New to TrainerRoad overload!

Hello! I’m new to training indoors and having an information overload with all the interval training information and actually picking a workout to do for a given day! I already have a training plan I’m following for an Olympic distance triathlon in August and just trying to fill in my cycling days indoors now with my smart trainer and TrainerRoad rather than ride outdoors. The problem comes when I look for a workout and there are so many to choose from and all the different categories of numbers (TSS, IF, etc.) and actually settling on a workout for the day that fits my plan. Normally my plan with be as such:

60-90 minute ride; mostly flat course; HR lvl 2 OR 75-90 minute ride; some rolling hills; HR lvl 2-3

As for the running and swimming I am able to plan my own workouts for those as I have plenty of experience planning my own workouts. Just the amount of workouts to choose from and stats and numbers that you have to filter through is overloading me a little when I open the app to actually choose a workout.

Any information for a new user to indoor interval training on how to alleviate these issues and just settle on a workout or how to pick a workout for a given day would be much appreciated!


I know you said you have a training plan, but would you consider looking at plan builder?
This takes the guessing out of the equation…


What plan are you using since you say you already have a plan?

So it sounds like you have a “general plan” for your Olympic distance training not necessarily a Trainer Road plan?

If you have an event you are training for use plan builder to set your target date. You can use the calendar feature to move prescribed workouts around your days where you have a run or swim scheduled. It literally plans out your base, build, and specialty phases around when your event is.

Don’t go in and try to find a ride for each day just let the program do it for you.

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As the previous comments. Give plan Builder a shot. If you want 3 rides a week, pick the Low Volume plans. If You want a longer ride pick the Workout Variants and Pick the +1 or +2 versions. You will they will have a higher TSS (Training Stress Score). There are Time trial variations within the Plan Builder. As your event is about 6-7 weeks away, but new to TR and indoor training. Use the base plans to get a feel for riding Sweetspot training. Also Ramp testing.


If you like your coach and plan then ignore the suggestions to use Plan Builder.

Those likely map to:

  • aerobic endurance (power zone/level 2)
  • tempo (power zone/level 3)

There are filters for zone and duration, do you need help with that?

Can your coach provide power based descriptions? Does your coach use TrainingPeaks and can provide power workouts? TrainerRoad will pull power workouts from TrainingPeaks.

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Correct in the “general plan” assumption. I started a 12 week plan that I’m still on and my triathlon is at the end of August, so I was trying to stick to that plan for the most part because I like the layout of the workouts and have had success with progression, but once I moved my riding indoors I was just having trouble finding rides that fit the plan I was already following.

I have taken a look at the plan builder though and it seems like I can pull some specific rides from that possibly and just ignore the runs and swims since I have those set for the rest of this cycle.

How do the workout variants work exactly? I was looking into that after you mentioned it and can’t seem to find it, that seems to be something that could come in handy. Also what do you mean by the sweetspot training?

Essentially, they are usually longer or shorter versions with similarities to the “original” full length workout. Review and choose carefully, as some of the shorter ones end up being more difficult and longer are easier. It is all about the specific changes in work or rest intervals (or the combo) in length and/or quantity.

They are handy if you know you have more or less time and want to alter from the prescribed workout.

  • Here are some helpful support references:
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I see Coach Chad has replied. Hope it all makes sense. The sweetspot reference comes from a great book Training with power meter Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan. It is 88 to 94% of your FTP Region, it seems to be the best area to Train without overstressing you but generating the right amount of stress to affect performance. If you need any more help just shout.

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Created by @mcneese.chad I’m just the forwarder :wink:



I appreciate the feedback from everyone, I set up a plan based loosely on the plan I was following already and am using those rides in the plan on my cycling workout days. Also after doing a few more workouts it’s much easier to understand the type of workouts and how they fit into everything and the help articles provided were a huge help and I’m reading through plenty more now also haha. Still getting the hang of the indoor thing, but the workouts I’ve done so far were great and the TSS and IF weren’t even that high compared to the coming workouts so we’ll see how I hold up in them!