New to training questions


I completed my ramp test and used the plan builder to build a plan. I went with Sweet Spot Base Low Volume.

  1. How long is the plan supposed to last? By default it was way more than I expected. So I chose something more manageable from March to May - 8 weeks.

  2. How do you set your heart rate zones or power zones? I’ve been using Today’s Plan which doesn’t appear to be supported so I have to manually upload the FIT file from Trainer Road and I’ve customized the zones for Cycling.

  3. When you are doing a ride, like Baxter which I did today, are there recommended cadences? Is that something which will show up if I adjust the fields displayed on the app so that you can see target cadence as well as your current cadence?

  4. Am I supposed to add an endurance ride, because I don’t see any in my SSBLV unless Baxter is considered one? I’m used to following 80/20 running and so far this SSBLV is kind of hard for me to keep up with. So far I’ve completed three of the rides on this plan I built. But I’m feeling like I’m not going to be able to run while I’m doing this plan. Today I did a 1.5 hour ride. I’ve never ridden that long in my life.

It’s all good, but I have no idea what I"m doing and I’m feeling like (a) I’m not able to run while I"m doing this and (b) it’s hard to tell if I picked a plan that is above my ability.



Sweet Spot Base Low Volume (SSBLV) is the correct place to start. The progression for you would be the following. Using plan builder would be your best place to start.

SSBLV 1 → SSBLV 2 → Build (probably General Build) → Specialty (to peak your fitness if needed/wanted)

I wouldn’t go making your own plan at this point, it doesn’t appear you understand enough about TrainerRoad (TR) to do so. Again, use the Plan Builder function and choose Low volume. TR uses the periodization of Base → Build → Specialty. You should follow the plans in that order.

  • Base 1 = 6 weeks
  • Base 2 = 6 weeks
  • Build = 8 weeks
  • Specialty = 8 weeks

TR doesn’t use heart rate zone. TR sets your power zones based on your FTP, you don’t have to manually set them.

Your self selected cadence is said to be the best cadence, so whatever feels best for you. This can/will be different person to person. That being said, it is generally recommended that your cadence be 85-95 rpms unless otherwise specified (ie: VO2, sprints, high intensity, etc. is generally 100+ rpms).

You CAN add endurance rides to your off days as long as it doesn’t negatively affect your scheduled workouts. If you’re new to structured training, this may be too much too soon. If you are running, or want to, in addition to TR this may already be too much. Those new to structured training, especially TR, will find it very demanding. So take it slow and don’t be afraid to modify the TR plans (reducing the intensity in the workouts) to make each workout achievable. Self coaching and structured training is a learning process. Once the TR AI/ML (machine learning) is fully implemented, which appears to be a few weeks/months out, it will greatly help you in this department. However, until then, take it easy, listen to your body when you are too fatigued and at this point less is likely more.


Don’t forget to read the weekly tips. Click the ‘week 2’ thing on your calendar to access the tips. Just because it’s called ‘low volume’ doesn’t mean it’s easy; you’ll be doing a substantial workout 3 times per week, especially during the base 2 period. Long-term fatigue will build up and you’ll want those rest weeks to recover and improve.

Yes, you can add endurance rides if you think you can recover from them. But be careful and monitor yourself with regards to your recovery…

Here is my calendar: you can see that I added a bunch of ‘Andrews’ endurance rides and some ‘dans’ recovery stuff. Once you get to base 2, you might not be so eager to add additional TSS.

1 Like

Thanks all. Really great suggestions and explanations. I’ve updated my SSBLV so that I’m following the plan flow as intended (rather than cutting it short after 4 weeks or so).


1 Like