Plans: High volume TSS too low?

Hi all,

HV Plans seem to top out at around 450 TSS/week with a 160 TSS recovery week every four weeks bringing the average down to 400.

Is that enough to take people to their performance limits?

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I don’t think the person has yet been born who wouldn’t be faster on, say, 16 hours per week than they would be on 8.

Even if doing the same amount of intensity in both scenarios, the extra endurance riding is valuable in and of itself and also means you get more bang for your buck out of the intensity.

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With Plan Builder, you can set for each day your own session duration. Mine is up to 16h/861TSS during Masters General Base.

EDIT: you can configure PB to generate up to 24h/week plan (2x 2h hard days + 4x5h easy days)


I basically ride 8-9 hours per week and hit about 400tss with only endurance and tempo riding. ~500 tss when I’m doing higher intensity intervals and doing the same total time.

What you’re asking sounds pretty reasonable given that amount of training time to work with. People who get huge TSS are either riding many more hours, have their ftp set too low, or both. For example, my highest in the last 3 month was about 700 on a 14hr week.

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You’re unlikely to hit your “performance limit” until you’re doing north of 20h a week routinely (and adequately recovering from that).

That typically involves riding 3-5h at a time for most of your rides… trainer road is targeted towards “time crunched” athletes who are doing their riding mostly on a trainer… as a result, I think the majority of their user base has no interest in much more than 10h a week.



400 is probably enough for me, but there are coaches out there talking about double, triple that figure.

Also, I recalled HV being talked about as only for elites, they must’ve toned them down.

I may not increase cycling hours beyond ten, but I might increase intensity if I’m handling it well.

I’m 13 weeks into a HV gran fondo plan. My weekly TSS right now is the low to mid 600s. My hours are set to: Tue-Fri 1.5 hrs, Sat 2 hrs, Sun 3.5 hours. Maybe you need to adjust your training hours for each day. You do that by clicking on the little box at the start of the block.

I fell short of my TSS on Sunday due to a lot of lumpy, trampled snow. 3.5 hours for 109 TSS :upside_down_face: Yes, the upside down smiley is literal. I must have fallen 5 times. I needed a fat tire bike.

  • And I’d bet easy $ they are looking at 15-20+ hours per week which is rather different than the “time crunched” athletes that are TR’s focus.

There be dragons.

Careful with that. People getting their CTL up into the triple digits are not usually doing so by increasing intensity.

I personally haven’t met someone who’s had success at increasing CTL when they’re at the 10h/wk mark, by increasing intensity. This includes myself. Everyone seems to just end up in a fatigue hole. The odd person may be the exception, but keep an eye on fatigue.

Conversely, if you add 15min of z2 to 4 of your rides per week, that’s increasing your volume by 10%. It also adds ~ 40-50 TSS per week… whereas replacing a 1h z2 session with a higher intensity session only adds maybe 20 TSS per week… the TSS/fatigue cost is much higher by trying to up intensity.


The amount of TSS is higher as others have said if you go in to plan builder and select more hours and also if you have higher PLs, most of mine are 5.x - 9.4

Its 550 - 650 TSS for me, no workouts longer than 2.5 hours (I also run 40-50km a week and Swim about 7km, so generally about 900 - 1200 tss a week?)
This only works if I keep life stress minimal and sleep on point. (Diet as well but to a lesser extent, maybe I could push 1200 plus if I ate better, but it gets dull eating that many healthy calories so offen, constantly eating.)

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I’ll have a play around with plan builder as these are developments I wasn’t aware of. But I’m more likely to add manually/tentatively if a consistent 400TSS turns out to be not enough.

Cheers all.


FWIW, in case you are interested, I learned how to use the performance manager chart in 2016. It works. There is some art and some science. Here is the reference article:

Basically, the lower risk way is to establish a weekly rhythm of red/purple (magenta?) spikes, say 2 or 3 a week. Those are high TSS rides, and the others are endurance. Adaptation week every so often. And make the blue climb sawtooth up and to the right:

There is even a blinking yellow/red light to warn you of going too deep (you learn what negative TSB usually gets you in trouble).

My best season ever was accomplished by following those basic performance management principles, along with simple time-in-zone progression principles for the hard workouts. Used Andy Coggan’s IF system as guideline to define hard workouts, and then layered in specificity along with progressing time-in-zone and/or max efforts (as appropriate). On relatively low volume of averaging 6 hours/week over 6 months base/build, and a rebuild around 7.5 hours/week for 3 months and finishing with target event. Majority of workouts had IF above 0.9, most would consider those hard.

I’ve spent the last 3 years doing the same, but with a coach, due to more “life” interruptions. Less intensity, a little more time per week, and similar results.

The reason for posting all that - if I was spending time on the trainer, and using TR, I’d simply apply the same principles while using TR for the 2-3 hard days a week. And first look to see if TR is using those performance management principles, and if not, manage it myself by simply looking at the PMC chart and doing simple weekly ‘what ifs’ in TrainingPeaks.



I asked a question about recovery weeks, being 160 TSS while the last week before a recovery week was ~600 tss (bike only.)

My comment was this makes no sense, and is more extreme if you are doing decent volume with higher PLs. I pointed out the flaw… using PMC. The response TR doesn’t use a PMC, performance management chart.

Most on the forum arent TRs base, general customers (of TR,) lets no forget that. Most of us are outliers. I only subscribe every now and then for the forum and community, the actual product is ewee for me but I’m an outlier.

PS. The workout player has been horrendous since two updates ago.

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FWIW I’m doing Coach Tim Cusick’s BaseCamp winter group coaching. My weeks look similar to what my coach gave me. We are in 3rd block of base and I’m in the 8-10 hour plan, personally I call anything in 8-12 hour range “mid volume.” The 3 build weeks in the low to mid 500 TSS range, and then an adaptation week of low-to-mid 300 TSS. Roughly 3 hard workouts a week. For reference in early 2018 I did the old TR “high volume” SSB1 plan, which I consider mid volume, and IMHO that plan wasn’t well designed and good to see TR changed it (because 5 weeks with just SS and no intensity wasn’t a good thing for me personally).

A lot of positive developments with TR recently, and based on my experiences I would like to see TR introduce the science behind the performance management chart (if they already haven’t).

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Might be constrained by intellectual property laws.

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This is helpful, as I’m considering changing from the medium to high volume plan for my upcoming training blocks. The medium plan seems to average about 400 TSS or so, but I add in additional hours/workouts to push it up to the mid/high 400s (typically via TrainNow). Some weeks I push it up to the 500/600s.

Does it make sense to continue doing additional trainnow workouts, or is it better to switch to a high volume plan? I’d like to be around roughly 10 hours/week.

Great looking chart!

That screenshot was from the article - not mine!

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Oh shucks, I thought that was you. I was jealous! Life always gets in the way of my PMC looking like that :joy:


Here is my “oh crap, I signed up for a double century” PMC from back in the day:

thats the chart I was using to guide training decisions. Not too shabby for a newbie.

And a more detailed view from WKO, where I added a dotted line CIL (cumulative intensity load) to complement CTL:

Really cranked up the intensity early (thru end December) and late (April thru event late May). Rested and took mini breaks when necessary.

And last season where January (a year ago) I was hitting most of the key metrics from that older season:

Decent build from September 22 thru end of December, but then repeated issues with my body not wanting to cooperate.

By May I was switching focus on kettlebell work and re-establishing a physical foundation capable of riding thru the rest of my sixties. One step forward, one step back. Life.

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