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

  • ‘Best’ is relative and will vary for each person and situation.

  • Look no further than the range of preferences on display in this thread. Some people want longer workouts, shorter workouts, harder, easier, more, less… you get the point

  • Doing that is a practically impossible without much more input from the user and possibly adding more intelligent programming to cross reference that info with good practices.

  • As we’ve said above, it’s anything but simple.

  • How does this really differ from the outside workout implementation?
  • I can search later, but I am almost positive that there is an open Feature Request for this suggestion.

Late arrival on this thread - which I find slightly amusing, after spending years taking running plans from web sites and books (anyone ever built a personal plan from Daniel?). TR gives me a range of plans and volume options, dumps my choice into a calendar, and allows me to drop/add/move at will. I’m used to walking, I now have a car, and you are talking about a teleportation device…

This said - understanding the basis of a plan and how to modify it to suit your needs (volume changes, personal things getting in the way, illness/injury recovery, etc) is pretty important skills to develop. Relying on an app to do it all for you is not necessarily the best way around.

Ok, just my 0.02 CAD (0.015 USD). I’m going to crawl back under my rock now.


Not worth the expenditure - easy enough to do manually, it takes seconds

+1 too many expect to be spoon fed everything. If it’s more than 1 click away it’s ‘too difficult’.
Remember dial-up? :wink:


Apples and bowling balls: this Sunday I could replace a TR ride with a joint training ride with another team in town. I would not follow the TR workout obviously, but work on other skills such as teamwork (and probably just trying to keep up with them :sweat_smile:).

I am not saying that everything is simple, but I do think a (better) implementation of calendaring tools could help here by suggesting options. And I am sure some of the ideas I brought into the discussion are hard problems, I think others seem within reach.

I think that a better training calendar could serve all these different needs. E. g. I find the current implementation of replacing a workout with an alternate workout highly confusing and counterintuitive.


I just finished my first 70.3 and really liked the guidance the plans gave me but after finishing I tought they are missing the recovery week after finishing the race or at least some guidelines.

What do you think?

Ahtletes often take up to a week off the bike to recover depending on the extent of their efforts. When it is time to jump back on the bike, we recommend something like Traditional Base to round out your easy recovery time. You can also choose a recovery week from the Tri Base plan if you want to continue with all three disciplines.

But I agree that there could be more guidance on how to recover post-event ; possibly this could be a good Help Center topic.

1 Like

:smiling_face_with_three_hearts: this thread and all the perspectives. @Bryce @brenth and others, one slightly more nuanced variation on this that I’ve experimented with when adding my own additional TSS filler rides over the course of a plan: calculating and matching the original plan’s week to week TSS ramp rates. So if I’m adding my own Sunday endurance rides to a Tu, Thu, Sat LV plan, I calculate the original LV plan’s week vs. week ramp rates, and then add my sequential Sunday endurance rides with appropriate TSS to keep the orignal week vs. week ramp rates. This way (at least according to my logic!) I’m maintaining the progressive build through the plan.

Below is a screenshot from a table I made to do that for SSI & II. For week one I just decided to add 70 TSS. And then every ensuing week the “DBF TSS” is calculated by applying the weekly ramp rate to the planned TSS. The difference is my “Sunday TSS.” I even went a step further and added columns to show me how long a ride should be at various IF’s to reach that TSS, and I put in an adjuster at the top for my current FTP so that it also changes the NP I need to hit that IF.

Bit of overthink maybe :wink:, but the basic idea is I’m adding Sunday TSS filler rides to make my own Low-Mid plan to taste while maintaining the progressive nature of the plan that Coach Chad put his wisdom into creating.


Just tweeted about this and was directed to the discussion. I wonder if this is now more relevant with the new Plan Builder feature. I don’t want to add/subtract workouts, but just have the built-in option to reach the designated volume in 4/5/6 days per week. I can’t usually ride five days. To be able to do four and feel confident that I’m doing the “correct” work would be awesome. The reduction of “am I doing it right?” uncertainty about modifying the plan yourself as well as the satisfaction of doing what was prescribed add value.

1 Like

What a great thread. I’m definitely not going to weigh in on whether TR should build out the +1/-1 plans or not, but will suggest something else - an article to help work out our own med vol +1 versions. Sorry if it’s already out there, and I’m missing it.

I know these strategies:

  • add endurance work to the end of a workout
  • use the +1 version of a workout
  • swap in the HV workout in the same place in the plan
  • add workouts like Taku as double days or on off days
  • strength training

And trying to consider a few parameters:

  • keeping the daily TSS ramp rate about the same as in other plans
  • increasing volume over intensity

I’m wondering also about when I should reduce intensity as increasing endurance. What other parameters should I consider? Thoughts?

I would love this. I find myself between mid and high volume plans. I usually go with the high volume plan and delete a ride out every week.

1 Like

Great thread indeed. Just to throw another idea into the mix: instead of discrete plans, offer a few “knobs” e.g.:

  • Frequency: Days per week
  • Volume: Average hours per week
  • Effort: Starting TSS per (non-recovery) week
  • Ramp: TSS increase each (non-recovery) week

Choose focus/style (sprint, century, rolling hills, big climbs, etc.), then adjust the knobs. Current low/mid/high could be offered as convenient initial knob settings you can then tweak as you like. TR plan wizard does the work of picking workouts, +/- workout versions, etc. to get within 5-10% of the requested values. Recovery weeks match the frequency and volume settings but with recovery TSS levels. The resulting plan is completely editable (of course) to adjust to taste or as life happens.

Some folks enjoy the process of optimizing their plans, but others want more of an assist and won’t have the skill or patience to figure out which ride(s) to swap or modify in any given week. Turning a few knobs to adjust a week or an entire plan might be useful.

Just an idea…


Thanks for suggesting this! I think I’m understanding correctly that within the Plan Builder, after selecting a low/mid/high volume plan, you’d like some options to toggle the number of workouts, hours per week, and TSS levels between a given range.
I think this is a great way to more easily personalize Plan Builder to each athlete’s specific needs, without having to do the legwork of manually adding individual rides or edit the intensity on specific workouts.

From an organizational standpoint, there are likely a lot of moving pieces to create different tiers within each plan and, I’m not sure if its something TrainerRoad has the ability to accommodate. Nonetheless, I’ve passed it along to our feature suggestion team so that it’s on their radar, should they have the ability to implement this!

Thanks again for your thoughts and input. Its athletes and discussions like this that help TrainerRoad constantly improve! :metal:


Thanks for the enthusiastic response :slight_smile: Yes, I think you understand correctly.

Maybe think of it this way: at one end of the spectrum are completely hand-crafted training plans that can only be changed workout by workout, at the other end an auto-magic plan generator that takes a few simple inputs (style, frequency, volume, effort/intensity, ramp) and outputs a fully formed plan that can be adjusted at any time by tweaking the inputs. In between those two extremes, one option is hand-crafted plans that are then auto-magically adjustable within a certain range – 15% more volume, 5% slower ramp, etc. And those adjustments could be applied to the plan as a whole, or just a selected week or date range.

I’d guess this dovetails with the idea of adaptive plans, where the ability to do the volume/effort or keep up with the ramp triggers adjustments to subsequent workouts. Nailing everything? Crank up the intensity. Struggling? Ease off, or slow down the ramp. The core ability to algorithmically adjust plans could serve both purposes, plan creation and adaptive tuning.

1 Like

I’ve memory of making a feature request along the lines of the +1/-1 idea for the training plans/plan builder. Maybe did it three or four months ago.

One idea for plan builder might be to add another step to the data input: number of days you have available each week, possibly allowing for non-TR rides at the weekend. I know the second step “Volume” mentions the number of days in the plans but being able to say: “I want to do four TR workouts per week” then have Plan Builder sort things out.

At the moment that part of the process is forcing you to the current Low, Mid, High volume separation which is really saying - “these are your options” regardless of what fits your schedule/lifestyle. I understand why the initial version of PB is doing that and the adjustments to each individual plan are made “longitudinally” as it were over the length of the training season. What now needs to be looked at are “lateral” adjustments across the breadth of each week.


Yes! Thank you so much for that suggestion, we have heard from a few athletes that would like more variations within Plan Builder to specify things like TSS, hours per week, and specifically, number of workouts per week!
The more we hear requests for features, the more likely we are to implement them, so keep 'em coming! And thanks for working to make TrainerRoad better! :star2:


The more input and flexibility there is to allow it to be an actual Plan Builder and not what’s basically a Plan “Loader” at this point will improve usability by leaps and bounds IMO. :+1:


An option for specify duration of workouts on week days would be super helpful. I know I usually don’t have time for longer than 1 hr rides during the week. But I could do 3-4 hours on the weekend.


Yeah, that’s a big one for a lot people and where the stock plans often fail to provide a good fit.


I think another thing to consider is outdoor training: whether you are mountain biking and want to work on your bike handling skills or road riding and want to improve your pace-line skills, you need to ride (and train) outdoors sometimes. I know that the current strategy is “replace a weekend ride with an outdoor ride”, but typically outdoor rides are longer and have higher TSS. The ideas with the four knobs would allow us to take that into account quite nicely, I think.

1 Like

While I like all the ideas pitched here, I am a big fan of KISS. Keep it short and simple.

Personally, especially when starting with structured training, I would have been overwhelmed if I would have been allowed to adjust TSS, hours per week, the number of workouts, time per workout, etc (heck I would still be lost now). I mean isn’t the purpose of a well-structured training plan that someone with a lot of experience made it in the best possible way (regarding workout times, zones, intensity etc). And for people who have a deeper understanding I think there is no problem in adjusting plans to their needs.

My solution (and as I saw in the forum, I’m not the only one): Low volume plan Mon, Wed, Fri, and an additional outdoor free ride on the weekend. For me, that’s the best of the two worlds. I get my time-crunched structured training in during the week (with Wed being the hard day - so I’m rested for that workout and also not totalled after the Fri workout). Long Z2 / bike handling skill gravel ride on the weekend.

1 Like