New to TR - volume/intensity worries, not enough?

I think Chad normally ramps down to 30% of FTP, so 200% to 220% puts you nicely in Z2. :sunglasses:

I just flip to my phone’s calculator and do 0.65 × my FTP and adjust the intensity until I hit that wattage. On an average day. Plus or minus a bit depending on how I’m feeling.

I would keep doing Sweet Spot LV and then add in lots of Z2 riding for the other 3/4 days and you will see improvements. Sometimes I do Sweet Spot LV and then add it to the calendar and then look at the Traditional base programs and add those workouts, use TrainNow or just ride on Zwift for endurance style stuff.

Your FTP progression will be slower based on you have seen but that is normal and you are on the right track. Be honest with the surveys after workouts as it really can help/hinder the adaptations. Also keep in mind AT is not a one workout thing.

And as you already know not all TSS is created equal and for different things. Good luck.

If you’re doing a TrainerRoad plan you have P-L-E-N-T-Y of intensity. Volume, probably not. But be careful adding volume to a TR plan. It’s easy to overcook even just adding zone 2 time when you’re doing three sweetspot/threshold/VO2max sessions every week. At some point when you become volume limited, you’re probably best off switching to 2x intensity each week and riding a higher volume of low- to mid-zone 2 and progressing from there.

And when we’re talking about adding Z2 time, make sure it’s actual Z2 time, and not 1W below Z3 for four hours. Your IF should start with a .5 or a .6.


Middle volume has some variations in intensity. I have used them a number of times but I still swap out intensity for endurance for some of the rides.

Based on forum discussion are they not missing a segment?

The attempt they did with polarized just doesnt hit the segment.

probably, but I’d ask, what percentage of their customers do more than 10 hours per week? What percentage do more than 15 or 20. It’s probably single digits on all of those, although I could be wrong. And if they did offer this, then they’d have to now manage the overtraining risks and complaints that come with these on top of the ones they already manage. On top of that, people get that volume in so many different ways. Some can do 2 hour rides every day. Some get their volume on the weekends. I might have tried their traditional base before now, but I couldn’t commit to the daily longer rides.
Personally I’m okay with using what they offer as a starting point to build off of and if you are doing that much volume then you either have a coach, know enough to be dangerous, or ask for advice. I’m okay with that, but maybe there are more out there than I think.

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You responded a bit different then what I was really trying to say but didnt in my response. We have a number of people that talk about doing more Z2 to plans…so do LV and add in Z2. We are getting the focus on intensity with TR. Responses to the current OP are add in Z2. My own experience has been to drop intensity to 2 days and add in Z2.

This is the area that is discussed on the forums that TR doesnt facilitate in their plan designs. Should they?

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I believe they are adding the flexibility for us to kind of choose the amount of intensity we want when setting the plan, sort of like we do when we choose what days to ride on. I could be mistaken, but I think it’s probably for the best to make it flexible like that.

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  • What exact segment are you talking about (so we don’t have to speculate or guess)?

Outside of that specific, the first thing I will mention that forum discussion is not necessarily a great indicator for needs like this. We see a very narrow and specific group as active here, and that may or may not be representative of a notable population count.

TR has actual data that we don’t, and would be able to better identify if/when people are hitting some threshold you may be talking about here.

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How do they find out things like I found out last week on a group ride - that a late 40s triathlete stopped using the TR plans because they were “too hard” (his words, not mine)? He had successfully used TR plans in his early to mid 40s, but then discovered he needed more recovery after turning 48. After several years off TR, he came back to TR, tried AT, and came to that conclusion. I only asked him because I noticed his TR workouts on Strava were not TR workouts, but custom workouts. I’m not sold on the idea “TR has a ton of data” should always be the first answer.

I was not suggesting that data is all that matters. My primary point is that the forum is commonly pointed to as the reason to do/change something. It’s not irrelevant, but even “loud” forum topics may well represent a tiny amount of users. It can also cover a large group as well. Totally variable and not easy to judge from things like commenters, reply count and such.

Judging the breadth and width of any option or discussion is far from easy and should include range of resources and considerations. The forum can be and has been a valuable resource to TR.


Can’t be all things to all people.

Anytime I’ve got a struggle survey (either directly, or on my initial response) and answered “too intense” I’ve had appropriate adaptations. I do wonder are some users reluctant to flag “All out”, and then pick something else (like “poor sleep”) and then don’t see adaptations.

I do think TR has been trying to cater to the feedback and given folks more freedom that has the side effect of people being given the keys to the car without having their drivers license.

Pre-AT and Pre-Plan Builder, regressions to lower PL workouts was virtually required. Every time you started a new cycle, you started at the beginning. Yes, probably still too much intensity baked in and the progressions were probably a bit too steep, but you could only go so far. With AT, progressions are kind of virtually endless. If you couple that with folks skipping Ramp tests that would force regressions and long plan builder phases that never require you to start over and I think people actually have a harder time managing that workload than they did before. Unless they know better. It’s the fine line TR has to walk to give us what we want and hope we don’t kill ourselves with it.

TR doesn’t have to walk anything. What they did was find infinite carrots to put out in front of their clients. Back in the day, the carrot was just your ramp test number going up. When that stagnated, they basically said “trust us, you’re still getting faster by doing this!”

Now, TR can show you like 8 different numbers - “FTP” and progression levels - and as long as you move those up, you’re improving. “FTP” magically goes up thanks to a machine saying so, and your progression levels go down so you can keep progressing! And that machine is being fed with data generated by workouts that the machine dictated… If you really get down to it, you would be able to map out exactly how your FTP will grow into eternity. (Unfortunately, the physiology doesn’t work that way). It’s brilliant marketing and a wonderful way to keep subscriptions flowing and renewing, though!

I am sure it’s not the worst way ever to train too.


totally get what you are saying here and I have had some of the same thoughts.

What I keep coming back to though, is all of those numbers don’t really matter (PLs and such) if the NP keeps going up and up for the same length of time.

Or if I watch and see “wow, I just held 350 watts for 10 minutes at 160 bpm. Never would have been possible before”

Sometimes I feel like I am just chasing arbitrary numbers but I am still seeing results outside, so until I find something better I will stick with it.

Maybe as I get smarter at this stuff I will need TR less and will build my own.


What you’re talking about is tracking performance, which is absolutely how we should go about this. If people are doing that, and seeing great improvements in performance relative to their goals, then it’s working! If all you’re tracking is TR’s “FTP” and progression levels to tell you you’re getting better, then that’s not the same thing.


Well, 2nd workout done (Tunnabora -1) and 2nd lot of adaptions. Basically it increased my Tues/Thurs rides level up by about 0.3-0.6, highest week TSS in this phase is now 226 from 219. Today’s workout was a firm ‘moderate’, max HR in the low to mid 150’s, never felt out of my comfort zone.

AT seems to be doing its thing! :grin::+1:


Just to add two things: defining what performance metrics to track is not easy to determine, even if you use e. g. wko to track them. You have to make your goals explicit, choose the right goals and then find a metric, which can track performance relevant to those goals.

I know you have qualified your statement with if, but I don’t think at least advanced users conflate performance with FTP. The bigger issue is that the only metrics TR surfaces are the power curve and FTP, so measuring other performance metrics that are relevant to you requires third-party tools.

Further, I don’t think we should think of PLs as a performance metric. Yes, you can use them to gauge performance, but that only works well if the FTP is quite similar. As soon as FTP changes significantly, comparisons get quite hard. In my mind, they are metrics for selecting workouts, and for that they work very well. So part of me thinks they were not made to serve as a performance metric.


Yes, I agree. This is something that comes with experience (or a coach can help you with it, too).

I wouldn’t give them credit for the power curve, really. It requires you to manage seasons and only really tracks your “records”. Yes, you can look at it workout by workout if you want, but there’s no convenient way to look at your last 60 days, for example, and see an overall PDC. I also think that many of TR’s users are probably not “advanced”, and certainly under their marketing before AT it was basically all about FTP moving up up up.

I agree they should not be a performance metric, but even on the podcast, the team said back when they were marketing AT that they thought progression levels would take on a role like FTP used to in that when you watch your PL go up even if FTP is stagnant, you know you’re getting faster. And that assertion was bordering on absurd for a number of reasons, IMO.

So I agree with what you’re saying, but that’s not how PL was initially marketed on the podcast.