Masters guy thinking Planbuilder is too many hard days (who recommends 3/week?)

Are you planning to train mostly indoors? How would you compare the plans? Don’t under estimate motivation to train, which can be impacted by the plan. I’m not sure how a generic plan can be less personalized than TR.

I’m motivated. I typically burn out by fall though so I’m trying to continue working as hard as I can without digging the normal hole by fall. I train outside other than December-February or so in Michigan here

Burning out by fall is not uncommon . If it works in your schedule try to take it break/week completely off mid season. For me after the Lumberjack 100 (finishing Specialty) in late June I’m taking a week off of no rides before a re-build and Specialty to finish off the race season. Which now races go through October.

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You might want to email the promoters, I just heard Wilmington Whiteface on June 5th is cancelled. Personally I prefer other plans for doing outside training, because they were designed to be executed outside and they have tips for outside riding. TR’s app for indoor is very appealing however for me at +7 yrs calendar and 6 yr training age the plans required too many modifications. But with your 15 years experience it could be different. My recommendation is to ignore the polarized talk and go straight to the established coaches with masters outdoor plans which in my mind one short list is CTS, FasCat, and Velocious (I have off-the-shelf plans from all 3) although there are many others for example my local fitter has been coaching for ~20 years and written a bunch of PezCycling articles.

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You’re kidding!! I thought since NY was opening up, it was going to be a good sign for the race…

Let’s hope it doesn’t get canceled. Sent you a PM with info, reading again it was info from Whiteface and hasn’t been confirmed with race promoters.

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Below is what I do

Monday: Off
Tuesday: VO2
Wednesday: Endurance
Thursday: Endurance
Friday: Threshold
Saturday: Endurance
Sunday: Endurance

Depending on the VO2 and threshold workouts I choose I can make this Polarized or Pyramidal. Typically either Saturday or Sunday is outdoors, longer endurance.

If I’m disciplined on the weekends and doing lower end endurance throughout I can do this almost indefinitely without recovery weeks. If I let the intensity creep up and the TSS gets too high I rotate in recovery weeks every 3 or 4 weeks, depending on how poor my discipline ends up being

For the hard-day workout selection process I like to build a progression for myself that increases duration or intensity over time - that’s how I get progressive overload - but honestly if you just want to do 4x8 over and over you can do that as well :slight_smile:


I think basically what I said in link below. Not going to be helpful as far as what to do about it, but might provide useful insight in direct answer to your question:

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FWIW having done other plans including CTS, and knowing Dylan started coaching with CTS, we could have an interesting debate on that part of your post. Experienced coaches that have a lot of direct feedback from masters athletes, and that are paid on results, design plans that are fundamentally different from TR. While I agree that TR appears to focus on short-term results, that in fact is one my issues with the plans. And once you reach a certain age, IMHO the sheer number of intervals and intensity are a problem. You didn’t bother to include age as a factor in under-recovery. Top coaches seem to agree as well, thats why if they offer off-the-shelf plans they have separate plans for masters athletes.

Short-term results may in fact undermine long-term results. The original time crunched plan from CTS included a LOT more aerobic development versus the current TR plans. For two years I bought into the new fangled time crunched crank up the intensity approach and all I got was slower and brittle fitness. No thanks.


Thanks and good points Dr Alex


Why doesn’t TR take age into account and why prescribe 3 “difficult” and 2 “moderate” days? That is the layout as I reset my plan after some interruptions that’ve occurred.

That schedule goes against most all conventional wisdom as far as I’ve heard for the past 20 years since my first Cyclist Training Bible.

I think basically what I said in link below. Not going to be helpful as far as what to do about it, but might provide useful insight in direct answer to your question:

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Youphoria officially announced that Wilmington Whiteface 2021 is canceled.

Since you referenced Friel, have you picked up a copy of ‘Fast After 50’?

Masters is when you expend more effort recovering than the effort expended on training…


I agree with others on here; there is way too much intensity in the TR plans. Some people seem to be able to complete a few blocks of it, but not consistently, and not year after year.

Just because someone can complete a block that is chock-full of intensity doesn’t mean it’s the best way to get faster!

As others have said, working out what’s right for you is the hard part, and its individual for sure. I keep a decent training diary, and this helps me work out what weekly TSS I can hold sustainably (and I can see how much comes from intensity and how much from duration, roughly).

Looking at your training diary can also help you see how many hard workouts a week you can tolerate, and sometimes what the cost of that is. I can see that I’ve done three hard workouts for a few blocks back-to-back, but looking closer I can see that I had to trim my endurance rides due to fatigue.

What works for me is two intense sessions (and I make these good), one long ride and the rest easy. I am making steady progress, so there’s clearly enough stress/recovery to trigger adaption. This part is key; to be honest with yourself you have to test, train, test to make sure that – over time – you’re making progress. If you are doing this consistently, you’ve probably got the intensity/recovery balance about right.


Thank you and thanks to everybody else that has provided advice. Ive followed the standard Trainer Road mid volume sequence up until the beginning of specialty and I just had my highest FTP/ramp test ever. I am taking the advice of switching to low volume, which puts me on two days of high intensity and one day of sweet spot. Beyond that I will do one long z2 ride and another shorter easy. I feel like that sets me up to do what a lot of people are describing as they progress through the race season. Thanks again and cheers!

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When people say 2 intense or hard per week, does that include SS workouts? If not would you say one is the limit and any others should be endurance? I have a history of burnout during fall mtb season after the January to November plan. I guess I’m wondering bc some say you can do a fair amt of SS and others say that’s a “hard” workout (assuming it’s like a 4 x 10 or 3 x 15 SS day)

No. Was unaware

I prefer not to think of it as intense versus… not intense?! Because the load on your body is a mix of intensity and duration. So, a short-duration SS session might be fine, you may recover quickly. Just as you’d recover quickly from a VO2 max workout if it was short enough duration. And enough time at Z2 is exhausting, if the duration is long enough.

Instead of 5 moderately hard days, I’ve preferred to do 2 or 3 really hard SS workouts with longer recovery. As an example, rather than do Antelope +5 (5x10mins @94 with 6min recovery), I build up to 7x10mins @94 with 3 or 4mins. I find this a really hard session, and I definitely need a recovery day - but I would argue this is better for me (ie better aligned with where I need to work to get faster) than 2 back-to-back SS workouts of much lower volume.

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