Is "Train now" the best training plan

Hello,

I’m coming back to TR after a bit of a break. I started my AI driven training by trying out “Train now” and, I heard :wink: , it should suggest me the optimal workout for the day. My question then is… Is using “Train now” every single time on TR the best approach to build fitness? I did make a training plan using the plan builder. The plan ends with an event in 4 months time. Is “Train now” somehow informed by/connected to the plan builder for training periodization towards the event? What would be an advantage for using plan builder approach instead of “Train now”?

Thanks for the insights!

Train now does not look at goal events just at your levels. Therefore it would not be the optimal preparation, as an AT driven plan will get the correct (needed for your event) progression levels to the desired level.

I find train now very usefull when motivation is a bit lower and combining with more unstructured outdoor (mtb) riding. A full plan can get a bit intimidating when you are not focussed on hitting every planned workout. Filling up with a productive workout in a zone you want to train that day feels good :slight_smile:

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TrainNow is not a training plan. A training plan takes a long-term view at the time available to the athlete and the athlete’s goals and progresses them toward that event. This involves a mixture of intensities throughout the week to balance training stress with recovery and a progression of intensities as the event nears. An overzealous athlete (it takes one to know one) could totally fry themselves exclusively using TN and picking hard workouts every day without regard for the greater context.

I’m highlighting this because I think cyclists naturally focus on the micro instead of the macro. It isn’t about finding the BEST workout on that day, it’s about having a long-term plan. One workout won’t make a season, but it can break a season, and while a TN workout it might be “optimal” on one day, it might not be optimal for the season.

I’ll say it before and it bears repeating: doing 100% of an 80% “perfect” plan is way better than ending up doing 50% of a 100% perfect plan.

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No user has enough information to really answer that question. We don’t know what TrainNow is doing when it selects workouts. It might be the greatest thing ever…it might be a pseudo-random number generator seeded with an FTP estimate. Who knows?

But if we start with the assumption that TrainNow makes rational decisions based on past training results then it can’t be as good as PlanBuilder & AdaptiveTraining because PlanBuilder & AdaptiveTraining also contemplate your future events. So you get the added benefit of calculated tapering.

Also, PlanBuilder plus AdaptiveTraining seems to be intelligent enough to utilize base/build/specialty meso-cycles. Who knows if TrainNow does this or not. Probably not. IMO, and I think the weight of empirical evidence supports this, you are going to experience greater long term fitness gains if you periodize your training in this base/build/specialty/taper/event fashion.

But if you just want to get off the couch and improve your fitness TrainNow is just fine. Heck, any darned thing you do that raises your heart rate is gonna do the job.

I love train now. I know it is not optimized for specific events, but it is good when I know I get pulled in a million different directions I can pull it up and it adjusts for whatever I did in the last few days (missed workouts, unstructured MTB rides, more or less time than I expected, etc.)

‘Best’ is an interesting word.

I really fried myself back end of last year: crash injured in September, I had a month off then went into MV SSB. This, combined with high work stress, resulted in a spiral of fatigue and increasing grumpiness.

I deleted the plan and spent Nov and Dec just doing TrainNow rides, always selecting the recommended intensity level but refreshing until I found a profile that took my fancy. Work stress reduce and I also didn’t feel so tired on the bike.

Fast forward to Jan, I retested my ftp, selected a new SSB plan, and generally feel rejuvenated.

So in that context, TrainNow was the best plan :blush:

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I’ve been moderately diligent in following a TR plan, low volume. I do extra rides when I can so I use Train Now if I ride indoors. This works well in the active weeks, the recommended ride is normally one that fits in, Train Now has even recommended an easier ride during heavy weeks. However today I wanted to spin my legs and my planned rides for the week are all endurance. I was surprised that Train Now recommended a “climbing” workout, which seems too intense for an endurance week. Train Now might not be so good at fitting in to an overall plan to go faster.

As said above - Train Now is not a training plan. Nor does it take into consideration any plan you may on when using the TN function. It recommends workouts solely based on your previous activities not what plan they are part of. So after a few hard sessions it could suggest an easy / less intense workout and vice versa.

Totally agree with TN NOT being a plan. It has no end goal or progression. Just looks at recent past and makes 3 options available, one being “recommended”. That is well short of a plan with periodization and all that comes with a proper “plan”.

Official TR info for anyone wanting to learn more about their take and intent of TN: