I want to get the most out of my training plan

Hello all,

I joined TR yesterday and previously trained on heart rate zones (did not have a power meter) with a former Continental pro cyclist as my coach.

Due to circumstances, I started training on my own and ended up at TR.

Previously with my coach I did about 15 hours of training every week with a training race every Tuesday where there is a 1 hour race simulated with about 50 people every week.

Now I actually have two questions:

  1. The plan with the most training volume is only up to 10 hours/week which I think is very little for the volume I am used to training, I also want to do a ride with friends more often without thinking about specific training and such. So, can I train extra volume if I have extra time for it and does the training schedule automatically adjust after I upload this workout through Strava/Garmin or Zwift?

  2. I plan to ride weekly training races which thus consist of 1 hour of cycling to the event (low intensity), 1 hour of racing (race pace) and 1 hour of cycling back home (recovery pace). Is there any way I can incorporate this into my training plan and if so, does the plan adjust by, for example, planning a recovery/low intensity ride the day after?

I would like to hear your advice


Choose a low volume plan. That will give you three key workouts per week, focus on achieving those three key workouts and then add in your training race and social rides. Be mindful that the training race and social rides don’t typically move the needle on fitness as much as you might think, so, prioritize the TR workouts if you’re interested in maximizing FTP/VO2 Max gains, (along with muscular endurance, TTE, etc).

The older I get and the more science I read the more I understand that I need only 2 maximum effort workouts per week, but you might be able to handle more. Tread lightly with the fatigue you’ll get from the race simulation and social riding - training is always a balance of what we want to do, versus what we should be doing.

Bottom line, you’ll likely need to adjust any TR plan you’ll start - but do LV, then add your other rides, if you need/want more volume keep it Z1/2.


With 15h of training available you are not TR target customer. The changes necessary to the standard plans have to be so severe, that you might as well design your own plan.


What did your training look like with your coach?

For example (below is 1 training):

Warming up HR Zone 1/2 : 90mins

12min: sweetspot
18min: recovery HR Zone 1/2

Then some Power blocks where I do 60 RPM on a hill of 4%

After some recovery, 4x Z4 blocks of approx 3min with 3 min rest in between.

Then Zone 1/2 to home.

That’s a nice tip! I’ll look more into that.

I also think it’s good to do some extra volume by warming up 1 hour and cooling down 1 hour, and do the TR training in between those.

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This is not a helpful response. Plenty of folks use TR and do more volume than the plans provide.

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The helpfulness of the response doesn’t depend on the existence of such users. Rather in making the OP aware of the high degree of customization necessary to optimally use his precious time.


I don’t disagree with @Lanugo here.

TR, and especially AT is awesome at the lower levels, but I too have found it a bit restrictive when I want to modify things, almost to the point where I want to use their workouts but just build my own plan since their plans don’t follow what I want, and are not customizable enough yet.

Think about it… the best way to get a high volume plan is to choose low volume and modify the crap out of it, but also realize AT wont work well because of the extra volume you are getting on the other days? Why not just build your own plan at this point? Even if just using TR workouts?


I don’t think using a LV plan and moving things around would take longer than 5 minutes per training week. If OP is that focused on their training, some moderate amount of plan editing doesn’t seem like a deal breaker. Just use some general recommendations - when adding volume, stick to Z1/2, makes the easy days really easy, and then make the hard days (key work outs) really hard (quality).

I like the functionality of TR, maybe I could get the same somewhere else, but I haven’t learned about it yet.

That’s what I’m doing for next year, because 2 days of intensity is plenty, I have time to do plenty of Z2 riding, and the polarized plans don’t look very exciting.

I am creating a few custom workouts, though. Tempo, sweetspot and threshold bursts and hard start VO2 max intervals. H/T to @brendanhousler

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I just started following a plan after a long hiatus, so maybe my previous post is off base? Why wouldn’t AT work well when adding other rides to a LV plan? Honest ?

I think you might be underestimating what a good coach does regarding smart programing. In my opinion, when you have 15h/w you are better off with a coach unless you have learnt the craft and are capable of doing it yourself, in which case you probably wouldn’t be submitting basic queries here.


I could save 20 bucks a month by using zwift only, building my own workouts, and going from there. But, I just like the personality of the TR workouts, (I hear Chad talking to me when I am working out), I like TR users (for the most part :rofl:) and its nice to be on common ground when discussing workouts on the forum. I also like the PLs and such.

That said, I’m with you @Helvellyn, I plan on doing the exact same. I also have time, and don’t like the polarized workouts. I feel like I am getting too much intensity with TR at the moment, so I will knock it down to two days of intensity and the rest Z2 with some Z3 thrown in.


AI FTP detection alone is worth the monthly subscription :smile:

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Seems like the options are, pick one of the self-coaching platforms, so I’m not sure why we’re even discussing personal coaching.

If the question was, “what’s better, a coach or TR” - it’d be a pretty short discussion.

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Agree. That wasn’t the gist of my comment. But it’s relevant given that OP trains 15h/w + Had a coach previously.


Welcome to TrainerRoad, @Yaronk20!!

We want you to get the most out of your Training Plan and TrainerRoad too!! I am going to hop in here and offer some suggestions based on the information you have given us and what has worked well for athletes in similar positions.So just to recap;

  1. You are used to spending time on the bike!
  2. You would like to do structured training but want to have some “spare riding time” to be able to ride with your friends.
  3. You will be doing 1 weekly training race.

With all of that said, you want to know what is your best approach to using TrainerRoad. Here are our suggestions and thoughts:

  1. Structured training time, as you see listed for a TrainerRoad Training Plan, may not be comparable to your current training load. Instead of just looking at overall hours, it’s a good idea to consider how much time you usually spend each week doing really focused, goal-oriented training when comparing your usual training volume to the time you’ll spend on the bike in a TrainerRoad plan.

  2. Since you would like to do some additional training on top of the structured training in the TrainerRoad Plans, I think a Low or Medium Volume Plan would be ideal.

  3. One thing to bear in mind when riding in excess of the structured TrainerRoad Workouts is that you don’t impede your ability to complete the following structured TrainerRoad Workouts (the structured Workouts are what really make you fast ️). Just keep tabs on your levels of fatigue (Post-Workout Surveys will help with this). With your training history, this shouldn’t be an issue but something to bear in mind.

  4. As for your weekly practice race, you should use this to replace one of your scheduled TrainerRoad Workouts and shouldn’t add this as an extracurricular on top of your scheduled weekly training. This training race might not be as high-quality as a comparable TrainerRoad interval Workout; however, it’s great real-world training and is going to be quite fatiguing. Therefore, it shouldn’t be something you do on an otherwise scheduled rest day.

  5. At the moment, only structured TrainerRoad Workouts will contribute to the adaptations made to your plan. That is okay, though, as long as your extra rides don’t interfere too much with your ability to complete these TrainerRoad Workout. You will still get the benefit of Adaptive Training and your Training Plan!

I’m excited for you to get started! I hope this helps. Feel free to shoot me a DM if you have any questions about this!