starting out. how to get trainer road to not book me 2+ months of base training? It's the middle of summer

Starting up trainer road for the first time and went through the plan builder. wants me to do 12 weeks of base. It’s august. that’s not happening. specialize in jan/feb? right…

what knobs/dials do I need to fiddle with to get me on a yearly schedule that makes sense? You know, base in the winter, building and peaking in the summer?

Going to be completely honest here. Paying 20 bucks a month for an algorithm to tell me to go hammer sweet spot all summer seems kinda…dumb.

Did you give a date for an a race? I think plan builder will always start with base, so if you start now you start with base. Maybe do a polarised plan, the polarised workouts arm more doable in summer on the trainer and even outside (at least the vo2max and endurance wotkouts)

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What the man said, you need to set a date for an event next year (even if you don’t have one or plan to have one). Pick a date where you want to be peaking/fit/ready for anything.

I gave it a test now on my own empty calendar and it gave me base in august/september, build in october/november, new base in december/jan, build jan/feb, then a short base and specialty in april/may for an event at the end of May. Which I think makes sense, alternating between base and build between now and then. Slightly curios as to why there a short base in between last build an specialty, but that may be to fill the gaps.

Play around with event dates in the fall to see what you get. And you can always tweak the plan afterwards.

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Plans dont take into account when it is (its Winter down in the southern hemisphere so maybe they DO want to hammer that base in July/August/September and peak in January/February) so if you tell it you want to start now it gonna assume that you want to start now. And everything starts with base.

Obviously you are way too late for a summer peak on TR now so you might as well input the date you do want to start on (you can choose the start date for your plans and you seem to want something like November or December to start?) as well as the date when you want to peak for. Then see what it churns out for you.

But I would suggest that you just kinda keep riding around for now, its not going to give you what you want for this year.

You could also manually add build and/or specialty plans directly (not use plan builder).


Another option to use, is to set your “Start Date” for your plan back to when you did any base training earlier this year.

It will consider your pending events or end date (depends on your goals and what you want from Plan Builder) and adjust the phases offered with all that in mind.


I did this and without too much knowledge of how Pb works I’m going to say it has it’s limitations. I started base in January. Started trainerroad May 20 (stated base started in jan). A race is sept 10. That’s 16 weeks of TR before A race. Speciality doesn’t start till after A race. 19th sept. Which one would argue would be too late. I’m tempted to pull some anaerobic sessions into this build phase pre a race but after all the meddling I’ve done I’m scared to rock the boat. :joy:

As we covered in your other topics, the setup that PB gives is a result of the selections made in the process. Specifically, the “Experience” section gives the user 3/4 options that impact the final plan applied.

People should do a “dry run” with any and all of those options and evaluate the proposed plan in the “Overview” step. Simply click the “Experience” option at the top to return to that step, select the next choice and run thru to the “Overview” again.

You can see the simple summary on the top for a quick look at the phases and timing. You can also expand any/all of the individual segments for full details below, to see which types of workouts are offered at each phase. Note that (or even take a screenshot), and repeat the process to find the layout you prefer. Presumably, it’s most likely to get the Specialty focus you mention by using the “Expert” option.

In any event, the final plan via PB is influenced by those selections along with other events and/or time off you have on the plan, so it may well vary for everyone based upon those various conditions.


If you don’t like the PB schedule, you can manually add individual plans too.

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Yeah I really wish this was clear when I started because I now fear that I’ve wasted this season getting ready for my a race as I’ll be underprepared. I don’t know whether it would be better to swap some SS or longer Z2/Z3 rides to add some speciality in. Either way. As we said in another thread live and learn.

You could delete your old plan and start a new one on the same date as the old plan and tinker a bit with your A event and experience level…

I doubt you’ve wasted anything. If you have followed the plan, you’ve presumably gotten a solid base of fitness under your belt. The refinement that happens in Specialty is nice, and useful if you are pushing the absolute limit of yourself, but it really is the cherry on top. Great to have when you can, but not really essential.

For sure, if you feel you want to add any particular workouts that aim more towards what you want and expect, swap them out. That function and freedom exists, so take advantage of the tools and do what you want for now.


I will. But this time I’ll pay more attention to the progression levels. Especially if I say skip a SS session and the next time I do one it downgrades me for missing a week. Alternatively I guess I could swap a Vo2 with another that has Z6 peppered in. Thanks again for your help.

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@_1_1_1_1_com You’re getting the right feedback here from @mcneesechad and others, that if you’re training for a specific event or type of fitness, using Plan Builder is the best approach.

TrainerRoad’s training plans are built to progress you through the Base, Build, and Speciality Phases, where each phase is both progressive and periodized, including loading and recovery weeks.
That way, you strengthen the specific fitness you’ll need for a goal event.

Setting your start date for earlier this year when you started training, and your end date for the fall before your off-season is a great way for you to be served some challenging workouts right away that will target fitness needed for your discipline. After that, you can start with a new plan in the winter when you’re ready to get back into base.
Alternatively, you can drop a Build Phase or Specialty Phase into your calendar right now like @aydraper and @mtbjones advised, all of which would also utilize the full benefits of Adaptive Training.

However, if you aren’t targeting a specific event or type of fitness and don’t want to use Plan Builder, TrainNow may be the way to go! Unlike Plan Builder, TrainNow isn’t periodized—meaning that it’s not necessarily progressive and doesn’t include rest days or recovery weeks.
Considering that difference, lots of our athletes love TrainNow when they don’t have a particular event or goal in mind and dig the flexibility available to them.

TrainNow utilizes Adaptive Training to offer a daily selection of workouts for you to select from, highlighting one of its three categories with a ‘Recommended’ label based on the intensity and stress of the recent rides and workouts you’ve completed.

That said, your goals in mind for your structured training will somewhat dictate how you proceed with either Plan Builder, individual phases, or TrainNow. If you want some help unpacking your training history, goals, any events you have in mind, let me know and I’d be happy to DM you and review the most effective options available!


Your Specialty phase begins the week leading into your A race, and is designed to carry you fitness through to your B race in October. It’s not ‘too late’ at all, because you’re doing the work now in your Build phase to get you here and prepared for your events. We prioritized Base/Build for you based on the experience level selected within Plan Builder, and the workouts you do now during Build phase are meant to become increasingly focused to the types of fitness demanded in your event.

On the other hand, Specialty isn’t designed to move you through big progression jumps in the same way as a Build Phase. It’s meant to ‘keep the tools sharp’ that you create in your Build Phase, which it will do very effectively!
This is all to say: the work you’re doing now is arguably more crucial in preparing you for your goals, and Specialty will refine it.

Adaptive Training is designed to do this for you, very intelligently with your events in mind. I don’t recommend making those edits if you miss a workout (AT will adapt accordingly), nor do I recommend trying to add workouts to boost your Progression Levels. It sounds cliché, and I know you’re worried about not being prepared for your events, but the best way to not be prepared now is to not follow the plan and try to dig a big hole and go into your races fatigued.

In the future, we’d recommend backdating the plan to when you actually started their Base training so Plan Builder takes that into account when building your plan. But for now, you did the hard work in build.
Relax and let Specialty phase sharpen those ‘blades’ so you can feel confident going into race day.

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Thanks for all your input and yes I’ll stay the course as recommended. As to above I went through plan builder while on tech support and said I had been doing base training since Jan. They helped me build the plan on their end. I also inputted this date at some point during the process so it was my assumption that it was backdated. NB. A few weeks after starting my plan I worked with tech support to change it from gran fondo to climbing road race but again mentioned to TR that base started in Jan. At least that’s my recollection of events.