan’s description:
And I recall a podcast discussing it.
FTFP can co-exist with making changes when life happens. FTFP is what I tell myself when motivation is low Its a guiding principle, not a monastic calling to train like a monk My sister dated a monk in Big Sur, the whole vow of silence thing is a relationship buzz kill lol.