My first experience with structured was Hunter Allen’s Peaks Coaching group plans. I was training for my first Fondo / Century and purchased one specifically for this distance. It prepared me very well. I followed it up with a summer maintenance plan, which was also quite good. Then a fall / winter base plan.
Ultimately, though, I switched to TR for a couple of reasons. First, you have to purchase each plan. While I’ve probably spent more on TR than if I had just bought 1-2 years worth of PCG plans, the flexibility to switch TR plans at any point (plus now Plan Builder) and access to the entire TR library made it a better value proposition for me.
Secondly, you have to buy the plans “blind,” meaning you get a general overview of the plan but no real insight into specific workouts or the progression. With a TR subscription you can review every workout of every plan (including Plan Builder) to see if that’s what you’re looking for.
Now that I have several years of structured training experience, the + and - versions of the TR workouts allow me to easily adjust for life circumstances. The PCG plans did offer an alternative workout on some days, but it was usually something very different (i.e. indoor VO2 or outdoor endurance) and not an easier or harder version targeting the same energy system.
The fall / winter plan was not what I was looking for, which ultimately led me to try TR. It was a base plan, but too easy even at the prescribed volume (i.e. almost all endurance with little sweet spot) and included way more single legs drills than I wanted. I was a bit irritated by the idea that I paid full price for an 8 or 12 week plan (I can’t remember) that I wasn’t going to use.
Overall, other than the fall / winter base plan, I was please with the PCG plans. Since it was my first time doing structured training I had great fitness gains and was very well prepared for my Fondo / Century and the rest of the summer. However, the interactive TR community and free content (i.e. podcasts) combined with how they provide the plans led me to switch.