TR not for "serious" amateurs?

Nope, see my post just above.

Same target zones just harder or easier (should specify more or less TiZ or longer shorter recovery between intervals)

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Try Join Cycling. It does this.


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Sorry missed that. That’s too bad, because this was a big part of why I haven’t returned. I’m not sure if I consider myself a ‘serious cyclist’, but I’ve definitely been around a while and consider myself an experienced cyclist.

I’m probably like a lot of folks, where if it’s on the plan, I try and do it - even if I think it may be a bad idea. When I’ve designed my own plans, I’ve definitely had better judgment when choosing to rest or do a hard session. This is where a real coach trumps both- assuming they are good, they will know when to push things or dial back and rest.

So, maybe its that a lot folks who are experienced riders don’t use TR because of difficulties adhering to the plan, due to; not enough rest built in, not accounting for higher volume outside rides coupled with the TR workouts, ad hoc group rides being factored in, etc.

So TR works for me in a ‘lab setting’ but not my reality of cycling that actually happens!

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I would be careful with that assumption. As mentioned above, a few people here or in other places looking for different functionality or enhancements shouldn’t be seen as “experienced riders don’t use TR”. I think that couldn’t be further from the truth.


Maybe that came out wrong. I’m not making assumptions, but just coming up with some possible reasons why some people (experienced or not) may not feel TR works for them.

I actually do think it’s a great product, but for a variety of reasons over the years, it hasn’t really worked out for me. I’ve definitely had better success coaching myself.


@jz91 this post makes me sad :frowning: . You misrepresented TR and the context being discussed here in this thread in a few key ways.

Important to separate “experienced” from a “High Volume athlete”. They are not necessarily, and even not frequently the same thing.

You’re selecting our High Volume Plans as a representation of TR in general, yet it is a plan that is meant for low single digit percentage of our athletes.

That would be like me selecting 1-3 of 100 rides that you’ve done and saying that it comprehensively represents the way you train. That would be an uninformed and unfair assumption for me to make.

The High Volume plans are designed for people who:

  1. Don’t have what you are inferring as true high volume time (above 10hrs per week)
  2. Are able to accomplish favorable adaptations to a high workload and want to push their limits

Again, this is for a low single digit percentage of our athletes.

Separate from TR entirely, the amount of athletes that (1) consistently carry +10hrs per week of training time (2) need that sort of volume represents an even smaller fraction of cyclists. However, that is regularly and erroneously referenced as the common context for cyclists, when in reality, most cyclists couldn’t tolerate that training load and could see more benefits from lower training load.

As TrainerRoad stands today, it isn’t designed for that very small percentage of athletes that want to do +10hrs per week. Can it work for them? Sure! They’ll have to use the tools we have like workout alternates, extending workouts, and using TrainNow or selecting from the workout library to best fit their situation.

And with all of that said, it is extremely important to return to the first point in this message about “experienced” not meaning “high volume”. There are many +4.5w/kg athletes who use TR, and they accomplish a wide range of goals with our Low and Mid-Volume plans. They are experienced, yet they don’t need high volume to accomplish their goals.

That’s okay to take issue with that. :slight_smile: Again, the high volume plan you are referencing is designed for a very small percentage of our athletes. Important to keep in mind our plans are informed on data from over 150 million workouts, paying close attention to success rates, improvement, and when those things are not happening. They aren’t designed on mere hunches, or what’s worked best for ourselves as coaches or a handful of athletes.

Athletes on Low Volume plans commonly use TrainNow to make sure they get endurance workouts that progress in an appropriate fashion.


Definitely no “regressive overload” :sweat_smile: .

Like I mentioned to jz91, the plan you’re referencing is meant for low single digit percentage of our athletes, and isn’t a fair representation of our plans.

Additionally, these plans aren’t just tossed together on assumptions or hunches and left as is. They’re designed based on success rate and improvement data from a massive set of data, and their performance is monitored so changes can be made.


It’s definitely possible and something we want to provide for y’all. :slight_smile:
You’re right in that it is really hard though. We’ve got smart, skilled, and good folks on our team for this.


As of now it doesn’t suggest time off, and it is something we are working on.

Since Adaptive Training was released, we have used the data to adjust our plans quite frequently, and it has altered ramp rate in some cases. So it may work better for you now. :slight_smile:


I can respect recommending low volume and adding on, then why not make higher volume plans like the low volume plans, except more z2 days, for example? I am by no means a super athlete, but I’m doing 2 key workouts a week of around 2hrs and supplementing z2 the 4 other days and getting 14-16hrs a week. I think that’s the thing with some of us who’ve gone more freestyle with our use of TR, we’re doing both more and less and it’s an approach that some may prefer.


Our [Experimental] Polarized Plans represent this framework, albeit at slightly lower volume. If you want to extend it to 14-16hrs per week, it’s as easy as using the Workout Alternates feature to select longer workouts.


I’m not sure. There are a few pros that use TR, including an Olympic gold medalist. In addition, there are a ton of master athletes at the pointy end of the performance spectrum, i. e. amateurs (as they are not pros) but extremely quick ones. Of course, many of them use their (coach’s) own, custom training plans, but they still use the TR platform.

You wrote that “experienced racers self-coach or pay for a coach”. Yes, but why does that exclude TR exactly? Don’t we all self-coach, and TR is the tool that most of us use?

Yeah, I think a lot of athletes get to the point where they need to customize training plans. But is that orthogonal to TR? Are you only using TR if you slavishly stick to their training plans? I don’t think so.

TR is a tool and I think it is relatively flexible. Not as flexible as I’d like and it doesn’t have proper performance analysis tools. But in terms of training plans, I think it is kinda easy to deal with the situation you outlined: choose a training plan with the number of intense days that you want. Perhaps you need to swap out the weekend SS ride for an endurance ride. Pad this plan with other workouts as desired. Done. I have done this since I think my second year on TR. With AT and all, things are just getting better. This morning, I didn’t have 2:15 hours to spend on the bike, just 2:00. So I chose a 2-hour endurance workout from the Alternates with (almost) the same PL.

If you are self-coached, IMHO TR is an excellent platform, even if you follow a custom training plan. Its huge workout library is worth a lot. PLs are tremendously useful if you need to dial down or dial up the difficulty of a workout on a given day in a controlled manner. Etc.

One recurring issue that a coach (you trust) solves is choosing wisely. A lot of people go for too high volume = too many intense days and cannot recover from that. Frustration ensues. Balancing stress and recovery is one of the most difficult tasks as a serious endurance athlete. TR tries to steer people away from HV plans, but I still think the software could improve in this respect. However, it just isn’t an easy problem, because most of us have “eyes that are bigger than our stomachs”.


Many great points! Despite the constant debates of finding the “perfect plan”, consistency is what drives improvement most, so a training experience designed to increase consistency is the goal. :slight_smile:


Sounds a bit hash to me. @jz91 raised valid concerns that have been discussed here in numerous threads again and again. So I’d rather blame the TR wording / user experience (remember the thread discussing better names for LV MV HV Plans). Nevertheless thanks for providing a clearer picture with your answer.

Exactly. That was so long requested and @Jonathan it would have been soooo much better/easier to bake the solution (picking LV or POL (finally!) and adding endurance) in some form of UI onboarding (plan builder) instead of having users additionally hear that on the podcast/forum/blog.
That even would have some overlap to the long requested masters plans.
As much as I like TR…overall on these points I haven’t seen much of the constant improvement mantra (especially with other relatively new apps having already advantage here).


Hmmm okay, your points are well taken… but since we are stopped here at the coffee shop talking about this thread I would say this sipping my expresso:

Definitions we all need to be speaking the same language “Serious” what is a serious cyclists??? Someone said they were serious but had no clue about structured training. :thinking: Can one be serious about cycling but not know about training :man_shrugging: Definition please

You mention “experienced” cyclists :thinking: What’s experienced Sepp Kuss level or Javi Corcoles Who?? Excatly.
TR asks me in Plan Builder do I have multiple years of expierince with interval training. Yeah been doing TR for 4 years now Wait did you mean Sepp Kuss level experience with intervals…So what’s an “experienced” cyclists :thinking:
It’s like LSD or long ride, intervals, series, or repeats, tempo, sweetspot, fartlik, micro and macro cycles etc

Once we are all speaking the same language then we address the other issues.
AT, TR Plans follow or modify…
Methodololgy TR is solid and follows the mainstream training protocols in there plans 2 to 3 HIIT per week…We all adapt our training based on what injury, fatigue, Biomarkers…
So one can select a semi canned Plan Builder Plan and make adjustments like indoor VO2, outdoor threshold add or delete HIIT or Z2… and Skynet/AT will take it all into account.

So let us talk about Skynet AT Nate said it is Machine Learning (ML). I would saadd that it is in its infancy here at TR and will improve over time.

I.E. today if we both chose a mid volume XCM Stage Race Plan we get basically the same plan the differnce is progression level based on FTP. Ergo my statement it’s a semi canned plan NOT a bad thing… However, in the future Skynet will learn aka ML and we will enter Plan Builder and have a more nuanced conversation with Skynet about what we want out of this Plan Builder program based on race profile such as mileage, positive climbing, cut off times, race finish times, what do we think we need to work on… terrain fast rolling or uber technical…as the XCM covers anywhere from 60km to 120km +/-

With ML do the current plans have room to grow or adapt to our particular race. What about ULTRAs? @Jonathan
Yes, there is room it will be more than just an energy system as Sooo much more goes into an XCM…

Now I do digress…but AT will talk to you/us with more detail than the survey questions currently ask… AT yes Skynet might say hmmm your HR seemed to remain a little more elevated during the recovery periods. How are you feeling today jz91?

You mention high level riders and there strict adherence to TR plan…Not fair… If you give someone a choice they will choose… I would submit, ( oh I can get another expresso please) that that is also part of the beauty of TR you can follow the plan “adherance” but you can mix and match for example… today I replaced a VO2 workout with the 8minute FTP Test and I had no expectations for an FTP increase I just want to to do the workout as I enjoy it and it fit or a VO2 work out…I assume AT will make adaptations as required So TR is good in that way, flexability.

GC cyclists don’t get a choice They follow the Sports directors plan for the team…On the other hand individual types i.e. MTBers etc have a little more flexability… So strict adherence who does that when given a choice/flexibility??
But TR works and yes can you do your own thing build your plan structure your cycles etc on your own…and it will work…But you can do that with TR with less effort and more flexibility, outdoor workouts. as well…
The nice thing is TR has remained true to their Mission Statement over the years “…Make You a Faster Cyclist…”
And that is the question Are you Faster? I am :wink:
Hey guys wait for me I still need to pay for my :coffee:


constructive feedback - that message is not easily found. Is it in Plan Builder? I did some searching and the first two articles:


no mention.

Also, as discussed in several forums posts and on this thread, TR’s use of the term high-volume is misleading to some of us.

FWIW I think my 10.5 hours/week average over the last 4 weeks is mid volume. I’ve purchased plans from coaching companies and they think its mid volume too.

Around here there are a lot of dedicated recreational cyclists doing 6-10 hours/week, and if you ask them to define high volume they know the heavy hitters in the clubs, the really fast guys and girls, they are doing 12-20 hours/week.

Hope that feedback is useful.


Sounds like a success story to me. And surely the steps I’d like to follow. I’m 35 and also in a Mid Volume Plan, though, I am on the Sustain Power Sweet Spot Plan, not in a Polarized one.

Question: During those ~5 years when you went from Cat 5 to Cat 1, did you ever replace Sweet Spot workouts with Outside long rides?

I love experimenting, too. Yet that is something I’d like to try, but I’m afraid it might be too much considering the intensity of the rest of the week in addition to two weekly GYM sessions.

Courious to hear if you were in a similar path (experiment) while going from Cat 5 to 1…

Can you be a “serious amateur” and always stay under the 11-12 hours a week that TrainerRoad’s plans max out at? I guess that depends on how serious the serious amateur is.

P.S. IMO “just add extra z2” is not a training plan, it’s self coaching. :slight_smile:

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Do you have the link to “Dylan’s post”? I’d like to check it out.

Yes, and TR is a self-coaching platform that allows athletes to tailor training plans to their needs. Modifying training plans is and has always been part of TR’s core functionality.

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