Thinking of switching from Zwift, some questions

Hey there, folks. I was thinking of trying TrainerRoad because a bunch of people have told me that when it comes to structured training, nothing beats TrainerRoad. I started riding outside and doing Zwift about a year and a half ago. At first I couldn’t ride 3 miles without giving out. Now I can do 50, at a pace of about 15mph (by myself) on a mostly flat route. Wind will definitely change it as well…

I used to weigh 285 pounds and am now down to just 200. My goal is 175. I’ve lost weight but lately my performance has been dropping and I’ve been struggling. I took on a new job where I work 6 days a week, usually 10-12 hours a day. I don’t have much time for riding. I can only dedicate at most an hour per day. I’ve tried going longer on a few days I’ve had that were a little shorter work hours, but then a day or so after I’m spent. I’ve also noticed that if I go ride outside unless I’m going for ultimate all out endurance I feel like I’m just logging a bunch of junk miles for 2 hours.

My one day off is Sunday. I do my long ride on Sunday. I rest the day before and the day after. I like training Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday but maybe I’m wrong? My big thing has been, what do I do on those days? Sweet spot? Sprints? 2x15s? My goal is not racing, not at all. I’d love to be in good enough shape to keep up on group rides, if I should ever find one and solo I want to be able to ride faster, further, for longer. I want to build my performance and endurance.

Not sure if TrainerRoad would be a good match, would it allow for my Sunday ride? I’ve heard there are good time-crunched plans on TrainerRoad, but I’ve also heard there’s a good book for this too lol. Can I actually make any gains on 1 hour a day, 4 days during the week with a long ride on Sunday?

Thanks so much for any advice or help.


For sure you can make great gains on 5 days a week. If you do sweet spot base mid volume programs and just work it around your available days, that’s most certainly doable. I made big gains this winter doing nothing but sweet spot, 6 days a week (10hrs total).

Consistency is key and you’ll see gains, for sure


Yes, absolutely! Training consistently 5 days a week with a plan and structure will definitely help you get faster. You are definitely in the right place and TR has the tools you are looking for.

You can configure the plans to land on the days you have time to train, and if the workouts are too long, you can always use the “minus” versions which usually shorten the time.

Longer post to come, but I’m sure others will chime in as well.


Absolutely you can get a lot out of a few tr workouts a week. I’ve got a busy job and a couple young boys and am limited on time. I don’t have time or access to good riding to get out more than once every couple weeks but I can find an hour to go in the garage and work out with tr in the garage.

Tr has gotten me back into cycling, made me competitive and helped me loose weight. Very efficient. The calendar feature works really well for planning workouts. You can try for a month for free.

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you can DEFINITELY keep getting better! (also to note, keep up the great improvement in your nutrition changes; that will really make a difference).

How about:

Monday Rest
Tuesday Sweet Spot…start 3 x8m, work to 3 x 15m, then slowly make the duration longer and less reps (so 2 x 20m or 1 x 40m). This will make you ride faster, further, and for longer.
Wednesday 1h at 90% with some quick bursts to avoid boredom…well help with group ride surges
Thurs 1h endurance (75%) with high cadence to avoid boredom
Friday Rest
Sat Sun longer endurance rides…sprint for townlines on Saturday!

This is really basic, but like the other person said, be consistent and youll make crazy gains; slightly modify these as you move along.

Great job, keep it going!

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How many hours a day is a program like that though? Also, what is “base”? How was your week setup? A long ride on the weekend? Did you do any sprints or any above threshold type training? I’m sorry, still learning a lot. Thank you very much for the reply.

Even with only an hour during those 4 week days? I feel like if I use condensed versions (is that what the “minus” versions are?) I won’t really progress? Can’t wait for the follow up! Thanks for the reply :smiley:

That’s super good to know. Yeah, my big thing is weight loss too. I’ve gone from 285 down to 200, I want to be at 175 but once there I also want to keep it off! I also want to be able to do long rides on the weekend with relative ease. What’s this about trying free for a month!? I wasn’t aware of a free trial???

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#1 thing is consistency. #2 thing is progression. TR gives you those things. More volume is normally more better, but doing the work you do with purpose counts for a lot.

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When you are talking sweet spot, are you talking intervals? The only thing I know of when it comes to sweet spot is on Zwift, if my Sweet Spot is 140 FTP it’ll have me do say, 135 for 5 minutes, 145 for 5 minutes and just go back and forth between the two for like 40 minutes. I’ve always felt this to be weird, not sure if TrainerRoad has a better way of doing it. I know it doesn’t wear my out too badly, unless I go over an hour (tried doing the 1 and a half hour sweet spot workout and it annihilated me). This sweet spot according to Zwift is pretty much just 10 watts below my FTP, so I’m guessing close to 90%? I also thought an hour at 75% is just useless, I was told for endurance anything under an hour and a half is just a recovery ride, it sure feels good though. I also can’t really ride on Saturdays right now, I work long hours on that day :frowning:

I’ve definitely tweaked my diet too, I know that’s been the biggest part of it! My job is fairly physical too so that’s helped too lol.

I thought their was a free trial? Maybe it was back when I first signed up? I sent you a message. Check it out

Definitely, I know having good structure to your training is better than aimlessly pedaling about for 2 hours at a time. That’s why so many people have told me the joys of trainerroad. They said it’s the absolute best at that.

Yes sorry. Sweet spot is 93-94%. That’s a solid workout if your FTP is really 140W.

Endurance is endurance, not recovery. Recovery is <50%, endurance is 50-75%.; even if only 90 mins.

Ok rest Sat and Mon but be cautious going Tues - Fri, keep it easy on Friday.

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Wow, your schedule and plans almost mirror mine. I also work 6 days a week, 10 hour days. I’m a machinist by trade so standing all day and lifting heavy objects is a daily thing. So time for working out and for recovery are very important to me. I’ve only started Trainerroad a few weeks back and am just finishing Base Phase 1 Low Volume. Low volume works for me cause I can get the 3 structured workouts required but am free to throw in 2 more if I feel like it or an outdoor ride or two if I want without feeling guilty that I skipped a scheduled day.


Here is a more accurate picture of zone percentages based on FTP (far right column).

  • In particular, SS is 88-95%.

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I’ve now done 2 months of TR after switching from Zwift and outdoor due to dad duties and benefits I’ve found are:

  • it takes the stress out of worrying about what session to do and you can tailor it to your own schedule.
  • the sessions themselves are great and the harder ones provide the challenge of just completing them which I’ve found engaging.
  • Between the podcast and this forum you pretty much have access to a community of coaching advice.

You have made awesome progression so far. Seems life changing. I would recommend Sweet Spot Base Low Volume 1 and supplement it with a couple Zwift rides or a long Sunday ride. I love TR but would ease into the transition given your success to date.


I’d echo all of the advice given above. TR is a fantastic platform and I believe it can tick all of your boxes.

The variety of plans can seem quite daunting but if you read the brief description, you’ll find one that can help you achieve your goals. As you build your TR experience, you’ll be able to tweak the plans to your schedule, changing lifestyle and overall cycling goals.

The sessions are varied and often challenge you to go harder and for longer than you thought you could. That’s an amazing feeling.

I personally find that 3/4 one hour sessions a week, plus an outdoor ride keeps me plenty sharp and ensures that I’m training at all the zones I need.


Many of us have very limited time. You will find the plans will help you get faster. Lots of great advice above.

One thing I really like about TR is the very simple screen. This lets me choose what, if anything, I want to watch. Lots of time I can just listen to music, focus on the spin, and let the brain enjoy.

Look at the thread on early am workouts (can’t do link thing on this device). Will help you out.


Great job,
I just made that switch last week. I was doing Zwift gravel Grind workout and found I was just looking at the numbers not the avatar, virtual road et One week on trainerroad so far I love it.
You will be happy you did!