Start Up Difficulties for New Subscriber

So I posted a couple of days ago about getting 2 ramp tests right off the bat. That got fixed, but I am still not sure where to go from here. I’ve been scrolling through the forum and skimming through the blogs, but decided to come back here, hoping for some words of wisdom and encouragement from those of you with experience.
When I started the program, I entered that I am a beginner, but I sure don’t feel like I got a “welcome to the world of TrainerRoad here’s-how-it-works and you-can-do-this workout”. It was more like “waa-haahaa, you have now signed up to get faster, so here we are to whip you mercilessly into shape!” I figured there would be some dialing in to get the right workouts, but my apparently wild assumption was that things would start off possibly too easy rather than too hard for a beginner.
What I have read indicated that my first workout after the ramp test would be an “introductory sweet spot workout”. Is Fang Mountain -3 Threshold 2.0 what is supposed to come up for me, do you think?
So my questions are:

  • What do I need to read as a newbie to understand how to pick the right workout?

  • Is there a guide for novice, non-math-inclined cyclists as to what all of the numbers mean?

  • Is there a list of acronyms used in the forum here?

  • When I created my training plan, I put in that my goal event is the Hotter than Hell 100 (August, Wichita Falls, Texas). Should I maybe not have done that? My husband rides it and he suggested maybe I should try it this year, but I’ve never done any event anywhere before. Did adding this as a goal make my plan too ambitious?

  • Does the training plan take my age into account?

  • And finally, I picked LV since that was recommended. If I went to MV might I have an easier time of it?

Thanks for any thoughts and ideas you all might have!

  • Generally speaking, you should not be “picking” workouts. The Plan Builder setup a training plan based on your time, experience and any goals or events you have in mind. From there, your completed workouts and survey responses should lead to changes provided by Adaptive Training (AT).
  • Not sure exactly, but this “Your First Ride” support section has some good starting info.
  • From the section above, this is a start, but it’s not necessarily all the ones we use on the forum. I don’t think we have anything forum specific at this time.
  • Not sure we can answer that without more info?
  • Generally speaking, no. It adds 2 days of extra riding, so in the simple sense, there is more demand on your vs 3 days.

  • Noting the above, there can be some different reactions from people following Low Vol (LV) vs Mid Vol (MV) where they think MV is “easier” than LV despite the additional work. So it’s kinda hard to say specifically, but the 5 vs 3 days may be an issue.

As seen in the links above, TR has a rather large support site. I use the search feature there, but even just skimming the categories can be beneficial to find stuff to learn.

And they also have a decent blog, that builds on some of that and goes further with some topics. It is also searchable to find specific topics of interest.

Last but not least, I wrote a guide on searching for stuff on the forum too:


Awesome! Thanks Chad! I just may appreciate your “searching for stuff” guide most of all :smiley:! You’ve given me much to look through and a great place to start :sweat_smile:.

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Yeah, sorry for the data dump, but tried to cover all your questions.

Hit us up with any follow up questions once you check out those references :smiley:


This is why Chad is MVP!!


A couple of good tips for beginning are:

Even a sweetspot Interval might feel really hard at first as you simply might not be used to keeping steady power going for say 5 minutes, non-stop and watching your heart rate rise to a fairly high level and stay there. You can find yourself thinking “OMG this can’t be right!”. This is normal though, and good, and you will very soon find yourself able to hang in there and enjoy the feeling.

A good Spotify mix of banging tunes really helps a workout.

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A recent blog post that might help you understand what some of those numbers next to each workout mean is this -

As Chad notes, use Plan Builder and along with AT (Adaptive Training) you’ll hone in on suitable workouts pretty quickly. You do need to answer the post workout survey honestly though.

Riding indoors is somewhat different to outside: the bike doesn’t move under you for a start so you’ll notice any bike fit problems fairly quickly; there’s also no coasting due to terrain so even the recovery sections mean you are pedalling; getting ventilation right is another issue and most of us have some sort of indoor hurricane setup to deal with that.


Thanks so much for saying this! This is exactly what happened. I wonder whether we need better speakers in the ahm “cycling room”… We call it the Zwifting Room, but now that I’ve signed up for TrainerRoad maybe I need a new name for the room. Pain Cave had never seemed appropriate before, but maybe now. At any rate, loud music is a great idea :smile: :+1:!

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This is a great link, thanks! I’ve bookmarked it so I can revisit it after I’ve been at this for a while. Hopefully then it will make even more sense.
I live in a high-traffic area so I only ride indoors (for now - if this training goes well, I might get a gravel bike and check out some of those paths in the hope that there is zero traffic), and I think your point about bike fit is a good reminder. The harder I ride, the more the fit matters apparently. While riding around in Zwift, it hasn’t been to bad, but lots of achy things have popped up with these harder rides.