How important is CTL Ramp Rate for Trainer Road?

As a bit of background. I have been using TR for a while and have time to do the medium volume plans. I can do longer workouts on the weekend like many people, but I don’t have time to do the HV week day work. (This is probably fairly common).

Question: Realistically when using TR do we really care about our CTL ramp rate?

If I use the trainer road plan builder there are modest increases in CTL ramp rate, but I would not end up getting a very high CTL.

If we look at a source like the ‘Cyclist Training Bible’ by Friel, we would be doing a large amount of voiume to get a ramp rate of 5-7 points a week. Obviously that is difficult to do when you are doing a lot of sweet spot work in liu of large volumes of LSD. To me, it just hasn’t seemed like I need to generate as much TSS as someone who is going to do a lot of Z2 long rides to get good results.

To me, following the TR plan, it seems like that if one slightly increases volume and we follow the plan well, I’ve found results. Nice FTP bumps, PRs etc. But, if I try to simultaneously chase a moderatly high CTL ramp rate I burn out.

So really at the end of the day, if we are generating our volume / aerobic conditioning with a lot of SS work, does a high CTL matter?

A reasonable ctl ramp is built into the plans (and I assume plan builder). I don’t think the fact that you’re doing a lot of sweetspot necessarily changes anything, although certainly not all tss is created equal. Keep in mind, the plans are written to be broadly applicable, and hit a variety of energy systems. Individuals will respond differently and half the challenge is figuring yourself out. Or paying a coach to that for you.

So. if you’re going to augment, then you might need to keep an eye on it – I’d suggest consistent amounts of z2 riding, like a few hours with very little ramp. If you want to do more intensity outside (hard group ride?), consider a low(er) volume plan so you have more leeway with them. If you also try to ramp up your ancillary rides you could well find you’re getting to much sooner or later.