Our Training Plans are Improving

I love all that you do but it’s still really hard as a coach to use TrainerRoad. I like many of your workouts, but I also prefer to create my own workouts for individual athletes. There is still not an easy way to get a workout into TR for my athletes. It’s a multi-step process.

I understand you guys are pushing your own training plans and workouts but locking out coaches from making full use of your platform doesn’t seem like a good strategy. Especially when the core experience is still just numbers on a screen with a blue graph.

It’s easier to get my athlete’s workouts into Zwift with TP integration. And for most of my athletes they’re far more engaged with the visuals of Zwift. It’s win-win for me as a coach.

I’m not really feeling the love from TR in this regard. I think you guys have a better platform for ERG workouts (power match is so much better in TR than Zwift). The experience around training is great (calendar, logging, metrics tracking, etc) on the athlete side; it’s a little more user-friendly than even Training Peaks. And I’m a big fan of the people who run TR, I love the drive you all have… but come on! Give coaches some tools! I want to keep using TR and encouraging my athletes to do the same but it’s so tedious to be a coach using TR…

See our TR team Human Power Performance… I assume you guys can go in and look at team workouts and members…


There are also likely a lot of riders for whom the ramp test isn’t optimal - I tend to wuss out on it for whatever reason.

The last time I took the ramp test, I ended up using an FTP 25 watts higher for SSBMV1 and completed every workout. YMMV.

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There is an open enhancement request for this. We have mentioned it in a couple of threads in the recent past.


Glad to hear TR is continuing to work on improving their current product. My personal experience is the training plans are too hard for me. I can get through 1-2 weeks and then I become derailed. I typically drop 1 of the 4 hard workouts and replace it with easy endurance and that seems to help me. Of course I’m over 40 and not a stud athlete so that plays a role in my thinking the plans are overall too hard. Still love the product though. I would love to see a polarized training plan at some point in the future.

@jasonaytes, you may want to consider adjusting the training plan in the following way. It shortens the time between recovery weeks and may help you hit the workouts as intended.

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Are you taking the type of trainer and mode used into account when you look at why a failure occurs? I ask this because it took me two years of using TR and occasionally contacting Tech Support before I figured out that my Kick’r Snap was part of my issue with some workouts, especially short V02max efforts (but also with others where a high intensity burst was needed). The trainer almost always bound up and so while I supposed to hit, say 350 watts or something (my FTP is 234 ) the trainer would bog down and I’d be up to over 600 watts and suddenly be unable to pedal. It was often very difficult to restart the session after that because the behavior would repeat and I’d give up. I learned that I needed to be in a very small gear all the time to avoid what a member of your (very helpful) support crew called clench. But I also figured out very late in the game that switching out of ERG mode made such intervals much easier to complete because the trainer didn’t bind up. I guess my point is that a few of my failures seem due to equipment issues rather than leg failures, since after a bit of fighting with the trainer I’d give up. So if you have a way to correlate the type of trainer/mode in use with the workouts where there are a lot of failures, that might tell you something too. Or it might not. Just wanted to suggest it as something to consider (if there is something can be done about it).

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Isn’t that kind of the economics of it all? If you don’t cater to a broad enough spectrum of riders, the price goes up. At a certain point, you’d do better to just hire a coach. And that’s not even to consider the fact that TR is data driven and so there alone is an incentive to retain a wide spectrum of riders.

I’m saying that as a very average rider who likes the new mid-volume SSBII.


Oops! “It’s not that fun to find that point”

For sure. You’re pulling things out of me that I SHOULDN’T be talking about…hehe.

We can compare compliance rates for very similar workouts. So if all hard VO2 max workouts share a similar compliance rate, then one workout is a couple standard deviations out of the norm, well that one should looked at.


While you’re looking at plans, please look at Traditional Base 1



I agree having just gone through Traditional 1 & 2, starting Traditional 3 today. Are you telling me you can’t get the exact same training load, intensity and desired affect by mixing up the workouts? It’s boring as hell, especially Traditional 1. It “appears” very lazy programming, even though I know it’s not. I don’t care if you switched the smallest of things in the workout and called it a different name, just anything to break up the monotony. :tired_face:

I’m not sure what you’re asking.

I agree, traditional base is boring as hell. The idea is lots and lots of aerobic adaption at a low intensity.

Why not just do sweet spot?

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Ya, I guess to some degree. But like the “physics test” analogy I mentioned earlier - sometimes it’s good to have workouts in there (in my opinion) that a smaller percentage of people may be able to finish, but will still provide an adequate challenge to others who are slightly more capable in that particular area.

I already feel like there are plenty of tough workouts where Chad basically says “pay attention to how you’re feeling… not everyone can finish workouts in the same range… if it’s too easy, kick it up a couple percent, if it’s too tough, knock it down a few percent.”

I guess in the long run, I may be one of the ones who needs to kick it up a couple percent since the workouts are going to be made easier for all.

But, then again I’ve only been training for a couple years, so most of my easy gains may be behind me and I might just enjoy the changes as I continue to fight for marginal gains :smiley:

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I had 40 weeks to train (too much time) before my only “A” race, so per the podcast it is recommended to do:

Traditional Base / Build (weakness or limiter) / SSB1 & SSB2 / Build / Specialty.

Are you recommending that I should have repeated SSB? My goal was to build a really deep and thorough base to prepare me for the Marji Gesick 100. Which is a 105 mile MTB single track race that makes Leadville look like a warmup :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


You could go either way. If you’re dreading the long slow stuff of traditional base it might be good to go SSB, build, rest a bit, then into a full cycle.


Thanks. Since I just started Traditional Base 3 with a new FTP best :grinning:, I’m gonna just ride (pun intended) this Traditional thing out. Plus I don’t want to miss out on doing Mount Bear and Mount Alice :weary:

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I see that individual workouts are changing too, e.g. last week Bashful +6 had VO2 repeats at 125%, now it is repeats at 122%. This might happen all the time but I have never noticed before.

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Or Gendarme +3 for that matter. Being the second Tuesday session of SSB MVII.

Can’t stand those workouts.

Nate, I highly appreciate your opinion. Has someone looked into this, why do the best riders not train this way? Have they tried and failed? Or do they just not believe in the polarized method. Has Steven Seiler really not backed up that 80:20 enough? I know Seiler has a lot of data on nordic skiers, rowers, runners (cyclists?)… and the success of Norwegian athletes speaks for itself. So, if there is data that supports 80:20 is not really better, I would really appreciate it, if you could tell us more. I have seriously been thinking of switching to polarized training, mainly because I believe that I would recover better between intense workouts.

@jomu, If you haven’t seen them, there are 3 really good threads already covering Polarized in great depth.