Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Training Plan, and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 394

Appreciate all the feedback on naming options for Sweet Spot Base!

Open to any and all suggestions from y’all, so drop them in here please :slight_smile:

I mean those people can use the skip function, but OK. I think that for people that are new to the Podcasts it can throwm them off and never listen again. It’s like walking in and not introducing yourself


I am thrilled that you are considering name adjustments. We’ve touched on related issues back to the beginning of the forum. Along with the addition of “Base” & “Build” to the appropriate POL plans for instant recognition, I think there can be some changes for the better. :smiley:

Sweet Spot Base ideas

  • Pyramidal Base, Part 1 / Part 2

    • Or use whatever is the most accurate description related to Time in Zone and/or Training Methodology that drives the plans. This could prove problematic when we look at the High Volume SSB that deviates notably from the Low & Mid Volumes.
    • But maybe that is a good thing as it might be appropriate to rename SSB HV to something that “scares” people away or at least properly indicates its special use case.
  • High Intensity Base, Part 1 / Part 2

    • Seems this might work for all volumes depending on whether we consider SS in particular as “High Intensity” as some people do (though not everyone does).
  • Non-Traditional Base, Part 1 / Part 2

    • As a counter to Traditional Base, but it’s likely a terrible idea as it almost has a negative connotation from the ‘Non’ aspect. But figured it should at least be stated.
  • TrainerRoad Foundation or TrainerRoad Core

    • Something more unique and steps away from ‘base’ specifically. Could lead to confusion too, but aims to “brand” it as much as help separate it from Traditional Base or the other styles on offer elsewhere.
  • Sweet Spot Base 2 (This may benefit from a unique name vs SSB1 since this is quite different from the first stage.)

    • Build Prep, Build Primer or Pre-Build

Sustained Power Build idea

  • Long Power Build
    • Common use of abbreviations on the forum leads to confusion between Short Power Build and Sustained Power Build as both are abbreviated SPB.
    • I mention the need to use stuff like ShPB or SuPB, when people post ambiguous 3-letter versions. New wording that gives a unique abbreviation between at least Build Plans would be nice for this small use case.

General Build idea

  • Mixed Power Build
    • Kind of meant to align with the Short Power Build / Long Power Build rename to indicate that this is a blend of the other two ends or effort duration.

Enthusiast (Specialty)

  • Maintenance and Time Crunch 30/45 plans hide in plain sight here, but get overlooked by too many people IMO. We commonly have to share them with people asking for exactly what they offer.
    • Part of me wonders if this needs to be in it’s own category outside of Specialty to make it more visible. Not sure who starts looking for plans like this in Specialty and even the “Enthusiast” tag seems to miss the mark a bit for me. Again, almost a negative connotation that these are “less than…” somehow.
    • I don’t have a specific suggestion for a name other than to put them somewhere other than Specialty. It’s a phase that we know some people don’t even get to as they repeat Base & Build while skipping Specialty.

I think there’s a middle ground that doesn’t cause me and others to swipe back to see if I missed something. Like “Hey, it’s the Ask a Cycling Coach podcast. Congrats Ivy on your 2nd place…”
Agree that there’s no need to introduce everyone and for each to say hello.


Are we really such Time Crunched Athletes that we can’t spare 30 seconds to say “Hi”?


@Jonathan Without an intro it seems unpolished and odd. I agree, you don’t need to welcome everyone, name their sponsors and for them to say hello. However, I’m sure the podcast can spare the 15 seconds so the listeners know who is present.

It’s not like the podcast has the same cast every week, it’s constantly changing. So a new listener would have no idea who is talking. Even as someone who has listened to every episode, several of them multiple times, I find myself distracted in the beginning by trying to figure out who’s on the show if it’s not the original crew.


I’m a huge podcast guy and i’ve never once heard of a podcast just “jumping straight into it”. Context is important. Presenter information is important. Especially when there’s an entire ensemble on an episode.

It’s not unusual on TR to have 4-5 presenters and just “jumping into it” leaves everyone in the dark trying to understand who’s present and what they’re even talking about.

In this episode, we didn’t hear Nate til ~3 minutes in and if I didn’t already know what his voice sounds like I’d have literally zero idea what’s going on. At ~6 minutes we hear from Alex. Again, if I wasn’t already an avid listener I’d bail at this point.


I think maybe there’s an assumption being made that people are “watching” the podcast and not “listening” to the podcast. In both cases, I still think introductions are needed so people understand who is speaking and why they should trust them to be knowledgeable speakers, but this is particularly true in the “listening” scenario. If you wanted to cut 60 seconds from the “watching” scenario, you could do that with on screen titles, but I still think most listeners want to know who is telling them what to do regardless of format.


I can see the logic of cutting out the roundtable ‘hellos’ on YT, but as a podcast listener, I really appreciate hearing who’s on this episode, especially since that often changes week to week nowadays.

I also just miss hearing the intro line! I listen to the pod at the gym religiously and hearing ‘Welcome to the podcast…’ has been the perfect cue to start my strength workouts!


I am sure for folks on YouTube it could be ok as you can see who is on. But as a podcast it seems really odd without any intros at all. Even just a “Hello everyone welcome to this weeks podcast with x, y, and z”.


Yeah, I definitely think there’s a way to shorten up the intro, but I think some intro is needed. One of my favorite podcasts has started off every week for the last ten years with the two hosts just saying: “Hi John!” “Hi Merlin.” It’s not an Introduction in any traditional sense, but it lets the listener know that the show is starting and sets the stage.

The rotating cast and format of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast makes it all the more important to say something at the start to let people know what’s happening this week.


I also LOVE the idea of TickTock/Reels/YouTube shorts with descriptions of each plan and the objectives.


If SSB is intended to provide more effective adaptations for time crunched athletes that don’t have the time for a traditional base model, why is the total HR/week for Trad Base roughly the same as SSB and POL?

+1 for missing the ‘hi you’re here with x y and z intros’, but maybe the metrics said get rid of them.

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What about something like “High Intensity Base” and “Low Intensity Base” rather than SSB and TB?


Didn’t we go through all this recently after it was brought up in a podcast ?

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There’s a lot of good movies that just jump right into the action before we get to the title sequence.

Appreciate the TR team continuous experimentation.

True but it is NOT (low volume) “Traditional base”, it’s just Base, new or returning from a break.


A week or two ago I was looking at some old Friel blog posts, and TR Traditional Base 1, 2, and 3 look a lot like Friel Base 1, Base 2, and Base 3.

I am with most other commenters here - some sort of intro is actually quite NORMAL for podcasts. Listen to almost any podcast and there’s some sort of short intro introducing the host. I can even quote some of them because I listen to them so much, but I have to say that the RadioLab intro is pretty awesome. After the fantastic sound blurb of “This is RadioLab” the hosts introduce themselves - often really fast - and they get to the show. Or Sporkful - “This is The Sporkful: it’s not for foodies, it’s for eaters. I’m Dan Pashman. Each week, we obsess about food to learn more about people.” Lots of other examples. Some sort of intro makes the show very polished and professional. And I also echo the other comments about how you have a rotating crew, so at least some sort of mention of each person helps those of us who aren’t watching on YouTube.


Great episode!

Some suggestions, where I think less is more:

  • Elevate 1 & 2. It’s reads as something ambitious, and is clear about its purpose, to elevate the athletes abilities in various areas (Vo2, threshold…)

  • Primer 1 & 2. Alluding to a “starting point” or an education of sorts. Can come across as elementary though.

  • Builder 1 & 2. The word is progressive and suggests the athlete is taking steps towards a goal. The downside is it might come off as confusing with the subsequent build phase. Perhaps the build phase in turn could be renamed into “Boost phase”. Build > Boost > Specialty

  • Opener 1 & 2, as simple as it gets.

I kind of like it how it is today. Whatever you choose it’s clear the action is more symbolic than anything else. Not sure it’s really that big of an issue?