Plan builder scheduling strange recovery weeks?

Hi All

I’m about to start a training plan for my A Event in June which is a 14 day tour of the UK (LEJOG - Lands End to John O Groats). It will be my first time using AT and PB as I’ve previously followed the standard TR plans or just done TrainNow.

The plan that PB has produced has scheduled recovery weeks in places that I didn’t expect so I would be grateful for some feedback / advice from more experienced PB users.

As background I’ve been a TR user since 2016 and have been through SSB, Build and Specialty previously so reasonably experienced with workouts and interval training although I don’t race.

I plan to ride 4 times per week. I will do 2 TR workouts and substitute the Saturday workout with my normal group ride (weather permitting). I also do an additional group / social ride in the week. I plan to maintain these as this will be my time in the saddle / endurance rides.

It’s a 26 week LV plan that is split into:

3 weeks SSB 1
4 weeks SSB 2
8 weeks Sustained Power Build
10 weeks Century (which includes the 2 week long goal event)
1 week Recovery post event

This all seems fine. However, I am surprised at how early the recovery weeks take place. I have 2 weeks of SSB 1 and then there is a recovery week. Then there is 3 weeks of SSB 2 and then a recovery week.

Q1 - considering the SSB base phase tends to be 5 weeks of work followed by a recovery week, why is PB given me a recovery week after just 2 weeks and then another recovery week after 3 weeks? It seems quite early to be given a recovery week. Thoughts?

Q2 - During the Build phase I have one week scheduled time off for holiday built into the plan. I won’t be riding during this week. However, a recovery week has been scheduled one week before this time off so effectively my build will be 3 weeks of work, 1 week recovery, 1 week holiday with no riding, 2 weeks of work, 1 week recovery. Does this seem weird to you? I would have hoped PB would maybe see the holiday as recovery and therefore not schedule a recovery week immediately before it? Is there anything I can do to avoid this, other than ignoring the recovery rides and maybe doing Train Now for that week?

Q3 - I put one weekend in as time off as I am away so I know that will be a weekend of no riding. That just gives me 2 workout days in the plan. I could just remove the time off and then manually move the assigned third workout to an earlier day to maintain the 3 workouts. What do other people do in this situation? Cram rides into a shorter number of days with the weekend then off, or just do a lighter load of 2 rides that week?

Thanks for taking the time to read. Any advice / reassurance gratefully received as its my first time using PB!

Many thanks!

Just wondering if @SarahLaverty or @IvyAudrain have any thoughts on this (if they have time of course!) before I start the PB plan! I didn’t yet commit the plan to my calendar due to the reservations on recovery weeks etc. Many thanks!

1 Like

I can give some input while you wait for the official answers.

Q1. It does this because you have 7 weeks for base. Since the base phases are 6 weeks, 5+1, and PB never increases the length of a phase you can either have 1+6, 2+5 or 3+4. It seems as if you get the 3+4 you are given recovery weeks in both phases. I was given a 2+6 setup with 2 weeks build followed by a full base in my plan, which means 7 weeks without recovery, which isn’t exactly ideal either. I played around with my plan to improve it and I suggest you do the same. Maybe switch one of the easier rides in the first recovery week with a train now workout.

Q2. No, not weird as this is how PB handles time of. It just removes the scheduled workouts, nothing more. In your case you have to consider how much recovery you wil get on your vacation. If you are running around all the time in you vacation then keep the plan as suggested. On the other hand if you are planning a week by a pool then do train now in your recovery week leading up to your vacation if you feel up to it.

Q3. I’m traveling for work Sunday to Wednesday, but I have given up on using the time of feature. Usually the workouts I have in the plan on the days I am home is enough training for me for the week, but if I want to do more I will just do a more challenging workout on one of the days I’m home. The Tuesday and Wednesday workouts I just leave on the calendar.

Hey @Sundance!

Wow, this is so exciting! And going past my home- wave to my mum and dad for me! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Great that you are using Plan Builder to prepare. This should give you confidence leading into the event.

To answer your questions…

  1. The specific structure of your Plan depends on the experience level you selected going through Plan Builder and how long you have before your A Event. Your experience level determines where we add or subtract time if you have more or less time. The Plan you are given is optimal from a training and adaptations standpoint given your experience level and the timing of your event, so I suggest you stick with this structure. We rarely have people complain of too many recovery weeks once they start the Plan :wink:.

@Torneng is spot on about this. To echo what they have said, if your holiday is going to be a restful week, use TrainNow during your recovery week prior to the holiday. :+1:

If it is manageable for you to squeeze in more workouts in a condensed week, dragging and dropping the workouts to different days is a great idea! These Workouts will stay associated with the Plan and thus influence adaptations even if you move them to different days.

If it is unrealistic to squeeze in all of your Workouts in the condensed week, I suggest you prioritise the hardest interval Workouts as these will be most important in advancing your fitness.

Let me know if you have any other questions about training or your plan in the lead up to LEJOG. Good luck with your training and the event! Feel free to circle back here to let us know how you got on. We’d love to here how it went :smiley:.

I had this same problem recently. The recovery weeks were in really odd places, including right before or after vacation weeks. In one spot I had a recovery on the second or third week and then no recovery for five or six weeks. I wrote support and they told me to just manually change it. I really think there needs to be some focus on improving this part of plan builder. I ended up deleting the plan and not using plan builder as a result.


Thanks for your reply @Torneng - much appreciated!

Yes, I’ll see how it goes and use TrainNow if I feel the recovery weeks have arrived too early.

Thanks for the clarification how the time off function works. I didn’t realise it just removed scheduled workouts. I thought maybe it was more intuitive and influenced the timing of recovery weeks. Like you, I don’t think I’ll use the time off function for weekends away or a couple of days off. I’ll only use it if I’m away for the entire week. Thanks again for the sound advice!

Thank you @SarahLaverty.

Yes, really looking forward to LEJOG :scream: But great to have a focus and hopefully a rewarding experience! Where are you from in the UK?

I choose Advanced on the basis I’ve been using TR since late 2016 and followed the manual plans before. This was perhaps why I was surprised at a recovery week in week 3. I have also had a few weeks off following a big toe operation so wondered whether recent inactivity factored into the timing of recovery weeks?

Will do. I’ll trust the process and and adapt if required.

It won’t be by the pool (West Wales in April!) so dog walking and some body boarding in freezing water but I’d definitely consider it reasonably restful so may do some TrainNow during the PB recovery week. Does PB take account of any TrainNow rides that occur during a plan in terms of analysing the need for any adaptations?

Thank you! Will do - now the hard part begins!

1 Like

I must admit, in terms of how frequent the recovery weeks are had me a little stumped at first. I was used to a recovery week every 6 or 7 weeks on the old plans, but my current was telling me to take a receovery week every 3/4 like yours’

I was condcerned that it was too often, but let me tell you - boy am i glad for the more frequent recovery weeks lol. The increased length of workouts (mine have gone up from 1 hour average to 1:30) really does cook you over the 3 weeks or so.

Hahahaha. Such an iconic challenge! I’m from Edinburgh, Scotland! I’m looking at the route as we speak and I think you stick to Central/West of Scotland? But still close enough!

Ad-hoc plans (adding Plans without going through Plan Builder) don’t target specific events in your Calendar, which is why you’ll see a different structure using Plan Builder when the goal is to prepare you for your goal events.

Time-off prior to starting the Training Plan won’t impact the timing of recovery weeks but it would impact your Progression Levels which ultimately determine the difficulty of the Workouts scheduled in your Plan. You can learn more about Progression Levels here: Progression Levels.

:raised_hands: :raised_hands:

Great stuff! I think this is a sensible approach.

Yes! All of the TrainerRoad Workouts that you complete will be considered by Adaptive Training to ensure that your training is always suited to your ever-changing fitness.

SO EXCITING! Let us know if you have any questions as you progress through your Training Plan! Enjoy your holiday too! :wales:

Edinburgh is a lovely city! Went there for a Wales v Scotland rugby match. It was lively!
Our route takes us slightly further west so we go via Glencoe which should be a highlight of the trip.
Thanks for all your advice and tips! I think I’m set to start the plan now!

Aaaah yes, Glencoe is stunning! Great, let us know if you have any questions further down the line.