TR Noobies and Starting Advice

If this has been addressed in a previous podcast or forum post - please let me know!

I’m a bit of an amateur cyclist riding road and gravel for just over two years. I’ve done a few events and try to move up in the group rides to the faster set as a measuring stick… I’ve got a trainer and an okay pain cave setup (mostly on zwift). I’ve never done structured training and just signed up for TR and started a plan, have HRM and understand my HR zones, but no power outside of the trainer.

To be honest, a lot of the terminology in the app and the podcasts make my head spin. Can you do a block on a podcast that goes over how a noob can rapidly get up to speed with a plan and where best to go for consistent advice and other info?

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This blog might be a good place to start - Cycling Training Plan for Beginners: How to Start Training for New Cyclists - TrainerRoad Blog

I’ve been a nerd about endurance training for years as a runner so I kind of take some of the baseline knowledge and terms for granted.

I’ve been listening to the early Ask a Cycling Coach podcasts and even in those I’m not sure if there is a really good single episode that works as a beginner’s guide. That being said I’ve enjoyed listening to them and there is a lot of info to pick up there.

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TrainerRoad has a deep support site with plenty of great articles. I will link a few that may be useful here, but the broader site is worth browsing to see what it offers:

Another blog article worth a look, along with a category containing more articles worth a look:

If you are planning to ERG mode and new to it, this is a “must watch” video:

As is this one if you are using a Wahoo trainer in ERG:



@jiffylush and @mcneese.chad already linked a bunch of great resources for getting started, so we’d recommend taking a look through those!

You can also feel free to tag me here on the Forum or reach out to TR Support with any additional questions you run into as you get started up!


Awesome - saved me a bunch of time wondering around!

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Thanks! I’ve got a plan queued up, but would like to do some of it outdoors - I don’t have a power meter on my road bike, will that preclude me from doing a TR workout outdoors? Also, the bike on my trainer is different than my road bike - any issues there?

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  • This blog post includes a link to doing these by RPE when power data is not available.

No worries!

For your Outside Workouts, the links @mcneese.chad sent for Rate of Perceived Exertion will be a good starting point for you – those will cover the basics of riding by feel.

Not a problem to have a different bike on the trainer as well – as long as you’re comfortable on the bike, that’s what matters the most!

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This hasn’t been said yet - TrainerRoad does not officially support training by HR. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use HR! For myself training by HR is more productive than training by RPE. I’ve used HR to pace TR workouts when renting bikes (no power meter) or using my grocery store bike to ride in the rain.

There are several things I think are important to understand about using HR zones:

  • HR zones work well for ‘longer’ intervals - endurance or tempo or sweet spot or threshold. Long enough for your HR to catch up.
  • HR generally lags behind about 30 seconds
  • HR can take 5+ minutes to ramp up (for me) on sweet spot and threshold intervals. You don’t need to push harder to force HR to ‘catch up’ - just wait for it to continue ramping up in long interval.
  • above threshold it should be repeatable full gas efforts (ignoring HR)

If you are more comfortable with HR zones than RPE, you can absolutely use them with TR outside workouts! Enjoy!

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