Plan builder for masters [Feature Request]

I’m relatively new to TR. 54 and looking to train for 2021 masters race season.
I have had a play with the plan builder but it looks as though it gives me a plan that is for a young man. I have found that I now need to have a 3 week on, 1 week recovery plan
I also need to put in some weight sessions
The plan builder is not going to work for me, is it?

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It will, up to a point. Do you use something to track, and predict, a PMC, so a self devised spreadsheet or intervals ICU where you can pre load sessions and see what your TSB etc is going to do?
Intervals.icu is perfect for this tbh as you can sync your TrainerRoad calendar to it and see how much of a hole you are going to dig for yourself into the future.

No, PB is not great for modifying schedules for most reasons, and “masters” type approach is included in that limitation.

Other riders like to stretch the weeks to add more recovery between a more “standard” 3:1 type of schedule. They look at the “hard” workouts of the week and lean to more Polarized approach or other changes to workout spacing.

Here is a search list with some “Masters Plan” discussion that may be worth review:

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Getting ready for hitting your new 55-59 age group next year?!

Nearly all the TR cycling plans have a 3:1 work:recovery ratio. I think the only exception is Sweetspot Base which is 5:1. And which actually works OK that way as the whole point of Sweetspot is that it’s at an intensity which isn’t burying you too deep. If you haven’t tried TR SS training before you may be surprised. Or you can go with Traditional Base which is 3:1? Or just manually spread the 12 week SSB plans over 13 weeks and then start Plan Builder from the Build phase?

Weight training is something you can just schedule around the cycling workouts. As long as the load is something you’ve already adjusted to and doesn’t vary too much from week to week then it’s a relative constant so shouldn’t impact your bike training too much. Would avoid trying to make big strength improvements while on a TR plan, I find it’s best to target improvements during off season or while doing less structured cycling, and then switch into maintenance training as the cycling load ramps up. Something like 2 sessions of 30 minutes a week should be enough to maintain strength, best advice seems to be to do these later in the day on days when you’ve already done a hard workout. I.e. don’t do them before a hard workout as will impact quality, and don’t do them on recovery days as will impact recovery.

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  • True for Sweet Spot Base 1.
  • However, Sweet Spot Base 2 for Low and Mid Volumes ends up with very little SS and lots of VO2max and Threshold work. The 5:1 layout in that can prove a bit more challenging for some people.
  • SSB1 is much more manageable for me compared to SSB2, which even TR recognizes is more of a “Build Prep” than a “Base” in some sense.
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Probably true, I never quite do any of the plans 100% as written as I like tweaking too much!

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Plan Builder can give you a template for progression, however IMHO you will need to make modifications and therefore manually build a plan. With respect to the plans, they have well designed progressions however there is a lot of intensity at the expense of aerobic endurance development and maintenance. In other words, if I was customizing the TR plans it would involve something like switching Sweet Spot Base from 5:1 to 3:1, and focusing on Tue & Sat as my hard days and a lot more aerobic endurance. To my eyes, the build plans have elite level intervals which need to be cut back. Just a few observations, and ultimately the modifications will depend on your training history and ability to recover.

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I’m 53 and completed SSBMV 1 & 2 followed by falling apart during the first 4 weeks of SusPB, I’m not Elite by any stretch of the imagination, no wonder I’m pooped!
I’ve started again on SSBMV and will probably include a bit more rest. I really want to complete a full plan.

Gotta love this forum👍I’ve learnt so much in the short time I’ve been here.

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This subject, plans for masters, has been well discussed before. What is clear is that the plans, as good as they are, cannot possibly be suitable for all ages, yes most will cope but not all, as you have identified you need some extra recovery. I daresay this has also been discussed before but there are no scheduled true ‘recovery’ rides in the plans, just a lower stress week at the end of each phase, tbh, even those are a decent week of work. Maybe if you did an easy 30 min session in between planned workouts that might help.

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At 47, I’ve done just shy of a year on TR. I made some dumb choices after completing SSBMV1. The first was going into SSBHV1 after I had completed the mid volume base 1 plan. I did very well during that block & was on cloud 9 about it. Toward the end, I felt fatigued but figured that was natural. I then scheduled myself into SusPBMV. I made it to about week 3 of that but then the wheels came off. And I mean all the wheels! I was totally cooked mentally & physically. I dropped down to low volume for the rest of it & picked 2 of the 3 workouts (usually threshold & VO2max) & managed to go into XC Marathon specialty & complete that pretty much the same way. I chose 2 workouts & was usually riding mtb outside 4 other days. I was getting stronger & faster.

I recently finished SSBLV2 & ShortPBLV blocks doing the same thing. I’m getting a heck of a lot faster & stronger. Setting PR’s all over the place (PR’s on segments I ride all the time). Unfortunately, I’m dealing with an overuse injury in my left knee & I’m not really sure what’s going on with it but I’m doing 8 weeks of PT & if that doesn’t help, I’ll have earned an MRI. It’s probably another mistake but I’m going to hit the trainer tonight & start another low volume base block. The knee does ok unless I’m in a high cadence spin but if I’m below 90 or so, it feels ok.

So anyway, I’ve found that plan builder really isn’t for me but I did just use it to take a look at how I’m going to approach next season & think I have a pretty good plan in place. Hopefully, we’ll be racing more next summer & I will be able to test out my fitness on more than segments!

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good idea, and could be adapted to include strength training. For ideas on how to structure the days in a week, see Dylan Johnson’s YouTube videos on How to Get Fast (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/c/DylanJohnsonCycling/search?query=how+to+get+fast) it really helps if you haven’t thought about structuring a week.

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Thanks! That’s where I actually found the info & gave myself permission to deviate from the TR plan. I really need to do strength work but haven’t been able to make that commitment yet. I’ll also cop to being a bit more backwards hat Dylan on my multiple weekly trail rides although usually one of the is a 2 hour really easy low zone 2 ride (for me) with my girlfriend.

I found this out the hard way last year :grin:

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Can you explain this further, please?

if you are doing TR plan then don’t be afraid to reduce the number of intervals. For example last year doing SSB2 it would have been better to modify Mills and Spencer and do fewer vo2 intervals. What you should do is highly individual, my point is that TR stock plans at mid and high volume are designed for people that recover quickly (likely a combo of a high vo2max and a young age). This year for sweet spot base I did another companies stock 8-12 hours/week plan, and it had less sweet spot work vs TR MV or HV plans and I actually got faster. That led me to two conclusions if you have 8-12 hours per week to train (vs SSB HV): fresh is faster (e.g. don’t do 4-5 days/week SS), and doing more aerobic endurance work will surprisingly improve short 1-5 minute power.

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I am learning so much from all your posts. Over 60 but relatively new to understanding all this. As I am retired I have over 10 hours a week to train. Want to incorporate strength training and lots of z2 rides. Can I ask what other company plan you used?

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some info here:

that is the off-season resistance plan I’m doing right now, did their sweet spot plan earlier this year.

I’m technically a masters athlete (38 years old), but at the lower end of the age range for these things.

That said - I’ve had a lot of success with reducing the number of intense days from 3 to 2 and changing my recovery week ratio to from 3:1 to 2:1. I find I can do more total work and reach higher heights with the additional recovery within a week and across the larger cycles.

Experimentation is required to determine what works best for each individual, but if I had someone burning out on the standard TR plans the first thing I’d recommend would be reducing the intense days from 3 to 2

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I did the Fascat strength plan last fall/winter and its great.

The only downside is it opened my eyes to other plan sources and I ended up leaving TR. There is definitely more than one way to set up a season’s training and while TR plans are great, the set of them is just one of many options and the actual plan choice any particular TR user realistically has is actually fairly narrow. They tend to favor intensity which is both time efficient and great if you can recover but not ideal for many older folks.

IMHO TR really missing the boat by a) not coming up with a strength program that will integrate with their calendar and b) not heeding the requests for some masters plans.

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Yup.