I just can't keep up, not even close

So, I just can’t keep up. As far as I know I’m on the lowest of low programs, but it’s way too much, cranking up my weekly TSS to 256 over 6 weeks of building intensity and duration. But, after 2 weeks in I need a break. It seems a two-weeks-on/one-week-off program is commonly prescribed by coaches for older riders. I’m 63. I don’t recover or sleep remotely as well as younger riders (although I do make sleep and nutrition a priority in my life). I heard Nate say in a podcast recently that he was dropping down to 2 weeks/1 week and he’s like 40 or younger, right? So, do I just design my own program based on my limited knowledge of training? Is trainerroad even useful for my circumstances? Is Nate designing his own program too? I know you can move/change workouts to fit what your body is telling you, but if the program is not even remotely close to your reality, what then?

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I wrote two guides that get to a smaller Work to Recovery schedule.
They are worth a look to see if you think they will work for you.


Thanks Chad, the 2:1 looks promising! I’m poking around trying to find what you had for the recovery weeks. Got any specifics?

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I think a masters program might help the OP… :thinking:


For all my stuff, you will see I just move and copy whatever Recovery week is in the initial plan. So, that will vary based on the specific plan and volume that you start using.

Feel free to adjust those Recovery weeks as you need. Add more, remove some, do whatever you think suits you best.


What a great idea! :kissing:

just got an email from CTS this morning, give this post a read:

I ended up moving to a plan with more recovery built in (more zone2 and less intervals).


Thanks B, I’ve read his books, and the Joe Freil books too. The only thing that’s resonating with me right now is to come back slowly. It’s so easy for me to build fatigue right now. But I guess you’d expect that after spending the last 15 years just doing weekend warrior rides. :upside_down_face:

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Theres a rumour going around that a new update to the plan builder will allow all of us oldies to easily manage weekly structure so this would help.


Ramp slowly for sure. I’m a handful of years behind you, and spent the last 4 months ramping up to 5 days/week cycling plus 2 days in the gym. I see guys in our club that are mid to late 60s and just killing it on the road, because they’ve been doing it for years.

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I’m the same age as you. I do the 2/1 and works great for me. I’m also adding 15 minutes of Z2 to the beginning and end of the prescribed workouts with some extra tweaking to keep the workouts at 90 minutes. Becoming quite proficient with Workout Creator. :wink:


That would be great… any idea how long before it is rolled out?

You may want to try Traditional Base parts 1, 2, and 3 for an easier on-ramp to other TR plans, it’s particularly good if you do it outside or can handle long session on the trainer.


No idea I’m afraid. We’ve been waiting a long time so far.


Thanks, Tony. I’ve been thinking of adding some at the top for sure. I’m slower to warm up than these workouts call for. Is there an option for that?

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I don’t use TR plans right now, I have a coach and I have had a few in the last few years. Even when I was younger my coaches prescriped me 2 week on 1 week off schema. All depends on your volume and intensity but in my case the schema looks like extra day off in the week, one recovery ride at the beginning of the week (z1, 60min top), then 1 z2 ride 60min. Longer z2 workout at the weekends but still shorter than in the on-weeks. So in my case with 5-6 days of training in active weeks it looks like: day off, day off or recovery ride, day off or yoga or the gym, z2 short ride, day off, longer z2 ride (typocaly 1.5h) or the short opener for ftp test, 1.5h z2 ride or ftp test. You can rethink the plan too. Maybe 2 days of intervals is enough for you and you can add some z2 ride instead of the third days of the intervals? Minimal efective dose, my new favourite sentence :wink:

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You can select the “extend warmup” that pops up in the first interval. Some of those first intervals are pretty short so you have to select it quickly or you miss it.


Full info:


How much of an endurance base do you have?

Rather than trying 1:1 weeks or 2:1 weeks with intensity, it wouldn’t be a horrible idea to just focus on 6 or 8 weeks of base miles. Long slow distance. Z1/Z2 / 65-70% of HRmax. Can you ride outside?

Just pile on the miles and build aerobic endurance. If you feel tired after 3 or 4 weeks, take an easy week with half the volume.

Ride a little bit longer each week if you can.

Can you lift weights this winter? Building muscle really helps us old guys. You can do a lot with just body weight, dumbbells, or kettle bells. Core, squats, step ups, walking lunges. Do some upper body with the dumbbells.

After a couple of months of base and weights add in one day per week with intensity. Do that for a month and see how it goes. Maybe add in a second day if everything is going well.

Take an easy week of half volume and no intensity or weights every 3rd or 4th week.

I bet you’d be flying by May.

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