Fix my thinking... (2020 Training Plan)

During the week, I like to train indoors before work and on the weekends, I ride outdoors; typically shooting for ~10hrs+/wk.

In 2019, I did the Low Volume plans during the week and rode outdoors on the weekends (mostly with friends averaging ~200TSS / 3-4hrs Sat & Sun). The problem was my weekend rides typically involved a bit of intensity which left me feeling like I was always carrying too much fatigue.

Therefore, going into 2020, I’m thinking of following the Mid Volume plans, where I do 3 indoor rides/wk (one being Z2) and outdoor rides on the weekend where I loosely follow TR workout guidelines. I say “loosely” because it’s next to impossible to follow an interval session on a group ride and my weekend rides always exceed the prescribed 90-120min.

My goal is to ride pretty much whatever and however I want on the weekends, still do structured training during the week, make gains and not feel tired all the time.

Am I on the right track or would you suggest a different strategy?

Before altering your plans did you try increasing your recovery and improving your nutrition? An extra hour each night of quality sleep adds up to ( for me) a substantial difference in feeling fresh. Increasing my veg intake certainly has me feeling more energetic.

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Thanks for the reply. My nutrition is pretty darn good and I strive to get 8hrs sleep per night. However, I am 46, so recovery takes a bit longer than when I was in my 20s.

Last year’s plan was doable - and I could do it again - but with all the talk about polarized training and the importance of recovery, 5 hard rides per week seemed a bit much, especially at my age. I love the structure and not having to think too much about the workout, so I want to keep that aspect without too much CTL.

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Maybe choose the Low Volume plans again but rather than cram each week into 3 consecutive days (I’m guessing last season you were cramming them into Tue/Wed/Thu), just space them out on your calendar so each plan takes 50% longer.

So by default, a Low Volume plan has workouts Tue, Thu, Sat. Bump the Sat workout to the following Tuesday and so forth. A 6 week plan will take 9 weeks, and an 8 week plan will take 12 weeks.

You can still throw in Z2s on Wednesdays.

That way you’re not skipping anything and your workload is still reasonable.


now there’s a creative approach I hadn’t considered… thanks!

Hello folks…first time “poster”. So this is my first off-season using TrainerRoad. I have normally gone with a personal Coach in the past. I just finished my first segment of Base work - Sweet Spot Base. I took a week off the bike (but continued with strength work) and came back and did my ramp test yesterday to start the “Builder” phase. I was stunned and hugely disappointed that my ramp test yielded a 7 watt drop in FTP! Talk about a kick in the gut…or lower! I did the plan pretty much to spec only missing a coupe of workouts thoughtout the segment. And I’ve been doing strength/core work regularly as well. Is this at all typical? Given I started my base after a season where I had very good fitness. What is more distressing is I was fighting a bit of a bug and didn’t feel great when I did my first ramp test but the result was better than following 8 weeks of regular work and feeling fine. I did feel as I was going through Sweet Spot base that it was realty easy but listened to the counsel that this type of work pays off in the long run. So if it is fairly standard for FTP to drop after the first phase of base I won’t panic too much but if this is A-typical, I’ll be really concerned and bummed. Did I just waste 8 weeks that I could have been doing harder efforts?

I also had some pretty disappointing Ramp Test results after completing SSB but I was setting PR’s around town, including a local iconic climb that I have close to 1000 passes on.

Therefore, as many will attest to around here, FTP is just a number and not a true or complete indicator of fitness.

Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. That is encouraging you experienced similar ramp results but were still killing it on the bike outside. That’s the problem
with strictly indoor training (when riding outside is not really an option due to weather – I live in western PA
:frowning: ). You hope for the best but you really won’t know until you throw your leg over for that first ride outside
in the spring. I’m sticking with it and hoping I’ll have the same results as you.


Stick to it, STAY CONSISTENT, and trust the process.

Also, don’t be afraid to manually adjust your FTP if you feel like the workouts are too easy or too hard. For me personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not very good at testing so during the Build phase, I keep my FTP right at the point where I can barely finish a workout (with good form) and not leave anything on the table.

Thanks very much, that’s my plan. Never knew I could adjust my FTP. Do I just do that by changing it in my account profile or how is that accomplished?

Yup, you can manually change it on your Profile page and you can also adjust the intensity mid-workout.

First comment… The week prior to your FTP did you continue your strength work or did you go light/stop it to let yourself recover before your next ramp test? The question is did your strength work impact your freshness for the test.

Second comment-SSB is the first stage to ensure some fitness. If you tested low due to your being sick then the workouts would be even easier then they should of been. In essence…you may not be stressing your system to improve your FTP in this first phase of training. I wouldnt say its a waste but it just means this is your base for improvement.

To give you an example of what I just went though.This fall I tested what I thought was very poorly. I retested with not much of a change. Did SSb for four weeks and the majority of the rides were too easy. I then decided to retest vs continuing the plan…FTP went up 9%. I then proceeded to finish the plan and move onto the next plan. If things dont feel right I would always just plan a retest.

Thanks for your reply and your thoughts and advice. I did not stop or lighten my strength work during the week off the bike I took between SSB and my 2nd ramp test. I did a strength WO on the Friday and did my ramp test on Monday. So I should have been well rested. I think you are spot on regarding my first test and score and how my sickness impacted that original score. I hadn’t considered that previously. Which is also why I figured / expected my 2nd ramp test would have yielded a good increase in FTP. However, the light work load I had through SSB probably “set the table” for the lower than expected 2nd FTP result. I have manually increased my FTP and I’ll see how it feels after a few sessions. So far it seems more suitable. Great advise and I will follow it if I feel things are getting easy - re-test and continue. Thanks again for your thoughtful insights and advice…much appreciated. Happy training!