I think LV is too hard (for ageing me)

Over the last few years the consensus seems to have been that most people should train at LV and some may be able to train at MV and HV. I started TR at MV, then experimented with HV trad base and polarized, and now start every fall-cycle with HV TB.

But this year I decided to drop down to LV after that. Ironically, I find the LV plans impossible to complete. AT tries to cramp way too much “diffficulty” as per my levels into short timespans.

I’m in my late thirties and I’m starting to wonder if more volume (read more in-workout recovery) is actually better for “aging athletes.”



I know what you mean, LV tries to make up for less volume with more intensity. You could try “MV-”? Mid volume plan but skip certain rides.

I used to find that MV without the mid-week endurance and Sunday SS was similar to the LV plan but with slightly easier workouts on the hard days.

That said, with AT now I’m not 100% sure if the result would come out differently or not. But I just did a quick comparison of what I’d get for Gen Build LV vs MV, and the MV did have easier threshold and anaerobic workouts. So worth considering.

1 Like

Yeah this is my thinking also. I suspect that the upcoming feature of specifying workout days and lengths will fix this. I just thought it might be worth documenting a deviating experience from the normal recommendation that LV is the least hard to complete consistently on the forum. Just in case other people have the same experience. :slight_smile:

1 Like

The old non-AT plans, especially the LV ones, certainly built up fatigue. I’m 62 and it took maybe five or six months until things got too much. When the Polarised Plans came out I tried those, this will have been May or June last year and found them much more to my liking.

I’m now using AT (I was accepted onto the beta whilst I was doing the Polarised Plans so didn’t start using it right away) and finding things much more amenable. Last year I was getting cramps almost daily whereas this year it’s maybe once or twice in total.

I’ve swapped the suggested build in my current plan for the Polarised version (and moved up from LV to MV) and am finding it OK. I’ll do the long endurance workouts outdoors if possible. Generally try and be flexible about things, it’s not too hard to see how things are put together and with Alternate workouts and TrainNow you can always dial things back if AT or the fixed plans aren’t right.


Are you finding that the polarized plans adapt well with AT now? I remember reading that AT could “unpolarize” the plans…

I can relate to that. As an ageing rider (50 yo) following a LV-plan myself, it’s a struggle sometimes. Although I feel that there’s been an improvement since the rehaul of the plans last year, followed by the introduction of AT.

Efforts in Tempo and Endurance are by definition time-consuming and therefore not very compatible with LV-plans. The irony of it being that LV-plans are probably the hardest :slight_smile: … No harm in dialing it back a bit and try to add an endurance-workout from time to time.


Yes, AT will change workouts based on their target power zone so you don’t get an endurance workout swapped out and a Sweet Spot workout put in its place. The “unpolarising” was partly my reason for not joining AT whilst doing them before.

Two hard workouts, usually one VO2max and one threshold, plus whatever endurance you can manage seems to work pretty well for me.


Lol, If late 30s is ageing, I am decrepit at 46. Yet touchwood, apart from the blip of 2018 I’ve got faster tt’ng wise every year. I’ve probably lost that short/ instant burst but over the longer term I am more sustainable currently.

I did prefer though the up and down difficulty nature of MV (an easier wo in the middle of the week) than the flat (high difficulty) nature of the LV plans but AT should adjust if I ever find them too hard.


Yes. Basically dead. All kidding aside though, I do get faster. I just find the short-duration-short-recovery-high-intensity nature of LV plans much harder than MV and HV plans. And seemingly increasingly so. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Psychologically definitely the MV (I don’t know about HV) was easier when you could see you had a lower intensity session in your week; compared to a flat 100% of high intensity in the LV plan. Touchwood though AT seems to be picking up anything so I am not finding it too hard and :crossed_fingers: it will adapt further before I do.

1 Like

If your threshold and Vo2max levels are higher than 6 than I could see that being too much. If not maybe you need a rest day, you can skip workouts and AT will sort out the rest. From there maybe take a couple days off and ride very easy like Z1/2. I just went through the same thing but I’m on a mid volume plan, I had a busy week and failed yesterdays workout.
I’m your same age and I wouldn’t say I’m an “aged athlete” but I’ve been riding a bike almost my whole life. Low volume plans usually have higher intensity to make up for less time with time crunched athletes. Also training isn’t always going to be easy, especially Vo2max intervals. “If they’re too easy they aren’t Vo2”


It’s actually sweet spot that’s the problem. TB HV3 left me with progression levels that escalated quickly to 9 when I dropped to LV. Support dropped them to 7.5 but even workouts in the 6 range are rough and AT hasn’t adjusted down much over the last few weeks. The LV leaves me with 4 12-minute sweet spot intervals each containing 3 15 second sprints and only separated by 30 seconds of recovery. They’re killing me!

Vo2max is what I like so I don’t mind those. Anyway, rest week coming up. Today might also have had to do with 35 hours on the bike in Mallorca over ten days last week. But even before that trip I tended to fail those sweet spot workouts by week 3 or so of SSB.


If you can’t do level 6 or 7 sweet spot easily I’d argue your ftp is too high. I love AT but I think progression levels can mask ftp overestimation, you should prob try lowering your target and progress to higher level ss using lower ftp


Maybe. Or maybe having 12 sprints in 48 minutes of sweet spot with virtually no recovery isn’t the same as a level 6.5 workout on a higher volume plan that includes more recovery and no sprints.

EDIT: I’m not discounting the possibility of you being right. I’m just raising the possibility that it matters how TR implements a level 7 workout at different volumes.

1 Like

I understand what you find as I have done them and this year at.age 61 switched to adjusting plans for 2 day of intensity and I add 2 days of endurance. I know at times I can add another day of sweetspot but I have to watch overall fatigue. I am still playing around with scheduling of workouts but it is to insert extra weeks of just endurance.

So in the fall I would do 3weeks then 1 week recovery. After doing this for three months I find an insert of endurance helps. Moving to 2 weeks then 1 week recovery helps me get back on track.

I view it is a static plan that’s needs us to adjust how we recover and insert extra endurance. AT just doesnt do this but we need it at times


Yes, I feel AT is geared towards younger riders who can handle that constant intensity. It doesn’t answer the requests that many older riders had for different work:rest ratios. I don’t mind doing three or four weeks of intensity but then I need better recovery. Alternatively I could do two weeks of effort then a week of recovery. AT just can’t deal with that. It’s better than the old static plans, see my comments about cramping, but it’s still missing functionality.


Yup. That’s similar to my approach also. Although instead of threshold, I do long tempo/sweet spot (e.g. 60 mins at 85-90%). That’s less fatiguing for me than threshold.

I end up with a pyramidal training distribution.

1 Like

well we always have the power to use alternates to find what we like/don’t like and I’d recommend that. If you don’t like sprints, find workouts that don’t incorporate them, even if it means doing a lower level due to being LV. We don’t have to give up control entirely with AT, we have the ability to mold it to what works for us


It’s not an age thing. It’s a level of appropriate intensity for each individual thing.

I think the low volume recommendation is off base a bit as well, at least in cases where one has more time to train that 3 days per week.

Recommendation should be to find legit number of training hours per week (including all overhead and accounting for recovery), and then number of intense days one can handle. That might be 1, 2, or 3.

LV works for beginners who maybe don’t really know what an intense day is yet, or athletes that truly are getting full rest between those days. Even then, 3 days might be too much.

The other thing is you should never really question swapping to an easier workout or answering a struggle survey that things are too intense you are too fatigued. The AT responses to this are great! AT is going to keep dialing things up if you don’t tell it there is a problem or put on the brakes dial it back if you do.

Pre-AT I felt like I was doing something wrong if I couldn’t keep up with the progression rates - which happened consistently as fitness increases leveled out. Post-AT, we can see that’s not the case. We all have different needs and AT was built for that. Use it.


@hubcyclist I fully agree with you. The ability to choose an alternate workout that’s maybe not as intense as the original workout is a fantastic (and under-rated) feature. Couple that with AT’s guardrails to keep you progressing at a pace that’s suited for each individual (assuming the post-workout surveys are answered honestly), I’ve found the LV plans are perfect for me. I’ve recently increased my volume with 2.5-hour endurance turbo rides and 2-hour group rides. I don’t hesitate to swap a threshold ride for a recovery ride if I feel fatigued. I’ll be 63 in June.