Feature Request: Training Plan +1, -1 Variations (Low-Mid, Mid-High)

Suspect even then those people may differ in how the MV plan is too low. E.g. Some people might want to ride more than 5 days per week. while some people might want to stick to the 5 days but do longer sessions on some of them.

I think there has been plenty of advice between the blogs, podcasts and forum on how to modify the plans, whether it’s adding in a long ride, choosing longer versions of workouts, etc. Maybe what’s needed is to summarise that into an article that sits on the FAQs page (https://support.trainerroad.com/hc/en-us/categories/200097620-Training-Questions?utm_source=Mobile%20App&utm_medium=iOS&utm_content=Training%20Plans%20FAQs), which is linked from the Plans page in the app. To be honest I was slightly surprised there wasn’t something already there (if there is I missed it) - there are articles on how to choose a plan, how to modify a workout, how to structure a season towards an A race, but nothing that I could see on how to modify a plan if you fall between 2 levels.

Building our catalog of Training Resources has kinda been my pet project for the past few months, and this is an article that I didn’t think of. I totally agree that this could a very useful addition, and I will add it to my list :+1:.

It will likely be added as an additional section in the “What Volume Training Plan” article.

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  • No, you are paying for workouts and plans (among other things like the Calendar and Performance Analysis tools) as the primary parts of the training plan. The plans in particular also include a broad overview of each phase, and more detailed weekly tips within each plan.
  • These paid features may be supplemented with the “free” features like the podcast, this forum, the blog and the Support Center. Each of those has various articles and guides that can help with a wide range of training planning.
  • The point above is that there is a dividing line between where a semi-generic training plan ends and full out coaching begins. The main point behind this request is adding 2 more levels of training plans. Simple on the surface, but time consuming to generate and maintain (as covered above).
  • At some point, the price we pay hits a limit and anything more will require additional input and likely $.

As ever, there is a lot of nuance behind a simple suggestion, and this is no different. The suggestion is great, but recognition of the difficulties within is also worth review.

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I don’t disagree with this at all. I do think, however, that TR’s limited resources would be better spent on developing even more refined and specific training plans than adding features that I can (and already do) get elsewhere.

And there’s the rub. Every one of us could make a list of what we think is most important, and easy money that very few would match. The best we can do is make our suggestions and go along for the ride.

We have little to no idea what they really have in the hopper, and their internal road map may or may not align well with any of these suggestions.

In this case, I think TR has about the largest library of workouts and training plans on offer for this level of pricing. So, AFAIK, they are already the leader in the category, and it may not make as much sense for them to spend the time and money on this request vs other things that may be more far reaching.

It’s impossible for us to know how many people are following any of the particular volumes and/or modifying them to something approaching an intermediate level. Only TR knows that and they are best to judge if this really makes sense (and cents) for their product and customers.

Yep, they’re definitely the leader and I hope they’re able to stay that way. I’m hoping that they have something on the roadmap that will address this request in one way or another (AI anyone?) and our/my suggestions are being heard. I didn’t want my suggestion to sound like a criticism, because it’s not.

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In my meaningless opinion the answer is less plans, not more. You should just plug in your goal events, describe the demands of those events in some fashion, then plug in how much time you have on a day to day basis. Then let the software big workouts based on time to the event and recent performance.

The current model is a bit too rigid and can’t keep up once 4x20 SS/threshold and 6x4 VO2 isn’t driving adaptation.

I think this suggestion misses the point why many people want “in-between” plans: usually they want to ride fewer times or more often rather than easier or harder. (One example would be where someone has a regular group ride, and wants to train indoors 4 times a week rather than 5.)

Or you do short 2-3 day blocks and only do 2 hard rides a week

Hmm, I hear you. For me, it seems like it would require a lot of permutations and many, many different plans to meet every possible user demand. And by trying to make plans for everyone, it will further complicate the plan selection process.

For the Low/Mid volume plan folks, some may want (compared to Low Volume):

  • an extra group ride
  • an extra hard interval day
  • an extra recovery spin
  • a long sunday endurance ride

We can’t possibly satisfy every possibility that an individual may want, but I do agree that some instructional documentation could be useful for helping people to make informed adjustments about their adjusting their training.

Some of you have expressed how it would be cool if you could pick your race dates and your availiabilty and the plan is automatically generated somehow. All I can say is that we think so too :wink: .

I will do my best to think up possible adjustment scenarios, but if you all would like to chime in with bulleted lists of common +1, -1 variations you’d like to add to your training plan, I’m all ears.


EDIT:

Also, in this case, the user could just replace their longer Sweet Spot Sunday Ride with the group ride in the Mid-Volume Plan+1:

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I love the trainingplans low volume for the half distance and I am looking foreward to finish my first in september. I am thinking about signing up for a full distance if I finish the 70.3.

The problem is that I can not spare more time for it because of my partner, work… (you know what I am talking about :sweat_smile:)

By searching through the internet I found a few trainingsplans promising to finish in 10 hours training/week which would be almost in the same category as the half distance low volume plan.

EXAMPLE VIDEO

Considering the efficiency of trainerroad bike workouts it would be REALLY NICE if you guys from trainerroad could create a plan for that. I guess it could also be of greatest attraction for potential future users - like: Become Iron in 10h/week with Trainerroad :rofl:

If 10hrs/week is your max, I’d stick with 70.3 and below.

that’s not my goal I would try it with GTN or something else but I would love to do it with trainerroad and why souldn’t they be capable to put some workouts together reach the goal of 10 if others can with outdoor workouts.

Maybe I just pick some workouts myself but would be nice if they would do it with there experience

It may be possible. But that doesn’t make it a good idea or something that is justified given a company with limited time and resources. The entire thread above discusses the pros/cons of making more levels of training plans. As easy as we think it could be, there are practical matters that make the implementation far from simple.

Couple that with the question of how many people would actually use this particular program, and the payback from TR’s side is not necessarily the best place for their time and efforts.

Maybe it could be the approach of “cutting” the low volume.

Or maybe it could be thing for the podcast diskussing which workouts could be skipped in low volume with the highest chances to still get the job done or maybe increasing the length of the plans to lower the weekly volume.

The longer I think about it, the more I reckon the solution to this problem are (semi-)automatically generated training plans, that are more specifically tailored to the needs and constraints of individual users.

BTW, your suggestion to use swap easier or harder workouts is indeed useful for the way I use TR, but in a different situation: I usually train in the morning before my wife and daughter wake up, so when I get up a tad late or am tired, I can shorten my workout. That hasn’t happened very often, but it is nevertheless a godsend. :+1:

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Just add a LV+/MV+ option in the “Add a training plan”. Have it add an extra Pettit or Baxter. Boom. Done.

Hi Anita, I suspect as Chad says there isn’t much mileage on this for a company whose key philosophy is ‘making you faster’. Over on the Ironman thread you can see I’ve finished two Ironman events this season and it was on less than 8h per week, but this isn’t my first season and my FTP hasn’t really changed much.

See how you go at 70.3, then with that context think about whether you could double the distances on the same volume of training.

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Finishing an IM on 10 hours/week is eminently possible. If you’re reasonably fit, healthy and not too old it can be done on a fair bit less than that.

Really a question of what you want to achieve. You can finish an IM on 10 hours/week but won’t get close to your potential in that volume (unless you have years of doing 20 hours/week and are dropping down to 10 in which case you can maintain a lot of that fitness and put in some awesome results). Alternatively that volume will get you closer to your potential at 70.3 distance, and closer still on shorter tris or with a single sport focus.

The LV IM plans on TR don’t look too far from 10 hours on average (I haven’t added up all the swimming and running), you could always trim the cycling back to one intensity session and one long ride each week if you need to cut further. Those are the 2 key workouts.

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Largely, I agree with you. This is definitely not an easy problem, given all the variables. Wouldn’t it be nice if AI/Machine Learning/Big Data/Voodoo would analyze my last season, identify my weaknesses/limiters and strengths, allow me some input and then generate a plan for me? That’s not going to be easy, and if anyone can do it, I think you guys at TrainerRoad might.

Let me add another suggestion here: this is a problem that a good calendaring UI could help relieve, too. The calendar should not just make such alterations easy, but suggest the “correct”/“best” solution by default to the user. For example, when selecting a weekend workout, I might get a button labeled “Replace this workout with an outdoor ride” (≠ outdoor workout). Similarly, selecting alternate versions of a workout should IMHO simply replace the workout. Perhaps you should keep a visual cue that the workout deviates from the plan so remind you that you upped the difficulty of a workout from +1 to +3 one day or did the opposite on another.