How difficult should this be?

Hello everybody.

I am quite new to cycling seriously and TrainerRoad (3 months and 1 week respectively) and I have some concerns about the workouts being too easy. I am about 100kg w/ ftp of 225 (trainerroad ramp test) and I am doing the mid volume training plan for “rolling hills” race. I’ve only completed the first two workouts, but I am not at all fatigued. Before starting TrainerRoad I was doing about 6-8 hrs a week at an average of about 160-180 watts? Or a bit higher. I like to cover routes as quickly as possible, so I usually get home pretty cooked. Not sure as this number is based on Strava estimates.
Should I retest my ftp? Should I just deal with it because base training is meant to start easy? Should I up the intensity percentage? I’m hesitant on this last one, just feels like a proper ftp Test should result in the right plan, so why mess with it?
Anyway, I would really appreciate some feedback as I don’t want to waste my time under training.
Thanks for your time.


I would give it a week or 3. If it is still easy at that point, then retest. I suspect you may find it creeps up on you.

What is your setup? Give it time as a couple workouts is not enough to gauge. If too easy raise the intensity during.

Also clarify where you are at. You say 3 months on TR but only 2 workouts. Which one is it??

Welcome. The more information you can give us, the better.

Have you started with a base phase or did you use plan builder?

You shouldn’t be fatigued after 2 workouts. The plans get harder as you progress through them.


I do think he’s clear, tbf

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It can take a few FTP tests to learn how to dig deep to get all you can out of yourself. I know this was the case for me, and I suspect one reason people see such big gains early on.

Why the rush? Do you have an A event or are you training to get stronger. I would encourage you to enjoy the journey if there isn’t a fire. The workouts will get hard :slight_smile:

Don’t be afraid to kick up the difficulty, but go slow and make sure you finish the workout today’s and tomorrow’s.

Just my thoughts


I get the 3 months but the way it is worked to me it reads as he has only done 2 workouts in that 3 months time on TR.

What power meter or smart trainer are you using? Do you always calibrate it?
As the others say, if you are not used to the testing protocol you may have underperformed. Otherwise your PM could have been reading low on FTP test day (or reading high now) if you don’t calibrate it often.

Calibration issues aside, SSBMV1 is not meant to wreck you.
Recently, after a period of injury, I restarted from Base and I was surprised about how manageable workouts were. Keep all that great willpower for late SSBMV2 and Build, you well need it then!

If it feels like a walk in the park then feel free to bump your FTP 5 or 10 watts. Consider that the sweet spot intervals will get longer and longer and overunders are what will really let you know where you belong in terms of FTP

cycling seriously = 3 months. TR = 1 week. Thats what “respectively” means


Ahhh got it now. Ha

I said 3 months and 1 week respectively, in reference to cycling seriously and to using trainerroad. Sorry for the confusion. 3 months hard cycling and one week TrainerRoad.

No rush, just a reflection of my personality in that if I do something I want to do it all out. I’m also just used to being quite tired after workouts, so this seems weird, lol.

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You’ve jumped straight to speciality? Or have I misunderstood?

Base and Build are there for a reason. Just doing Speciality is like painting the windows on a house when you didn’t bother with the foundations. :wink:

Taken individually the workouts don’t feel that hard. The fatigue builds up so as you go further they feel harder, OK, some of them are harder.

Back to the construction analogy: Base is your foundations, Build is the structure and Speciality is the decoration.

Training like this is more likely to make you crash and burn, especially with little training time under your belt.

When I started SSBMV1 (1st TR plan and 1st foray into structured training), I felt the same: this is easy - I was routinely going hard outdoors, but only 3, maybe 4 times a week. I was always very fresh.

When I started TR, I was throwing in extra workouts on rest days, swapping out workouts for harder ones… but it catches up with you eventually. You’re best to stick with it, and as the TSS and workout intensity ramps up throughout the plan/s, it should get to a place where the harder workouts feel tough but achievable. You could always just nudge up the workout intensity 1-5% and if a week of that feels better for you, then up your FTP a little. (Remember the intensity % in workout is +/- the workout’s target watts, not a % of your FTP).

My concerns too. Unless it’s a Plan Builder. I did ask for clarification but haven’t seen that yet.

We need more details!

Thanks for the answer, that’s helpful. I am using a dumb trainer w/ speed sensor, though I have a 4iiii crank meter in the mail.

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Not specialty. I used the builder I think, for the “rolling hills” road race. So I’m currently in base phase.

Thank you everybody for your responses, I did not expect this much this quickly. The consensus seems to be that I should be patient and that I’m supposed to feel this way. I have a 4iiii power meter in the mail, so I’ll retest when that arrives, but otherwise I’ll hold out. I’m just used to feeling tired I guess.
Thanks again!

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Ah, makes sense.

If your trainer is “wheel on” rather than direct drive and you are using virtual power then make sure you have the same pressure in the tyre each time as it affects the power reading.

Sweet Spot Base pt 1 is mostly about getting you used to the trainer and the various types of workouts, much of the real work is done in SSBpt2 and Build. I’m not sure if Plan Builder uses much of pt 1 certainly not repeatedly. Just checking the plans and it’s quite late in part 2 where you get workouts with an intensity factor (IF) over 0.90 which is about the level where things start to get hard. For me things start getting seriously hard at an IF of 0.92 or 0.93, I know I’m in for a tough time with those.

There’s actually a small band of IF where you go from “this is cool” to “Seriously! WTF!!!:joy:

You shouldn’t feel tired all the time, recovery is an important part of the process.

You’ll need to learn that training like that doesn’t work well longer term. Look at the many topics on zone2, 80/20, etc.

If you feel like the current training is Way too easy, you could add in extra low intensity time for now. Definitely retest when you get your power meter.