Help.... Where to start again for general health not events....?

So, I’ve had 14 months off the bike, put on 8kg and done little except walking/hiking in that time and want to get fit again - not interested in events and road riding and #1 focus is overall health! What are your suggestions about where/how to start please? I was at 280w ish FTP and have a 15 year serious riding/training background having ridden 5+ times a week for years and countless GFs etc. No idea what my FTP has fallen to these days though :rofl:

For info, I’m 53 now, retired a year ago and bought a campervan and a puppy and have spent a year having a great time travelling and enjoying being young and retired. Trouble is I forgot to eat healthy and keep fit… Now I need to turn things around and want a low volume plan with short workouts (max 1 hr) that I can combine with some walk/runs and loads of walking daily. Start low volume with max 3 sessions and see how I enjoy it?


  1. health improvements - aerobic health/vo2 etc
  2. lose the fat again
  3. have enough time/energy for other stuff like weights, hiking, travel etc. No more being a 1 trick cycling pony

I’m not so interested in outdoor riding right now so happy to get some morning turbo sessions done, but not sure if I should just jump in to plan builder and swap the longer session each week or do something else to start. The plans all seem very ‘event focused’ these days while my focus is just get healthier.

Appreciate some ideas and feedback. Am I over thinking it all or should I do something a bit different to the stanadrd plan?


1 Like

Hey @Bigpikle welcome to TR & the forums!

This prob won’t shock you, but we get a ton of similar posts around here. Take a look at the two threads linked below, and circle back if you have more questions. No prob at all, I’m sure you might have more specific Qs for your situation / use case, etc.


Hey there!

You have a few options for general fitness that could be a good fit.

The first would probably be something like our Enthusiast Plans, which aren’t targeted at building fitness for anything in particular, but are great for general fitness and staying active.

A second choice could be to use Plan Builder. If you don’t have any events you are training for, select “I’m Not Training For an Event”, and you can have a plan built to just make you faster in general.

You could also use TrainNow if you don’t want to follow a plan at the moment. TrainNow will still look at your recent riding history to recommend standalone training sessions for a given day.

As for weightloss, it could be a good idea to consult a dietician for specific, personal advice. Here are a few TR resources that might help you get started, though:

Finally, to save energy for other stuff you’d like to do, we’d recommend sticking with a Low Volume plan and riding about 3 times per week. Low Volume plans will give you 3 solid interval sessions you can do each week, leaving you with 4 days left over for weights, hiking, travel, etc. Just be mindful of how all of your activity in life will impact your plan, though, and don’t be afraid to back things off if you start to feel fatigued.

Hope this helps! Check out the links that @Chris1982 posted as well for some additional advice and ideas. Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions!

1 Like

I am just trying to imagine what it looks like doing a trainer workout in a camper van. :grin:


:rofl: :rofl:
I could probably get a Wahoo bike in there…just…but I’ll be back in the garage at home! Next step is to build a routine that travels with me when we go away - probably be based around bands and bodyweight stuff to supplement the hiking and maybe a bit of easy running.

1 Like

Thanks for these - I knew these enthusiast plans were there in the past but they didnt show up in Plan Builder.

Are they adaptive in the same way as other plans? I quite like the look of the 45 min time crunch plan and see how it goes. Looks like a ramp test will be essential to identify my new low FTP as well?

Those plans will be adaptive too!

The Ramp Test at the start would be a good idea to make sure your zones are set correctly as it’s been a while since you last tested. As you get into training again, you’ll be able to use AI FTP Detection if you’d prefer to skip the fitness assessments.

1 Like

You know how walking is great for improving health? I’d think like that for cycling, be careful of doing too much high intensity. I’ve got the better part of a decade on you, still have a high stress job and yard/home to take care of (kids are gone), and all my health markers improved substantially when I stopped doing so many hard (tempo and above) workouts. And I got faster too. Looking in the rear view mirror, lots of time doing intensity splits that (oversimplified) worked out to 70/30 or 80/20 and averaging 7-8 hours/week.

Good luck and have fun!


You don’t even need a plan. Just do what is enjoyable. TR has TrainNow. Don’t do crazy HIT session as suggested above. Personally, I like to binge watch tv shows the rest of the family doesn’t like while on the trainer in the winter.

1 Like

If you’re after 3 short workouts a week and want to maximize the impact of those, I think the Enthusiast plan is your best bet. You’ll basically be the average person with a Spin Class membership, just at home.

1 Like

Thanks guys - some sound advice and good ideas. Key is finding what motivates me and gets m eon the bike and active. With no event goals I can afford to try a few things and see what works.