Training Plans for Older Riders

A while back (over a year ago) some comments were made on the podcast about training plans tailored for older riders. If I remember correctly it wasn’t so much training plans, but ways to modify the current workouts to address the needs of older riders. Whatever happened to those plans? Is this still part of the development of TrainerRoad?


Agree…I already modify a lot of the workouts now to fit into something more manageable because high end sweetspot intervals get very close to my high area of heartrate.

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Good questions!
My experience (58 year old) is that I have to dial back VO2max interval generally with 3 to 4% and the real mean ones with even more.
Endurance, threshold and even over-unders are pretty much manageable with my tested FTP. Another experience is that I prefer the 20 minutes FTP test over the Ramp test. I get constantly lower values for the Ramp test to the point that it might even become a mental issue. Cheers.

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I’m 63 and VO2max are also my hardest workouts. I don’t dial back the intensity. I backspin between many of the efforts.


They was an earlier thread modifying plans to include more recovery time.

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My question is will the modifications we all seem to be making be incorporated into the app for older riders?

they are dropping hints about making the plans more personal, so I hope as there are times during the year I need to go to 2 weeks on and 1 week recovery. You can do that in the calendar today, however it would be nice if the app asked/suggested.


Here is my more detailed post that is based upon that other post.

There was talk of a “masters” type of plan, but that was abandoned before it came out.

The posts about earlier recovery weeks are good and helpful so hopefully you can gain some insight from those.

My advice would be to pay attention to your fatigue, fueling, and recovery. I’m going through SSB MV again and feel pretty good so far (week 5 of phase one) due to applying changes in fuel and recovery.

Good luck. :four_leaf_clover:

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As if on cue . . . this just popped into my inbox today.


I am 62 and have asked the same questions. The articles I was sent seem to suggest that most plans can be changed to add more recovery time during the 6-8 week sessions. Coach Chad had written an article that suggested doing 3 weeks of the plans and then adding a recovery week rather than trying to do a full 5 weeks of intensity. I am going to try that in the future.

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@mihok the other suggestions is to strip it down to low-volume plan, where you are doing 3 essential workouts that are the foundation for the mid and high volume plans.

With the low-volume plan you can add easy outdoor rides, or indoor endurance rides like Baxter. Or if you feel fresh on a particular day, you can substitute a +1 or +2 or +X version of the workout.

So either modify the work-week/recovery-week ratio to something like 2:1 or 3:1, or go with low-volume and add rides.

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Me too- plus I never have any workouts where I am riding at 320 watts- which is where I would need to go to get my next bump in FTP. I may just go manual FTP from now on. Not sure.

I finished the 3rd week of SSBLV-II, and decided to throw in a recovery week. I didn’t feel excessively fatigued, but thought going into the final 2 work weeks some rest might be a good thing. I haven’t really “failed” any rides so far, but have had to turn down the intensity 5% on about a third of the workouts. I’m thinking I’l throw in an extra recovery week mid-SusPB too.
Dave (@53yo)

If you can use backpedals instead of lowering intensity that is preferred, expecially in SS workouts. Try that as a strategy instead. Maybe as a reward or carrot for longer intervals. For instance, in a 20 min SS workout I allow myself 3 backpedals should I need them (1 every 5 mins). If I don’t use it, I’m allowed to carry it further into the interval. It gives me outs should I need it. Most times I don’t, but it’s comforting knowing it’s there which makes me push through the intervals.

Also the backpedals allows me to break the work in manageable chunks. Four 5 minute intervals is doable where one 20 min interval is mentally daunting.

I think the real problem is my FTP is just set too high. I keep slugging it out, but should probably just lower it a touch. It doesn’t seem right that my HR is above LTHR for >30% of the workout in a SS workout.

Maybe, I don’t really use HR as an indicator of my workout as HR has too many variables.

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If you read Fast after 50 by Joe Friel he very much pushes the idea (supported by lots of research) that VO2Max or intensity is a necessity for older riders. The book is definitely worth a read