Plan Builder too low volume?

I’ve recently jumped on TR after many years away. It’s come a long way indeed.

I imported all my 2021 rides which has been many months of high volume, intervals, time trials etc. The odd 1000TSS week, regular >20hr weeks and most of the year had my CTL >100… so I’m used to a fair amount of load. Just setting the scene here for what I’m used to.

My ‘A’ Target is in November.
I’ve created a high-volume ‘expert’ plan builder in TR and what it’s prescribed to be is basically a 5 month taper! TSS is cut down gradually for the remainder of the year and although it does appear to be giving me 4 week blocks of training, the volume steadies down considerably. (see pic below)

I made sure all my rides for the year were imported before I created the plan (a tedious task!) so to ensure it recognises my capable training load.

I hope this makes sense. I love the workouts and the format, but not confident the Plan Builder is right for me.


You’ll have to supplement with endurance rides to reach that much TSS per week on a TR plan. I don’t believe any of the plans go much more than 600-800 TSS in a week.

I guess the question is about the efficacy of that extra TSS. How effective will it be? Can you get more done with less? Is it better to drop TSS and feel fresher? Use it as an opportunity to evaluate things from a few angles and move forward from there.

1 Like

NB Plan Builder (PB) currently assembles plans from standard building blocks - the volume of the subsequent plan it generates will solely be determined by your choice of Low/Mid/High within the PB “wizard” - importing your prior ride history won’t have caused PB to depart from this approach.


Correct, the first step attempts to establish the history, but is still user selected.

Then attempts to make a recommendation based on that info.

Ultimately, the Volume selection is entirely up to each rider as they set all the other options within the Plan Builder. You can choose as much or as little as you want.

1 Like

Good advice. Thanks for that.
I feel like I’ve always responded well to big volume, but do feel like I’m teetering on the edge of over-reaching a little at times.
Self-discipline in keeping the intensity very low most of the time is always a struggle too.

1 Like

This is a common problem for more experienced athletes with more time to train. I personally think the current “high volume” plans are not high volume by any standards. You are unlikely to find a coach that will call 8-10 hours of training each week “high.” I made a post about this a few weeks ago

and there is a prevailing opinion that not enough people need a plan like that for TR to explore. I am not sure that I agree, but I don’t have the data.
I have to nearly double the volume that is provided to me in TR to maintain my CTL. I generally add endurance miles which should not tax the system too intensely and I will strategically select longer or stretch/breakthrough interval workout variants to take on a little more load. To do this you need to be pretty diligent about listening to your body and monitoring your ATL, things can get out of hand. I find that if I am disciplined to making one day of total rest from training sacrosanct (typically Mondays), I am able to maintain a good ramp rate and shed the excess fatigue before burnout.
The responses focused a lot on the plan providing the “minimum effective dose” of training to work relevant energy systems which I understand thoroughly, but at the end of the day, a reasonably structured 15-25 hour per week athlete cannot yield the same results reducing the volume to 10 hours a week no matter how well periodized the plan.
Short answer, as @BCrossen stated, you’re going to have to supplement while focusing on maintaining the quality of those working sets.


I agree Sarah,

I think I will use the suggested plan and use it as the back-bone of my weekly structure, but continue with low intensity rides for volume and recovery, and the odd bunch ride for the mental-health benefits.

Thanks everyone, great responses.

I’ve always done LV TR plans but hit 7-800 TSS a week normally, with the odd bigger week if I am doing something at the weekend. I’ve never viewed the TR plan itself as being my overall total, I like having the 3 key workouts a week that I know I will hit and supplementing with club rides, endurance rides etc rather than selecting MV or HV and having to drop workouts. I find having to skip workouts much more demotivating than adding ones in…

If I needed to add TR volume in the winter I’d just have a look at the corresponding MV or HV plan for inspiration - although now I would use TrainNow instead.


Thanks Sarah, your comments and moderating on the other threads has been balanced and great. One question I am pondering (I am in a similar boat to what seems to be a small group of folks who need/want more volume). Having worked through the new plans for a couple of months, i am finding the intensity sessions are actually OK in terms of difficulty. The Wed Friday days have been deliberately scaled back by TR from base to recovery - I assume to maximise recovery and then adaption. Maybe following a Seiler type principle of making your hard days hard and easy days really easy. So where do you add the volume. I am thinking to add volume to the hard day’s on Tues/Thurs and Sat/Sun and leave the Wed/Fri as a really easy day. This hopefully lines up with the scientific principles of the plan. Interested in how others are adding in their volume.

1 Like