Plan Builder Mid Volume Not giving me a good plan


I need some help here from support please as I’ve just ran the Plan Builder from next Tuesday to take me to my A event on Sunday 28th March 2021.

Bear in mind that I’m 55 and have trained steadily for the last 6 years.

The plan gives me the following…

SSB1 (6 weeks)
SSB2 (6 weeks)
Sustained Power Build (5 week)
Century Mid Volume (4 weeks)
Recovery Week (1 week).

This all looks fine - BUT - when I open the Sustained Power Build (5 weeks) block, It has me doing 4 straight build weeks in a row with the 5th week a Recovery Week. There’s NO WAY I’m ever going to manage 4 Build weeks back to back). This has got to be a bug with the plan builder. No-one does a 4 week straight BUILD block without a recovery week. If I was to attempt this at my age, I’d either get injured or simply fail.

I don’t think it’s a bug as such more that age related recovery strategies haven’t yet been added to the calculations. There’s been quite a few threads/requests about us older users being able to specify 2:1 or even 1:1 work to recovery ratios.

As with many of these tools, they’ll get you most of the way but you might have to do a bit of tweaking to get things just right. Try bringing your event forward a week and see what happens then insert a recovery week where you see fit.


Thanks for your help :+1:

I still believe there’s a problem with the plan Builder though as a 4 week straight build block is not normal.

I’ve just plugged in those dates to Plan Builder, selected 6-9hrs available time, Mid-Volume and “Expert” experience and get:

SSB2 (6 weeks)
General Build (8 weeks)
Rolling Road Race (7 weeks)
Recovery Week (1 week).

But if I choose “Intermediate” experience then I get the same progression as you have.

Plan Builder shifts its focus between Base and Build depending on your experience but since I’m not a TR employee I don’t know why it determined that a 4:1 block was appropriate for those of lower experience.

Just have a play around with the various parameters and see what happens.

That’s very strange then as I chose Beginner and not Intermediate. Is the plan builder not consistent then? I understand how it is supposed to work.

It’s offering me the same plan for both “Beginner” AND “Intermediate”. Now that’s not right.

Both Advanced and Expert give the progression I showed so there may just be one tipping point with that particular duration of plan, etc.

So changing the duration of the plan may then give three or four different plans according to experience. There doesn’t have to be a one to one relationship between everything.

It still boils down to the fact that a 4 week straight BUILD for the “beginner” plan is not the way to go. Irrespective of the users age.

I have a similar plan and am in in the 50-54 age group. My plan had enough weeks to include two 4-week blocks of Sustained Power Build with the usual 3:1 work:rest week ratio before the Century Plan.

One suggestion would be to move up your rest week in Sustained Power Build and then complete the final week before the Century Plan starts. The Century Plan has a fairly gentle start with the Ramp Test, Petit and Mount Hayes -2. You could also swap the Ramp Test from week 1 of the Century Plan to be the first workout after your recovery week in Sustained Power Build. This tweak would have you test on the normal cadence of Sustained Power Build. However, moving the rest week up does risk that it’s too far out from tour event and you will be too fatigued at the end of the Century Plan.

A second option would to replace week 1 of Sustained Power Build with another Sweet Spot week to make it manageable. I don’t think this would have much training benefit as you would have already completed 12 weeks of SSB 1 and 2 but the back end of your training plan will work better.

At the end of the day, I would be inclined to go with whatever option will best manage cumulative fatigue.

I’d be more concerned that a beginner was offered Mid or High volume plans :hot_face:

Ultimately we are second guessing the rationales behind Plan Builder. Might be worth searching out and reading the, very long, Plan Builder thread.


It asks for your experience of Intervals not duration.

“What is your level of experience with interval training?”

There are various ways around this, swap specific workouts each week for the same type but for ones with less TSS so the accumulative impact is reduced.

During the last three weeks of build ensure you increase your sleeping hours and consider your calorie intake, quality, quantity or both and potentially abstain from alcohol for the same period.

Whilst tweaking plans may not be ideal, until there are specific plans available for masters we need to adapt what we have.

How do you know? (Not being devil’s advocate, a genuine question)

It looks like you are conflating “What won’t work for me” with “What won’t work”. Now I agree that a four week build block before a recovery week is likely to be tough, I’m not sure I could complete it with 100% compliance, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

I’ve done a couple more scenarios: extending the period available by a week changes the Build phase to be six weeks long with a 3W:1R:1W:1R layout. It looks like the combination of the specific duration between now (well Tuesday) and your event AND choosing Beginner or Intermediate leads to a five week Build phase with 4:1 work/recovery ratio. So by setting the start date to last week you’d get the above plan.

Actually having five weeks for the Build phase is awkward: it’s either 4 work : 1 recovery or 2W:1R:1W:1R. The latter might have too much recovery for most people to be effective unless that isolated week is very hard which in itself creates problems.

I think it’s worth raising this - Build should either be four weeks (3:1) or six or more weeks. TR do have the monitor compliance so if there’s low compliance following 4:1 Build blocks they have the data to justify tweaking the code.


Because I ran it for both to see the suggested plan.

But you are working from an assumption that there must be a different plan for every possible set of inputs whereas it’s more than likely that one plan will deal with a set of them.

I used to work coding TV set-top boxes. One subsystem had 256 possible permutations of input parameters but only 20 valid outputs. Plan Builder is much the same, if a little more complicated, the difference in weighting between Beginner and Intermediate may not be enough to cause a change in output in some cases.

If I were coding PB I’d start with the duration of the overall plan and have proportions assigned to the different phases according to the level of experience. These would end up giving durations such as 32.2 days or 37.5 days. The plans have a granularity of a week so both the above values would end up as being five weeks as that’s the closest integer number of weeks. Increasing the overall duration of the plan by a week might change those figures to 34.1 and 40 so in that case the beginner would get five weeks of Build and the intermediate would get six. Mapping a continual scale onto discrete values is always going to throw up some oddities.


Sorry if I misread, but there seems to be some confusion. Plan Builder uses experience to influence if you get more base, more build, or more specialty:

The first question asked by Plan Builder is how many hours per week that you’ve been training. Your answer to that influences the Low vs Mid vs High Volume suggestion. You can override that and choose low volume if you want to add outside rides.

If you want to modify the suggested build (yes it’s ridiculous for me too), then write down the Plan Builder suggestion and manually add to your calendar. Then you can adjust build to a 2:1 work:rest or anything else. A bit of a hassle but better than alternative. Of course I would file a support ticket first and see what TR has to say.

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No, no confusion. The plan Builder is fully understood. Please reread the above posts.

I was clarifying this earlier comment for anyone reviewing this thread in the future.

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Sorry but you haven’t understood the comment. It’s in relation to the interval training question only.

Always easy to misinterpret on forums, which is why I prefaced my comment.

Few if any would benefit from 4 weeks of build before a recovery week - Beginner or Expert. That is the core issue. Hoping you update us after asking TR support for assistance.

Regarding the questions asked by Plan Builder, I think its far too easy to get a recommendation for volume level that is too high as it isn’t just about how many hours/week you ride.

Thanks for the question! Definitely hear your concern. Checking with the team about this now, will report back findings!