New to TR, concerned about Plan Builder output

I’m new to TR, but I have a big endurance sport background. I’m approx 4.2 watt/kilo right now, but I’ve been only doing base training. This year, I’ve been training indoor consistently for 3 blocs of 4 weeks. All 10+ hours, with 2-3 day of Threshold interval (95% FTP) of 4 x 12 min or 2 x 24 mins slowly increasing to 4 x 15 and 2 x 30 mins. This was done outside TR, but I’ve uploaded the rides here… I have not done any VO2 max type workout (over FTP) so far this year… I have been lifting 2x per week.

Why I have signed up for TR:
So… I just signed up to trainer road doing the plan builder for a race calendar (XCC/XCO) starting in may. I was interested in the red/green light feature to help me manage stress level…
I’ve selected the High Volume Plan, entered my race dates etc…

The Problem:
I’m just looking at the result of the plan builder, and I’m really concerned that the proposed workout are just not hard enough… I really don’t want to sound like a jerk here, but I’m used to training either at FTP for threshold workout or at very high intensity for VO2 max type workout… Long ride (2.5 hours +) were done at the very top of Zone 2 (70% FTP)

Looking at the output of the plan, it seems that workout are in a VERY comfortable zone, even for workout tag as “stretched” for example Ozark at 56% of ftp for 2.5 hours.

I need your advice on how to proceed going forward… I’ve done a lot of hard work this season and don’t want to screw it up because I did not select the proper plan… Your help is appreciated! Thanks!

What are the personal loads for the workouts? If you’re looking for something harder try looking at workouts with a higher PL. Because you just joined Trainer Road the program most likely does not know your personal loads yet.


In the interest of using the right terms and linking to the official TR support files:

Workout Levels = values of each workout:

Progression Levels + current values of the athlete:


I expect a TR rep will check in with more details, but until then here is some quick info.

Keep in mind that TR typically uses 3 separate training phases in the progression up to your A-Race. Base to start (which sounds like where you are now) is a less intensive phase. It is setting the foundation for harder training to come in Build. As such, Base will tend to feel a bit easier when compared to Build and Specialty phases.

With respect to Progression Levels and Workout Levels, keep in mind that only the current phase (like Base) is active for Adaptive Training. If you are looking at latter phases like Build & Specialty right now, those may not represent what they will look like once you actually get to the. This is because TR leaves those as created during the Plan Builder process instead of constantly tweaking phases that are many weeks or months away.

Once you actually start the next phase Adaptive Training will update that phase according to your actual Progression Levels at that time. Presumably, those may be a little or a lot different than right now, so you will see the impact of that later. Sort of a “Don’t judge the plan by the cover.” type of situation.

Related to Red Light Green Light, you can tweak a new setting if you feel you need a harder set of steps along the way.

And to cover the top level support info available, I’d suggest at least skimming the topics below and dive in to a few that may help you understand the background stuff TR is doing.


Welcome to the TR community! :smiley:

As @mcneese.chad and @Clubs17 mentioned, it sounds like it would be worth searching for sessions at higher Workout Levels to get you started.

You could use Workout Alternates to search for higher-level workouts that your plan suggests you do. You could also manually search our Workout Library and use the search filters to find training sessions that align with what you’ve been doing lately for each zone.

As an example, 4x12min at Threshold sounds like a workout such as Byers Peak -2, which is a Threshold 4.9. Searching for Threshold workouts at Workout Level 5 (or higher, if that’s where you’re at!) would get you on the right track.

As you complete workouts at a given Workout Level, your personal Progression Levels will update to reflect what the software will then know you’re capable of. After that, Adaptive Training will take the reins and you won’t have to do as much manual tweaking – you’ll start getting workouts that line up with your updated Progression Levels.

Check out the links Chad posted if you want to dive deeper into the details of how all that works. Hopefully this info is helpful! Feel free to let us know if you have any additional questions. :slight_smile:


TR tends to err on the side of caution/easy in the initial plan to make sure people aren’t in over their head when starting. But the plan is dynamic via automatic and manual changes to continuously optimize it. And already mentioned, it’s easy to find an alternate (of the same type workout) that looks more appropriate if the proposed workout looks too easy.

Or you can just do the first workout and it will ask how hard it was after completing it. If you say “easy”, the next workout (in that zone) will jump up quite a bit in difficulty. If you say “moderate”, it will still jump a good bit. If you say “hard”, it will get slightly harder at a reasonable progression rate. At least that’s what I see based on my feedback on workouts.

Before adaptive training, the plan was the plan and they were much, much harder and many struggled with the intensity and the only option was constant manual adjustments or switching plans. In my experience, Adaptive training and plan builder will get you to some plenty-hard workouts, you just have to be a little patient for it to get things dialed in (or you need to step in and create a higher starting point with a manually selected workout).


Just do Disaster five days a week…you will be fine.


Just an update, I did “The Spruce” this morning which is 2x30 at 85%, it was more inline with what I’m used to do, but still relatively too easy… I’ll try a level 6 workout next time!

Thanks to everyone for the quick answers! Changing “levels” was what I needed!


not even sure I would survive a single “disaster” :sweat_smile: