Newbie Self-Selecting Breakthrough Workouts

RLGL and TrainNow were features that brought be back to TrainerRoad but I’m using a reactiveated account I started in early 2023.

  1. What’s the best way to begin again + inform AI FTP detection? Yesterday I did a Zwift race and three “breakout” workouts - Birch (endurance 3.5), Truchas -2 (sweet spot 5.5), Walker (endurance 6.3). That leaves me with six more workouts to complete.
    (I did one workout in 2023 that still counts toward the total.)
  2. Should I continue to choose something from each progression level that’s like non-TR workouts I’ve completed in the past? I don’t want to blow myself up but I also don’t want to start slowly advancing from Progression Level 1.0.
  3. When would you rely more on TrainNow to select properly intense workouts and stop self-selecting?

Today is a “red” day so I’m resting and researching a bit on the forums. I appreciate any guidance offered :slight_smile:

I say do a ramp test (but not today!) to set your FTP and then use plan builder to train according to your goals.
Use post workout surveys and down the road AI FTP detection to dial in your workouts.
You’ll then soon have no desire to do multiple workouts per day :wink:


All those activities mirrored the intensity of a Saturday group ride (it rained yesterday, so I missed it.) With TR I was kind of hoping to depend on RLGL and TrainNow, instead of using Plan Builder and a ramp test. Normally I’d take like two days off before a ramp test but right now I’m on my third week of self-coached meat suit mismanagement. Next week will be a rest week - I’ll think about the ramp test. With Zwift I find they aren’t as useful as a 20 minute test for setting training zones.

I do hear the post workout surveys have an important impact, so I’m being mindful to fill out those details :+1:

If you are going to be doing a 20 minute test next then there would be no reason to do a ramp test on top of it.

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This is just my personal opinion, which some people might agree or disagree with — If you generally know what you’re capable of then I’d just pick workouts that look of moderate difficulty to start things off. After several rides AI FTP will take over. I do this when my plan switches over between base and build too. For example during the base phase my V02 and Anerobic PLs atrophy, but I know I can generally crank those out at PLs of 6+, so I just jump to say a PL of 5 instead of starting off at 2 or whatever it’s at. Either way, it will adjust to you it just depends on how quickly you want it to go.

For a new person I would definitely not recommend doing what I wrote above :joy: Just do whatever is assigned in the plan and let it adjust as you go.


I get how you would use RLGL, but how would you use Train Now if you are trying to self coach? Wouldn’t you already have a plan laid out? I’m not using a TR plan at the moment, but I’ve seen RLGL in action on my calendar and it seems pretty predictable for myself. As for the PLs, I don’t take those into account at all personally, but then again, I’m not following TR plans and my weekly hours far exceed all the plans. Are you just looking to set your PL’s and FTP and do Train Now everyday and see how it goes?

When I started with TR I’d already been doing 3×15 & 3×18 SS which places me around a PL 5.5… Tray mountain -1 (3×15) is 5.2. The idea of starting at L1 felt like I’d be stuffing around for a few weeks whilst AT worked out where I needed to be, so I decided to take up the slack & go straight up to that level when starting a plan. I only did this with sweetspot though… threshold I had no experience with so I started from where it told me, & it worked out alright. Threshold quickly accelerated & the workouts began feeling suitably but not unsurmountably difficult, but it took a couple of weeks.

Doing the work is one thing but another issue is whether you can recover from it, especially if you’re doing extra stuff outside the plan, & you might not know that in just one week. How much of your training before coming back to TR is structured? Were you consistent from one week to the next? And how did you feel on Sunday 24th after doing 3h of endurance, a zwift race, & a sweetspot workout all the same day? I agree with what I think @Carbman is alluding to: If you can do all that riding in one day & recover from it then your FTP could be set too low, & your sweetspot workouts are probably tempo, threshold workouts are probably more like what sweetspot should be, etc.

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Seems like I just need to finish the 10 workouts and then the AI will be satisfied/informed enough -

@Stevie_Dee I guess I’m expecting TrainNow to eventually provide me with applicable productive workouts that differ from what I’m already doing (which is super basic):

  1. Mon + Wed = Hard Day
  2. Tue + Thu = Easy Day
  3. Sat = Long Day

(I do three weeks “on” [as above] and one week “off” [where I swap one or both of the hard days with endurance workouts.]

Hard days can be a vo2 session, 60min sweet spot, 2x20 threshold, etc. Easy days are z2 endurance for 60-120min. Plan Builder didn’t seem to fit because sometimes my ideal schedule shifts around or I’ll replace a hard workout with a group ride or an endurance day with bike commuting. Commuting can be unavoidable (we’re a single car household) so that throws training volume off. I am trying to adhere more to a plan but there’s some freedom in keeping it simple.

@roleypup Same. I’ve been doing progressive sweet spot workouts for a few months, increasing intensity and time in zone every few weeks (but not both in the same week.) Some of the early level sweet spot sessions didn’t seem like they’d be productive, but I also didn’t know if easing in was the way to go. Perhaps I’m doing too much and need to ease off to prioritize recovery?

FTP 247w
20m 257w
30m 246w
45m 241w
60m 238w

Today was a full rest day. I’ll see how I feel during sessions tomorrow. Zwift has these dumb short “big spin events” which I use as 20+ min threshold efforts. I’ll do one at threshold, the second at endurance, and a third at threshold (or just the two at threshold if I’m short on time.) My training is admittedly erractic.

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First thing is to determine what you want to train for. It can be as simple as wanting to do better on that group ride.

I agree that it’s ridiculous that VO2 levels will be 1.0 after a base block or two @Nate_Pearson. I’d expect TR to at least conservatively estimate it based on it’s historical individual correlation with SS and Threshold levels.
But I guess it might be adequate for new users and experienced users will ballpark it pretty well themselves.

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I am really interested in how this came to be and the thought process behind this. What was the goal here?

@Jolyzara The combo was similar to a group ride that got rained out. I tried to maintain “long ride day” celebrations indoors.


Ah ok. Quite the mix!

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I eased up today, I’ll keep things chill tomorrow, and by Thursday I’ll know what AI ftp detection thinks of me as I continue to advance progression levels. Seems like it takes time/patience before appropriate workouts are suggested. It doesn’t seem like I’m doing anything particularly bad by kicking off my TR career this way. In 2023 I was less patient.

Next week I have a lower intensity “recovery week” planned when I will be more prepared for a quality ramp test effort. I do love a good test to exhaustion.

Thanks for all the advice :vulcan_salute:

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