Going all in with TrainerRoad this year

I’ve always considered myself to be a “know enough to be dangerous cyclist”.

  • Biking for 15 years
  • Perennial CAT 4 due to a multitude of reasons/excuses (too busy, kid, work, racing too dangerous etc.)
  • When in shape (3.5-3.8 w/kg) good enough too participate in group rides, not enough to wow in races and never really broke the 4 w/kg ceiling
  • Mixture of being coached, TR, training peaks, zwift and various urban legend learnings

With the traditional though that a CAT 3 usually averages about 700+ TSS a week and typical mid volume plan tops out at around 600 TSS, I would end up doing the interval part from TR and then do the hard group rides during Saturday and Sunday to make up the TSS. I would start off great during the year or after recovery weeks but would really feel bogged down by mid portion of a training phase and just ragged by EOY. Hitting the same ceilings.

Then I finally listened to the TR podcasts and they mentioned that not all TSS are created equal. The 120 TSS TR Saturday or Sunday ride could have the same (better?) effect on my training than the 200-250 TSS hard group rides. Better results for less time? I’ll take it !

Anyways that’s my plan, stick closer to the structured stuff. Will still go out at least 1-2 times a month for the group rides to get the endurance in and report back by end of 2020.

Wish me luck.



Sounds like a plan. Get it?

I have 3 seasons of TR, power meter, and race data showing I’m much faster when I stick to structure than when not. I think you’ll find the mid volume plan will bring some good results!

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Me too. I was pretty focused on structured training from Jan - April last season with a build then specialty phase on TR but then I lost the ability to focus indoors. I think the addition of pushing workouts outdoors (since I have good area to train) and some new motivation will help me push up to the next level I have yet to experience.

Good luck to you!

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So several months in I used both trainerroad and training peaks to track my ride and what’s curious is comparing my training peaks performance management chart I’m not rising to the “peaks” in fitness that I saw in previous years (meaning my CTL last year was hittin the low to mid 80s as opposed to this year where it’s peaking at the high 60s.

Granted I used to do more group/harder/longer rides (like a sunday climbing ride) to get the higher TSS during the week vs the more focused indoor training ride this year but is that really the point of following a trainerroad program?

This isn’t curious at all. As you said in your original post:

If you are strictly adhering to their plans your TSS is lower, as you planned, thus your CTL will stay lower as CTL is driven by TSS

Also, I’m curious where you got this idea:

That number seems high to me for a cat 3 roadie, at least here in states. Is that based on anything in particular or just one of your ‘urban legend learnings’?

There’s a chart floating around…on TP maybe?

Googled it and found this

That’s wild, I wonder what they based those numbers on - seem hugely ambitious to me for cat 2 and 3