Suggested Volume Plan Names - Low, Mid, High

I don’t equate Volume with Regularity. In fact I think they are very distinct and ought to be recognised as different plan characteristics.

Duration and Intensity are critical ingredients depending on your goal.

Over the Australian winter I will be doing a series of 20km TTs. For many here Sprint triathlon is also their primary goal in summer, ie, 20km cycle, it is the dominant Triathlon event globally, though not the event that gets the publicity.

OVER is a word used in coaching/training.

  • Basic periodisation works with increasing the load for say 3 weeks followed by 1 week adaption, TR follows that structure in most of its plans. This is Overload training.

  • Overtraining is the term for doing harmful volume of training

  • Over distance training is valuable to improve endurance, but has constraints. The rule of thumb is up to twice the event distance. Clearly, that is a nonsense for long distance, in both pure cycling and Triathlon 70.3 and IM events. But is highly appropriate for short events eg, 20km TT, where overdistance need only be 40kms.

Hence, a low volume plan for short events, may require workouts for 6 days, ie, high regularity, but all low duration, some being endurance, some Intervals. Does that type of plan equate to a low or a high volume, clearly the term doesn’t make sense.

The TR plans require two separate questions, ie, how many sessions per week, secondly low/medium/high duration

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How about:

  • Flexible
  • Pragmatic
  • Rigid

Or

  • :grinning:
  • :confused:
  • :sob:
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Like it.

:slightly_smiling_face::hot_face:

:woozy_face::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

:scream::rage::skull_and_crossbones:

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Maybe plans could be designed around progression levels? I want to increase my threshold instead of i want to do a CX plan? At the moment the names of plans can mislead my decisions on what to do. Last year i picked the CX plan and my fitness went backwards and i gave up on the season.
I got some advice to just focus on increasing my ability to work at threshold and increase my FTP. So this year i have abandoned plans and im self selecting workouts and just working increasing my levels for threshold, sweet spot and endurance.
So far races are going much better for me.
So what does that mean? What plan would actually be suitable for me? Its hard to decide what would work. Plans should focus on fitness qualities rather than the type of event you are entering.
Does that make sense?

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I get what you are saying, but a name can only tell you so much. They give a window into the related plan, but aren’t meant to cover any real depth. Digging into the supporting text that TR supplies can help get to the info you mention.

Specifically, with respect to FTP related focus for training, the 40k TT and Century Specialties give that additionally info.

If you’re pursuing a 40-kilometer time trial or looking to increase your maximum steady-state power (aka your highest sustainable power), you should follow the 40k TT plan after you’ve completed your Base and Build phase plans.

40k TT

  • The 40k TT plans will prepare you for longer, more sustained efforts at higher percentages of functional threshold power (FTP). We know this type of fitness as muscular endurance. Growing muscular endurance is synonymous with building stamina. By increasing both your maximum steady-state power and stamina, you’ll be able to work harder for longer durations.

  • If you’re pursuing a 40-kilometer time trial or looking to increase your maximum steady-state power (aka your highest sustainable power), you should follow the 40k TT plan after you’ve completed your Base and Build phase plans.

Century

  • The low-volume version of the Century specialty block consists of 3 rides each week which primarily address strength endurance but do so in a few different ways. Long distance, steady-state riding relies largely on this ability to work at a high, steady percentage of FTP so the clear emphasis of this Specialty plan falls on strength endurance.

  • This peak-fitness block uses a consistently progressed but interestingly varied approach to increase your ability to turn the pedals hard for long durations including some late-plan, high-intensity VO2max work - all in the hopes of maximizing a comparatively small amount of weekly riding and yielding big-training-budget rewards on a pretty low-time-budget schedule.

  • So even riders with barely more than 4 hours per week can see gains that will lead to faster completion times, less discomfort in the saddle over these long hauls, and greater performance confidence tied to the improved fitness derived from this concentrated and specific ultra-distance conditioning block.

Outside of that type of info, skimming the workouts shown in the details of those plans is the next best step. If people have experience with workouts and plans, they may be able to decipher which plans might suit their needs. A challenge here is that people can have different results for the same training, so it can be tricky to do more than make general comments or recommendations. That is what TR offers, and it helps.

But there are more than a few people I’ve seen mention that different training than those above work better for their FTP focused goals. “It depends…” is ever true here, but I think TR is already offering a fair bit of info to help people pick from their range of plans. Just takes some time to review the text and actual workouts.

I understand the challenges of names and how perception by the driven and obsessive of us of those names can cause trouble (no one wants to admit to low volume do they, it means you are not serious right?)

I started w a low volume plan in September and saw steady increases. With Covid reductions at work after New Years I changed to Mid volume as I had a lot more time. That was great until about 3 w ago - life picks up, outside riding starts, work demands - and the mid volume plan was starting to feel onerous. I’d rather be consistent at 3 d a week and enjoying the training than missing or failing at a higher volume plan. I came to TR bc a competitor plan drove me into the ground

I think days is a good way to think about this. How many days a week do I want to or can I train? That would set up at 3, 5 or > 5 and that signals clearly what ppl are setting out on. It gets away from feeling that you are not committed by being in the lowest plan

Thanks for the great work

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What about
Smart
Not as Smart
Are you Crazy?! (Which should only become possible if the AI recognizes the users riding habits will allow for this or they have went through Not as Smart for 12 weeks with 100% adherence)

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How about one plan name and we just answer the questions…

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That’s good info. The other thing is how to tag your events so that you get the type of training you want. If I’m doing a CX race I might actually want to list it as a Gran Fondo so that the AI picks the training that I want rather than all the VO2 it would list if I said it was CX?

My advice, consider HOW you plan to ride any event, and pick a training plan that matches that approach.

  • Some people pick stuff like Rolling Road Race or Climbing Road Race because the name aligns with their chosen event, which makes basic sense. But it can be a mistake if they play to ride it in a way different than TR intends based upon that plan design.

  • Looking at the descriptions and plan workouts, and then thinking about your plan for that event matter more. It may make more sense to use a Century plan for a “race” if you aim for steady power in the event, even it it’s “a race”. Likewise, it might make sense to use one of the Road Race plans for a “gran fondo” if you aim to ride it at a competitive pace or chase timed segments and such.

  • Case in point, I chose the Criterium Specialty (that loads the Short Power Build before it) as my plan to attack my BMX racing A event weekend. It also aligns well with my MTB events, but I had to dig into the workouts and try to decide which of the 3 or so plans that were worth a look for my needs. I ruled out the Short Track XC, Gravity & CX plans after a deeper look, even though they might seem like the ones that would work for a BMX & MTB focus. I know my power needs for my events, and the look of the Crit plan was far closer than what TR packaged for those other options.

So it’s always worth digging beyond the surface to set events and drive the plans.

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I would kinda like that, except in the opposite direction. I would want to choose the shortest workout lengths. Right now I use alternates to do that until the plan levels get too high and I can’t.

If I could do two 30 minute workouts a week, I would be fine with that. I get all the rest from volume.

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In my earlier response, I also advocated number of workouts/week, but also think they need an indication of their duration. Eg some riders will be able to do 6x1hr, while another might prefer 3x2 , ie, same volume, maybe using =,<,>.

I agree with you this is a great thread, where we can contribute to improving the plans work-ability. The technical content is what I want TR to do, given the riders lifestyle constraints.

For duration you can just have the AI adjust it. For instance it schedules 3 hours easy, you do 2 hours easy. Next time it might suggest 2.5 hours easy, you ride 2 hours 15 easy. Plus it will add a 1 hour easy ride for another day. The AI can learn what durations and frequency you can do from your actual data and adjust your plan appropriately to maintain progressive overload.

Same with intensity. Let’s say it schedules a VO2 workout with a 25 min warm up and a 20 min cool down. Let’s say you always do a 15 min warm up , do the main vo2 sets, then a 10 min cooldown. Next time it can schedule you with those shorter warm ups and cool downs. If it wants to add some extra Z2 it can put that into a separate workout etc.

Thus although there’s a library it can top and tail according to your habits whilst still trying to schedule the hours and intensity distribution you can manage in a progressive way.